Tag Archives: Back matter
I truly enjoy writing. It’s something I am able to do every day, which in and of itself is a blessing. From the first blank page to the last page, signifying the end of the book, I am ecstatic. Even the rewrites and the edits offer a form of pleasure though I tend to gripe a bit about having to do them.
The publishing process with its: synopsis, back matter, hooks, describe your book in less than thirty words, biographies, comparisons, media press releases and an entire rash of things to do, I find masochistically enjoyable.
After that, comes the scourge of writing, the plague of pages, the bane of books, the dastardly author affliction, the single word that brings fear into the hearts of mere mortal men, but the most necessary word if there ever was one.
That word: Marketing!!!
Imagine, if you will, (I know I’ve asked this frequently during the course of this blog, so just do it) floating in the middle of a serene lake. With your cane pole, you have managed to snatch an abundance of tadpole sized fish from the water. Aggravated there will be no fish dinner tonight, you begin to throw a tantrum to rival all tantrums. The motion of the canoe begins to send out signals that other aquatic creatures residing in the lake would interpret as one of their brethren in trouble. Then, what of all wonders would appear to assist but a twelve-foot bull-shark vaulting from the water to cleanly remove your head. This action leaves the remainder of your carcass still paddling with timed squirts of blood shooting in consistent arcs from the ravaged neck.
Such is the arduous task of…marketing.
One beautiful fall day, you hire three laborers to rake and blow the leaves that litter your lawn. The same day, you decide to wash and wax all three of your vehicles. You not only spit shine and protect the outside of your automobiles, but carry forth and do a professional detailing job on the inside. With very little light left in the day, you finish cleaning your gutters as the sun sets. Totally worn out from the day’s events, you eat dinner and turn in early. You arise, dress, and bounce outside to take a quick look at your manicured lawn and sizzling finish on your vehicles. You open the door and something strange smacks you in the face. The lawn is littered with leaves and debris, two foot deep in some places. Three huge oak trees have been uprooted and strategically placed, one on top of each vehicle. The gutters have been ripped from the house along with most of the house being ripped from the house. As you survey the damage, you find your bedroom and the hallway to the front door are all that’s left from the structure.
Needless to say, your work, curtesy of hurricane Claude the day before, went for naught. Such is the arduous task of marketing.
Having just published a novel, I am now encased in the arduous task of marketing. It’s kinda like a wedding, you know, “better or for worse,” and the real grabber, “sickness and in health,” and the one that will truly set you free from marketing, “till death do us part.”
In fact, the bone structure has undergone a dramatic change. Through the millennia, decaying bone material has been replaced with minerals causing petrification.
Personally, I prefer, “the Medusa effect,” but regardless of what you call it, turned to stone is turned to stone.
Had it not been for the daft paleontologist leaving an entire box of duct tape at the velociraptor dig, none of this reanimation could have happened.
As dense as dinosaurs can be, everything knows the endless uses of a roll of duct tape. The foot stone connected to the leg stone, then wrapped firmly with the versatile product. Repeat procedure until tape supply is exhausted. After that, pillage every hardware store of their stash and the rest of the story… well, it’s pretty self-explanatory.
See, that’s what you get when you start your back matter with, “imagine if you will.” This worn out phrase has the power to reveal the ending of your newly released novel without having to turn a single page.
What if… Hold the phones. Here we go again.
“What if,” is just as bad, if not worse, than, “Imagine if you will.” If you begin your back matter with, “Imagine if you will,” just the inclusion of the three words, “if you will,” exempts all the lazy people simply by giving them a choice.
“What if,” exempts no one, incurring a flood of readers who have determined the end, or something worse, from the back matter and see no reason to purchase the book.
As I am usually eager to do, I will offer an example to further explain my position that will hopefully quell any accusations of stupidity on my part. Sometimes this task becomes quite difficult so, please, bear with me.
What if an unusually large tarantula, a funnel web spider, and a black widow participated in a ménage-a-trios? Of course, the black widow would drag her undersized hubby to the event; not only for his little swimmers but as a shared meal for her female cohorts. You see, arachnids don’t smoke, but after a twenty-four leg free-for-all, ingesting male brain cells certainly fill the bill.
What if the product of this little sex-ca-pade ravages through the jungle, killing, eating and imbibing other creature’s bodily juices at will? Each time this creature feeds, it grows larger and more menacing.
What if this beast continues on a pattern of eat and grow larger every day? Maybe even twice or thrice a day? What will you do; what will you do?
What if this abomination were trampling through the woods searching for its next victim? There you are, sitting on a rock; rubbing your feet. A mouth opens, organic hypodermics extend, a single drop of certain death glistens as it falls from a fang point to the woodland floor.
What if a feeling of dread grips you in its steely embrace? The mouth clamps down bringing with it a crushing finality.
What if a ladybug lifts into the air happily munching on the arachnid mush filling her mouth? The same eight legged creature that could have given you an itchy bump had it bitten you?
Come on man, you can’t ask that many questions! We’re writing a novel not a puzzle book for the literary challenged.
It’s plain and simple, cut and dried, only one way out. It’s like that itch down deep in your ear and simultaneously in your jaw that’s impossible to satisfy.
You either follow my wise advice and enjoy a successful literary career or dismiss my rants as the ramblings of a madman. It’s up to you. You hold the key.
Now, if you will excuse me, the first crop of lead paint chips is ready to harvest. Mustn’t be late, no, no that wouldn’t do. The Queen of Pismoania would give me such a smack.