Greetings, Loyal Reader! Time to take another look at the original edition of Jason Cosmo. Run grab your copy from its treasured place in your safety deposit box, personal vault, or climate-controlled glass display case. I’ll wait.
Got it? Great! Previously, we considered the cover art by Richard Hescox. This time we’re going to focus on the words.
Who wrote Jason Cosmo?
The answer is right there on the cover-Dan McGirt. That’s me! I can attest that the cover does not lie…at least about that.
But there is another unknown, uncredited, unheralded writer associated with this book…Cover Text Guy! (Or possibly Gal. I have no idea. For now, we’ll assume Guy.)
Cover Text Guy (“CTG” to friends) has an important task. He must describe the book in a few brief lines and make it sound interesting and entertaining enough that you are compelled to buy it. Or at least to open it and take a look at page one. Sure, the picture is intriguing, but what is this book really about? Is it high fantasy, low fantasy, in-between fantasy? Is it epic or sword-and-sorcery or one of those precious little elf and fairy tales? Does it involve a desperate quest of any kind? Gods and demons? Magical pyrotechnics? Interminable accounts of sumptuous banquets and lovingly detailed descriptions of medieval fashion and social mores?
Or is it, gods forbid, a comedy? CTG’s job is to let you know.
CTG is basically creating a movie trailer without the benefit of motion picture technology. Your Author appreciates the difficult job that Cover Text Guy has. But it is also abundantly obvious to me that, at least when it came to my book, CTG was phoning it in. He didn’t read the book. At best, he skimmed through the first few chapters, skipped around to a few random pages after that and dashed off a couple of paragraphs between games of Minesweeper. Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe he was hungover. Maybe he hated his job. Who knows? The point is that he crammed an amazing number of errors into one little paragraph.
We’ll get to that. But let’s start with the front cover. Above the title we see this question:
Can a simple woodcutter, mistaken for the legendary Mighty Champion, save his world from the Evil Empire?
A fair enough statement of the premise of the book. Next, right under the title we see:
A Rollicking New Fantasy Novel by Dan McGirt
“Rollicking” is a nice word. I don’t use it often enough in conversation. Neither do you. Try to use rollicking in a sentence today and let me know how that goes. But I think it fits here. Good so far.
Now, on to the back cover.
This is where the fun begins. The book described sounds very interesting. It just isn’t quite the book I wrote.
Let’s make this an interactive exercise, Loyal Reader. If you’ve read Jason Cosmo cover to cover, take a look at the book description that our friend Cover Text Guy provided and see how many errors you can spot. I count at least seven. Can you find them all?
Answers next time!