I was always a fan of Pseud's Corner in Private Eye. These days, the most purple prose I receive is often in the form of press releases for books being offered for review. I will provide an irregular series of these, both for your entertainment and, I hope, as pointers of what not to do with the press releases for your own books.
Note that the books themselves could be brilliant... or not. But a poor press release is unlikely to generate many reviews. Names will be omitted to protect the innocent and guilty alike.
I suspect the problems are fairly self-evident, but just in case here's a few key pointers to look out for:
- Do critics really ask 'When is film coming?' [sic]
- Do readers want to be embroiled? Or just parboiled?
- So most writers don't really try with their first book?
- I can't see anything in the release that suggests this book 'redefines the YA/Adult crossover fantasy genre'.
- Fierce ability? Really?
- It has all the same old concepts, but doesn't succumb to... the same old concepts. Good trick.
- Is it a good thing it doesn't have a clear audience?
- Do readers want a book to be a hoot?
- It repeatedly tells us the book is 'unique in the market' but does not give any evidence of what makes it unique, instead reeling out the 'same old concepts.'
- And doesn't that last line fill us with joy?
[TITLE]: Blistering New YA/Adult Crossover Novel Redefines Fantasy Genre. Critics Ask: “When is Film Coming”?
X’s ‘[Title]' embroils readers in a land where danger, magic, quirky creatures and chillingly-vivid characters run amok. There’s nothing else like it on the market, with critics tipping the adventure as the perfect candidate for the big screen. In fact, one critic recently wrote, “Enter through the portal and be swept up in a whirlwind of a vividly described new world. X writes like a dream”.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
United Kingdom – While most authors use their first release to do nothing but simply test the literary waters, X is rapidly proving that a debut novel also presents an opportunity to rival the bestsellers. In fact, X ‘[Title]’ is being praised by critics for totally redefining the YA/Adult crossover fantasy genre.
It all comes down to the author’s fierce ability to defy convention and her refusal to succumb to the ‘same old’ concepts. Yes, her novel contains all of the unique, intricate creatures and characters fantasy fans crave, but with a narrative unlike anything else on the market.
“This novel was primarily written for both the young adult audience and adults, as the story’s culture and values transcend any single age group to make it a hoot for readers in any stage of their life,” explains X. “It’s all about retaining the hallmarks of the fantasy genre, while also breaking new ground to produce something that sits as totally unique in the market. It was no easy job, but I’m delighted with the final product.”
Continuing, “And remember, this is just the very start of the saga. The next book is currently on my writing desk and should be released later this year.”