Copywriting for dummies: tooting my own horn

One of the challenges of being an independent author is that you’re responsible for everything associated with publishing your book, including editing, cover design, and marketing.

I haven’t outsourced writing the marketing material for my recent novels.  Hey, I’m a writer!  I can do that!  But it ain’t easy.  Your job is to write a couple hundred compelling words explaining why the world should be thrilled to read your book.  Where to begin?

Anyway, here’s my first attempt at marketing copy for Where All the Ladders Start.  Does this make you want to part with three or four of your hard-earned dollars?

What I wanted to say was this:

The novel is about religion and family, not necessarily in that order.  It involves two separate cases, which causes it to be about a third longer than the first two novels in the Last P.I. series.  In the course of the novel, our protagonist reads the following books:

  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Middlemarch
  • Great Expectations
  • An unnamed Harry Bosch novel
  • Selections from the collected poems of William Butler Yeats

His friend Doctor J, who has very different tastes in literature, reads the following books:

  • Civilization and Its Discontents
  • A Genealogy of Morals
  • The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

And the following things happen to our hero:

  • He is whacked on the head with a rock
  • He fights off a pack of feral humans in the wilds of Somerville
  • He is arrested for murder
  • He is shot at twice
  • He skins his knee
  • He rips his new pants climbing a fence
  • He is lectured to by several people about the meaning of history and the danger of making bad career choices
  • Against his better judgment, he travels to New York City

But most of that didn’t make it into the copy.

Maybe I should at least try to say something about Middlemarch?

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