Friday, September 25, 2009

Help Me Out!

So in my free time this week (mostly between two and four a.m.) I've been working on the proposal I need to send in to the editor and the agent I met at the conference last week. I've got a few ideas, and I want to post them here. I need some feedback, and I could also use some more ideas.

First off, for the editor I have to write 50-75 words that would be considered "back cover copy". You know, the paragraph or two you would read on the back of the book that makes you want to plunk down your money and see what's between the covers. Here's the two I've come up with:

1. When Jennifer Hamilton’s husband is killed, she and her three children are stranded on the mission field. All Jennifer wants is to protect her children and get them back to the States. But with rebels attacking the town, the secrets her husband had, and the terrorists who think she has incriminating information, can she get them back to the States in time? And how will she protect them from the unknown danger lurking close to home?

2. Jennifer Hamilton’s husband never told her about his secret life. Or his business partner. Or the real reason they were living in Uganda. So when he’s killed in a car wreck, it’s up to his partner to rescue Jennifer and her children from the attacking rebels, and find out if her late husband shared more with her than she realized. He may have shared a secret that could cost her life.

I like things about both of them, but neither of them strike me as exactly what I want. I could use some comments. Saying things like "I like them both" can stroke my ego, but they don't really help me. Let me know what you like or don't like. Do either of these paragraphs make you want to read the book? Is there something that turns your attention off by either of these paragraphs? For instance, Matt said one started off good, but kind of lost his interest halfway through. Or maybe there's another idea you think I should incorporate, based on the three chapters I posted a while back. Go here to start reading the first few chapters.

Secondly, I need to come up with a one or two line hook. Just a sentence or two that would really catch someone's attention. Think movie trailer. Here's what I have for this: (I warn you, what I have stinks. I could really use help with this!)

1. There’s a time to be afraid. That time is now.

2. Missionary Mom meets Jason Bourne. Is the winning combination 007?
This second one is sorta tongue-in-cheek. I would never actually use it because it's not the feel or impression I'm going for, but I'm just throwing out ideas. You can give me a whole slogan yourself, or just tell me what concept you think stands out in my book. What would make you want to read it?


  1. oh i am awful in this type of thing so I won´t try but.... about Matthew´s comment to you, that is the way I feel about the first one. The second one, I like the idea you are trying to give but somehow the whole I would work on more. (uff, it was hard to say...I hate being negative :()

    About catch lines.... well, I couldn´t even come up with a name to my blog so.... you don´t want my help :)

  2. I like the first one better. It's perfect and captured my interest right away. I think it's perfect for the back of the book.

    I really didn't think the second one was as interesting.

    I'll have to pop over to your link and read it, it'll be fun!

    Are you going to have a fake pen name like some of them do, or are you going to use your real name?

  3. Hi there! I loved the first sentence of the first one, but lost interest in the mentions of 'getting back to the States'. The second is punchier until the 4th sentence which is simply too long. I had to reread it to check the meaning. I hope that helps! Whatever you chose, I want to read it when you're done - not least because I was a missionary in Africa myself.
    God bless you

  4. Hey, don't feel bad--I'm asking for what works and what doesn't! Trust me, the publisher will have no problem letting me know something doesn't work. Ya'll are really helping.

    I will be publishing under my own name, btw. Seeing my name on the cover (or better yet, multiple covers) is a lifelong dream.

  5. I would take info from both paragraphs and create a new one. I think ending with a question or two is a good idea to create curiosity in the book. As far as one-liners go, I stink at that! Sorry! Good luck getting it all together!

  6. I like the first one. It caught my attention right away and I kept reading to find out more.

    as far as hook lines I would have to think more.

  7. The first one told too much without telling me anything ... I FELT like I was getting a synopsis of the entire book. Personally, I liked the second paragraph better. That style suits me and tends to grab my attention, particularly the first half of it. The last sentence needs to be revised. The use of the word "shared" in back to back sentences is too repetitive. I do like Ingrid's idea of combining the two. You could take the first half of paragraph two and add some simpler questions to generate further interest.
    The one liners are a little harder for me, however, I'll give it a shot or two:

    * Jennifer and her husband told each other everything ... or did they?

    * Life is hard ... running for your life is harder!


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