Recently I contacted a blog that features indie books on a weekly basis. They sent me a nice e-mail, asking for a cover image, the link to my book on Amazon, and a request for a capsule description of fifty words or less.
Now, in case you’ve never tried to sum up a book in fifty words, it ain’t easy. Particularly in the case of Catskinner’s Book, since I went out of my way to create a new mythology instead of using things like vampires and werewolves and zombies.
However, I managed to pare down my description to fit the requirements–two sentences:
“Catskinner’s Book is the story of a young drifter named James, and Catskinner, the monster who lives in his head. When James is attacked by a stranger who seems to know his secret, he learns that he is not the only monster in a suddenly strange and dangerous world.”
Not much, huh? But it’s under fifty words (it’s forty-nine) which is what they asked for.
Well, when I checked the blog I found that they had included my book, along with a bunch of other ones, cover images, links and capsule descriptions.
My description was the shortest one of the featured novels. By a rather significant margin. Most of them, I’d estimate, were between two and three hundred words. Since the “fifty words or less” requirement isn’t posted on the blog anywhere (it was in the e-mail that they sent me) it makes it look like I just didn’t have anything interesting to say about my book.
I don’t know. Maybe I should have looked at the previous book posts to see how serious they took the word count requirement (hint: not at all) before I submitted my capsule description.
Still, I really feel as if I am being penalized for being the only one who bothered to follow the rules that they gave me.
I’m not going to flame them, or even link to them here. I am happy for the exposure, I didn’t pay for it, this is a site that wants to promote indie authors, and I am grateful for that. Still, I have to wonder, why put that draconian word restriction in the e-mail to authors if you clearly have no intention of enforcing it?