Crafting Compelling Cover Copy
It’s the first thing an agent sees when reading your cover letter. Or the first thing a reader sees on the back cover of your book, or at the online retailer. This short, half-page pitch has multiple uses throughout the lifespan of your book’s marketing strategy. You only have a few paragraphs to hook a reader—so how do you do it succinctly and enticingly? We’ll talk about strategies for luring the reader in—and using the right details to hook them. (The right details can hook a reader—the wrong ones can lose a reader!) And how much of the end to reveal? We’ll talk through examples of what makes these pitches work, and then we’ll workshop yours in small groups. So bring your cover copy/query letter, and we’ll work through these short, hooky synopses.
Jenn Reese writes speculative fiction for readers of all ages. Above World (Candlewick), a Norton Award Finalist, is the first book in her trilogy about bioengineered mermaids in a post-collapse future. Her next book, A Game of Fox & Squirrels, is coming from Henry Holt BYR in 2020. Her short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog, Strange Horizons, the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Paper Cities, and Fireside Magazine, among others. Jenn lives in Portland, OR, where she drinks coffee, plays video games, and talks to birds.
Tina Connolly’s books include the Ironskin trilogy from Tor, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her stories have appeared in F&SF, Tor.com, Uncanny, and more, and are collected in On the Eyeball Floor from Fairwood Press. Her stories and books have been finalists for the Nebula, Norton, and World Fantasy awards. She co-hosts Escape Pod, runs the flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake, and is at tinaconnolly.com.