Wednesday, June 21, 2006

JENNY: Jacket Copy

Authors usually don't get to write their own jacket copy, but we're going to send some in on Friday with the first draft of our book and we thought we'd get some feedback from you all since you were so briliant with Esmerelda (Hello, Diana Rigg):


You are Cordially Invited To
A Weekend
with
THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES
currently on the run and hiding out as
The O’Brien Sisters of Salem’s Fork:

There’s Eileen Dreyer’s DEE, a feisty little redheaded beauty who at sixteen kidnapped her two little sisters from the clutches of their devious Aunt Esmerelda and went on the lam. Now it’s thirteen years later and Dee’s working at a bank during the day and painting at night, trying to control her sisters and her passions and her shapeshifting power, which is a lot more difficult when Danny James shows up one Friday morning, making Dee’s heart beat faster with his dangerous smile and his equally dangerous questions. Dee’s not sure Danny can be trusted, and then she finds out he’s named his motorcycle Esmerelda . . .

And then there’s Anne Stuart’s LIZZIE, the middle sister, ethereally lovely and ethereally dizzy, who at twenty-six is determined to save her family by learning how to turn straw into gold, if she can stop turning forks into purple bunnies and lustful thoughts into marvelous shoes. Then Friday morning a sorcerer named Elric turns up, a little annoyed at the havoc that Lizzie is creating with the fabric of the universe, and even more annoyed with the havoc he finds Lizzie creating in his heart. Lizzie doesn’t trust anybody, but Elric says he can teach her to turn straw into gold . . .

And finally, there’s Jenny Crusie’s, MARE, the youngest sister and self-proclaimed Queen of the Universe, who towers above her sisters in height but whose telekinetic power is dwarfed by their gifts—as Mare puts it, “I’m a human remote control”—and who spends her days tyrannizing everyone at Value Video!! and her nights stretched out on the roof above Lizzie’s workroom contemplating the futility of her existence. But then Friday morning two guys show up—a Value Video!! VP named Jude and her long lost love, a motorcycle mechanic named Crash—and they both seem to think she’s just what they want forever. Mare finds this completely plausible but then things begin to go terribly wrong . . .

It’s the worst weekend the Unfortunate Miss Fortunes will ever have, but the best one, too, when their powers will be tested, and so will True Love and True Sisterhood. Or as Mare puts it, “I always knew that Power of Three stuff was crap.”

You won’t want to miss a minute . . .

29 Comments:

Anonymous Jill said...

virgin post.

I'll buy it. The only word I'd change is "A" Weekend to "The" Weekend.


j=jolly
bsa= boy scouts of america need
naps=naps

June 21, 2006 7:07 PM  
Blogger dee said...

Very nice.
I can't wait to read it through. I'm so into this book idea, it's not even funny!

June 21, 2006 8:03 PM  
Blogger orangehands said...

i loved it (and you think your into this book, Dee? i've been having DREAMS) but since i've been into this book since you first mentioned it i don't know how good my impression is. you could say "this is our book. read it" and i would love it (actually, that is something i would buy...)

favorite lines: "and they both seem to think she’s just what they want forever. Mare finds this completely plausible..."

blue: qouch: what Xavier does to quail eggs when he's cooking.

quietly, our understanding cat hopped.

June 21, 2006 8:16 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Oh God! Turning lustful thoughts into marvelous shoes! Motorcycles and mechanics and angst! I am DYING to read this book! DYING, I tell you!

That sounds marvelous, and I would pick it up in a heartbeat. It may be a little wordy to fit on the book as it is now, but a little handy word-tweezering and you're set.

Oh: also, my company's corporate motto is Power of Three. Sadly, it's not the least bit witchy.

June 21, 2006 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Cyndi said...

Sorry Jill, but, I like "A" weekend.

My suggestion, I'd change the last paragraph to-
It’s the worst and best weekend the Unfortunate Miss Fortunes will ever have. Their powers will be tested, and so will True Love and True Sisterhood.

And I love the last line...
Or as Mare puts it, “I always knew that Power of Three stuff was crap.”

June 21, 2006 8:38 PM  
Anonymous bon cheri bomb said...

As a writer I can understand the urge to explain who wrote which character. As a reader (my primary qualification at the moment) it is confusing (and perhaps unnecessary?) as a part of jacket copy.

Can you just say:

Oldest sister, DEE, a feisty little redhead...
The middle sister, LIZZIE, ethereally lovely...
And finally, MARE, the youngest sister...

And sorry, but I'd get rid of the "it's" --

In Dee's para: Now, thirteen years later, Dee's working at a bank...

Last para: What follows is the worst weekend...

I love the rest of it, very intriguing and attention grabbing, and can't wait to read it.

BTW Jenny, I understand your determination to get all drafts out of the doorways by Friday, but don't neglect the windowsills -- oh, not what you meant? Never mind.

Best of luck. Not that you need it.

bw
(I feel like an intruder, commenting over here)

June 21, 2006 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Conscripted Cherry said...

I'm going with Bon Cherry Bomb here- I like it, but I've been following the project since y'all first announced it so... I read it to a friend who totally chooses her books based on cover blurb (silly girl) and she found it a bit confusing with too many names in it. I also think cleaning it up and streamlining will make it look better on a jacket-

June 21, 2006 9:16 PM  
Anonymous amc said...

Good stuff in there. I'd punch up the energy some, mix up the sentences' rhythms...it felt a little too steadily paced. The line about Mare's telekinetic powers didn't make sense to me on the first pass. And it probably needs to be shorter. I'm also not sure you need/have the space to mention each author by her character--it kinda slowed things down.

June 21, 2006 10:02 PM  
Anonymous wapakwoman said...

All I know is that it sounds like a book I can't wait to read. I have 2 sisters and we create havoc where ever we go without supernatural powers. (Oh the things we could do.....)

June 21, 2006 10:14 PM  
Blogger orangehands said...

yeah, ok, calmed down a little (i can't wait!), so can say, yes, i really liked it, but the line about Mare's power didn't make too much sense to a "newcomer" to the story.

also, i don't like the last line ("You won’t want to miss a minute..."). maybe because you have a really unusual jacket copy but the last line is used by a lot of authors. or maybe because it's not as snazzy as some of your other ones. just MHO.

green: nuubw: no, uber, uber Bob watches.

June 21, 2006 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an idea.

Shhhh! The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, are hiding out as the O'Brien sisters of Salems Fork:

DEE, a feisty redheaded beauty, at age sixteen kidnapped her two sisters from the clutches of their devious Aunt Esmerelda. On the lam for thirteen years, Dee tries to create the appearance of a normal life. She works in a bank, tries to control her sisters, her passions, and her shapeshifting powers. All made more difficult when Danny James shows up on Friday morning with his taunting smile and dangerous questions. Then she finds out he's named his motorcycle Esmerelda ...
LIZZIE is ethereally lovely and exceptionally dizzy. She is determined to save her family by learning to turn straw into gold. That is, if she can stop turning forks into purple bunnies and lustful thoughts into marvelous shoes. On Friday, Elric the sorceror appears. He's annoyed at the havoc Lizzie is creating with the fabric of the universe and tries to deny how she torments his heart. She doesn't trust him, but he can turn straw into gold ...
MARE is the baby sister and self proclaimed Queen of the Universe. She towers above her sisters in height but is dwarfed by their powerful gifts, she is merely telekinetic. She spends her days tyrannizing everyone at Value Video!! and her nights stretched out on the roof contemplating the futility of her existence. On Friday morning two guys show up -- a Value Video!! VP named Jude, and her long lost love, Crash, a motorcycle mechanic. They both want her. Of course Mare thinks this is completely plausible but then things start to go terribly wrong ...
The weekend comes to a full boil for the unfortunate Miss Fortunes when their combined powers are tested, along with their understanding of true sisterhood and true love. Or, as Mare puts it, "I always knew that the power of three stuff was crap."
rg

June 22, 2006 12:26 AM  
Anonymous bon cheri bomb said...

After thinking about it, I, too, really dislike the last sentence. Also, your last para is your thesis statement and it has to be stronger. I like the quote from Mare, but I don’t think it fits here (besides, you don’t want to say “as Mare puts it” twice).

I haven’t been following along, so I’m not sure about this, but isn’t the story about control (over power, actions of others), trust (of power, each other), and strength (of love, sisterhood). And maybe fate? I didn’t hear that in the last para. What I heard was that they’re going to have a trying weekend, they will face some tests, and that Mare comes away still believing that it’s all pure crap. I don’t know, does she?

Not sure if this fits:
During what is fast becoming the worst weekend the UMF have ever known, the sisters face challenges to their beliefs about Love and Sisterhood, and must accept the strength of their combined powers if they are to turn it into the best weekend ever.

Ok, I'll go away now. (orangehands threatened us with dire consequences if we didn't come over here and attempt to answer your plea, so I'm blaming her for any audacity)

bw

June 22, 2006 6:40 AM  
Anonymous ol' biddy said...

Agree the story sounds fascinating, and the copy will be fine when tightened.

From my viewpoint as an advertising copywriter: Each character paragraph should start with the author's name, so the designer can highlight them:

Eileen Dreyer's DEE...
Anne Stuart's LIZZIE...
Jenny Crusie's MARE...

Makes it easier to skim, grabs your respective audiences, and--surprisingly--will smooth the read.

Yeah, writing for skimmers is way different than writing for readers.

June 22, 2006 8:21 AM  
Anonymous mcb said...

Okay here's out I see it. Its great copy but its giving away too much of the story, rather than piquing interest. So this is what I came up with:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are Cordially Invited To
A Weekend with
THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES
(currently on the run and hiding out as
The O’Brien Sisters of Salem’s Fork)


There’s Dee, a shapeshifter with a control problem. So she’s spent the last 13 years trying to control her sisters instead. It’s a hard habit to break.

There’s Lizzie, who is determined to conjure up the answer to the sisters’ problems but produces purple bunnies and great shoes instead. But she’s not ready to give up yet.

There’s Mare, a “real” mover and shaker who doesn’t deal well with authority – unless she’s the one in charge. If only she was running the universe, things would be different.

13 years ago Dee rescued younger sisters Lizzie and Mare from the devious clutches of Aunt Esmerelda and they’ve been on the lam ever since. Life for them has never been quite normal, but this weekend its about to get even more interesting when gorgeous men start popping out the woodwork. Join them for a weekend of falling in love, fighting amongst themselves, and battling evil. Not necessarily in that order.

June 22, 2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger marcia in ok said...

I'm quaking in my shoes - offering MHO to THE CHERRY. Here goes - keep in mind that I'm only an experienced writer of non-fiction.

Why don't we get any autobio lines for Dee or Lizzie? You can tell so much about Mare just by those two quotes. It would be nice to see the same for the other sisters.

I'm a Cherry Bomb, and I've read every Jenny I could ever get my hands on - even the one she hates. I WANT to read this book. But, some readers that haven't been converted yet - might (I said might!) not wade through that much back cover blurb.

You guys are in the home stretch on this one. GREAT WORK!

wzlnevu

Wow, zealous linguists never ever vent unintelligently.

June 22, 2006 8:26 AM  
Anonymous ol' biddy said...

One more streamlining thing: However you ultimately shape the intro graph, the colon should immediately follow the words "The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes." Strengthens the tie between your title and your characters.

I love the last line. Captures the humor--and ending on a laugh SELLS.

June 22, 2006 8:29 AM  
Blogger marcia in ok said...

Had a couple more thoughts as I re-read the comments.

Is the cover blurb supposed to be infodump or a hook? For some reason, upon rereading, I was reminded of some J&B discussions on he said/she said.

And, are there tense confusions? Could be that I was just so excited I confused myself.

June 22, 2006 8:31 AM  
Anonymous ol' biddy said...

Uh, by last line, I meant the one about the "power of three" crap.

June 22, 2006 8:32 AM  
Anonymous ol' biddy said...

Oh, what the hell...

Instead of doing a crossword this morning, I challenged myself to cut The Cherry's original copy in half. And now that I've spent the time, it seems a shame to just leave it sitting in My Documents. So I'm posting it, though embarrassed about spending the time and having the temerity to do this. Plus, I only got it from 412 to 270 words...still too long. But launch it into cyberspace I will:

You are cordially invited
to a weekend on the lam
with THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES:

Eileen Dreyer’s DEE was just sixteen when she kidnapped her two little sisters from their devious Aunt Esmerelda. Now she works at a bank by day and paints by night, trying to control her sisters and her passions and her shapeshifting—all much more difficult the Friday morning Danny James shows up, making Dee’s heart beat faster with his dangerous smile and equally dangerous questions...

Anne Stuart’s LIZZIE, the middle sister, ethereally lovely and ethereally dizzy, is determined to save her family by turning straw into gold—if only she can stop turning forks into purple bunnies and lustful thoughts into marvelous shoes. Friday morning brings her a sorcerer named Elric, annoyed with Lizzie for the havoc she’s creating in the universe—even more annoyed when she creates havoc in his heart…

Jenny Crusie’s MARE, the youngest, proclaims herself Queen of the Universe but pooh-poohs her telekinetic power. What’s so great about being a human remote control? Mare spends her days tyrannizing the staff at Value Video!! and her nights contemplating the futility of existence. But Friday morning two guys show up—Value Video!! VP Jude, and motorcycle mechanic Crash, Mare’s long-lost love—both declaring she’s just what they want forever. Mare finds this completely plausible, until things go terribly wrong . . .

It’s the Unfortunate Miss Fortunes’ worst and best weekend ever, testing their true powers, true sisterhood and True Love. Or as Mare puts it, “I always knew that Power of Three stuff was crap.”

RSVP now—before Aunt Esmerelda shows up…

June 22, 2006 10:06 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

You know, I have to disagree with you Cherry Bomb girls. I think having the author's name after the character she wrote is a selling point.

And I love Ol Biddy's idea - tightens it up and gives it a nice flow.

June 22, 2006 12:28 PM  
Anonymous mcb said...

Brooke said ... I think having the author's name after the character she wrote is a selling point.

I agree. Didn't intentionally leave it out, I was just concentrating on the context. However, I think it needs to be trimmed way down. As Marcia in OK points out there's a lot of infodump there. With Dee's paragraph alone, we already know something about her past, her present and the romantic interest. Heck we even know where she works and what she does in her spare time.

The point of the blurb is to snag a reader's interest. It should be a teaser - brief, clever, tantilizing.

green: ybivh - YEC blends in very heavily.

June 22, 2006 2:30 PM  
Blogger orangehands said...

BCB: always blaming me, aren't you? geez. :)

ok, i do like that the author's name before the character. and love CB's tries.

BCB has a point about the ending paragraph and the line on the "power of three is crap" (though really do like it), but don't say "turn it into a best weekend ever". still to cliche-ish.

mcb said "[listed things] Not necessarily in that order." can't do that line because that's a pure Jenny line- she's used it in her blurbs, i'm almost positive. do like her idea of making each intro to character short and then a piece to tie it together.

love ol'biddy's last line (the RSVP one- very cute). and her intro ("You are cordially...FORTUNES:").

still think the line "towers above her sisters in height but whose telekinetic power is dwarfed by their gifts" needs some fixing. it sounds forced and doesn't flow smoothly like the rest.

and yes, agree with brooke and mcb, can be shortened way down.

June 22, 2006 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Laura V said...

It was the worst of weekends, it was the best of weekends... is the echo of Dickens deliberate?

June 22, 2006 2:39 PM  
Anonymous bon cheri bomb said...

I really like ending with RSVP after starting with the Cordially Invited.

I do think shorter would be better, though not sure whether this is back of book (paperback) or inside cover (hard cover) copy. Makes a difference. See, told you I hadn't been following along.

And good grief, I wasn't thinking Jenny would use my pitiful wording, just giving an example of a different summing-it-all-up type of para. Bob has mentioned she might have written a thesis or two, I'm sure she has some idea of how to do it.

bw

June 22, 2006 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Louis said...

I like Ol Biddys version...

Probably because I'm an Ol..... and us Ols have to stick together.



Can't wait to pick up the book...looking forward to reading it.

efvzmxxf red

every favorite video zaps my (e)xcellent (e)xasperated fun

June 22, 2006 5:08 PM  
Anonymous ol' biddy said...

Almost forgot...how about a headline-style lead-in?

THREE BEST-SELLING AUTHORS.

THREE FEISTY SISTERS.

THREE HILARIOUS DAYS OF MAGIC, MAYHEM AND GREAT SEX.

OK, I'll go back to writing about insurance and banking now. Thanks for letting me play.

June 22, 2006 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Cyndi said...

Ol-Biddy - Liked your comments. Love the RSVP. Very clever. Made me laugh when I read it. I thought ol'Biddy's take on Mare's powers was cleaner and more easily understood. I wasn't exactly sure what her power was on the first read through. I like the author's name before the name of the character.
And - I didn't mention it the first time, but the idea of lustful thoughts producing shoes is just too funny.
Really - this sounds like such a fun read.

June 23, 2006 5:55 PM  
Anonymous micki said...

OK, first of all, all the book needs to have on the cover is "Jennifer Crusie" -- and I'm sold (-:.

But the jacket copy has me contemplating working as an intern at your publishing company, just so I can read it *NOW*! Alas, must wait -- but I am very much looking forward to being introduced to the writing of Eileen and Sr. Krissie.

Just love good, hot, sexy witch stories! Do you have a date for when this book hits the stores yet? Must block out an evening to read it, and a morning to recuperate!

June 26, 2006 1:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the jacket copy. Just wondering WHY does it not state anywhere on your website WHEN this will be published. Just messing with our minds or arguing with the publisher about the royalties.

October 05, 2006 3:50 PM  

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