Tag Archives: New Year

The New Year and Flap Copy

I’ve never been good at corporate politics, and that in part explains while I languish in the lower decks  at Throwing Up Words, Inc. as a mere token male Junior Apprentice Co-Blogger.  It’s been brought to my attention that this is an actionable discriminatory situation in at least three categories.

Discriminatory Category #1:  Gender Discrimination.  Yes, I have suffered emotional and professional distress by being the Man about the BlogHouse.  You have no idea the number of sexist comments I’ve endured from Carol, Andy, and Kira.

Discriminatory Category #2:  Nepotism.  The three of you who read this blog may not know that Kira is Queen Carol’s princess (aka daughter), and her familial position has given her preferential advantage over me.  And it’s possible that that Carol is Andy’s grandmother, and that would explain why Andy is the COO and Vice Blog Mistress in Charge of Throwing Up Words and why I’m left scrubbing the decks without pay.

Discriminatory Category #3:  Ageism.  Neither Carol, nor Andy, nor Kira are my age.  Kira and Andy are a couple years younger than I am.  And if Carol were a few years older than she really is, she’d be older than I am, and I’m certain that when the Royal Bloggeresses of Throwing Up Words, Inc. get together to do their nails and gossip, that my age is a frequent topic of discussion.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve overheard whispered, giggling conversations like, “Look at him . . . he can barely manage that bilge pump,” and “Is he using that mop as a cane or to swab the decks?”

So one of my new year’s goals is to rise above the gender discrimination and nepotism and ageism and abuse and neglect and unfair treatment and overwork and lack of appreciation and lack of pay that are inflicted on me at Throwing Up Words, Inc.  I will embrace as my own 2012 mantra, the put-upon, downtrodden male disco anthem made famous by Gloria Gaynor.  Yes, “I Will Survive!” despite all that Carol, Andy, and Kira will do in 2012 to break my indomitable spirit.

While I’m talking about 2012, I’ll share four of my goals as Commander Carol has ordered us to do:

1.  read a book a week.

2.  finish the revisions as soon as I get my editorial letter

3.  finish a new novel by the first of June

4.  rid the world of cats

But on to today’s topic:  flap copy.

Flap copy is the content of the book cover flaps of your book.  Typically the front flap copy is written by your editor, perhaps with some assistance from the marketing folks at your publishing house.  Front flap copy is usually a plot summary told in a way that entices readers to open the book.  You don’t have to worry much about front flap copy except, well, that you first have to finish a book before any front flap copy can be written.  Back flap copy is a different matter because it’s usually written by you, the author, with assistance from your editor and the marketing staff.  If you’re a rookie or an unimportant writer (that is, if you have the clout of a Junior Apprentice Co-Blogger) your bio-note will be brief and mugshot-less.  If you’re a bigshot, fabulously wealthy and famous Author, your bio-note will include a photo and a list of your previous big books and their awards and other stuff about you.  In the off chance that you will one day rise to such prominence, I offer some advice about your future back flap copy:

1,  Do NOT use a cheesy glam-shot of yourself.  Nor should you use a gag-shot.  Too many author mugshots look like posed airbrushed colorized photos of mannequins.  Unless you are a mannequin masquerading as a human being, avoid such photos.  Likewise, avoid stuffy posed photos of yourself gazing into space with your chin resting on your fingertips.  Likewise avoid weird and silly photos of yourself chasing lambs on the barren Canadian Tundra.  Likewise avoid photos of you with your flock of children and/or grandchildren and/or flock of dogs or cats or fish.

2.  In the flap copy itself, you should include a personal detail or two, mention of other books you’ve written and other jobs you’ve had.  It’s not unusual to also mention whether or not you’re married and whether or not you have kids.  But do NOT fall into common trap of ending your backflap copy with a mention of your pets.  Not only is such mention an obvious bow to PETA and their army of book reviewers and buyers, but it’s irrelevant.

Imagine, if you can, if the actual backflap copy for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that ended like this, “Ms. Rowling lives in Edinburgh with her daughter.” were instead “Ms. Rowling lives in Edinburgh with her daughter, her hairless Sphynx cat Noodles, her herd of Scottish Shelties, and a pirhana named Wanda.”  Who CARES if an author has a pet or pets?  What can pets possibly add to a book’s qualities?  And how is it relevant or interesting to readers that you choose to share your abode with grimy, drooling, smelly, shedding creatures?

So, please, keep the livestock out of your backflap copy.  Leave the beloved pets in the pasture, kennel, or pound where they belong.  If animals can’t READ flap copy, they have no business being mentioned in your backflap copy bio.


Filed under Chris

Happy happy HAP-PEE New Year!!!!

Every start of every week, every month, and every new year is exciting (especially if new week, month and year start on a Sunday, the first day of the week.). So you can imagine how exciting yesterday was for me. January 1, 2012! New Year starts on a Sunday! Woot woot!

This year is kinda cool. We have three Friday the 13ths and it’s Leap Year. Plus we have Project Don’twritecrapway coming up. And we’ll have a few writing marathons. There’s Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers. Sigh. I can almost smile about what’s coming up!*

I’ve talked before about what I think of goal making. I’m kinda crazy about setting goals. I like to writing a million things down. I like to scratch things off the list.

Example of one of my lists.

1. Make goals.
2. Break big goals into little goals.
3. Make sure that each goal is small enough to achieve.
4. Make sure even unattainable goals are attainable.
5. Have no fewer than 236 goals for the year.

So, you get the picture.

Two weeks ago I started writing down my goals. I had end-of-the-year goals. Goals to help-me-be prepared-for-the-New-Year’s goals. Last-week-of-the-year goals. Last-three-days-of-the-year goals. Last-day-of-the-year goals. I’ve made quite a few but I keep losing the papers I’ve written these on. This is distressing. But then I remake my goals and . . .

Here’s what dictionary.com says the definition of a goal is:

goal [gohl]
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
2. the terminal point in a race.
3. a pole, line, or other marker by which such a point is indicated.

Writing is a race, right? We’re headed toward the end of our novels, and we hope to get the work done in a timely matter. It’d be cool if we won some awards for our work. One award, of course, is selling what we wrote. Another awards might be actually winning awards for what we write.

Rick Walton gave me great advice many years ago– “Make goals you can achieve, Carol.”
What?! Winning the Newbery isn’t a worthy goal?
Sure it is! The problem is, you don’t have that much control over making sure you win awards–unless you have friends in high places.

Kahlil Gibran said, “The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.”

Hmmm, it’s starting to make sense why I have so many goals.

Here are a few more good quotes. I’m trying to make them all about me.

Here’s what someone said, but we don’t have his name because he didn’t leave 85 lists around the house with this written on it: “In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.”
Translated, that means this–”Know where you’re going in your novel–have just a bit of an idea. Otherwise your writing may take a wrong turn and you’ll not reach the goal of finishing your book.”

Here’s Chris Crowe’s favorite presidential quote (I think he loves Roosevelt because Chris met him!) “To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift.” Franklin Roosevelt

Well, I collected a lot of these inspiring quotes, but I just want to get on with my own WRITING goals. (Yes. I have MANY kinds goals. Think about maybe trying to learn how to love running. Cook–maybe even every day. Read the scriptures with the family–together. I have a goal category for Health, Finances, House, Spiritual, My Kids and What I Want Them to Do–my list of lists goes on and on.)

1. Read fifty terrific novels.
2. Finish NaNo book.
3. Rewrite the DD and Fine.
and here’s one more–4. write a rough draft of at least one more novel (either killer book, or scary book–or maybe that one funny book).

The deal is, Ann Dee, Chris, Kyra and I all want you to succeed, so feel free to log your writing goals here. In the middle of the year, I’ll re-post what you’ve written so you can check in and see how you’re doing. Have fun writing your attainable goals. And you don’t have to only have three or four. But maybe just stick to writing.

Here’s a quote to end with: There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.
 (Logan Pearsall Smith)

I’d change this up just a bit–Get What You Want–But Be Nice About It.
There are too many people who get what they want in the publishing industry and then they start acting ugly behind the scenes.
I swear–if I sell a begillion copies of my books OR win the Caldecott, Newbery and Prinzt awards for one of my books, I swear to still be nice. No! I’ll be even nicer!

Happy New Year!

* Cheri is convinced we don’t need to worry about the world ending Dec 21,2012, so I’m feeling even better about the New Year.


Filed under Uncategorized

For Kyra!

Been reading Kyra’s novel again (she complained until I started it) and she’s got something here, I think.

I am currently watching a movie called Party Animal.
Netflix knows where to find all the ghetto/violent/gnar/badass movies.

This one is about a buncha gay boys with a horrible, horrible drug/party problem. It’s pretty good. It has a pretty good soundtrack. Techno beats. And such.

So anyway.

We will have a brand new year on Sunday. What are some of your goals? Writing . . . money . . . clothes?

I think I just have a few {as far as writing goes}:

-Finish my newest novel.

-Find an agent.

-Make some money with my writing. . .if at all possible. haha

And I think that is all. My life goal list for 2012 is pretty much endless. Like, getting a real job. Which I need horribly.

Anyone know of any places hiring??

Okay, and also. What is everyone doing for New Year’s? Any big parties? Eric’s throwing one. But I think it’ll be pretty chill. I think I want to dress as a Transvestite. {Is that how it’s spelled?} It would make the night much more interesting!

okok. I’m done now. I will see you all NEXT YEAR!! woooo weeee

NOTE FROM MOM–Well, I appreciate the invite from Eric for the New Year party. Mom, me and Carolina will look good sitting in the corner until midnight.
I can dance like nobody’s business when it starts to get late.
As Kyra says, Woooo weeee!

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Filed under CLW, Kyra