Cover Copy Coward

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Pat here:

Since it has been pointed out to me that my new book, MYSTIC RIDER (excerpt) , will be hitting the stands on July 1st, and that the purpose of this blog is to promote our writing (really, I thought it was an outlet for my excess energy and opinions but I’ll humor them), I suppose I need to find a scintillating subject that will persuade our loyal readers to order the book immediately.

Unfortunately, finding the right verbal “hooks” to entice and seduce has ever been a failing of mine. I’m a selfish witch. I write about what tugs at my heart or catches my interest and in most cases, both— not necessarily what provides tempting cover copy.  I used to read the back blurbs of my contemporaries and wish I had written that book, because they certainly didn’t describe the stories I thought I had written. Perhaps I could ask marketing to write the blurbs and then I could write the book?

Anyway, instead of our usual rants about what we like or don’t like about covers (the artwork on mine is iMysticriderncredible, in my humble opinion, so I’m not about to complain—lightning staffs, so very cool!), I thought I’d dissect the back cover copy of MYSTIC RIDER for our amusement and delectation.

Keep in mind that the words on the back are a collaboration.  I fault no one for the result, especially since I had a minor hand in it myself—if only to verify that the names were correct.

Let us start with “Chantal Deveau has applied her musical gift to writing impassioned anthems for the French Revolution.”  I rather envisioned her elaborating on the war tunes of the times as so many did, except her magical additions tend to inflame the hearts of men in the same manner as her voice stirs people to action, and she doesn’t realize either, so…  Close enough and probably more dramatic than my long-winded explanation. 

Next: “But now that the mob has imprisoned her family, she seeks to buy their freedom with her one valuable possession: a jeweled cup.”  No mob involved, and she believes the cup is a bell, but…subtlety is best explained inside, I guess. Either way, her in-laws and young niece and nephew are in the lock-up, and she’s likely to slay someone with a piano if she doesn’t get them out soon.   Grail

When a tall, dark stranger enters her home and demands she give him her prize, her outrage is nothing compared to her powerful sensual response to his presence…and her startling conviction that their lives are irrevocably entwined.”  Ahem. Ian Olympus is a giant among men, practically a demi-god, a near Oracle, a man of gifts beyond even his own knowledge—reduced to a tall dark stranger.  And I’m not at all certain that Chantal has a clue that their lives are entwined, but let’s say they do what bunnies do, and she’s not averse to the experience.  I don’t generally write scenes like that at the beginning of a book, but let’s face it, how many women will satisfy a reclusive demi-god? And she’s living in Paris at a time when sexual excess was the norm. So once Ian meets his match…  Okay, my version is much better than theirs, but it takes too long. Got it.

Ian recognizes Chantal as the intended mate revealed to him in a vision long ago. But even he is astounded by the lightning swift attraction he feels for a woman not of his world.”  His vision shows blood and war and the sacred chalice along with the woman and tragic music, but why muddy up sex with details?  Let’s make no mistake here, Ian is on a quest, and the woman just happens to be in his way. Or well, really, with a sentient chalice dealing the cards, everything is in the way, including sex. The cover copy makes it seem so…easy!

Now he must choose between duty and desire—and open his heart to possibilities that even he could never have foreseen.”  Admittedly, I give the marketing people way too much to work with.  An island on the brink of destruction, a man whose intended mate is a rebel who can only add to his troubles, an Louisxvi
escaping royal family, a sentient chalice…and a villain with strengths that exceed the hero’s.  Gee, let’s reduce all that to duty and desire.  Simple, sweet, and let no history impinge on the product.  (that’s Louis XVI to the right, not Ian!)

Now I’m totally convinced I need to write the back cover copy before I write the book.  I did give them this blurb:  An enigmatic leader with powerful physical and psychic abilities believes he must sacrifice himself to save his island home, until he encounters a musically gifted free spirit who requires his aid to save her own world, and he must choose between living without his home or dying with it.  But obviously, that wasn’t dramatic enough.

I know back cover copy is a huge selling point for readers.  How often do you rely on it?  How often does the copy match what you find inside?  How often does the copy leave you disappointed in the story…or vice versa? Do you appreciate being seduced by marketing copy? (I know that’s loaded, but I can’t think of a better way to say it–marketing manipulates. That’s its purpose.)

Oh, and I’m supposed to mention that I’ll be doing an interview on Thursday, June 12th, at 8:30 pm East Coast time at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Circle-Of-Seven . You can call in at 646-200-4071 to ask questions.  I’ve never done internet radio before, so I’m hoping someone will show up! And the podcast or whatever they call it will be available anytime after the show.

185 thoughts on “Cover Copy Coward”

  1. Wow. That was a really interesting look at how books are marketed. Thank you.
    I am of two minds on cover copy.
    In the old days, before the internet, it was very important to me. It was often my only clue as to what was inside the book, and unfortunately, I was often disappointed. Now I tend to read reviews around the web before purchasing books by authors who are not already on my auto-buy list.
    Now, the only time I buy books on impulse is when I’m travelling and have run through my stash too quickly. So authors whose books end up in airport bookstores have a much higher possibility of my taking a chance on them. There, the blurb matters a lot, but I’ve learned to read between the lines. I generally pick up the book and read a few pages to see how I feel about the prose.
    Also, a cover quote by an author I respect will generally get my attention.
    Pat, I haven’t gotten to your Mystic books yet, but this post makes me want to run right out and buy them today, so I’d say you’re doing just fine at the whole marketing thing.

    Reply
  2. Wow. That was a really interesting look at how books are marketed. Thank you.
    I am of two minds on cover copy.
    In the old days, before the internet, it was very important to me. It was often my only clue as to what was inside the book, and unfortunately, I was often disappointed. Now I tend to read reviews around the web before purchasing books by authors who are not already on my auto-buy list.
    Now, the only time I buy books on impulse is when I’m travelling and have run through my stash too quickly. So authors whose books end up in airport bookstores have a much higher possibility of my taking a chance on them. There, the blurb matters a lot, but I’ve learned to read between the lines. I generally pick up the book and read a few pages to see how I feel about the prose.
    Also, a cover quote by an author I respect will generally get my attention.
    Pat, I haven’t gotten to your Mystic books yet, but this post makes me want to run right out and buy them today, so I’d say you’re doing just fine at the whole marketing thing.

    Reply
  3. Wow. That was a really interesting look at how books are marketed. Thank you.
    I am of two minds on cover copy.
    In the old days, before the internet, it was very important to me. It was often my only clue as to what was inside the book, and unfortunately, I was often disappointed. Now I tend to read reviews around the web before purchasing books by authors who are not already on my auto-buy list.
    Now, the only time I buy books on impulse is when I’m travelling and have run through my stash too quickly. So authors whose books end up in airport bookstores have a much higher possibility of my taking a chance on them. There, the blurb matters a lot, but I’ve learned to read between the lines. I generally pick up the book and read a few pages to see how I feel about the prose.
    Also, a cover quote by an author I respect will generally get my attention.
    Pat, I haven’t gotten to your Mystic books yet, but this post makes me want to run right out and buy them today, so I’d say you’re doing just fine at the whole marketing thing.

    Reply
  4. Wow. That was a really interesting look at how books are marketed. Thank you.
    I am of two minds on cover copy.
    In the old days, before the internet, it was very important to me. It was often my only clue as to what was inside the book, and unfortunately, I was often disappointed. Now I tend to read reviews around the web before purchasing books by authors who are not already on my auto-buy list.
    Now, the only time I buy books on impulse is when I’m travelling and have run through my stash too quickly. So authors whose books end up in airport bookstores have a much higher possibility of my taking a chance on them. There, the blurb matters a lot, but I’ve learned to read between the lines. I generally pick up the book and read a few pages to see how I feel about the prose.
    Also, a cover quote by an author I respect will generally get my attention.
    Pat, I haven’t gotten to your Mystic books yet, but this post makes me want to run right out and buy them today, so I’d say you’re doing just fine at the whole marketing thing.

    Reply
  5. Wow. That was a really interesting look at how books are marketed. Thank you.
    I am of two minds on cover copy.
    In the old days, before the internet, it was very important to me. It was often my only clue as to what was inside the book, and unfortunately, I was often disappointed. Now I tend to read reviews around the web before purchasing books by authors who are not already on my auto-buy list.
    Now, the only time I buy books on impulse is when I’m travelling and have run through my stash too quickly. So authors whose books end up in airport bookstores have a much higher possibility of my taking a chance on them. There, the blurb matters a lot, but I’ve learned to read between the lines. I generally pick up the book and read a few pages to see how I feel about the prose.
    Also, a cover quote by an author I respect will generally get my attention.
    Pat, I haven’t gotten to your Mystic books yet, but this post makes me want to run right out and buy them today, so I’d say you’re doing just fine at the whole marketing thing.

    Reply
  6. Ditto JROX. If the book isn’t one of my auto-buys, I will not rely on the cover blubs. I don’t necessary trust the blubs (not you Pat). If I haven’t read a review or online chatter, I will read a few pages of the book before I make my decision to buy or not.
    If it’s an auto-buy I never read the blubs.

    Reply
  7. Ditto JROX. If the book isn’t one of my auto-buys, I will not rely on the cover blubs. I don’t necessary trust the blubs (not you Pat). If I haven’t read a review or online chatter, I will read a few pages of the book before I make my decision to buy or not.
    If it’s an auto-buy I never read the blubs.

    Reply
  8. Ditto JROX. If the book isn’t one of my auto-buys, I will not rely on the cover blubs. I don’t necessary trust the blubs (not you Pat). If I haven’t read a review or online chatter, I will read a few pages of the book before I make my decision to buy or not.
    If it’s an auto-buy I never read the blubs.

    Reply
  9. Ditto JROX. If the book isn’t one of my auto-buys, I will not rely on the cover blubs. I don’t necessary trust the blubs (not you Pat). If I haven’t read a review or online chatter, I will read a few pages of the book before I make my decision to buy or not.
    If it’s an auto-buy I never read the blubs.

    Reply
  10. Ditto JROX. If the book isn’t one of my auto-buys, I will not rely on the cover blubs. I don’t necessary trust the blubs (not you Pat). If I haven’t read a review or online chatter, I will read a few pages of the book before I make my decision to buy or not.
    If it’s an auto-buy I never read the blubs.

    Reply
  11. I find back cover copy incredibly frustrating. It rarely bears any resemblance to the story inside. I was really annoyed the time I picked up a book based on the back copy and started reading only to discover that I had read the book before (and hadn’t much liked it). And I recently read a book whose back copy sounded fairly Gothic, but the story was pure slapstick.
    Back copy, covers, titles — they are so often either generic or misleading! Thank heaven for reviews and online discussions.

    Reply
  12. I find back cover copy incredibly frustrating. It rarely bears any resemblance to the story inside. I was really annoyed the time I picked up a book based on the back copy and started reading only to discover that I had read the book before (and hadn’t much liked it). And I recently read a book whose back copy sounded fairly Gothic, but the story was pure slapstick.
    Back copy, covers, titles — they are so often either generic or misleading! Thank heaven for reviews and online discussions.

    Reply
  13. I find back cover copy incredibly frustrating. It rarely bears any resemblance to the story inside. I was really annoyed the time I picked up a book based on the back copy and started reading only to discover that I had read the book before (and hadn’t much liked it). And I recently read a book whose back copy sounded fairly Gothic, but the story was pure slapstick.
    Back copy, covers, titles — they are so often either generic or misleading! Thank heaven for reviews and online discussions.

    Reply
  14. I find back cover copy incredibly frustrating. It rarely bears any resemblance to the story inside. I was really annoyed the time I picked up a book based on the back copy and started reading only to discover that I had read the book before (and hadn’t much liked it). And I recently read a book whose back copy sounded fairly Gothic, but the story was pure slapstick.
    Back copy, covers, titles — they are so often either generic or misleading! Thank heaven for reviews and online discussions.

    Reply
  15. I find back cover copy incredibly frustrating. It rarely bears any resemblance to the story inside. I was really annoyed the time I picked up a book based on the back copy and started reading only to discover that I had read the book before (and hadn’t much liked it). And I recently read a book whose back copy sounded fairly Gothic, but the story was pure slapstick.
    Back copy, covers, titles — they are so often either generic or misleading! Thank heaven for reviews and online discussions.

    Reply
  16. Chiming in… yes to everything. The only way the back cover copy can influence me is to prompt me to put the book down without even looking inside. But I rarely buy books anyplace but online, so it’s not that much of an issue. I go by reviews and, now that I’ve got the Kindle, I download samples. (When I was still buying books in stores, I would open them in the MIDDLE and read there, because the first few pages can be a lot better than the rest of a book!)
    That’s four comments out of four voting “no confidence.” Hmmmm. Anybody out there listening?

    Reply
  17. Chiming in… yes to everything. The only way the back cover copy can influence me is to prompt me to put the book down without even looking inside. But I rarely buy books anyplace but online, so it’s not that much of an issue. I go by reviews and, now that I’ve got the Kindle, I download samples. (When I was still buying books in stores, I would open them in the MIDDLE and read there, because the first few pages can be a lot better than the rest of a book!)
    That’s four comments out of four voting “no confidence.” Hmmmm. Anybody out there listening?

    Reply
  18. Chiming in… yes to everything. The only way the back cover copy can influence me is to prompt me to put the book down without even looking inside. But I rarely buy books anyplace but online, so it’s not that much of an issue. I go by reviews and, now that I’ve got the Kindle, I download samples. (When I was still buying books in stores, I would open them in the MIDDLE and read there, because the first few pages can be a lot better than the rest of a book!)
    That’s four comments out of four voting “no confidence.” Hmmmm. Anybody out there listening?

    Reply
  19. Chiming in… yes to everything. The only way the back cover copy can influence me is to prompt me to put the book down without even looking inside. But I rarely buy books anyplace but online, so it’s not that much of an issue. I go by reviews and, now that I’ve got the Kindle, I download samples. (When I was still buying books in stores, I would open them in the MIDDLE and read there, because the first few pages can be a lot better than the rest of a book!)
    That’s four comments out of four voting “no confidence.” Hmmmm. Anybody out there listening?

    Reply
  20. Chiming in… yes to everything. The only way the back cover copy can influence me is to prompt me to put the book down without even looking inside. But I rarely buy books anyplace but online, so it’s not that much of an issue. I go by reviews and, now that I’ve got the Kindle, I download samples. (When I was still buying books in stores, I would open them in the MIDDLE and read there, because the first few pages can be a lot better than the rest of a book!)
    That’s four comments out of four voting “no confidence.” Hmmmm. Anybody out there listening?

    Reply
  21. Before I ever wrote a novel, I worked for a pub doing cover copy! Honest.
    I don’t anymore.
    It’s not unlike movie publicity. The idea: to snag the eye and entrance the viewer.
    Actually, I think it all stems from P.T. Barnum.
    This way to the Egress….

    Reply
  22. Before I ever wrote a novel, I worked for a pub doing cover copy! Honest.
    I don’t anymore.
    It’s not unlike movie publicity. The idea: to snag the eye and entrance the viewer.
    Actually, I think it all stems from P.T. Barnum.
    This way to the Egress….

    Reply
  23. Before I ever wrote a novel, I worked for a pub doing cover copy! Honest.
    I don’t anymore.
    It’s not unlike movie publicity. The idea: to snag the eye and entrance the viewer.
    Actually, I think it all stems from P.T. Barnum.
    This way to the Egress….

    Reply
  24. Before I ever wrote a novel, I worked for a pub doing cover copy! Honest.
    I don’t anymore.
    It’s not unlike movie publicity. The idea: to snag the eye and entrance the viewer.
    Actually, I think it all stems from P.T. Barnum.
    This way to the Egress….

    Reply
  25. Before I ever wrote a novel, I worked for a pub doing cover copy! Honest.
    I don’t anymore.
    It’s not unlike movie publicity. The idea: to snag the eye and entrance the viewer.
    Actually, I think it all stems from P.T. Barnum.
    This way to the Egress….

    Reply
  26. Another vote for the back cover not being only one way of finding if I’ll like the book. The front cover also helps, so does the first page if there is a slug line, because I rarely read anything but historicals.
    I generally go one step further than the previous commenters. If I find a book by a new author that is within my parameters (Regency, maybe Georgian, maybe Victorian), I’ll reserve it at the library. I’ve eliminated a lot of stinkers that way, because I keep every book I buy.
    I admit I reserved the library copy of “Mystic Guardian” because the French Revolution is not one of my preferred eras. But then I read about 10 pages and ran out and bought my own copy and all the “Magic” series, too. “Mystic Rider” is on my automatic buy list.

    Reply
  27. Another vote for the back cover not being only one way of finding if I’ll like the book. The front cover also helps, so does the first page if there is a slug line, because I rarely read anything but historicals.
    I generally go one step further than the previous commenters. If I find a book by a new author that is within my parameters (Regency, maybe Georgian, maybe Victorian), I’ll reserve it at the library. I’ve eliminated a lot of stinkers that way, because I keep every book I buy.
    I admit I reserved the library copy of “Mystic Guardian” because the French Revolution is not one of my preferred eras. But then I read about 10 pages and ran out and bought my own copy and all the “Magic” series, too. “Mystic Rider” is on my automatic buy list.

    Reply
  28. Another vote for the back cover not being only one way of finding if I’ll like the book. The front cover also helps, so does the first page if there is a slug line, because I rarely read anything but historicals.
    I generally go one step further than the previous commenters. If I find a book by a new author that is within my parameters (Regency, maybe Georgian, maybe Victorian), I’ll reserve it at the library. I’ve eliminated a lot of stinkers that way, because I keep every book I buy.
    I admit I reserved the library copy of “Mystic Guardian” because the French Revolution is not one of my preferred eras. But then I read about 10 pages and ran out and bought my own copy and all the “Magic” series, too. “Mystic Rider” is on my automatic buy list.

    Reply
  29. Another vote for the back cover not being only one way of finding if I’ll like the book. The front cover also helps, so does the first page if there is a slug line, because I rarely read anything but historicals.
    I generally go one step further than the previous commenters. If I find a book by a new author that is within my parameters (Regency, maybe Georgian, maybe Victorian), I’ll reserve it at the library. I’ve eliminated a lot of stinkers that way, because I keep every book I buy.
    I admit I reserved the library copy of “Mystic Guardian” because the French Revolution is not one of my preferred eras. But then I read about 10 pages and ran out and bought my own copy and all the “Magic” series, too. “Mystic Rider” is on my automatic buy list.

    Reply
  30. Another vote for the back cover not being only one way of finding if I’ll like the book. The front cover also helps, so does the first page if there is a slug line, because I rarely read anything but historicals.
    I generally go one step further than the previous commenters. If I find a book by a new author that is within my parameters (Regency, maybe Georgian, maybe Victorian), I’ll reserve it at the library. I’ve eliminated a lot of stinkers that way, because I keep every book I buy.
    I admit I reserved the library copy of “Mystic Guardian” because the French Revolution is not one of my preferred eras. But then I read about 10 pages and ran out and bought my own copy and all the “Magic” series, too. “Mystic Rider” is on my automatic buy list.

    Reply
  31. I do adore our intelligent readers! And yes, I think back cover copy is a holdover from supermarket days (Yes, Edith…Egress! It’s a technique, and I don’t have it. Luck you. “G”) I wish I had numbers on how many people buy/select books online these days, but that’s the direction the market is moving in. Still, there have to be a lot of readers (or travelers, as jrox points out) who are stuck choosing a book by that copy. And I fear I lose a LOT of readers that way. Bless you, Linda, for getting past the French Revolution! I have been told that I am too “original” for my own good. “G” Selling a revolultion ain’t easy.

    Reply
  32. I do adore our intelligent readers! And yes, I think back cover copy is a holdover from supermarket days (Yes, Edith…Egress! It’s a technique, and I don’t have it. Luck you. “G”) I wish I had numbers on how many people buy/select books online these days, but that’s the direction the market is moving in. Still, there have to be a lot of readers (or travelers, as jrox points out) who are stuck choosing a book by that copy. And I fear I lose a LOT of readers that way. Bless you, Linda, for getting past the French Revolution! I have been told that I am too “original” for my own good. “G” Selling a revolultion ain’t easy.

    Reply
  33. I do adore our intelligent readers! And yes, I think back cover copy is a holdover from supermarket days (Yes, Edith…Egress! It’s a technique, and I don’t have it. Luck you. “G”) I wish I had numbers on how many people buy/select books online these days, but that’s the direction the market is moving in. Still, there have to be a lot of readers (or travelers, as jrox points out) who are stuck choosing a book by that copy. And I fear I lose a LOT of readers that way. Bless you, Linda, for getting past the French Revolution! I have been told that I am too “original” for my own good. “G” Selling a revolultion ain’t easy.

    Reply
  34. I do adore our intelligent readers! And yes, I think back cover copy is a holdover from supermarket days (Yes, Edith…Egress! It’s a technique, and I don’t have it. Luck you. “G”) I wish I had numbers on how many people buy/select books online these days, but that’s the direction the market is moving in. Still, there have to be a lot of readers (or travelers, as jrox points out) who are stuck choosing a book by that copy. And I fear I lose a LOT of readers that way. Bless you, Linda, for getting past the French Revolution! I have been told that I am too “original” for my own good. “G” Selling a revolultion ain’t easy.

    Reply
  35. I do adore our intelligent readers! And yes, I think back cover copy is a holdover from supermarket days (Yes, Edith…Egress! It’s a technique, and I don’t have it. Luck you. “G”) I wish I had numbers on how many people buy/select books online these days, but that’s the direction the market is moving in. Still, there have to be a lot of readers (or travelers, as jrox points out) who are stuck choosing a book by that copy. And I fear I lose a LOT of readers that way. Bless you, Linda, for getting past the French Revolution! I have been told that I am too “original” for my own good. “G” Selling a revolultion ain’t easy.

    Reply
  36. I understand the marketing reasons why back cover copy is often so over-the-top; they are the equivalent of the 15 second commercial that has to get your attention and make you want to Buy This Product Right Now! I buy most of my books in brick and mortar stores so I look at the copy, just don’t pay much attention. However, there is the time the back cover referred to “when she came as a child bride to his plantation” and I immediately put the book back — two of my hot buttons in the same book was definitely a de-motivator.

    Reply
  37. I understand the marketing reasons why back cover copy is often so over-the-top; they are the equivalent of the 15 second commercial that has to get your attention and make you want to Buy This Product Right Now! I buy most of my books in brick and mortar stores so I look at the copy, just don’t pay much attention. However, there is the time the back cover referred to “when she came as a child bride to his plantation” and I immediately put the book back — two of my hot buttons in the same book was definitely a de-motivator.

    Reply
  38. I understand the marketing reasons why back cover copy is often so over-the-top; they are the equivalent of the 15 second commercial that has to get your attention and make you want to Buy This Product Right Now! I buy most of my books in brick and mortar stores so I look at the copy, just don’t pay much attention. However, there is the time the back cover referred to “when she came as a child bride to his plantation” and I immediately put the book back — two of my hot buttons in the same book was definitely a de-motivator.

    Reply
  39. I understand the marketing reasons why back cover copy is often so over-the-top; they are the equivalent of the 15 second commercial that has to get your attention and make you want to Buy This Product Right Now! I buy most of my books in brick and mortar stores so I look at the copy, just don’t pay much attention. However, there is the time the back cover referred to “when she came as a child bride to his plantation” and I immediately put the book back — two of my hot buttons in the same book was definitely a de-motivator.

    Reply
  40. I understand the marketing reasons why back cover copy is often so over-the-top; they are the equivalent of the 15 second commercial that has to get your attention and make you want to Buy This Product Right Now! I buy most of my books in brick and mortar stores so I look at the copy, just don’t pay much attention. However, there is the time the back cover referred to “when she came as a child bride to his plantation” and I immediately put the book back — two of my hot buttons in the same book was definitely a de-motivator.

    Reply
  41. It can turn me off, but it rarely sells the book. If it’s not an auto buy (in which case I don’t read the back copy until I’m home or done with the book) then I’ll check for key words to things I hate – like, well, it’s a long list. Then, unless it’s something I can’t tolerate at all, I flip the book to the middle and read two random pages.
    All the back covers come down to mostly the same thing to me based on genre. I should do one for each one day. But mostly, it boils down to “They were HOT and not just from the political climate, but for EACH OTHER!” Which makes me go, yea, but what is the book about?
    (click my name! You know you want to!)

    Reply
  42. It can turn me off, but it rarely sells the book. If it’s not an auto buy (in which case I don’t read the back copy until I’m home or done with the book) then I’ll check for key words to things I hate – like, well, it’s a long list. Then, unless it’s something I can’t tolerate at all, I flip the book to the middle and read two random pages.
    All the back covers come down to mostly the same thing to me based on genre. I should do one for each one day. But mostly, it boils down to “They were HOT and not just from the political climate, but for EACH OTHER!” Which makes me go, yea, but what is the book about?
    (click my name! You know you want to!)

    Reply
  43. It can turn me off, but it rarely sells the book. If it’s not an auto buy (in which case I don’t read the back copy until I’m home or done with the book) then I’ll check for key words to things I hate – like, well, it’s a long list. Then, unless it’s something I can’t tolerate at all, I flip the book to the middle and read two random pages.
    All the back covers come down to mostly the same thing to me based on genre. I should do one for each one day. But mostly, it boils down to “They were HOT and not just from the political climate, but for EACH OTHER!” Which makes me go, yea, but what is the book about?
    (click my name! You know you want to!)

    Reply
  44. It can turn me off, but it rarely sells the book. If it’s not an auto buy (in which case I don’t read the back copy until I’m home or done with the book) then I’ll check for key words to things I hate – like, well, it’s a long list. Then, unless it’s something I can’t tolerate at all, I flip the book to the middle and read two random pages.
    All the back covers come down to mostly the same thing to me based on genre. I should do one for each one day. But mostly, it boils down to “They were HOT and not just from the political climate, but for EACH OTHER!” Which makes me go, yea, but what is the book about?
    (click my name! You know you want to!)

    Reply
  45. It can turn me off, but it rarely sells the book. If it’s not an auto buy (in which case I don’t read the back copy until I’m home or done with the book) then I’ll check for key words to things I hate – like, well, it’s a long list. Then, unless it’s something I can’t tolerate at all, I flip the book to the middle and read two random pages.
    All the back covers come down to mostly the same thing to me based on genre. I should do one for each one day. But mostly, it boils down to “They were HOT and not just from the political climate, but for EACH OTHER!” Which makes me go, yea, but what is the book about?
    (click my name! You know you want to!)

    Reply
  46. If nothing else, the back cover plus your commentary is a healthy reminder that I shouldn’t dismiss a book just because the back cover copy sounds too overwrought and melodramatic for my tastes!
    That said, cover copy doesn’t have a huge influence on me because, like others, I rarely browse bookstores anymore. Most of my book shopping is done online based on recommendations from friends, previous experience with an author, etc.

    Reply
  47. If nothing else, the back cover plus your commentary is a healthy reminder that I shouldn’t dismiss a book just because the back cover copy sounds too overwrought and melodramatic for my tastes!
    That said, cover copy doesn’t have a huge influence on me because, like others, I rarely browse bookstores anymore. Most of my book shopping is done online based on recommendations from friends, previous experience with an author, etc.

    Reply
  48. If nothing else, the back cover plus your commentary is a healthy reminder that I shouldn’t dismiss a book just because the back cover copy sounds too overwrought and melodramatic for my tastes!
    That said, cover copy doesn’t have a huge influence on me because, like others, I rarely browse bookstores anymore. Most of my book shopping is done online based on recommendations from friends, previous experience with an author, etc.

    Reply
  49. If nothing else, the back cover plus your commentary is a healthy reminder that I shouldn’t dismiss a book just because the back cover copy sounds too overwrought and melodramatic for my tastes!
    That said, cover copy doesn’t have a huge influence on me because, like others, I rarely browse bookstores anymore. Most of my book shopping is done online based on recommendations from friends, previous experience with an author, etc.

    Reply
  50. If nothing else, the back cover plus your commentary is a healthy reminder that I shouldn’t dismiss a book just because the back cover copy sounds too overwrought and melodramatic for my tastes!
    That said, cover copy doesn’t have a huge influence on me because, like others, I rarely browse bookstores anymore. Most of my book shopping is done online based on recommendations from friends, previous experience with an author, etc.

    Reply
  51. I’m in complete agreement with the other posters. I’m an avid library user, so I’ll borrow just about anything that looks similar to what I already enjoy. Generally I skim the back, but I’m willing to give most books a shot regardless of the cover and back copy.
    I only buy books by authors I know I always love – the “auto-buy” jrox mentioned. If I like something I read from the library enough, the next book will be on my auto-buy list. And yes, I have a Word doc called “Upcoming Releases” where I keep track of the release dates for all my favorite authors!
    The only time I actually read back copy is when I’m purchasing a book as an impulse buy, like at an airport, grocery store, etc. In those cases, I’ll usually skim the first chapter and see if it sounds interesting.
    As for the back copy matching the story, I so rarely read it that it’s hard to tell. I’m going to make an effort to check with the next few books on my stack. After I finish the book, I’ll read the copy and see if it’s close. I bet it’ll be like Pat described for Mystic Rider – close, but more general and dramatic than it needs to be.

    Reply
  52. I’m in complete agreement with the other posters. I’m an avid library user, so I’ll borrow just about anything that looks similar to what I already enjoy. Generally I skim the back, but I’m willing to give most books a shot regardless of the cover and back copy.
    I only buy books by authors I know I always love – the “auto-buy” jrox mentioned. If I like something I read from the library enough, the next book will be on my auto-buy list. And yes, I have a Word doc called “Upcoming Releases” where I keep track of the release dates for all my favorite authors!
    The only time I actually read back copy is when I’m purchasing a book as an impulse buy, like at an airport, grocery store, etc. In those cases, I’ll usually skim the first chapter and see if it sounds interesting.
    As for the back copy matching the story, I so rarely read it that it’s hard to tell. I’m going to make an effort to check with the next few books on my stack. After I finish the book, I’ll read the copy and see if it’s close. I bet it’ll be like Pat described for Mystic Rider – close, but more general and dramatic than it needs to be.

    Reply
  53. I’m in complete agreement with the other posters. I’m an avid library user, so I’ll borrow just about anything that looks similar to what I already enjoy. Generally I skim the back, but I’m willing to give most books a shot regardless of the cover and back copy.
    I only buy books by authors I know I always love – the “auto-buy” jrox mentioned. If I like something I read from the library enough, the next book will be on my auto-buy list. And yes, I have a Word doc called “Upcoming Releases” where I keep track of the release dates for all my favorite authors!
    The only time I actually read back copy is when I’m purchasing a book as an impulse buy, like at an airport, grocery store, etc. In those cases, I’ll usually skim the first chapter and see if it sounds interesting.
    As for the back copy matching the story, I so rarely read it that it’s hard to tell. I’m going to make an effort to check with the next few books on my stack. After I finish the book, I’ll read the copy and see if it’s close. I bet it’ll be like Pat described for Mystic Rider – close, but more general and dramatic than it needs to be.

    Reply
  54. I’m in complete agreement with the other posters. I’m an avid library user, so I’ll borrow just about anything that looks similar to what I already enjoy. Generally I skim the back, but I’m willing to give most books a shot regardless of the cover and back copy.
    I only buy books by authors I know I always love – the “auto-buy” jrox mentioned. If I like something I read from the library enough, the next book will be on my auto-buy list. And yes, I have a Word doc called “Upcoming Releases” where I keep track of the release dates for all my favorite authors!
    The only time I actually read back copy is when I’m purchasing a book as an impulse buy, like at an airport, grocery store, etc. In those cases, I’ll usually skim the first chapter and see if it sounds interesting.
    As for the back copy matching the story, I so rarely read it that it’s hard to tell. I’m going to make an effort to check with the next few books on my stack. After I finish the book, I’ll read the copy and see if it’s close. I bet it’ll be like Pat described for Mystic Rider – close, but more general and dramatic than it needs to be.

    Reply
  55. I’m in complete agreement with the other posters. I’m an avid library user, so I’ll borrow just about anything that looks similar to what I already enjoy. Generally I skim the back, but I’m willing to give most books a shot regardless of the cover and back copy.
    I only buy books by authors I know I always love – the “auto-buy” jrox mentioned. If I like something I read from the library enough, the next book will be on my auto-buy list. And yes, I have a Word doc called “Upcoming Releases” where I keep track of the release dates for all my favorite authors!
    The only time I actually read back copy is when I’m purchasing a book as an impulse buy, like at an airport, grocery store, etc. In those cases, I’ll usually skim the first chapter and see if it sounds interesting.
    As for the back copy matching the story, I so rarely read it that it’s hard to tell. I’m going to make an effort to check with the next few books on my stack. After I finish the book, I’ll read the copy and see if it’s close. I bet it’ll be like Pat described for Mystic Rider – close, but more general and dramatic than it needs to be.

    Reply
  56. Looks like we’re pretty unanimous, but I still wish I heard from supermarket buyers. Liz M, I suspect that Hot For Each Other line sells one ton of books or it wouldn’t be there, so I suspect we’re preaching to the choir.
    But dialog like this may slowly open minds and cause change, so let’s keep it up! Get it out there–readers want real info, not hot, hot, hot!
    Although, sadly, I’m suspecting generic sells more books and specific gives more people reason to put the book back.

    Reply
  57. Looks like we’re pretty unanimous, but I still wish I heard from supermarket buyers. Liz M, I suspect that Hot For Each Other line sells one ton of books or it wouldn’t be there, so I suspect we’re preaching to the choir.
    But dialog like this may slowly open minds and cause change, so let’s keep it up! Get it out there–readers want real info, not hot, hot, hot!
    Although, sadly, I’m suspecting generic sells more books and specific gives more people reason to put the book back.

    Reply
  58. Looks like we’re pretty unanimous, but I still wish I heard from supermarket buyers. Liz M, I suspect that Hot For Each Other line sells one ton of books or it wouldn’t be there, so I suspect we’re preaching to the choir.
    But dialog like this may slowly open minds and cause change, so let’s keep it up! Get it out there–readers want real info, not hot, hot, hot!
    Although, sadly, I’m suspecting generic sells more books and specific gives more people reason to put the book back.

    Reply
  59. Looks like we’re pretty unanimous, but I still wish I heard from supermarket buyers. Liz M, I suspect that Hot For Each Other line sells one ton of books or it wouldn’t be there, so I suspect we’re preaching to the choir.
    But dialog like this may slowly open minds and cause change, so let’s keep it up! Get it out there–readers want real info, not hot, hot, hot!
    Although, sadly, I’m suspecting generic sells more books and specific gives more people reason to put the book back.

    Reply
  60. Looks like we’re pretty unanimous, but I still wish I heard from supermarket buyers. Liz M, I suspect that Hot For Each Other line sells one ton of books or it wouldn’t be there, so I suspect we’re preaching to the choir.
    But dialog like this may slowly open minds and cause change, so let’s keep it up! Get it out there–readers want real info, not hot, hot, hot!
    Although, sadly, I’m suspecting generic sells more books and specific gives more people reason to put the book back.

    Reply
  61. Well, generic is safer. I know plenty of supermarket buyers that want a promise of hot, hot, hot or they’re not interested in reading it. The more generic the back cover, the less chance of pounding a turn off button for the prospective customer. Even blurbs are starting to say ‘This book is Hot!’
    I expect soon we’ll have consumer content labels – 10% plot, 20% filler, 70% HOT. And maybe a suggestions that if you can’t handle that much hot, you might look at the exchange rate of hot to plot and adjust your purchases accordingly. Hot read or your money back. All the books will be about pizza delivery guys with oddly shaped teeth.
    (Dear publisher, let the hot vampire fad pass away soon. We need Brad Pitt in some sort of Welsh Border Patrol flick or something so we can reset the shelves.)

    Reply
  62. Well, generic is safer. I know plenty of supermarket buyers that want a promise of hot, hot, hot or they’re not interested in reading it. The more generic the back cover, the less chance of pounding a turn off button for the prospective customer. Even blurbs are starting to say ‘This book is Hot!’
    I expect soon we’ll have consumer content labels – 10% plot, 20% filler, 70% HOT. And maybe a suggestions that if you can’t handle that much hot, you might look at the exchange rate of hot to plot and adjust your purchases accordingly. Hot read or your money back. All the books will be about pizza delivery guys with oddly shaped teeth.
    (Dear publisher, let the hot vampire fad pass away soon. We need Brad Pitt in some sort of Welsh Border Patrol flick or something so we can reset the shelves.)

    Reply
  63. Well, generic is safer. I know plenty of supermarket buyers that want a promise of hot, hot, hot or they’re not interested in reading it. The more generic the back cover, the less chance of pounding a turn off button for the prospective customer. Even blurbs are starting to say ‘This book is Hot!’
    I expect soon we’ll have consumer content labels – 10% plot, 20% filler, 70% HOT. And maybe a suggestions that if you can’t handle that much hot, you might look at the exchange rate of hot to plot and adjust your purchases accordingly. Hot read or your money back. All the books will be about pizza delivery guys with oddly shaped teeth.
    (Dear publisher, let the hot vampire fad pass away soon. We need Brad Pitt in some sort of Welsh Border Patrol flick or something so we can reset the shelves.)

    Reply
  64. Well, generic is safer. I know plenty of supermarket buyers that want a promise of hot, hot, hot or they’re not interested in reading it. The more generic the back cover, the less chance of pounding a turn off button for the prospective customer. Even blurbs are starting to say ‘This book is Hot!’
    I expect soon we’ll have consumer content labels – 10% plot, 20% filler, 70% HOT. And maybe a suggestions that if you can’t handle that much hot, you might look at the exchange rate of hot to plot and adjust your purchases accordingly. Hot read or your money back. All the books will be about pizza delivery guys with oddly shaped teeth.
    (Dear publisher, let the hot vampire fad pass away soon. We need Brad Pitt in some sort of Welsh Border Patrol flick or something so we can reset the shelves.)

    Reply
  65. Well, generic is safer. I know plenty of supermarket buyers that want a promise of hot, hot, hot or they’re not interested in reading it. The more generic the back cover, the less chance of pounding a turn off button for the prospective customer. Even blurbs are starting to say ‘This book is Hot!’
    I expect soon we’ll have consumer content labels – 10% plot, 20% filler, 70% HOT. And maybe a suggestions that if you can’t handle that much hot, you might look at the exchange rate of hot to plot and adjust your purchases accordingly. Hot read or your money back. All the books will be about pizza delivery guys with oddly shaped teeth.
    (Dear publisher, let the hot vampire fad pass away soon. We need Brad Pitt in some sort of Welsh Border Patrol flick or something so we can reset the shelves.)

    Reply
  66. Pat, please stay “original”. To echo liz m above, everything now is generic. I read over 100 romances a year and I don’t like a story that’s only hot, hot, hot. I want something different–complex, detailed stories. Lots and lots of plot and character development, and not just sex for sex’s sake. I’m sure there are many people out there who want this kind of story. The problem may be how to appeal to them.

    Reply
  67. Pat, please stay “original”. To echo liz m above, everything now is generic. I read over 100 romances a year and I don’t like a story that’s only hot, hot, hot. I want something different–complex, detailed stories. Lots and lots of plot and character development, and not just sex for sex’s sake. I’m sure there are many people out there who want this kind of story. The problem may be how to appeal to them.

    Reply
  68. Pat, please stay “original”. To echo liz m above, everything now is generic. I read over 100 romances a year and I don’t like a story that’s only hot, hot, hot. I want something different–complex, detailed stories. Lots and lots of plot and character development, and not just sex for sex’s sake. I’m sure there are many people out there who want this kind of story. The problem may be how to appeal to them.

    Reply
  69. Pat, please stay “original”. To echo liz m above, everything now is generic. I read over 100 romances a year and I don’t like a story that’s only hot, hot, hot. I want something different–complex, detailed stories. Lots and lots of plot and character development, and not just sex for sex’s sake. I’m sure there are many people out there who want this kind of story. The problem may be how to appeal to them.

    Reply
  70. Pat, please stay “original”. To echo liz m above, everything now is generic. I read over 100 romances a year and I don’t like a story that’s only hot, hot, hot. I want something different–complex, detailed stories. Lots and lots of plot and character development, and not just sex for sex’s sake. I’m sure there are many people out there who want this kind of story. The problem may be how to appeal to them.

    Reply
  71. I am not often seduced by front cover pics or back cover copy. As for blurbs, they can be tricky: I don’t think that Andre Norton, for example, ever said anything negative about anyone; and Lloyd Alexander, whose books I love, did not have the same tastes in reading that I do. (This I know because we were pen friends for decades). I must admit to sometimes being drawn in by a wonderful title, especially if it’s a really good quote from a really good poet.
    I have a very funny book called NOW ALL WE NEED IS A TITLE, which is a collection of horrible titles, some of which were the original titles of great books. Did you know that THE GREAT GATSBY was originally called TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG? This would divide readers into two groups: those who didn’t get it, and those for whom it gave away too much (those like me who have read the SATYRICON).

    Reply
  72. I am not often seduced by front cover pics or back cover copy. As for blurbs, they can be tricky: I don’t think that Andre Norton, for example, ever said anything negative about anyone; and Lloyd Alexander, whose books I love, did not have the same tastes in reading that I do. (This I know because we were pen friends for decades). I must admit to sometimes being drawn in by a wonderful title, especially if it’s a really good quote from a really good poet.
    I have a very funny book called NOW ALL WE NEED IS A TITLE, which is a collection of horrible titles, some of which were the original titles of great books. Did you know that THE GREAT GATSBY was originally called TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG? This would divide readers into two groups: those who didn’t get it, and those for whom it gave away too much (those like me who have read the SATYRICON).

    Reply
  73. I am not often seduced by front cover pics or back cover copy. As for blurbs, they can be tricky: I don’t think that Andre Norton, for example, ever said anything negative about anyone; and Lloyd Alexander, whose books I love, did not have the same tastes in reading that I do. (This I know because we were pen friends for decades). I must admit to sometimes being drawn in by a wonderful title, especially if it’s a really good quote from a really good poet.
    I have a very funny book called NOW ALL WE NEED IS A TITLE, which is a collection of horrible titles, some of which were the original titles of great books. Did you know that THE GREAT GATSBY was originally called TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG? This would divide readers into two groups: those who didn’t get it, and those for whom it gave away too much (those like me who have read the SATYRICON).

    Reply
  74. I am not often seduced by front cover pics or back cover copy. As for blurbs, they can be tricky: I don’t think that Andre Norton, for example, ever said anything negative about anyone; and Lloyd Alexander, whose books I love, did not have the same tastes in reading that I do. (This I know because we were pen friends for decades). I must admit to sometimes being drawn in by a wonderful title, especially if it’s a really good quote from a really good poet.
    I have a very funny book called NOW ALL WE NEED IS A TITLE, which is a collection of horrible titles, some of which were the original titles of great books. Did you know that THE GREAT GATSBY was originally called TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG? This would divide readers into two groups: those who didn’t get it, and those for whom it gave away too much (those like me who have read the SATYRICON).

    Reply
  75. I am not often seduced by front cover pics or back cover copy. As for blurbs, they can be tricky: I don’t think that Andre Norton, for example, ever said anything negative about anyone; and Lloyd Alexander, whose books I love, did not have the same tastes in reading that I do. (This I know because we were pen friends for decades). I must admit to sometimes being drawn in by a wonderful title, especially if it’s a really good quote from a really good poet.
    I have a very funny book called NOW ALL WE NEED IS A TITLE, which is a collection of horrible titles, some of which were the original titles of great books. Did you know that THE GREAT GATSBY was originally called TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG? This would divide readers into two groups: those who didn’t get it, and those for whom it gave away too much (those like me who have read the SATYRICON).

    Reply
  76. I read back blurbs to get an idea about the story, but admit that I won’t buy a book based on it, since so often they aren’t right.
    If turnoffs aren’t evident in the back blurb (eras or locations that I have no interest in) then I will open up the book and read a few pages of the front. What I’ve learned about my own reading habits, is that if I don’t like the voice of the book within a page or two, it will get tossed and not picked up again – even if I like the author’s previous works.
    What I dislike is when I look at the back and it is only a bunch of quotes or reviews from different people or publications telling me how good the book is, but giving me no indication of what the story is about. Then I have to figure out if it is one that I will like or not.
    I don’t mind being “seduced” into reading a book if I then happen to like it, but there are some in which the heroine is tstl (for example), and then I resent the spent money and wasted time. But again this is why I now read a few pages of the book before buying.

    Reply
  77. I read back blurbs to get an idea about the story, but admit that I won’t buy a book based on it, since so often they aren’t right.
    If turnoffs aren’t evident in the back blurb (eras or locations that I have no interest in) then I will open up the book and read a few pages of the front. What I’ve learned about my own reading habits, is that if I don’t like the voice of the book within a page or two, it will get tossed and not picked up again – even if I like the author’s previous works.
    What I dislike is when I look at the back and it is only a bunch of quotes or reviews from different people or publications telling me how good the book is, but giving me no indication of what the story is about. Then I have to figure out if it is one that I will like or not.
    I don’t mind being “seduced” into reading a book if I then happen to like it, but there are some in which the heroine is tstl (for example), and then I resent the spent money and wasted time. But again this is why I now read a few pages of the book before buying.

    Reply
  78. I read back blurbs to get an idea about the story, but admit that I won’t buy a book based on it, since so often they aren’t right.
    If turnoffs aren’t evident in the back blurb (eras or locations that I have no interest in) then I will open up the book and read a few pages of the front. What I’ve learned about my own reading habits, is that if I don’t like the voice of the book within a page or two, it will get tossed and not picked up again – even if I like the author’s previous works.
    What I dislike is when I look at the back and it is only a bunch of quotes or reviews from different people or publications telling me how good the book is, but giving me no indication of what the story is about. Then I have to figure out if it is one that I will like or not.
    I don’t mind being “seduced” into reading a book if I then happen to like it, but there are some in which the heroine is tstl (for example), and then I resent the spent money and wasted time. But again this is why I now read a few pages of the book before buying.

    Reply
  79. I read back blurbs to get an idea about the story, but admit that I won’t buy a book based on it, since so often they aren’t right.
    If turnoffs aren’t evident in the back blurb (eras or locations that I have no interest in) then I will open up the book and read a few pages of the front. What I’ve learned about my own reading habits, is that if I don’t like the voice of the book within a page or two, it will get tossed and not picked up again – even if I like the author’s previous works.
    What I dislike is when I look at the back and it is only a bunch of quotes or reviews from different people or publications telling me how good the book is, but giving me no indication of what the story is about. Then I have to figure out if it is one that I will like or not.
    I don’t mind being “seduced” into reading a book if I then happen to like it, but there are some in which the heroine is tstl (for example), and then I resent the spent money and wasted time. But again this is why I now read a few pages of the book before buying.

    Reply
  80. I read back blurbs to get an idea about the story, but admit that I won’t buy a book based on it, since so often they aren’t right.
    If turnoffs aren’t evident in the back blurb (eras or locations that I have no interest in) then I will open up the book and read a few pages of the front. What I’ve learned about my own reading habits, is that if I don’t like the voice of the book within a page or two, it will get tossed and not picked up again – even if I like the author’s previous works.
    What I dislike is when I look at the back and it is only a bunch of quotes or reviews from different people or publications telling me how good the book is, but giving me no indication of what the story is about. Then I have to figure out if it is one that I will like or not.
    I don’t mind being “seduced” into reading a book if I then happen to like it, but there are some in which the heroine is tstl (for example), and then I resent the spent money and wasted time. But again this is why I now read a few pages of the book before buying.

    Reply
  81. LOL, Liz, you may be on to something there–content rating! Maybe we could post them on our blogs–the content rating of MYSTIC RIDER is 15% HOT, 15% plot, 50% romance, 10% history, and 10% weird. “G” I love it!
    Linda, “original” has become an epithet in bookdom, a real sale killer. Although I think even publishers have finally agreed that vampires are a dying breed.
    Tal, I think I would have been far more likely to buy the West Egg book than Gatsby, which shows I’m on the wrong end of the marketing spectrum right there.
    And Piper, I’m amazed my publisher actually mentioned the French Revolution on the cover since it’s a turn off for so many people. So I assume they’re trying to be honest. But back cover copy will never tell us about a writer’s voice.

    Reply
  82. LOL, Liz, you may be on to something there–content rating! Maybe we could post them on our blogs–the content rating of MYSTIC RIDER is 15% HOT, 15% plot, 50% romance, 10% history, and 10% weird. “G” I love it!
    Linda, “original” has become an epithet in bookdom, a real sale killer. Although I think even publishers have finally agreed that vampires are a dying breed.
    Tal, I think I would have been far more likely to buy the West Egg book than Gatsby, which shows I’m on the wrong end of the marketing spectrum right there.
    And Piper, I’m amazed my publisher actually mentioned the French Revolution on the cover since it’s a turn off for so many people. So I assume they’re trying to be honest. But back cover copy will never tell us about a writer’s voice.

    Reply
  83. LOL, Liz, you may be on to something there–content rating! Maybe we could post them on our blogs–the content rating of MYSTIC RIDER is 15% HOT, 15% plot, 50% romance, 10% history, and 10% weird. “G” I love it!
    Linda, “original” has become an epithet in bookdom, a real sale killer. Although I think even publishers have finally agreed that vampires are a dying breed.
    Tal, I think I would have been far more likely to buy the West Egg book than Gatsby, which shows I’m on the wrong end of the marketing spectrum right there.
    And Piper, I’m amazed my publisher actually mentioned the French Revolution on the cover since it’s a turn off for so many people. So I assume they’re trying to be honest. But back cover copy will never tell us about a writer’s voice.

    Reply
  84. LOL, Liz, you may be on to something there–content rating! Maybe we could post them on our blogs–the content rating of MYSTIC RIDER is 15% HOT, 15% plot, 50% romance, 10% history, and 10% weird. “G” I love it!
    Linda, “original” has become an epithet in bookdom, a real sale killer. Although I think even publishers have finally agreed that vampires are a dying breed.
    Tal, I think I would have been far more likely to buy the West Egg book than Gatsby, which shows I’m on the wrong end of the marketing spectrum right there.
    And Piper, I’m amazed my publisher actually mentioned the French Revolution on the cover since it’s a turn off for so many people. So I assume they’re trying to be honest. But back cover copy will never tell us about a writer’s voice.

    Reply
  85. LOL, Liz, you may be on to something there–content rating! Maybe we could post them on our blogs–the content rating of MYSTIC RIDER is 15% HOT, 15% plot, 50% romance, 10% history, and 10% weird. “G” I love it!
    Linda, “original” has become an epithet in bookdom, a real sale killer. Although I think even publishers have finally agreed that vampires are a dying breed.
    Tal, I think I would have been far more likely to buy the West Egg book than Gatsby, which shows I’m on the wrong end of the marketing spectrum right there.
    And Piper, I’m amazed my publisher actually mentioned the French Revolution on the cover since it’s a turn off for so many people. So I assume they’re trying to be honest. But back cover copy will never tell us about a writer’s voice.

    Reply
  86. I wonder why the French Revolution is a turn off. I’ve always found it an interesting time period and there are so many plots/stories out there that could be written about that time period.

    Reply
  87. I wonder why the French Revolution is a turn off. I’ve always found it an interesting time period and there are so many plots/stories out there that could be written about that time period.

    Reply
  88. I wonder why the French Revolution is a turn off. I’ve always found it an interesting time period and there are so many plots/stories out there that could be written about that time period.

    Reply
  89. I wonder why the French Revolution is a turn off. I’ve always found it an interesting time period and there are so many plots/stories out there that could be written about that time period.

    Reply
  90. I wonder why the French Revolution is a turn off. I’ve always found it an interesting time period and there are so many plots/stories out there that could be written about that time period.

    Reply
  91. Was Liz M’s reference to Pizza delivery guys with odd teeth an X-Files reference? Or am I just crazy?
    I also wonder why the French Revolution would be a turn-off. Scarlet Pimpernel, anyone?
    Then again, I really enjoyed Your Scandalous Ways and the Venetian setting. I do love English-set books, but the difference in how society worked on the continent lends itself to stories I like, and especially non-virginal heroines. Since so many books now must be “Hot! Hot! Hot!” I prefer the sex to make sense in context, and I feel that branching out in setting is one way to go to achieve that sort of realism. (Not that I’m advocating total realism; I read for the fantasy, but the emotional realism does matter to me).
    Setting on the back cover is a tricky thing. I would probably never have picked up Duke of Shadows (can’t think of the author’s name just now) because of the Indian setting, since I overdosed on it a long time ago, but since I’d read all the good buzz for the book online, I bought it anyway. Ditto for some of Loretta’s books. I buy them because I love her writing and I know she’s going to rock it no matter where the book is set.
    But Unknown Author A’s first book set in Albania? Might not happen. The only chance might be if the back cover indicates it has one of my favorite storylines, like a marriage of convenience, or redemption plot.

    Reply
  92. Was Liz M’s reference to Pizza delivery guys with odd teeth an X-Files reference? Or am I just crazy?
    I also wonder why the French Revolution would be a turn-off. Scarlet Pimpernel, anyone?
    Then again, I really enjoyed Your Scandalous Ways and the Venetian setting. I do love English-set books, but the difference in how society worked on the continent lends itself to stories I like, and especially non-virginal heroines. Since so many books now must be “Hot! Hot! Hot!” I prefer the sex to make sense in context, and I feel that branching out in setting is one way to go to achieve that sort of realism. (Not that I’m advocating total realism; I read for the fantasy, but the emotional realism does matter to me).
    Setting on the back cover is a tricky thing. I would probably never have picked up Duke of Shadows (can’t think of the author’s name just now) because of the Indian setting, since I overdosed on it a long time ago, but since I’d read all the good buzz for the book online, I bought it anyway. Ditto for some of Loretta’s books. I buy them because I love her writing and I know she’s going to rock it no matter where the book is set.
    But Unknown Author A’s first book set in Albania? Might not happen. The only chance might be if the back cover indicates it has one of my favorite storylines, like a marriage of convenience, or redemption plot.

    Reply
  93. Was Liz M’s reference to Pizza delivery guys with odd teeth an X-Files reference? Or am I just crazy?
    I also wonder why the French Revolution would be a turn-off. Scarlet Pimpernel, anyone?
    Then again, I really enjoyed Your Scandalous Ways and the Venetian setting. I do love English-set books, but the difference in how society worked on the continent lends itself to stories I like, and especially non-virginal heroines. Since so many books now must be “Hot! Hot! Hot!” I prefer the sex to make sense in context, and I feel that branching out in setting is one way to go to achieve that sort of realism. (Not that I’m advocating total realism; I read for the fantasy, but the emotional realism does matter to me).
    Setting on the back cover is a tricky thing. I would probably never have picked up Duke of Shadows (can’t think of the author’s name just now) because of the Indian setting, since I overdosed on it a long time ago, but since I’d read all the good buzz for the book online, I bought it anyway. Ditto for some of Loretta’s books. I buy them because I love her writing and I know she’s going to rock it no matter where the book is set.
    But Unknown Author A’s first book set in Albania? Might not happen. The only chance might be if the back cover indicates it has one of my favorite storylines, like a marriage of convenience, or redemption plot.

    Reply
  94. Was Liz M’s reference to Pizza delivery guys with odd teeth an X-Files reference? Or am I just crazy?
    I also wonder why the French Revolution would be a turn-off. Scarlet Pimpernel, anyone?
    Then again, I really enjoyed Your Scandalous Ways and the Venetian setting. I do love English-set books, but the difference in how society worked on the continent lends itself to stories I like, and especially non-virginal heroines. Since so many books now must be “Hot! Hot! Hot!” I prefer the sex to make sense in context, and I feel that branching out in setting is one way to go to achieve that sort of realism. (Not that I’m advocating total realism; I read for the fantasy, but the emotional realism does matter to me).
    Setting on the back cover is a tricky thing. I would probably never have picked up Duke of Shadows (can’t think of the author’s name just now) because of the Indian setting, since I overdosed on it a long time ago, but since I’d read all the good buzz for the book online, I bought it anyway. Ditto for some of Loretta’s books. I buy them because I love her writing and I know she’s going to rock it no matter where the book is set.
    But Unknown Author A’s first book set in Albania? Might not happen. The only chance might be if the back cover indicates it has one of my favorite storylines, like a marriage of convenience, or redemption plot.

    Reply
  95. Was Liz M’s reference to Pizza delivery guys with odd teeth an X-Files reference? Or am I just crazy?
    I also wonder why the French Revolution would be a turn-off. Scarlet Pimpernel, anyone?
    Then again, I really enjoyed Your Scandalous Ways and the Venetian setting. I do love English-set books, but the difference in how society worked on the continent lends itself to stories I like, and especially non-virginal heroines. Since so many books now must be “Hot! Hot! Hot!” I prefer the sex to make sense in context, and I feel that branching out in setting is one way to go to achieve that sort of realism. (Not that I’m advocating total realism; I read for the fantasy, but the emotional realism does matter to me).
    Setting on the back cover is a tricky thing. I would probably never have picked up Duke of Shadows (can’t think of the author’s name just now) because of the Indian setting, since I overdosed on it a long time ago, but since I’d read all the good buzz for the book online, I bought it anyway. Ditto for some of Loretta’s books. I buy them because I love her writing and I know she’s going to rock it no matter where the book is set.
    But Unknown Author A’s first book set in Albania? Might not happen. The only chance might be if the back cover indicates it has one of my favorite storylines, like a marriage of convenience, or redemption plot.

    Reply
  96. One person’s turn off is another person’s turn on, I guess. French revolution (or France in general) is not a turn off for me. As someone said, Scarlet Pimpernel, (and not revolutionary) three musketeers, Les Miserables, etc.
    Something involving something slightly magic – like it!
    I think perhaps if the publishers could make more of the story/plot line than the romance it would be easier on us poor readers in terms of not being scorned by fellow readers, and perhaps open it up to a wider market. But who knows. I have family that won’t go into the romance section, but will read a science fiction book that is really just a romance in a sci fi setting.

    Reply
  97. One person’s turn off is another person’s turn on, I guess. French revolution (or France in general) is not a turn off for me. As someone said, Scarlet Pimpernel, (and not revolutionary) three musketeers, Les Miserables, etc.
    Something involving something slightly magic – like it!
    I think perhaps if the publishers could make more of the story/plot line than the romance it would be easier on us poor readers in terms of not being scorned by fellow readers, and perhaps open it up to a wider market. But who knows. I have family that won’t go into the romance section, but will read a science fiction book that is really just a romance in a sci fi setting.

    Reply
  98. One person’s turn off is another person’s turn on, I guess. French revolution (or France in general) is not a turn off for me. As someone said, Scarlet Pimpernel, (and not revolutionary) three musketeers, Les Miserables, etc.
    Something involving something slightly magic – like it!
    I think perhaps if the publishers could make more of the story/plot line than the romance it would be easier on us poor readers in terms of not being scorned by fellow readers, and perhaps open it up to a wider market. But who knows. I have family that won’t go into the romance section, but will read a science fiction book that is really just a romance in a sci fi setting.

    Reply
  99. One person’s turn off is another person’s turn on, I guess. French revolution (or France in general) is not a turn off for me. As someone said, Scarlet Pimpernel, (and not revolutionary) three musketeers, Les Miserables, etc.
    Something involving something slightly magic – like it!
    I think perhaps if the publishers could make more of the story/plot line than the romance it would be easier on us poor readers in terms of not being scorned by fellow readers, and perhaps open it up to a wider market. But who knows. I have family that won’t go into the romance section, but will read a science fiction book that is really just a romance in a sci fi setting.

    Reply
  100. One person’s turn off is another person’s turn on, I guess. French revolution (or France in general) is not a turn off for me. As someone said, Scarlet Pimpernel, (and not revolutionary) three musketeers, Les Miserables, etc.
    Something involving something slightly magic – like it!
    I think perhaps if the publishers could make more of the story/plot line than the romance it would be easier on us poor readers in terms of not being scorned by fellow readers, and perhaps open it up to a wider market. But who knows. I have family that won’t go into the romance section, but will read a science fiction book that is really just a romance in a sci fi setting.

    Reply
  101. @ jrox and Liz M: I totally just watched that X-Files episode a few months ago. The boyfriend and I are attemping to watch the entire series in preparation for the new movie next month. Unfortunately we’re only in season 6!

    Reply
  102. @ jrox and Liz M: I totally just watched that X-Files episode a few months ago. The boyfriend and I are attemping to watch the entire series in preparation for the new movie next month. Unfortunately we’re only in season 6!

    Reply
  103. @ jrox and Liz M: I totally just watched that X-Files episode a few months ago. The boyfriend and I are attemping to watch the entire series in preparation for the new movie next month. Unfortunately we’re only in season 6!

    Reply
  104. @ jrox and Liz M: I totally just watched that X-Files episode a few months ago. The boyfriend and I are attemping to watch the entire series in preparation for the new movie next month. Unfortunately we’re only in season 6!

    Reply
  105. @ jrox and Liz M: I totally just watched that X-Files episode a few months ago. The boyfriend and I are attemping to watch the entire series in preparation for the new movie next month. Unfortunately we’re only in season 6!

    Reply
  106. I think too many people think of all the blood and guts (pardon the expression) historicals of aristocrats suffering miserably in prison only to have their heads cut off. Depressing stuff. Even I’d be turned off by that.
    Which is probably a whole ‘nuther topic–how we generalize an entire setting/situation/time period by books written in an earlier time period. Can we say Civil War anyone?

    Reply
  107. I think too many people think of all the blood and guts (pardon the expression) historicals of aristocrats suffering miserably in prison only to have their heads cut off. Depressing stuff. Even I’d be turned off by that.
    Which is probably a whole ‘nuther topic–how we generalize an entire setting/situation/time period by books written in an earlier time period. Can we say Civil War anyone?

    Reply
  108. I think too many people think of all the blood and guts (pardon the expression) historicals of aristocrats suffering miserably in prison only to have their heads cut off. Depressing stuff. Even I’d be turned off by that.
    Which is probably a whole ‘nuther topic–how we generalize an entire setting/situation/time period by books written in an earlier time period. Can we say Civil War anyone?

    Reply
  109. I think too many people think of all the blood and guts (pardon the expression) historicals of aristocrats suffering miserably in prison only to have their heads cut off. Depressing stuff. Even I’d be turned off by that.
    Which is probably a whole ‘nuther topic–how we generalize an entire setting/situation/time period by books written in an earlier time period. Can we say Civil War anyone?

    Reply
  110. I think too many people think of all the blood and guts (pardon the expression) historicals of aristocrats suffering miserably in prison only to have their heads cut off. Depressing stuff. Even I’d be turned off by that.
    Which is probably a whole ‘nuther topic–how we generalize an entire setting/situation/time period by books written in an earlier time period. Can we say Civil War anyone?

    Reply
  111. Lindsay & jrox –
    I’ve actually never seen the Xfiles. (possibly I shouldn’t confess that). I was thinking more about a comment by THS that (paraphrasing) if you go by triple X films, pizza guys get the most action and the whole vampire market overload.
    What’s with the Xfiles? now I gotta know.

    Reply
  112. Lindsay & jrox –
    I’ve actually never seen the Xfiles. (possibly I shouldn’t confess that). I was thinking more about a comment by THS that (paraphrasing) if you go by triple X films, pizza guys get the most action and the whole vampire market overload.
    What’s with the Xfiles? now I gotta know.

    Reply
  113. Lindsay & jrox –
    I’ve actually never seen the Xfiles. (possibly I shouldn’t confess that). I was thinking more about a comment by THS that (paraphrasing) if you go by triple X films, pizza guys get the most action and the whole vampire market overload.
    What’s with the Xfiles? now I gotta know.

    Reply
  114. Lindsay & jrox –
    I’ve actually never seen the Xfiles. (possibly I shouldn’t confess that). I was thinking more about a comment by THS that (paraphrasing) if you go by triple X films, pizza guys get the most action and the whole vampire market overload.
    What’s with the Xfiles? now I gotta know.

    Reply
  115. Lindsay & jrox –
    I’ve actually never seen the Xfiles. (possibly I shouldn’t confess that). I was thinking more about a comment by THS that (paraphrasing) if you go by triple X films, pizza guys get the most action and the whole vampire market overload.
    What’s with the Xfiles? now I gotta know.

    Reply
  116. +JMJ+
    During more leisurely visits to the USB, I grab Romances off the shelf just to read the back covers. Then I imagine having a friend with me to play a drinking game (surreptitiously, of course). For every weather metaphor (“a maelstrom of passion” or “a whirlwind of desire” or whatever), the one who pulled the book down has to drink one shot. =P
    This is making me recall the scene in the movie “Forces of Nature”, when Sandra Bullock’s character discovers that Ben Affleck’s character is the copywriter who described a book as having “erotic mummification” (or something like that!!!). She said she bought the book on the draw of those two words! =P
    Has that ever happened to anyone? Copywriting being so enjoyable and memorable that you ended up able to quote it as readily as the prose between the covers?

    Reply
  117. +JMJ+
    During more leisurely visits to the USB, I grab Romances off the shelf just to read the back covers. Then I imagine having a friend with me to play a drinking game (surreptitiously, of course). For every weather metaphor (“a maelstrom of passion” or “a whirlwind of desire” or whatever), the one who pulled the book down has to drink one shot. =P
    This is making me recall the scene in the movie “Forces of Nature”, when Sandra Bullock’s character discovers that Ben Affleck’s character is the copywriter who described a book as having “erotic mummification” (or something like that!!!). She said she bought the book on the draw of those two words! =P
    Has that ever happened to anyone? Copywriting being so enjoyable and memorable that you ended up able to quote it as readily as the prose between the covers?

    Reply
  118. +JMJ+
    During more leisurely visits to the USB, I grab Romances off the shelf just to read the back covers. Then I imagine having a friend with me to play a drinking game (surreptitiously, of course). For every weather metaphor (“a maelstrom of passion” or “a whirlwind of desire” or whatever), the one who pulled the book down has to drink one shot. =P
    This is making me recall the scene in the movie “Forces of Nature”, when Sandra Bullock’s character discovers that Ben Affleck’s character is the copywriter who described a book as having “erotic mummification” (or something like that!!!). She said she bought the book on the draw of those two words! =P
    Has that ever happened to anyone? Copywriting being so enjoyable and memorable that you ended up able to quote it as readily as the prose between the covers?

    Reply
  119. +JMJ+
    During more leisurely visits to the USB, I grab Romances off the shelf just to read the back covers. Then I imagine having a friend with me to play a drinking game (surreptitiously, of course). For every weather metaphor (“a maelstrom of passion” or “a whirlwind of desire” or whatever), the one who pulled the book down has to drink one shot. =P
    This is making me recall the scene in the movie “Forces of Nature”, when Sandra Bullock’s character discovers that Ben Affleck’s character is the copywriter who described a book as having “erotic mummification” (or something like that!!!). She said she bought the book on the draw of those two words! =P
    Has that ever happened to anyone? Copywriting being so enjoyable and memorable that you ended up able to quote it as readily as the prose between the covers?

    Reply
  120. +JMJ+
    During more leisurely visits to the USB, I grab Romances off the shelf just to read the back covers. Then I imagine having a friend with me to play a drinking game (surreptitiously, of course). For every weather metaphor (“a maelstrom of passion” or “a whirlwind of desire” or whatever), the one who pulled the book down has to drink one shot. =P
    This is making me recall the scene in the movie “Forces of Nature”, when Sandra Bullock’s character discovers that Ben Affleck’s character is the copywriter who described a book as having “erotic mummification” (or something like that!!!). She said she bought the book on the draw of those two words! =P
    Has that ever happened to anyone? Copywriting being so enjoyable and memorable that you ended up able to quote it as readily as the prose between the covers?

    Reply
  121. I’m also a fan of novels set during the French Revolution, so Pat’s new novel is definitely on my radar! As for back cover blurbs, if the book is by an author who I consider an “auto-buy”, I don’t look at the back cover–I just automatically put the book in my shopping basket! For other books, I will look at the back cover, and I also glance at a few pages in the book to see how purple the prose is (!!) and also what kind of names the author has chosen for her/his characters. I don’t know how many other readers have this particular sensibility–I find it very difficult to get into a novel (unless it’s science fiction) where the characters have very silly names. Or, perhaps it’s an historical novel, and the characters have very contemporary names. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve put many a book back on the shelf in a bookstore because I couldn’t see myself spending my time reading a novel with characters I didn’t like because I couldn’t cotton to their names! (Sorry if this is a little off topic!)

    Reply
  122. I’m also a fan of novels set during the French Revolution, so Pat’s new novel is definitely on my radar! As for back cover blurbs, if the book is by an author who I consider an “auto-buy”, I don’t look at the back cover–I just automatically put the book in my shopping basket! For other books, I will look at the back cover, and I also glance at a few pages in the book to see how purple the prose is (!!) and also what kind of names the author has chosen for her/his characters. I don’t know how many other readers have this particular sensibility–I find it very difficult to get into a novel (unless it’s science fiction) where the characters have very silly names. Or, perhaps it’s an historical novel, and the characters have very contemporary names. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve put many a book back on the shelf in a bookstore because I couldn’t see myself spending my time reading a novel with characters I didn’t like because I couldn’t cotton to their names! (Sorry if this is a little off topic!)

    Reply
  123. I’m also a fan of novels set during the French Revolution, so Pat’s new novel is definitely on my radar! As for back cover blurbs, if the book is by an author who I consider an “auto-buy”, I don’t look at the back cover–I just automatically put the book in my shopping basket! For other books, I will look at the back cover, and I also glance at a few pages in the book to see how purple the prose is (!!) and also what kind of names the author has chosen for her/his characters. I don’t know how many other readers have this particular sensibility–I find it very difficult to get into a novel (unless it’s science fiction) where the characters have very silly names. Or, perhaps it’s an historical novel, and the characters have very contemporary names. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve put many a book back on the shelf in a bookstore because I couldn’t see myself spending my time reading a novel with characters I didn’t like because I couldn’t cotton to their names! (Sorry if this is a little off topic!)

    Reply
  124. I’m also a fan of novels set during the French Revolution, so Pat’s new novel is definitely on my radar! As for back cover blurbs, if the book is by an author who I consider an “auto-buy”, I don’t look at the back cover–I just automatically put the book in my shopping basket! For other books, I will look at the back cover, and I also glance at a few pages in the book to see how purple the prose is (!!) and also what kind of names the author has chosen for her/his characters. I don’t know how many other readers have this particular sensibility–I find it very difficult to get into a novel (unless it’s science fiction) where the characters have very silly names. Or, perhaps it’s an historical novel, and the characters have very contemporary names. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve put many a book back on the shelf in a bookstore because I couldn’t see myself spending my time reading a novel with characters I didn’t like because I couldn’t cotton to their names! (Sorry if this is a little off topic!)

    Reply
  125. I’m also a fan of novels set during the French Revolution, so Pat’s new novel is definitely on my radar! As for back cover blurbs, if the book is by an author who I consider an “auto-buy”, I don’t look at the back cover–I just automatically put the book in my shopping basket! For other books, I will look at the back cover, and I also glance at a few pages in the book to see how purple the prose is (!!) and also what kind of names the author has chosen for her/his characters. I don’t know how many other readers have this particular sensibility–I find it very difficult to get into a novel (unless it’s science fiction) where the characters have very silly names. Or, perhaps it’s an historical novel, and the characters have very contemporary names. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve put many a book back on the shelf in a bookstore because I couldn’t see myself spending my time reading a novel with characters I didn’t like because I couldn’t cotton to their names! (Sorry if this is a little off topic!)

    Reply
  126. LOL on the shots for weather! I’ll think I’ll pull out some of my keepers and see how far I get before I fall on my face.
    Robin, nothing is off topic here! I think this is the first time I’ve heard someone say they’d not buy a book because of a character’s name. I know people who get really irritated by them, but not to the point of not buying them. Oh well, one more thing to worry about. How do you feel about Ulysses? Men’s names are so darned hard, and they just really struck me as perfect for a big burly Corinthian I’m writing about now. “G”

    Reply
  127. LOL on the shots for weather! I’ll think I’ll pull out some of my keepers and see how far I get before I fall on my face.
    Robin, nothing is off topic here! I think this is the first time I’ve heard someone say they’d not buy a book because of a character’s name. I know people who get really irritated by them, but not to the point of not buying them. Oh well, one more thing to worry about. How do you feel about Ulysses? Men’s names are so darned hard, and they just really struck me as perfect for a big burly Corinthian I’m writing about now. “G”

    Reply
  128. LOL on the shots for weather! I’ll think I’ll pull out some of my keepers and see how far I get before I fall on my face.
    Robin, nothing is off topic here! I think this is the first time I’ve heard someone say they’d not buy a book because of a character’s name. I know people who get really irritated by them, but not to the point of not buying them. Oh well, one more thing to worry about. How do you feel about Ulysses? Men’s names are so darned hard, and they just really struck me as perfect for a big burly Corinthian I’m writing about now. “G”

    Reply
  129. LOL on the shots for weather! I’ll think I’ll pull out some of my keepers and see how far I get before I fall on my face.
    Robin, nothing is off topic here! I think this is the first time I’ve heard someone say they’d not buy a book because of a character’s name. I know people who get really irritated by them, but not to the point of not buying them. Oh well, one more thing to worry about. How do you feel about Ulysses? Men’s names are so darned hard, and they just really struck me as perfect for a big burly Corinthian I’m writing about now. “G”

    Reply
  130. LOL on the shots for weather! I’ll think I’ll pull out some of my keepers and see how far I get before I fall on my face.
    Robin, nothing is off topic here! I think this is the first time I’ve heard someone say they’d not buy a book because of a character’s name. I know people who get really irritated by them, but not to the point of not buying them. Oh well, one more thing to worry about. How do you feel about Ulysses? Men’s names are so darned hard, and they just really struck me as perfect for a big burly Corinthian I’m writing about now. “G”

    Reply
  131. I agree with Robin about contemporary names in an historical being a turn-off. As for men’s names–how about Hercules for your character’s name? In French it would be Hercule, as in Hercule Poirot. I think the English version sounds a little pretentious, but the French is better.

    Reply
  132. I agree with Robin about contemporary names in an historical being a turn-off. As for men’s names–how about Hercules for your character’s name? In French it would be Hercule, as in Hercule Poirot. I think the English version sounds a little pretentious, but the French is better.

    Reply
  133. I agree with Robin about contemporary names in an historical being a turn-off. As for men’s names–how about Hercules for your character’s name? In French it would be Hercule, as in Hercule Poirot. I think the English version sounds a little pretentious, but the French is better.

    Reply
  134. I agree with Robin about contemporary names in an historical being a turn-off. As for men’s names–how about Hercules for your character’s name? In French it would be Hercule, as in Hercule Poirot. I think the English version sounds a little pretentious, but the French is better.

    Reply
  135. I agree with Robin about contemporary names in an historical being a turn-off. As for men’s names–how about Hercules for your character’s name? In French it would be Hercule, as in Hercule Poirot. I think the English version sounds a little pretentious, but the French is better.

    Reply
  136. The ring, Herc, the ring! Sorry – couldn’t resist!
    Ulysses was the name of a US president, wasn’t it? Should be manly enough for a hero then! I think I prefer it to Hercules, but perhaps he should be a hero with quirks….

    Reply
  137. The ring, Herc, the ring! Sorry – couldn’t resist!
    Ulysses was the name of a US president, wasn’t it? Should be manly enough for a hero then! I think I prefer it to Hercules, but perhaps he should be a hero with quirks….

    Reply
  138. The ring, Herc, the ring! Sorry – couldn’t resist!
    Ulysses was the name of a US president, wasn’t it? Should be manly enough for a hero then! I think I prefer it to Hercules, but perhaps he should be a hero with quirks….

    Reply
  139. The ring, Herc, the ring! Sorry – couldn’t resist!
    Ulysses was the name of a US president, wasn’t it? Should be manly enough for a hero then! I think I prefer it to Hercules, but perhaps he should be a hero with quirks….

    Reply
  140. The ring, Herc, the ring! Sorry – couldn’t resist!
    Ulysses was the name of a US president, wasn’t it? Should be manly enough for a hero then! I think I prefer it to Hercules, but perhaps he should be a hero with quirks….

    Reply
  141. Pat, the problem with TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG as a title is that if you know who Trimalchio is, it gives away the whole story.
    Speaking of the French Revolution (and who doesn’t around here?), I must dig out my collection of Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories–admired by Michael Chabon and George Macdonald Fraser, no less. I gather it’s sort of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL with a French hero, as written by P.G. Wodehouse.
    Incidentally, if you use the Search Inside This Book feature on amazon.com, and click on Surprise Me a couple of times, you’ll be able to sample random passages from the book.
    And originality is not entirely gone. There is an ad in the back of Edith’s book for a story in which the heroine is adjusting to her new career as guidance counselor to the dead…

    Reply
  142. Pat, the problem with TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG as a title is that if you know who Trimalchio is, it gives away the whole story.
    Speaking of the French Revolution (and who doesn’t around here?), I must dig out my collection of Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories–admired by Michael Chabon and George Macdonald Fraser, no less. I gather it’s sort of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL with a French hero, as written by P.G. Wodehouse.
    Incidentally, if you use the Search Inside This Book feature on amazon.com, and click on Surprise Me a couple of times, you’ll be able to sample random passages from the book.
    And originality is not entirely gone. There is an ad in the back of Edith’s book for a story in which the heroine is adjusting to her new career as guidance counselor to the dead…

    Reply
  143. Pat, the problem with TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG as a title is that if you know who Trimalchio is, it gives away the whole story.
    Speaking of the French Revolution (and who doesn’t around here?), I must dig out my collection of Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories–admired by Michael Chabon and George Macdonald Fraser, no less. I gather it’s sort of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL with a French hero, as written by P.G. Wodehouse.
    Incidentally, if you use the Search Inside This Book feature on amazon.com, and click on Surprise Me a couple of times, you’ll be able to sample random passages from the book.
    And originality is not entirely gone. There is an ad in the back of Edith’s book for a story in which the heroine is adjusting to her new career as guidance counselor to the dead…

    Reply
  144. Pat, the problem with TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG as a title is that if you know who Trimalchio is, it gives away the whole story.
    Speaking of the French Revolution (and who doesn’t around here?), I must dig out my collection of Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories–admired by Michael Chabon and George Macdonald Fraser, no less. I gather it’s sort of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL with a French hero, as written by P.G. Wodehouse.
    Incidentally, if you use the Search Inside This Book feature on amazon.com, and click on Surprise Me a couple of times, you’ll be able to sample random passages from the book.
    And originality is not entirely gone. There is an ad in the back of Edith’s book for a story in which the heroine is adjusting to her new career as guidance counselor to the dead…

    Reply
  145. Pat, the problem with TRIMALCHIO IN WEST EGG as a title is that if you know who Trimalchio is, it gives away the whole story.
    Speaking of the French Revolution (and who doesn’t around here?), I must dig out my collection of Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories–admired by Michael Chabon and George Macdonald Fraser, no less. I gather it’s sort of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL with a French hero, as written by P.G. Wodehouse.
    Incidentally, if you use the Search Inside This Book feature on amazon.com, and click on Surprise Me a couple of times, you’ll be able to sample random passages from the book.
    And originality is not entirely gone. There is an ad in the back of Edith’s book for a story in which the heroine is adjusting to her new career as guidance counselor to the dead…

    Reply
  146. I actually considered Hercules, but it didn’t work in my head. And Hercule will always be Poirot, bless his Belgian heart. I’m still playing. Saying Ulysses’s carriage/horse/lady love really gets tedious after a while. All those ssssss’s
    Tal, you must live in a library!

    Reply
  147. I actually considered Hercules, but it didn’t work in my head. And Hercule will always be Poirot, bless his Belgian heart. I’m still playing. Saying Ulysses’s carriage/horse/lady love really gets tedious after a while. All those ssssss’s
    Tal, you must live in a library!

    Reply
  148. I actually considered Hercules, but it didn’t work in my head. And Hercule will always be Poirot, bless his Belgian heart. I’m still playing. Saying Ulysses’s carriage/horse/lady love really gets tedious after a while. All those ssssss’s
    Tal, you must live in a library!

    Reply
  149. I actually considered Hercules, but it didn’t work in my head. And Hercule will always be Poirot, bless his Belgian heart. I’m still playing. Saying Ulysses’s carriage/horse/lady love really gets tedious after a while. All those ssssss’s
    Tal, you must live in a library!

    Reply
  150. I actually considered Hercules, but it didn’t work in my head. And Hercule will always be Poirot, bless his Belgian heart. I’m still playing. Saying Ulysses’s carriage/horse/lady love really gets tedious after a while. All those ssssss’s
    Tal, you must live in a library!

    Reply
  151. Pat, “Ulysses” is a grand name, especially if the novel is set in ancient Greece or Rome! I guess my “thing” about names stems from the fact that most of the fiction I read these days is historical (romance or otherwise). A few years ago, I read a series set in Civil War-era Florida, and by the time I got to the sixth novel, I kept thinking that while the author had certainly done a lot of historical research in terms of the overall story line, she had kind of slacked off when it came to the personal names that were popular in mid-19th century America. And the names she gave to her characters were definitely unknown in mid-19th century America! There were other problems I had with the series, but since then, I’ve tended to avoid novels that have characters with anachronistic names. That’s what happens when you major in history in college!!

    Reply
  152. Pat, “Ulysses” is a grand name, especially if the novel is set in ancient Greece or Rome! I guess my “thing” about names stems from the fact that most of the fiction I read these days is historical (romance or otherwise). A few years ago, I read a series set in Civil War-era Florida, and by the time I got to the sixth novel, I kept thinking that while the author had certainly done a lot of historical research in terms of the overall story line, she had kind of slacked off when it came to the personal names that were popular in mid-19th century America. And the names she gave to her characters were definitely unknown in mid-19th century America! There were other problems I had with the series, but since then, I’ve tended to avoid novels that have characters with anachronistic names. That’s what happens when you major in history in college!!

    Reply
  153. Pat, “Ulysses” is a grand name, especially if the novel is set in ancient Greece or Rome! I guess my “thing” about names stems from the fact that most of the fiction I read these days is historical (romance or otherwise). A few years ago, I read a series set in Civil War-era Florida, and by the time I got to the sixth novel, I kept thinking that while the author had certainly done a lot of historical research in terms of the overall story line, she had kind of slacked off when it came to the personal names that were popular in mid-19th century America. And the names she gave to her characters were definitely unknown in mid-19th century America! There were other problems I had with the series, but since then, I’ve tended to avoid novels that have characters with anachronistic names. That’s what happens when you major in history in college!!

    Reply
  154. Pat, “Ulysses” is a grand name, especially if the novel is set in ancient Greece or Rome! I guess my “thing” about names stems from the fact that most of the fiction I read these days is historical (romance or otherwise). A few years ago, I read a series set in Civil War-era Florida, and by the time I got to the sixth novel, I kept thinking that while the author had certainly done a lot of historical research in terms of the overall story line, she had kind of slacked off when it came to the personal names that were popular in mid-19th century America. And the names she gave to her characters were definitely unknown in mid-19th century America! There were other problems I had with the series, but since then, I’ve tended to avoid novels that have characters with anachronistic names. That’s what happens when you major in history in college!!

    Reply
  155. Pat, “Ulysses” is a grand name, especially if the novel is set in ancient Greece or Rome! I guess my “thing” about names stems from the fact that most of the fiction I read these days is historical (romance or otherwise). A few years ago, I read a series set in Civil War-era Florida, and by the time I got to the sixth novel, I kept thinking that while the author had certainly done a lot of historical research in terms of the overall story line, she had kind of slacked off when it came to the personal names that were popular in mid-19th century America. And the names she gave to her characters were definitely unknown in mid-19th century America! There were other problems I had with the series, but since then, I’ve tended to avoid novels that have characters with anachronistic names. That’s what happens when you major in history in college!!

    Reply
  156. Great site, Tal! And LOL on Hector–I’m currently giving the hero’s ghostly uncle the name Hector. Great minds and all that.
    Robin, I hear ya ’bout anachronistic names. I have books to tell me what was popular when, and how they were first used, etc. But Gabriel was actually a girl’s name in the 18th century, and the French form didn’t come along until later—except modern readers will think Gabriel is a boy. It’s a fine line that writers have to walk.

    Reply
  157. Great site, Tal! And LOL on Hector–I’m currently giving the hero’s ghostly uncle the name Hector. Great minds and all that.
    Robin, I hear ya ’bout anachronistic names. I have books to tell me what was popular when, and how they were first used, etc. But Gabriel was actually a girl’s name in the 18th century, and the French form didn’t come along until later—except modern readers will think Gabriel is a boy. It’s a fine line that writers have to walk.

    Reply
  158. Great site, Tal! And LOL on Hector–I’m currently giving the hero’s ghostly uncle the name Hector. Great minds and all that.
    Robin, I hear ya ’bout anachronistic names. I have books to tell me what was popular when, and how they were first used, etc. But Gabriel was actually a girl’s name in the 18th century, and the French form didn’t come along until later—except modern readers will think Gabriel is a boy. It’s a fine line that writers have to walk.

    Reply
  159. Great site, Tal! And LOL on Hector–I’m currently giving the hero’s ghostly uncle the name Hector. Great minds and all that.
    Robin, I hear ya ’bout anachronistic names. I have books to tell me what was popular when, and how they were first used, etc. But Gabriel was actually a girl’s name in the 18th century, and the French form didn’t come along until later—except modern readers will think Gabriel is a boy. It’s a fine line that writers have to walk.

    Reply
  160. Great site, Tal! And LOL on Hector–I’m currently giving the hero’s ghostly uncle the name Hector. Great minds and all that.
    Robin, I hear ya ’bout anachronistic names. I have books to tell me what was popular when, and how they were first used, etc. But Gabriel was actually a girl’s name in the 18th century, and the French form didn’t come along until later—except modern readers will think Gabriel is a boy. It’s a fine line that writers have to walk.

    Reply
  161. How about “Aeneas” then? I’ve noticed that Scots frequently have classical names for some reason.
    Name history is interesting. The girl’s name “Frances” did not exist until Margaret Tudor, widowed Queen of France, named her daughter that to honor her stepson, King François of France, because he’d been kind and helpful to her. “Florence” came in as a girl’s name from Florence Nightingale, whose parents named her for the city where they’d honeymooned; and Kipling’s parents honeymooned at Lake Rudyard.
    Now back to my tale of the Welsh princess Loretta and her lover Antwan the Viking…

    Reply
  162. How about “Aeneas” then? I’ve noticed that Scots frequently have classical names for some reason.
    Name history is interesting. The girl’s name “Frances” did not exist until Margaret Tudor, widowed Queen of France, named her daughter that to honor her stepson, King François of France, because he’d been kind and helpful to her. “Florence” came in as a girl’s name from Florence Nightingale, whose parents named her for the city where they’d honeymooned; and Kipling’s parents honeymooned at Lake Rudyard.
    Now back to my tale of the Welsh princess Loretta and her lover Antwan the Viking…

    Reply
  163. How about “Aeneas” then? I’ve noticed that Scots frequently have classical names for some reason.
    Name history is interesting. The girl’s name “Frances” did not exist until Margaret Tudor, widowed Queen of France, named her daughter that to honor her stepson, King François of France, because he’d been kind and helpful to her. “Florence” came in as a girl’s name from Florence Nightingale, whose parents named her for the city where they’d honeymooned; and Kipling’s parents honeymooned at Lake Rudyard.
    Now back to my tale of the Welsh princess Loretta and her lover Antwan the Viking…

    Reply
  164. How about “Aeneas” then? I’ve noticed that Scots frequently have classical names for some reason.
    Name history is interesting. The girl’s name “Frances” did not exist until Margaret Tudor, widowed Queen of France, named her daughter that to honor her stepson, King François of France, because he’d been kind and helpful to her. “Florence” came in as a girl’s name from Florence Nightingale, whose parents named her for the city where they’d honeymooned; and Kipling’s parents honeymooned at Lake Rudyard.
    Now back to my tale of the Welsh princess Loretta and her lover Antwan the Viking…

    Reply
  165. How about “Aeneas” then? I’ve noticed that Scots frequently have classical names for some reason.
    Name history is interesting. The girl’s name “Frances” did not exist until Margaret Tudor, widowed Queen of France, named her daughter that to honor her stepson, King François of France, because he’d been kind and helpful to her. “Florence” came in as a girl’s name from Florence Nightingale, whose parents named her for the city where they’d honeymooned; and Kipling’s parents honeymooned at Lake Rudyard.
    Now back to my tale of the Welsh princess Loretta and her lover Antwan the Viking…

    Reply
  166. Liz M: There’s an episode of the X-Files (in season 5, I think) that is absolutely hilarious. Mulder and Scully go to this southern town where cows are being exsanguinated to try to solve the case. Turns out the town is full of vampires (or possibly just people who think they’re vampires), and they go after Mulder and Scully.
    The pizza boy covers a pizza the agents order in some sort of hallucinogen, and he shows up at the motel and tries to attack Mulder, fangs and all.
    What makes this episode completely awesome is that Mulder and Scully each tell the story from their own perspective. In Scully’s version, the sherrif (Luke Wilson!) is attractive and nice, but in Mulder’s, he’s a huge hick and quite dumb.

    Reply
  167. Liz M: There’s an episode of the X-Files (in season 5, I think) that is absolutely hilarious. Mulder and Scully go to this southern town where cows are being exsanguinated to try to solve the case. Turns out the town is full of vampires (or possibly just people who think they’re vampires), and they go after Mulder and Scully.
    The pizza boy covers a pizza the agents order in some sort of hallucinogen, and he shows up at the motel and tries to attack Mulder, fangs and all.
    What makes this episode completely awesome is that Mulder and Scully each tell the story from their own perspective. In Scully’s version, the sherrif (Luke Wilson!) is attractive and nice, but in Mulder’s, he’s a huge hick and quite dumb.

    Reply
  168. Liz M: There’s an episode of the X-Files (in season 5, I think) that is absolutely hilarious. Mulder and Scully go to this southern town where cows are being exsanguinated to try to solve the case. Turns out the town is full of vampires (or possibly just people who think they’re vampires), and they go after Mulder and Scully.
    The pizza boy covers a pizza the agents order in some sort of hallucinogen, and he shows up at the motel and tries to attack Mulder, fangs and all.
    What makes this episode completely awesome is that Mulder and Scully each tell the story from their own perspective. In Scully’s version, the sherrif (Luke Wilson!) is attractive and nice, but in Mulder’s, he’s a huge hick and quite dumb.

    Reply
  169. Liz M: There’s an episode of the X-Files (in season 5, I think) that is absolutely hilarious. Mulder and Scully go to this southern town where cows are being exsanguinated to try to solve the case. Turns out the town is full of vampires (or possibly just people who think they’re vampires), and they go after Mulder and Scully.
    The pizza boy covers a pizza the agents order in some sort of hallucinogen, and he shows up at the motel and tries to attack Mulder, fangs and all.
    What makes this episode completely awesome is that Mulder and Scully each tell the story from their own perspective. In Scully’s version, the sherrif (Luke Wilson!) is attractive and nice, but in Mulder’s, he’s a huge hick and quite dumb.

    Reply
  170. Liz M: There’s an episode of the X-Files (in season 5, I think) that is absolutely hilarious. Mulder and Scully go to this southern town where cows are being exsanguinated to try to solve the case. Turns out the town is full of vampires (or possibly just people who think they’re vampires), and they go after Mulder and Scully.
    The pizza boy covers a pizza the agents order in some sort of hallucinogen, and he shows up at the motel and tries to attack Mulder, fangs and all.
    What makes this episode completely awesome is that Mulder and Scully each tell the story from their own perspective. In Scully’s version, the sherrif (Luke Wilson!) is attractive and nice, but in Mulder’s, he’s a huge hick and quite dumb.

    Reply

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