How to Decode Your Book’s Jacket Copy

"Sizzling": This is a summer release. We're really hoping you're going to put this on your internet magazine's "Beach Reading" list, because it's getting harder and harder to market "art thrillers."

“Sizzling”: This is a summer release. We’re really hoping you’re going to put this on your internet magazine’s “Beach Reading” list, because it’s getting harder and harder to market “art thrillers.”

It’s okay if your book fits in this formula. There are many good books where nothing technically happens, for instance. But here’s a handy way to figure out how your marketing team is talking about your novel/memoir/collection.


•A meditation on love/grief/loneliness/salt…
Nothing will actually happen in this book, but will include a combination of musings, non-linear anecdotes, and dialogue, most likely without quotation marks.

Meanwhile, Jeremy is frantic…
There are two, maybe ten, story lines running simultaneously, very little chance any of them will have bearing on others.

•A collection of linked stories
Author got MFA, stories only linked by vague theme of “abandonment.”

•Like Dan Brown meets Michael Crichton
Not at all like Da Vinci Code or Jurassic Park, but may involve a fast-paced thrill ride(see below)

•A fast-paced thrill ride
Lots of one-syllable words.

•Like David Sedaris meets David Foster Wallace
Exactly like Dan Brown meets Michael Crichton

•A daughter/son/mother with a dead/dying/ascended son/college roommate/daughter/”beloved” struggling with the past
Flashbacks. A lot of them.

•A preeminent sexologist struggling with a troubled past
Author wrote “troubled past” into story, but story is just vanity vehicle for author’s alter ego to lecture reader on “divine sexual teachings.” (see Meanwhile)

•But does someone have a secret agenda?
Yes.

•Imbued with magic and mystery
Something happens, still not sure why. Fancy word preceding gives it credibility.

Meticulously researched and passionately rendered
Author has freaked out publicist with numerous calls/emails/handwritten letters, publicity staff has “inside joke” about author that becomes less funny when they meet him in person and discover he has one leg and glass eye.

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