Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Copy No-Nos

Ten Things I Hate About Cover Copy

(dedicated to Raine, who instigated inspired it)

"[Author] is at the top of his/her game."

So everything published after this will be [author] headed for rock bottom?

"Best book I've read in ages."

Are you an immortal who squanders the centuries reading nothing but crap, or is the author merely your BFF roommate at all the cons?

"Do yourself a favor and buy this novel!"

You mean this lukewarm ho-hum read that wasted three hours of my life because after plowing through the first lame chapter I decided to finish the damn thing instead of what I really should have done -- throw it in the Friends of the Library donation box -- to justify the $8.99 I squandered on it?  I'm sorry, how is any of that doing myself a favor?

"He can't stop thinking about her."

Three words: Monday. Night. Football.

"Her two best friends help her . . . "

If there's more than one helpful female secondary character in the story who is not trying to surreptitiously seduce the male protagonist, back stab the female protagonist, or otherwise serve as a quasi-antagonist, then what we have is a girl posse, which also means there will be more romance between the gals than anyone else in the book.  Pass.

". . . mind-blowing, intensely erotic . . ."

Okay, they're going to be doing it every five pages. P.S., if I want my mind blown, I'll put down the book and go find my guy.

"She has never known such pleasure . . ."

I know what this means! She lost her virginity during an unfortunate fumbling and wholly unsatisfying experience during her college years, or she was briefly married to an older guy with an unspecified health problem that prevented him from consummating their love. Or she simply has terrible taste in men (in which case, how does she end up with unknown pleasure dude?)

"The book EVERYONE is talking about . . ."

Unfortunately for your author I've already heard what EVERYONE is saying about it.

"They enter into a marriage of convenience . . ."

Which oddly enough never proves to be convenient for anyone in the story. Maybe we should start calling it what it really is: a marriage to provide conflict for the characters.

"When the passionate night she can never forget results in disaster . . . "

. . . that (logically) should be an STD, but somehow instead always turns out to be a) outraged parents forcing Mr. Unforgettable to marry Ms. Despoiled (of course the best man to espouse their daughter is the jerk who discarded her like a used tissue after one honk); b) a secret love affair eventually exposed and regarded as even more tawdry than one passionate night (instantly forgiven, naturally, once wedding bells have officially chimed); or c) I really have to stop at b because I'm enjoying this too much and that's when I get really vicious.  Anyway, what said unforgettable night o' passion never seems to result in is a realistic, believable adult relationship.  That is, evidently, asking too much; so is expecting me to buy it.   


  1. All I have to say is: :-D

  2. Oh I love it, lmao!!
    My fav:
    Monday. Night. Football.

  3. Fran K5:06 AM

    You know I've always wondered about those comments on books, particularly when I've finished the book and not exactly been blown away by the story. Your comments are insightful and witty.

    My current book has "one of the most unique, inventive shapeshifter novels" as its cover copy but so far, page 91, although I'm enjoying the book, its got threads of several other shifter series running through it. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing as each author brings a different slant to the story, but now I'm hoping this lives up to its tag!

  4. "If there's more than one helpful female secondary character ... there will be SEQUELS"

    And at least if you donate it to charity you can write it off your taxes LOL

  5. "When the passionate night she can never forget results in disaster...

    ...that (logically) should be an STD..."

    Snorting coffee first thing in the morning is a real wake-me-up. Too funny...

  6. This made my day. I'm currently reading a real stinker, whose tag lines include:

    "[Author] strikes gold again."

    "Her books will take readers on a nonstop thrill ride and leave them begging for more when the last pages are devoured."

    Unfortunately, this is more like gagging down brussell sprouts than "devouring" anything. I'm halfway in, now, though so I'll finish it just to feel like I got my money's worth!

  7. Ren Benton11:13 AM

    "Maybe we should start calling it what it really is: a marriage to provide conflict for the characters."

    AKA a marriage of authorial convenience.

  8. I have waited ALL VACATION (to be away from stupid internet issues) to say this...

    I have somebody REALLY AWESOME say ... DO YOURSELF A FAVOR... about one of my books. like her, too, Lynn. So... THERE!


    1. Yes, but that's a cover quote, Ms. Shiloh -- not cover copy. Copy is written by editors, authors, copy writers, publicists, marketing people etc. Basically all the really skillful liars. :)

      If you want to read the lameass novel that inspired that part of my tantrum, I'll be happy to send it to you. You won't thank me, though.

  9. Thanks for the nice post and helpful for the content writers like me.