Writing a whole novel can be very challenging, but for my money there’s nothing harder than copywriting.
Words that sell
So when I run across brilliant copywriting in book blurbs or any other sort of advertising, I pause to enjoy it. (I’m one of the people who watches the Super Bowl for the commercials!)
My very favorite advertising copy can be found in the J Peterman Company catalogs.
A lot of catalogs arrive in our mailbox. Most of them go straight to the recycling bin, but this one I take time to read.
Every product has a story to tell
Here’s the text from these items, in case you can’t read it.
For the tunics–called “Benares” (and I apologize for cutting off the top text):
In the summerhouse, eleven beautiful women drink cardamom tea.
Chilled mangoes and papayas are served in silver bowls.
Fans whirl overhead. I am hypnotized by the evening heat and slow, charming whispers of Hindi and polite Oxonian English.
The woman, whose smile is incandescent, not merely practiced, finally meets my eyes. I wish to hurl myself across the room and land on my feet, calmly, perfectly, in front of her.
“Beautiful tunic,” I would say (hopefully embarrassed at my nervous lack of wit).
I love that line: “I wish to hurl myself across the room”.
And for the culottes:
Where to begin…
First off, you’re going to look fabulous in these. At work. At play. In perpetuity. Period.
Culottes are comfortable and easy to style and look smashing.
Now, the fun stuff.
Maybe you know the history of this pant and maybe you don’t. Suffice to say it is ripe with drama and twists. It involves the Parisian bourgeoise, dandy men, revolutionaries, the outlawing of women wearing pants in public, feminism that would make Emma Goldman proud, horseback riding, and going commando.
Take a breath.
It’s too much to adequately discuss without blowing the word count so hopefully you’ve been sufficiently teased.
Someone will ask you about all this.
And you know how good you are at telling stories.
Different than the first piece, but equally brilliant!
This month I’ve typed the end on first drafts of two stories. Writing the first draft of a full length novel is hard, but harder still is distilling that story into a one hundred word blurb! (Which maybe is why my husband often requests that I “get to the point”.)
Traditionally published authors have to put up with their publishers’ sometimes poorly written blurbs. Some indie authors hire out the copywriting. I like the challenge of writing my own. I can always rewrite as I learn more and (hopefully) get better at this very specialized craft.
As mentioned I finished the first draft of my full-length Macbeth retelling which will come out in late December or January, and the draft of a novella-length spin-off from that story for an April anthology with the Blue Stocking Belles.
Finished and in production is my novella for Mistletoe & Mayhem, a Regency Christmas anthology available for pre-order August 10, 2020. My contribution is a fun little story called Convincing the Countess. Here’s the blurb:
A penniless widowed countess with trade in her blood descends upon the country manor of her sons’ negligent guardian, intent on confronting him about her boys’ futures. Instead, she finds his younger brother, a business-minded aristocrat with a penchant for widows and a distaste for emotional entanglements. A man who once witnessed her greatest humiliation. A man offering enticing distractions that threaten to derail all her plans.
Called home at Christmas to bring his older brother to heel and sort out the family finances, a baron’s younger brother wishes nothing more than to finish the task and return to his railway project. But when he finds his mother entertaining a fetching widow he met many years earlier as the unfortunate bride of a ne’er-do-well earl, temptation steers him along a different track, one that may derail all his plans.
Can he convince the reluctant countess to set a course for her future that includes him?
Let me know what you think of my copywriting in the comments!
Image credits: getstencil.com, and the author