Book Descriptions

15/04/11 9:00 AM

As my regular readers probably know, I’m a marketing copywriter by day. Writing punchy, pithy copy is my THING. Except, apparently, when it’s for myself.

In this post, I talked about my struggles with book titles. Finally past that hurdle, I had to tackle the all-important book description.

Writing a good book description is one of Jesus Joe Konrath’s commandments for eBook success. I found a great blog post by author Karen McQuestion (love that last name) on how to write an effective book description. So armed with her primer and my own marketing chops (in theory), I set out to write mine.

Here are the three versions I sent to my beta readers:

V1

For April Sullivan-LaMonica, the last ten years have been hell: she lost her husband and young son in a grisly car accident, and soon after, she watched her mom descend into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. So when a famous broadcast journalist named Maggie Prescott claims to be April’s long-lost half sister and hopes to capture their reunion on film, April outwardly regards Maggie with much suspicion and derision. In reality, she’s simply afraid to grow close to someone yet again, only to have that person leave—or worse.

Maggie, meanwhile, is battling her own demons: figuring out why her biological mother gave her up, facing a secret she’s kept from the one man she’s loved all her life, and giving herself permission to follow the dream she’s had since she was a child.

Separated by nearly two decades and different life experiences, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.

V2

Meet April Sullivan-LaMonica. April is thirty-four years old, a nursing home activities director (read: Bingo Bitch), and the only child of Kate Sullivan. Or so she thought.

Meet Maggie Prescott. Maggie is a famous broadcast journalist on a mission: to find out why Kate Sullivan gave her up for adoption over fifty years ago. Problem is, Kate has Alzheimer’s disease, and she never told April about Maggie’s existence.

That doesn’t stop Maggie from trying, and it doesn’t stop April from thwarting Maggie’s attempts. Separated by nearly two decades and different life experiences, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.

V3

A famous broadcast journalist, Maggie Prescott has spent her whole life seeking truth. Her latest mission, however, is personal: finding out why her biological mother gave her up for adoption fifty-two years ago. As she embarks on her journey, Maggie walks headfirst into chaos: her biological mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and is forced to live in a nursing home. Her half sister, April, doesn’t want anything to do with her. An unexpected reunion with an ex-lover forces Maggie to face a dark period from her past. Then, Maggie discovers an old woman named Hazel whose lifelong secrets affect them all.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of those unexpected friendships that emerge from family ties.

##

Each one had votes, but version 1 edged out the others by a hair. Edits were suggested as well. Here’s the version I’m going with for now (and for the print version). I can, of course, change up the eBook versions, which is a nice thing about the format.

The Winner? I used version 1, with edits:

For April Sullivan-LaMonica, the last ten years have been hell: her husband and young son were killed in a car accident, and soon after, her mom descended into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. So when broadcast journalist Maggie Prescott shows up claiming to be April’s half sister and tries to capture their reunion on film, April outwardly regards Maggie with much suspicion. In reality, she’s simply afraid to grow close to someone again, only to have that person leave—or worse.

Maggie, meanwhile, is battling her own demons: figuring out why her biological mother gave her up, facing a secret she’s kept from the one man she’s loved all her life, and giving herself permission to follow the dream she’s had since she was a child.

Separated by nearly two decades and radically different life paths, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.

A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains—and riches—of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.

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By the way, I’m open to comments from readers and writers alike on these. :)

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Posted by Robyn | in eBooks, Self publishing | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “Book Descriptions”

  1. Mike Says:

    I liked your version that you chose and edited. It has just enough teaser to it to show me that the writing is interesting and deserves a more in-depth analysis by reading the book. In other words, it “piques” my interest.

  2. Robyn Says:

    Thanks, Mike! :)

  3. Maria Papadopoulou Says:

    I agree with all your edits. This is exactly what I would have done!

  4. Robyn Says:

    Thanks, Maria! :)