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As I work to edit my upcoming novel, I’m trying to start thinking of the description I’ll place in a query (if I decide to try that route again) or on the various electronic publishers sites (as I did with Disenchanted). 

To help give me a starting point, I’ve looked at some of the books currently available in my chosen genre (YA Fantasy).  I look mainly at “Best Sellers”, since I’m obviously interested in having people read my novel.  Why would I publish, otherwise.  There is a difference between the pedigree of a bestseller on Amazonas opposed to Samshwords, but I think both show value for what I’m interested in.

My reactions to the short descriptions cover the gamut, from interest to outright disgust.  In general, though, I am surprised that so many of these plot descriptions generate best sellers.  There are plots I’ve seen before, and descriptions of what sounds like terribly cliché plots.

What I find myself wondering is what makes us actually pick up a book and read the back cover?  What makes us open the cover to read the first page or two?  From there, it starts to be what we’ve always heard as writers and readers: compelling, believable characters, an interesting plot, well crafted prose.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  What makes you pick up a book and read it?

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