Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Back cover copy for Tarashana

You know what? It never really occurred to me that bringing five books out this spring meant I would keep needing to write back cover descriptions!

Aargh!

So, anyway, I just uploaded Tarashana in KDP and Kindle formats, and in the space where it says “description,” I just wrote “add description here” so that I could move on and upload the documents. I did that so I could see how many pages the book will be in KDP, so I can pass that information to the cover artist. (If you’re interested, 455 pp in the 6 inch x 9 inch size.) (If you’re interested in what that actually means, this book is just about 50,000 words longer than Tuyo.)

I actually have a tiny bit more revision to do, which I’m rather hoping to compress into adding a few sentences here and there. I will endeavor not to change the page numbers significantly. I don’t think it will be a problem. I also threw a fake cover on the book and ordered a proof copy so that I can look it over ONE MORE TIME for typos.

[By the way, someone just read Black Dog for the first time, then connected with me via Messenger, and sent me a list of, I don’t know, twenty or so typos that were still in that book. It’s humbling, that’s what it is. I sent her the next couple of books and dared her to find as many in Copper Mountain, since I think the proofing process is more thorough now than it used to be. I’m betting fewer than five. We’ll see!]

But my POINT is, I have to write back cover copy for this book. Several of you have a knack for spotting problems in book descriptions and suggesting better phrasing, and of course a few of you have read the manuscript and might be able to make very pointed suggestions. As always, I prefer not to give too much away. So here goes:

A year and a half ago, Ryo and Aras defeated their enemy, ending the conflict between the winter country and the summer lands. But Lord Aras, all his important secrets revealed in that struggle, now faces a different kind of challenge in dealing with his own countrymen.

Then a message arrives from Ryo’s people: A woman of the Tarashana has come to them from the starlit lands beyond their northern border. Though she plainly needs their help, she is mute. She cannot explain what happened to her people or describe what enemy drove them from their lands. No Ugaro can speak to her — but Aras might. Will he come, and by his arts help Tarashana and Ugaro understand one another?

Intrigued by this problem, and with every reason to leave his own country for some time, Aras agrees. But the journey upon which he and Ryo embark will be far longer and far more challenging than either of them could possibly expect …

There, how does that seem? Does anything in that sound wrong to anyone — too wordy, too vague, awkward, uninviting?

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6 Comments Back cover copy for Tarashana

  1. Mary Beth

    I like the second and third paragraphs, but the second sentence of the first paragraph seems unnecessarily convoluted. Maybe: “But with all his important secrets revealed in that struggle, Lord Aras now faces a different kind of challenge in dealing with his own countrymen.”

  2. Kathryn McConaughy

    I agree with Mary Beth that the second sentence has a problem (conflicting subject reference). You might be able to keep the current wording if you use dashes instead of commas, but rewording might be better.
    At the end of the second paragraph, I might say “help Tarashana and Ugaro to understand eachother” instead. The “one another” feels a bit off in terms of rhythm to me.

  3. Amara

    Third-ing the recommendation to tweak that second sentence – while the rhythm matches your writing style (I could see this a line of dialogue), it’s awkward to read as cover copy. What about:

    “But with all his important secrets now revealed, Lord Aras faces a different challenge in dealing with his own countrymen.”

    What are your thoughts on people pointing out typos after publication? It seems kind of unnecessary to me.

  4. Elaine T

    I don’t like the first paragraph at all. I think you could drop it completely and essentially go with the second and third. Although the opening would have to be tweaked.

    I don’t have the brain to come up with suggestions tonight… but the contractors are ALMOST done so the end of upheaval is in sight. (Never get mold in your ventilation.)

  5. Hanneke

    It sounds fine to me, but as I’m prone to writing convoluted sentences myself, the others may well have a better sense for those…

  6. Rachel

    Thank you, everyone!

    I appreciate people pointing out typos. I can always fix them in a self- published book. That is much better than having new readers leave a three-star review because there are a lot of typos. Besides, typos are just plain embarrassing.

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