I had to come up with a summary for my novel, and I have to say it’s difficult. I mean, not that it’s shocking news or anything, but you don’t realize just how hard until you actually do it. Trying to squeeze the most basic of details into a few sentences or a short paragraph is difficult. What do you put in? What do you leave out? On top of that it has to be compelling.
I’ve heard the term “elevator pitch” too many times to count, and I’m afraid I just wouldn’t do well. Then on top of the summary for the back, you have to come up with a short blurb, or motto almost, for the cover, bookmarks, etc. So then you’re left with coming up with a hook in six words or less! I know I make it sound dramatic, but I have a tendency to do that at times.
This is where you begin to walk the fine line of writer/marketer/…branding? You can’t help but to think, “Dammit Jim, I’m a writer not a PR agent!” Welcome to being an independent author! You must hone your skills of charisma and self discipline! Marketing through social media is just a small portion. All our lives it’s driven into our heads that we must not be egotistical and talking ourselves up; and then what must we do to sell our books? Just that. We have to sell ourselves. I don’t know about you, but it’s a very difficult task for myself.
It’s a hurdle I still have to clear. It was strange to write the summary, describing my own work in such a positive manner. I’m from a society where you humble yourself, whether or not you truly believe it (Don’t worry, I follow in that old timey fashion of insecurity and self doubt about my work!). Even authors who publish traditionally have to go sell themselves. Interviews, book signings, etc., and there’s no escaping it! I know! I know! The dream is to sit in a haunted castle in the middle of nowhere and write all hours into the night (okay, maybe just me) and the only human contact is the pizza guy you tip a ridiculous amount of money to drive out.
I know, I got very sidetracked from talking about summaries.
That being said, I do consider myself lucky to have found myself amazing mentors (M and M respectively) and a connection to LeeLoo Publishing. So, I’m not alone. I’m not traversing this sea of good advice, bad advice, and absolute confusion by myself. I have friends versed in self-publishing, small house traditional publishing, and large house traditional publishing. If you find this blog, you’re not alone either. You can feel free to contact me with any questions you have. I’m not an expert, and I will never claim to be, but I will be a listening ear…or reading, eyes? You know what I mean.