This is a book. It is written by Barry Lyga.[i]
Yes, we know it’s a very long book. We tried to get him to cut it, but he wouldn’t. So there was nothing we could do about it. We understand if the length turns you off. A long book like this one represents a commitment, and if it isn’t good, you’ll feel like you’ve wasted your time and your money.
Still, we published it because we think it’s a good book.[ii] Could it be shorter? Maybe. That’s a very difficult call. Each person will have his or her own opinion. Some will read it and think, “It could have been shorter.” Others will think, “It was just right.” And maybe some people will wish it was longer. Isn’t that the highest compliment you can pay a book, to wish it would never end?
Usually, this text here (it’s called “flap copy”) is sexy marketing-talk, designed to get you to buy the book. Did you know that most people look at the cover, then the back cover, then the flap copy, and only then do they bother even to flip to a page in the book? So you probably haven’t even read any part of the book yet, but you might decide to buy or not buy it anyway. Without having read a word of it. So, we’ll just say this: This book is a love story. We hope you’ll give it a shot.
[i] The stuff you read on the back of a book is almost always written and edited by publishing professionals. In keeping with the spirit of this book, however, we allowed Barry Lyga to write the cover copy—which he incorrectly refers to as “flap copy”—himself. Moreover, we didn’t edit what you’re reading. Trust us; the copy would be a lot shorter if we did. In addition, we would have corrected mistakes of usage (flap copy appears on a flap, as you might have guessed) and eliminated odd stylistic choices, such as putting a term like “flap copy” in quotes.
[ii] It’s important to remember that Barry is conning you right now, referring to himself in the third person as if he is the publisher. We don’t begrudge him for it. Every talented author is also a brilliant con artist. We do, however, begrudge his laziness. Instead of putting his talent to use, he wastes space with “…we think it’s a good book.” Come on. What does that tell the reader? It’s a missed opportunity. We would have suggested something like: “…we think it is a book about books, an all-inclusive deep dive into the music and madness of their creation; by laying bare every wrong turn, awkward phrase, and discarded storyline, Barry Lyga has unwittingly written a love letter to writing itself.” But we would have asked him to make it shorter.