Back cover copy is hard

Back cover copy is difficult to write well, as everyone, probably, agrees. So why should I try to manage it all by myself, right? What do you all think of this:


Ryo inGara has always been willing to fight and die for his family and his people. Now that trouble has engulfed the borderlands between the winter lands and the summer country, he thought that death might come to him soon. But he expected to die in battle, not fall into the hands of a powerful enemy warleader. Now he faces more complicated choices, and the fate of both countries may depend on his decisions.


What do you think?

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8 thoughts on “Back cover copy is hard”

  1. I loathe writing back cover copy. Last time I tried it, I ran the blurb past people at the KBoard Writers, who ripped the text to shreds but did help strengthen the end result (once I came out from under the bed where I’d been cowering).

    Four things don’t work for me in this blurb:
    1 – “fight and die” I don’t think you need to use “and die” here. If he’s a warrior fighting, I’d assume death was a possibility, and the words “die” and “death” already occur a lot in this bcc.
    2 – “Trouble has engulfed the borderlands” seems a bit vague, doesn’t help me get involved.
    3 – “he thought that death might come for him” I would remove “he thought that”
    4 – “Now he faces more complicated choices” this is vague and also I didn’t see that he had any less complicated choices to face. Maybe you meant not dying was a choice? Honestly, this last sentence doesn’t work for me at all.

    Please take all these comments with a grain of salt and/or a shot of tequila. It’s your name on the book and ultimately what works for you is the best choice.

  2. No no, I am happy you tore it to shreds! I didn’t like this attempt and now I see some reasons why.

  3. Ryo inGara has always been willing to die for the people of [the winter lands?]. With trouble engulfing the border with the summer country, that prospect seemed imminent. He did not expect to live as the captive [[a hostage?]] of a powerful enemy warleader. Now the fate of both countries may depend on his decisions. [[How? What agency does a captive have? Seems like the last two sentences should be revised to clarify the unexpected outcome and why he has choices.]]

  4. Well, I’m glad if you’re still speaking to me, but I still feel bad. To be balanced, I should have included things that I liked about the blurb.
    First off, I like the sound of the hero, someone willing to fight for the people he cares about. I am intrigued about the winter lands and the summer country. I like that he’s thrown into close contact with an enemy, that’s got to be an interesting meeting. And I like that you indicate the stakes are high if he makes the wrong choice.

  5. Thanks, Evelyn, but I have VERY THICK SKIN and did not mind one bit. Especially since my emotional investment in back cover copy, unlike actual books, is basically nonexistant.

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