My criteria for the description is that I want it to be:
· About a hundred words. Much less, and it's not enough. More is overkill unless it's adding reader quotes, or a tag line.
· Snappy - it's got to be enough to make you open the cover, and read a sample. If it doesn't do that, it's failed.
· It has to set the scene. I need to introduce my main character, state what the status quo is, and how it is about to change (i.e. what the story is about).
· Then it needs to give a hint about where the story is going to whet the appetite. At the same time it shouldn't give away too much (I want you to read the book!).
· It needs to use strong adjectives - now isn't the time to be a bit shy.
So my first attempt is thus:
A career man for most of his working life, Edwin Murphy put more into his work than his family. Everything changes for Edwin when his wife Eleanor files for divorce. On the brink of losing his home, his job and his family, Edwin connives an intricate plan to eliminate his wife and regain his former lifestyle.
The police are baffled when bodies begin to appear all over London, with no apparent connection between them. Inspector Morton must delve deep into a web of deceit to uncover the truth in a city of murder in Dead on Demand.
Main character? Tick x 2.
Genre clear? I think so. Obviously a crime story.
Word count? 97 - so it fills about the right amount of space on the page.Does it give the status quo? Yes
Does it show how the status quo is changing? Yes
Does it hint at where it's going? Yes
Does it give away the plot? No. Not sure I've got enough here - It's too vague. Should I be including enough to tell you how Edwin's plan works? How much do you, as a reader want to know?
Would this sort of description make you try a sample?