Back Cover Copy: I didn’t expect to be thinking about this yet

The cover artist for the Death’s Lady series has been really quick off the mark. Here is a draft of the proposed cover. Ignore all the text; it’s just placeholder text borrowed from Book Three.

As you can see, there’s a sword. I did look at an option that didn’t include a sword, as Death’s Lady herself doesn’t appear in this story. I mean, people refer to her, she’s important in the backstory, but Tenai doesn’t make an appearance. So I thought about leaving the sword out. But the cover just looks better with it there.

Meanwhile, that placeholder text! I assured the cover artist I would have a real title for him by the end of the week. Aargh! I hate making decisions.

Almost worse, back cover copy is just never easy.

Now, of course this is a novella associated with the trilogy; few readers are likely to pick it up first — I’ve minimized really serious spoilers, just in case, but really, most readers are only going to get this novella if they’ve already read the trilogy. That does reduce the importance of the back cover description. On the other hand, it would still be nice to have back cover copy that gives a reasonably accurate impression of the story. Here’s my first effort:

A long time ago, Kuomat stepped away into the woods, abandoning his place in the world of men. For years, he’s lived as an outlaw, with little to do with ordinary townsfolk. But when Jenna asked him for help in the name of Death’s Lady and of the king of Talasayan, Kuomat stepped into the affairs of the great.

That did not go unnoticed.

Now Kuomat has one chance to step out of the forest and return to the world ... if he can bring himself to take it.

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6 thoughts on “Back Cover Copy: I didn’t expect to be thinking about this yet”

  1. I’m terribly behind on my reading (…and emails, I’m sorry!) & so haven’t finished the trilogy. This observation may therefore be unsound:

    I like the first paragraph but not quite following the third. When Jenna asks for his help it’s implied that Kuomat left his forest in order to step into the affairs of the great… is that not the case? Because the final paragraph sounds like this is his FIRST and only chance to leave the forest and return to the world. If he’s left before, I’d think maybe “Now Kuomat has one more chance”

    (If he steps into the affairs of the great without ever leaving his forest, and is now considering whether he wants to do so for the first time/at all, it works though!)

    And by the way, the cover is lovely. You chose well with this artist.

  2. Too much ‘stepping.’ Kuomat stepped away, stepped into and now has one chance to step back? Also, maybe he has a chance, not one chance, since one chance means to me it’s his only chance.

  3. You’re right, Alison — too much stepping, and thankfully that’s very easy to fix.

    I kind of think maybe this is his one chance, but I will consider it. Now he has one more chance may be better regardless.

    And yes, Mary Beth, he really did take Mitereh’s side, or maybe Tenai’s side, against Keitah without ever leaving the forest, speaking figuratively.

  4. At first read he seemed to have stepped into the woods once but stepped out twice? The use of “But” is confusing in the context of a back page: I was expecting the basic problem to be established but was hit with a flashback instead.

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