I had planned to do a Monday FtQ&A post today, but in preparing the print edition of my Finding Magic novel, two things occurred to me. One was to get your feedback on the cover, back cover blurb, first page, and sample chapters.
The second was that those four elements make up what I’ll call the Enticement Package that any publisher needs in these days of Internet marketing, especially self-publishers. Books need the same elements to entice sales in a bookstore.
So, Doug, I’ll be answering your questions about my self-publishing endeavors later, to be followed by answers to tmso’s questions about who to listen to when getting feedback on your work.
The new flogging opportunity Flogging the Quill will now be open to submissions of authors’ Enticement Packages for critique by me and the FtQ crew. It should contain the elements I’ve mentioned:
1. Cover image (72 dpi, 150 pixels wide)
2. Blurb or back cover copy
3. First page text (as it is in the book; if it’s an e-book, then the first 16-18 lines of the first manuscript page)
4. Sample—could be the prologue, a prologue & first chapter, the first chapter, or the first 2 chapters as I’m doing today. A PDF would be nice, but I can turn your text into a PDF if you wish.
Not only can authors gain helpful insights as to how effective their Package is, they get a little free publicity, too.
Just email me with the elements attached and include “Enticement Package” in your email subject line. If you have questions, just ask.
I absolutely understand that this genre might not be something you would read, but I would appreciate it if you would still opine on whether the elements are interesting. Here's the cover and the back cover blurb:
After her love of 200 years is murdered, Annie, a gifted healer in the hidden clans, wants to die. Then a little boy named Mike needs her help. The price of saving that little boy could be the life she thought she no longer wanted.
Like her clansmen, Annie’s ability to control the life energy created by all living things empowers her to do magical things: heal wounds, slow aging . . . and kill without a weapon.
In Chicago, a Homeland Security agent catches her using her “magic” and believes Annie is a terrorist. On the run, Annie is helped by Gabe, an unknowing “half-breed” of her people. He and Mike, his 5-year-old son, share her abilities—but, isolated from the clans, they don't understand their strange talents and are tormented by them. Little Mike seems lost in autism.
Annie’s heart goes out to them, but, before she can help, she and Gabe are captured by Homeland Security and tortured for a secret that Annie can't reveal and Gabe doesn't know.
A clansman bent on a vendetta for the murder of his son by an “ordinary” human frees Gabe and tricks him into using his abilities to create an unstoppable plague that will kill billions of people. He leaves Annie to escape on her own.
Only Annie and Gabe can stop the release of the plague, but, as they fight for their lives and all of humanity high atop the Seattle Space Needle, Homeland Security attacks again, this time with little Mike held hostage.
Now the first page of narrative from the book.
The winter wind, called the Hawk by the people of this city, whips my long coat and thrusts icy talons under my dress, greedy for my warmth. Last I was here it was a lively summer breeze; now it’s a harbinger of death.
As I start up the steps to the Chicago Art Institute, a lean man in a black overcoat sidles from behind one of the snow-blanketed bronze lions that stand guard. He eyes me, and then targets me with a video camera.
I snatch the sides of my hood together to cover my face before his camera penetrates my disguise. All I want to do is go inside to say a last farewell to Graeme, and then end my pain.
But centuries of hiding won’t let me ignore the danger if his camera lens pierces the “Annie the tourist” illusion I’ve created for outsiders to see. Who might he tell if, instead of the freckles and springy red curls his naked eyes see under the influence of my glamére, his camera’s objective electronic eye shows him the pale skin and limp brunette tresses of my truself?
The clans cannot risk a breach of our anonymity. Pulling my hood tighter, I trot up the stairsteps.
Please, no trouble now.
His lips move, and the wind carries his words to me. “I think I got one.”
I flick a glance at him and he jerks the camera away. I see a (snip)
Lastly, click here to download a PDF sample of the first two chapters.
As always, your comments about any aspect of this “enticement package” will be welcome.
© 2011 Ray Rhamey