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Writing Ad Copy

I'm feeling confident about "I Need a Job" right now.  I think it's a solid manuscript with a lot of great jokes and I'm proud to stand by it.  Unlike a lot of my past work - which I tend to distance myself from the minute I hit the "Save" button - I want to tell everyone I meet about this one.

My next big challenge is going to be trying to convince the rest of the world to feel the same way.  The most important way to do that, from what I understand, is to write some good ad copy for the book cover.

Covers sell books.  The cover art is important, but the book description / blurb / tagline is just as crucial.  The former is something that I can't really do - I'm not much of an artist.  As proof, here's one of my recent entries in a game of Telestrations:


The description / blurb / tagline, though, are within my grasp.  They should be, anyway.  I'm a writer, aren't I?  Writers are supposed to be able to come up with stuff like that.

The problem is that "I Need a Job" doesn't really have a marketable premise.  I griped about this before.  If it was a story about a woman whose breast have Medusa powers and she turns men to stone unwittingly, then I could run with that.  The premise is the hook.  No need to go nuts - you just describe exactly what the book is about.

"I Need a Job" is about a college grad who's having a hard time finding a job.  There's plenty of incident and amusing (in my opinion) asides and/or descriptions.  But the plot is nothing totally unique.  So how do I give my ad copy a good hook without outright lying about the plot?

I've come up with a few possible blurbs.  They're okay, but I think I need something better.  Part of the problem is that I have a hard time talking up my own work  The story makes me laugh, sure, but won't I sound like an asshole if I tell people, "It's the hilarious story of youth without a clue?"  Hilarious?  Really?  Am I allowed to call my own story "hilarious?"  Won't people skip past the book if they think I'm being a presumptuous dork?

Can you imagine a board of marketing execs at a publishing house having this same conversation over the latest Dan Brown?

Dude 1:  "It's the heart-pounding thriller of the year!"
Dude 2:  "Is that fair, though?  It's only March.  Maybe there's going to be better heart-pounding thrillers in July."
Dude 1:  "You're right.  How about 'An explosive new thriller?'"
Dude 2:  "Hmm... it's not quite explosive, although it's got a little bit of fire.  Maybe we can go with 'smoldering?'"


There's a pretty good reason that I didn't get into marketing.

At this point, I'm willing to settle for "accurate and concise."  I feel like a good book will find its audience as long as it has the right keywords.  Guess I'll find out soon enough.