STATUS: I’m really swamped right now so pardon yesterday’s radio silence.
What’s playing on the iPod right now? UNBELIEVABLE by EMF
So we haven’t analyzed back cover copy for about two weeks now. With that in mind, I thought I would pull up my list of suggested examples culled from the comments section for this blog entry.
I’ve been hearing the buzz (which has been around for a while) for the National Book Award winner THEN WE CAME TO THE END and since it was suggested, I thought it would make a good choice.
But I’ve literally just spent the last 20 minutes on Amazon.com and BN.com looking for the flap copy (if you are talking hardcover). This could also be the back cover copy for a trade pb but sometimes publishers decide to use that space for quotes instead (thinking that would be more powerful to sell the story).
On Amazon, all I could find were reviews. Clicking on a variety of “search inside” features didn’t get me to the flap copy or to the back cover where a blurb might be.
On BN.com, there is a synopsis listed. This may be the flap copy or back cover copy but it’s more of summary than what, traditionally, back cover copy or flap copy tends to be.
The Tattered Cover online has this same snippet listed as the description.
Here it is:
No one knows us quite the same way as the men and women who sit beside us in department meetings and crowd the office refrigerator with their labeled yogurts. Every office is a family of sorts, and the ad agency Joshua Ferris brilliantly depicts in his debut novel is family at its strangest and best, coping with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks.
With a demon’s eye for the details that make life worth noticing, Joshua Ferris tells a true and funny story about survival in life’s strangest environment–the one we pretend is normal five days a week.
I have to say that I’m not sure this little snippet would have sold me on picking up, buying, and reading this book. The reviews on the other hand made my book club interested in at least including this book title in our next vote.
Not sure what point I’m making but if this is not the book copy and the actual copy is noticeably absent from the websites, it does rather de-emphasize the importance of that marketing tool.
Still, I think back cover copy is valuable as a learning tool for writing query pitch paragraphs. Perhaps my real point is to say that online sites have more room to offer a variety of written info about a novel to the reader beyond the back cover copy. And in fact, maybe enticing back cover copy is less important than reader and professional reviews.
It’s an interesting discussion…