Summarizing Your Work

Marketing your work and writing are two very different things.

In preparation for the Kindle Scout campaign for Surreality, I am preparing a 45 character “tag-line” and a 500 character description of my book. I have been working on this book off and on for about seven years, and very intently the last half year as I’ve concluded the final revisions and copy edits.

But I am having a devil of a time distilling it down to the essence, just a couple little words that describe countless hundreds of hours of work.

The truth is my attempts so far have ranged from the technical, the corny, the too long and the wildly inaccurate.

And what grabs me in descriptions may not grab a general audience. I tend to like non-sequiturs, weird mashups of characters, something that shows me the author’s personality and the personality of the book. A tagline like “A taut political thriller” does not grab me, but one like “Rabid raccoon rights wrong” might get me to at least read the description to see where that story is going. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who would dismiss such a tagline as just silly and never read any further.

And I might not be the best judge. I’m a sucker for puns and requested a review copy of an Angry Birds \ Transformers mash-up because it was called Age of Eggstinction.

The trouble is getting stuck in patterns of thought. I feel like I need a random word generator, something that takes a random section of my book, throws it on the screen and makes me write about that. Actually as a programmer I could probably write that. I once wrote a sorting dictionary out of the full text of War and Peace for “fun”.

Not much insight to share at this point other than I’m going to keep banging on this until I get something good. Any of you have any thoughts?

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