Blurbs, furries and procrastination town

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Here I am boarding the train at procrastination station once again. I pretty much procrastinate on everything. The list goes on and on, finishing anything before a deadline during 4 years of high school, 4+ years of college, graduate school, I also avoid cleaning my house, loading the dishwasher, doing laundry. I pretty much will find anything to do besides what I actually should be doing. This blog post is no exception, but I'll get to my blurb story after this great one from my high school days.

The absolute, hands down best procrastination story has to be my twenty-four hours of assigned community service. Now, I didn't do anything that warranted the forced act of kindness. It was thrust upon me as a requirement for graduating from high school. I guess it was supposed to make me feel like I was giving back to my community or to make me a well rounded person. Who knows? I'm not sure its outcome was on par with what my high school was hoping for.

Set to graduate in June of '96, I started receiving death threat letters from the community service counselor somewhere around November of '95. I wasn't alone in this. Leah, my high school bestie, who still holds the title today, was right there with me. We loved the procrastination train. We rode it regularly. We couldn't hide from the community service police forever, so we eventually gave in and agreed to assist with the Holiday Magic festivities at Bookfield Zoo. We roped in her sister, Kri to join us and off we went one Saturday morning.

The three of us, sort of thrilled and a little intrigued, reported to the designated area where we were handed animal costumes. You know what I'm talking about, a big-ass head, mesh eyes, furry shoe covers and mittens. Think Disney World but far less classy in regards to the costumes. 

Now this is not us, but you get my point.
You needed to work in teams of three, two characters and one guide person. Before Kri or I could speak, Leah said, "I'm the guide. I can't wear that. I'm claustrophobic." We pick our battles with Leah. So Kri and I stepped into our B.O. stinktastic costumes and began to navigate the zoo with Leah as our guide.

During this 3 hour stint as the Christmas-scarf-wearing tiger, I unintentionally terrified children, tripped over a giant planter, tormented the snow leopard, took my head off in public and was sweating so profusely I thought I wet my pants. 

Kri didn't fair much better. The warmer her costume got the smellier it became. She hid behind bushes, lifting her head up so she could breathe. She too, tripped over the planter and while posing for pictures with children who weren't running in fear, we smiled inside that stupid head every time someone said, "Say cheese". We're dipshits. No could see us smiling!

In the end, I should have learned something profound. But I didn't. I still procrastinate to no end and right now I'd even consider donning that tiger costume again instead of writing a summary for the back cover of my book.

Now, I originally wrote a 150,000 word book, scaled it back and cut it down even more, but for the life of me I can't condense my book into a less than two hundred word summary.  I suck at it.  I avoided it for months.  The trouble is, this is what sells your book.  People read the back cover or the online description and decide whether they want to buy your book or not.  It needs to grab the reader's attention and if it sucks then, well, your book sucks by association.

This brings me to blurbs.  Blurbs are those little lines on the back cover of a book that say things like, "Sally Smith of Reader World said, 'POS book is amazing.  A must read.'"  A blurb is on pretty much every book you read that is published by a big-time publisher.  Usually some hot shot book reviewer or website reads the book, reviews it, and the publishing company uses it to sell the book.  This is where I run into a problem.  I don't have a big-time publishing agency and I also don't know any hot shot book reviewers.  I don't plan on using a blurb on the back cover of my book for this reason.  What would I say anyway? School social worker from the south suburbs says, "Nikki Young is really funny." or "Read Nikki Young's debut novel.  It's a great story.  I loved it," says her neighbor.  

I'm leaving a blurb off my back cover, because I am having a hard enough time selling myself in general.  I'm pretty sure all my shameless FB posts have caused me to be blocked by at least a third of my friends.  Sorry, guys!  Being an indie author doesn't exactly lend to a fabulous blurb. I don't know if blurbs sell books.  But I am hoping my book is wildly popular and sells a shit ton of copies, that way I can say I kicked ass without a blurb.  The downside is when it tanks, I'll be wallowing and crying about how I should have written a fake blurb.

On a bright note:  Here is the working back cover/summary!
Book title changed to- A Life More Complete (because I was told by BJ that Lou Reed was gonna sue someone's ass if I used my original title.)


"Can you ever really outrun your past?

Krissy Mullins, an overworked, obsessive-compulsive publicist, has been giving it her best shot for the past ten years.  Throwing herself into her work and devoting all her time to her teenage starlet client.  Krissy finds little time for anything else.  But as fate would have it, her world is turned upside down when she falls in love with laid-back California native, Ben Torres. Unfortunately, her only frame of reference on love and marriage was her parents and they were both deeply disturbed.

As Krissy attempts to navigate the precarious world of love, acceptance and compromise, her past comes flooding back like she never expected.  An ex-boyfriend returns from a life she has tried to forget.  He stirs up feelings in Krissy that she thought were gone.  Pulled in opposite directions as her past and present collide, Krissy makes a rash decision that will forever change her life.

Can Krissy find love and happiness amidst her dysfunctional past or will she continue to run?  Only time will tell."

Add a comment »

Leave a Reply