Back Cover Description Overhaul

Hello Friends,

I know many people are of the opinion if you’re a writer you must be able to write all sorts of things equally well. If you write novels, you must be able to write short stories, or poems or greeting cards or…

No? You don’t believe this? Well, truth be told, neither do I.

That’s not to say that I probably couldn’t make a valiant attempt at writing short stories, or poems or greeting cards – because in the past I have worked on each of those styles of writing, however, my passion really lies in writing novels.

Full novels. 90,000+ word stories filled with multiple characters, story plots, twists, turns, surprises…

That is how my brain works creatively.

Even blog posts are not ‘easy’ for me. Sure, I can occasionally knock out a post here or there – hell, look at the consistency of my posts….What? There is no real consistency to my posts? Hmmmm….I wonder why that is?!?

The same is true with book summaries, query letters, book reviews – to me, they don’t seem….natural. And trust me, if you’ve read some of the other blog posts here you know I have the critical voice in my head screaming at me right now – “Well, maybe if you tried harder, or practiced more you’d get better at that aspect of writing…!”

And you know what, that voice is probably right. I spend thousands of hours working on writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting a novel and yet I find it perhaps the most difficult part of writing to be the time I spend writing and rewriting and rewriting the book summary. I’ve studied the back covers of probably hundreds of books (I’m serious, I work at a bookstore and own WAY too many books (according to my wife!). I have the means to perform such a study even without leaving my house). I just don’t write like that.

Well . . . I also don’t like to quit or admit defeat.

Though, I am willing to ask for help.

I’ve decided to make another attempt at writing a ‘back cover’ book description for The Penitent Assassin. Something….different. Here goes:

For Mallor, assassination is a way of life. Through death, he survives and he lives for revenge. With a past he can’t forget and a future he has little hope to enjoy, the present is all he has and presently, he is in Sepeccare, his old hometown using an old identity while hunting old foes. However, he soon discovers he’s not the only hunter in the city and there’s a price on his head large enough to attract every violent criminal around.

In this wildly adventurous fantasy novel where nothing is quite what it seems, can a man who refuses to quit despite overwhelming odds stacked against him stand any chance of success or will he be doomed to fail yet again in the dangerous world of his own creation?

Well, that’s my latest attempt. I’m curious what you think.



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About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin and The Rush of Betrayal duology available at and

6 responses to “Back Cover Description Overhaul”

  1. shayfabbro says :

    I am so with you! I can’t do the poetry thing to save my life and I LOATHE the back blurb 😛 Would rather hold a tarantula (if you knew my insane arachnophobia, it all makes sense).

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      I’ve worked on poetry in the past, but not so much recently. I guess right now I’m just in novel-writing mode – which is fine with me. I understand what you mean about finding things you’d rather do that work/write on something – for a while whenever I had writer’s block, I’d clean the house (which of course meant my wife was torn between wanting me to write and be happy or not write and clean the house! (Being the great wife that she is, she of course kept pestering me to ‘just write already!’ LOL)).

      Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Hope to see you here again.


  2. deshipley says :

    Writing does have a way of being a slightly different animal, depending on the length, format, rules to be kept and broken.

    Like you, novel writing is “home” for me, though I’m trying to get more comfortable with short stories, and poems spring up on their own whim. Haven’t done greeting cards yet, and not sure I ever will. The more concise it needs to be, the more trouble I have with it. That goes for book summaries/reviews, too.

    Wonder if it’s a novelist thing, having a harder time saying in a couple paragraphs what we could be waxing eloquent upon in a few dozen thousand words. (;

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      Oh, I think you’re right about the ‘novelist thing’ part, for sure. I just keep telling myself I don’t need to ‘tell’ the whole story, or even a big part of it in the book summary/review/back cover – I just need to tease enough of it so someone will want to read the book. Of course, telling myself this is one thing, listening to my own advice is something else entirely.

      Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your own writing! 🙂

  3. Kirkus MacGowan says :

    Howdy, brother. 🙂 Thought I’d come on over and check out the new back cover info.

    It SO hard to give just enough to get the reader interested yet leave them wanting. Much easier in the novel itself, haha.

    I like what you have, but having read the book, I feel it’s missing the grit one can expect to find between the covers. Maybe some darker words, like dark, gritty, bloody, fights, killing, etc. This is just my opinion of course.

    Oh, and I’d remove “stacked against him.” I think it sounds stronger.

    Keep it up, man!

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