QUESTION FOR AUTHORS – how do you pick the quote at the front of your books?QUESTION FOR AUTHORS – how do you pick the quote at the front of your books? Alexina #questionnaire
Do you mean an epigraph?
or promo quotes from reviews?
Epigraphs are largely subjective.
Promo quotes start at the top and work down. i.e. it makes sense to use any quotes from influential authors/bloggers/reviewers first and foremost. Its human nature to take notice of quotes from names we recognise and dismiss those that we don’t.
After that, as Conrad says – its down to which sounds the most enticing.
I don’t have a quote on the front cover but I do have a tagline. The tagline for Skeletal took a few hours to come up with and I fired different ones at my family and then the four with the most votes went to the publisher. For Avian, the tagline came to me straight away and I sent it to the publisher.
I am with Emma on this. Taglines are not easy to write, and like the blurb on the back, the must not be rushed. Always good to read plenty of examples and don’t ask friends and family for advice…they are too keen to be supportive.
@Colin, not my friends and family, Colin. ? It was mostly my father who was helping me. This is how it went. ‘No, that’s rubbish … next!’ Took a few hours of this until we narrowed it down to four that were not rubbish. 🙂
@Emma Of course, there are some really good family members who are able to be cruel to be kind when needed!
@Colin, I understand what you mean though. Family and friends only want to be kind and that kindness can lead to delusions about the quality of your work.
I use a quote at the start of each of my books to try and tee up some of the themes that the plot will revolve around. I like to think it works as a tease at the start for the reading experience and a deeper understanding of what the characters have gone through along the way at the end. They also serve as a handy tool to keep the author on the right thematic track.
I use snippets from the best reviews when I’m promoting but as for quotes and the blurb I can spend ages just trying to pick pivotal points from the book then trying to condense it. I find this and writing a synopsis harder than writing a whole book !!!
Similar to John in that I have chosen a small paragraph ‘teaser excerpt’ inside at the front of my debut thriller, that gives the reader an insight to the state of mind of the lead character, the theme and how the story is likely to unfold.
Switching brains when writing taglines or choosing quotes. You need to do it with a salesperson head, not an artist. What you write there will make or break some 99% of your sales.
As for quotes of reviews, that is personal choice, but unless the person who said is known and opinion respected, it won’t do much on the book.