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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to share my cover art and product description. Please let me know what you think! I have a very thick skin, so you'll neither bother nor offend me by telling me something that isn't working or suggesting how to do it better. The main question I have is, as a reader, would you be drawn to clicking Buy Now? Thanks, everybody!





Product Description:
David doesn't recognize anybody at his new high school, and he never will. He has prosopagnosia, a neurological disorder that prevents him from recognizing people's faces. With a few tricks and the help of a best friend, David manages to keep his disorder a secret from everyone outside his family. When David witnesses his best friend's murder, however, neither the police nor his classmates accept David's excuse for not identifying the murderer.

David's life is only made worse when a student confesses to the crime. Although individuals with prosopagnosia can't tell who people are, they can sometimes tell who people aren't, and David knows that the confessing student is not the murderer. But after David argued for so long that he doesn't know what the murderer looks like, nobody believes him when he claims the real murderer is still among them.

Now David's determined to solve the crime. It won't be easy: he's no better at recognizing any potential witnesses or suspects than he was at recognizing the murderer. But he isn't giving up. He's needed help identifying people all of his life; now it's time to return the favor, and identify for his school the face of a murderer.
 

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You know what, I think you're pretty close on both fronts. Not much more than basic tweaking, really.

Image: The pic is lovely, and does the trick in a nice minimalist way. The text, I think, gets too close to the edge of the image - I'd make it a bit smaller and put a bit more black space between the words and the edge.

Blurb: Intriguing! A nice juxtaposition of a little-known neurological condition and a dilemma specifically designed to make life hard for the hero, inviting the audience to imagine a whodunnit with a twist. But it couldn't hurt to slim it down, especially in the second paragraph, which seems to change the rules of the condition having already defined them - something you can do in the novel but which seems a little uncomfortable in such a short description. Possibly rephrasing it to set up the new rule first, then revealing how it makes his life worse, would help...

So here's my suggestion for mods:

"David doesn't recognize anybody at his new high school, and he never will. He has prosopagnosia, a neurological disorder that prevents him from recognizing people's faces. With a few tricks and the help of a best friend, David manages to keep his disorder a secret from everyone outside his family.

Then his friend is murdered. And David sees everything. But he can't tell anyone who committed the crime - because he just can't tell. The police and his classmates lose all their trust in him as he reveals the truth about himself.

But even though he can't tell who people are, he can sometimes tell who people aren't - and when another student confesses to the crime, no one will believe David when he says the confession is false and the true murderer is still among them.

Now it's up to David to solve the crime. It won't be easy: he's no better at recognizing any potential witnesses or suspects than he was at recognizing the murderer. But he won't give up. He's needed help identifying people all of his life; now it's time to return the favor. And catch a killer."

(I've probably overdone it - please forgive me! Use it if it's useful, toss it if it's not)
 

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The good:
1. The cover has bold contrasts.
2. The product description tells me the problem and why it's important.

The bad:
1. What is David's last name, and why isn't it included in the product description?
2. What is at stake besides the solution to the murder? If David's life is not at risk, I have no reason to care about the book.
3. I did not have an emotional reaction to the product description. It feels cerebral; that is, it got me thinking, vice feeling. Thinking does not buy books. Feeling does. (Maybe wm ollie will chime in and give you some help there. He helped me.)

The ugly:
None.
 

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really like it :)

Paul Hardy said:
You know what, I think you're pretty close on both fronts. Not much more than basic tweaking, really.

Image: The pic is lovely, and does the trick in a nice minimalist way. The text, I think, gets too close to the edge of the image - I'd make it a bit smaller and put a bit more black space between the words and the edge.
^^^ This :)

Definitely need more spacing between the image and the text, and me personally, I'd rather see both fonts a bit smaller (especially the author) and have the image take prominence. Most people remember an image before a font (unless it's Elvish).
 

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antares said:

2. What is at stake besides the solution to the murder? If David's life is not at risk, I have no reason to care about the book.
Actually, I have to agree with this one. Some sense of a threat to David's continued survival can't hurt (well, it can't hurt the book, anyway...) Here's a sentence that might help (or just something along the same lines):

"And even though David can't recognise who killed his only friend - the killer doesn't have the same problem when it comes to David..."

...always assuming you have that kind of thing going on in the book, of course... :)
 

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Hi Jim,

Biggest issue I have is the idea that someone like David would keep his disorder a secret.  And if its a secret from everyone "outside his family" then why doesn't his family back him up with the police and therefore legitimizing his "excuse" for not seeing the murderer?  (I couldn't get past those major issues to deal with the rest of the description - perhaps they are handled in the work itself, I don't know.)

-Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is great feedback, everybody!

Paul, I appreciate the re-write example.  It helped me to see what you were describing, and I'm leaning towards making that change in terms of setting up the new information before explaining its impact on the story.

Antares, good points, all, and I'll keep them in mind on my next rewrite.  I personally don't tend to care about last names in blurbs, so I tend to omit them.  If others find it jarring, I'd reconsider my position.

Ilyria and Paul, both of you made a good point about the cover and text, and the cover designer has been incredible about working with me to get the cover "just right".  (The cover designer, by the way, is Ronnell D. Porter, for those who are interested in finding somebody who can produce a cover like this.)

Several of you mentioned what is at stake for David, and it looks like I'll have to work on making that more clear.  Even without his life being in danger (which, of course, it ultimately is), being helpless to prevent his friend's murder and then helpless to assist the police in catching the murderer is a driving force for him.  My assumption that readers would get that without too much prompting was, apparently, incorrect.

Jnassise, you were correct in your guess: his family does arrive and confirm his disorder.  It's a bit traumatic until that happens, though.  As to why David keeps it a secret, I didn't have to use much imagination on that: a lot of people with prosopagnosia fear letting others know about their disability.  Can you guess why?  They're the perfect victim, and they know it.  You can rob them, beat them up, do whatever you want; they can never tell on you.  That's one of David's biggest fears, and he'll have to face it.  Unfortunately, all of that doesn't fit into a product description, so you couldn't possibly know it.  I'll have to look back over it during my rewrite and see if there are ways I can slip in pieces.

Thanks again to everybody for helping me out on this, and I'd appreciate any additional feedback people have!
 

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Jim,

Just slip something like "to avoid becoming the target of violence" after "everybody outside his family" and you've solved my problem.

Some additional thoughts:

When David witnesses his best friend's murder, however, neither the police nor his classmates accept David's excuse for not identifying the murderer.
This isn't enough of an impact for me, as others have noted. Maybe comment on the guilt he feels or how his disorder now impacts others beyond himself, rather than the remark about the police and his classmates?

David's life is only made worse when a student confesses to the crime.
How is his 'life" made worse? Maybe "David's guilt is only made worse..."

I also agree David needs a last name.
 

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I like the cover, but agree that the text is too close to it, maybe making the text smaller---I also kind of like Faceless instead of World Of Faces... as far as the cover copy, I think yours is too long. I also don't see much of a reason to name the disorder and go about trying to explain it in the cover copy... I also agree with Paul about putting some jeapardy on the character... I don't really see any reason to have to put his last name in it though.... here's what I came up with, which you can feel free to discard or not... or maybe it's a decent starting point.


David doesn't recognize anybody at his new high school, and thanks to a neurological disorder that prevents him from recalling people's faces, he never will. But with a few tricks and the help of his best friend, David manages to keep his awkward disorder a secret.  

But soon David will witness that friend's murder, and although he has no way of identifying the killer, the killer has no such problem identifying David.
 
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