I’ve been working on what I call the “Tell and Sell” for my new novel Ribbon of Darkness. (I call it the tell and sell because hopefully, once you tell it, you will sell it.) Here’s what I’ve got so far.
Describe your novel in one word: Adventure.
Describe your novel in one sentence: Ethan Barak is a cross between Jack Bauer and James Bond--a man seeking personal redemption who ends up trying to save the world from a terrorist attack.
Describe your novel in thirty seconds.
Ethan Barak sets out to find his father’s killers and ends up in the middle of an international terrorist attack. He finds himself in an impossible situation when Kennedy Campbell---an international journalist---is thrown into the mix. Ethan has believed for so long that he could never let anyone close to him because of his job as an MI-6 informant, but Kennedy is a woman who intrigues him with her courage in the face of danger. He wants to let her in, but is afraid to risk her life. Ribbon of Darkness is a high stakes romantic suspense that will keep you turning pages all night long.
Yeah, it’s a work in progress. But there are four great things that having a stellar and crisp Tell and Sell will do for you.
1. A good tell and sell will help you focus on what’s important in your novel.
2. A good tell and sell will help give you ideas for your back copy.
3. A good tell and sell will help you write your query.
4. A good tell and sell will help you answer the question, “What’s your book about?” which is the one thing you will get asked most once your book is published and you never want to say, “Um, it’s about this guy . . .”
Have you thought about your tell and sell for your work in progress? It’s not as easy as it looks. If you haven’t ever tried to write one, you should. And tell me how it goes. Sell me on it!