Your First Look: A Scambait Back Cover Teaser!

Written by Ryan R. Campbell

Ryan R. Campbell is an International Book Awards finalist, the founder of the Writescast Network, and the co-founder of Kill Your Darlings Candle Company.

Posted on February 8, 2022

Filed under Scambait

Winter rolls on (or, perhaps better said, drags on), and the work to publish Scambait is progressing nicely! Since we last caught up, I’ve contracted with a cover artist to design the cover for Scambait, have registered the title’s ISBNs, and have started working on the book’s interior formatting.

But there’s another matter I’ve started working on as of late, and to finish it, I need your help.

Back Cover Copy

You’ve been there: perusing your local bookstore or library, judging books by their covers (I won’t tell anyone) and turning them over to see what the story’s all about. And that back cover copy? It can make all the difference in whether the book in question comes home with you (pretty cover or otherwise)!

So, yeah, the back cover teaser is a big deal, which is where you come in.

Will you read the two versions below and tell me which you prefer in the comments?

Version One

Nigerian princes. Car warranty salesmen. Cryptocurrency hustlers. 

Corporate do-little Eric Amundsen has seen his fair share—not that he’s fallen for their traps. Who does he look like, his grandma? Ha!

Okay, maybe he shouldn’t laugh. His grandma did squander the family fortune to two-bit hucksters from “Microsoft Tech Support,” which is why Eric now spends his workdays stringing scammers along; the more time he spends pretending to be a potential victim, the fewer opportunities they have to swindle the unsuspecting.

But when Eric’s supposedly long-deceased father contacts him through his spam folder, Eric—whose workday mantra isn’t exactly “solutions-oriented”—has serious problems to solve.

Distracted by the slew of emails from the person who claims to be his father, Eric’s scambaiting shenanigans become increasingly careless, jeopardizing his personal life and his livelihood. As his problems pile up, Eric must choose: trust a stranger on the internet or embrace utter destitution?

An irreverent exploration of self-image and found family, Scambait is the latest full-length novel from International Book Awards finalist Ryan R. Campbell.

Version Two

Nigerian princes, car warranty salesmen, cryptocurrency hustlers—corporate do-little Eric Amundsen has seen his fair share, and there hasn’t been a one he’s failed to keep from swindling the unsuspecting.

But when Eric’s supposedly long-deceased father contacts him through his spam folder, Eric—whose workday mantra isn’t exactly “solutions-oriented”—has serious problems to solve.

Distracted by the slew of emails from the person who claims to be his father, Eric’s scambaiting shenanigans become increasingly careless, jeopardizing his personal life and his livelihood. As his problems pile up, Eric must choose: trust a stranger on the internet or embrace utter destitution?

An irreverent exploration of self-image and found family, Scambait is the latest full-length novel from International Book Awards finalist Ryan R. Campbell.

Which Version Do You Prefer?

They both have their pros and cons, and I’d love for you to let me know which would have you more likely to read the book. So leave a comment below. Your feedback makes a difference!

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"Reminiscent of Hemingway and De Lillo. I highly recommend this collection."
-Award-Winning Author Ivy Ngeow

19 Comments

  1. Rebecca Zornow

    I like the second version! It’s a little shorter

    Reply
    • Rebecca Zornow

      And we get the info about his dad sooner–the real hook! Good luck deciding.

      Reply
      • Ryan R. Campbell

        Thanks for your feedback, Rebecca! Great points. 🙂

    • Bruce Landay

      I liked version 2 better. The first version paints a protagonist I don’t care about and don’t want to spend time with. The second version paints him in a slightly better light. I wouldn’t put it back on the shelf instantly But would crack the cover to check the first page

      Reply
      • Ryan R. Campbell

        Thanks, Bruce. The likeability of the protagonist has been a polarizing topic amongst beta readers, with some really loving him and others… not so much! Most come around on him, though.

        Where the back cover copy is concerned, I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

  2. Sheila C

    I prefer version 2

    Reply
    • Ryan R. Campbell

      Thanks for letting me know, Sheila!

      Reply
  3. Carrie

    I like them both – as you said – pros and cons to each (and sounds like a super fun read!); however, I get a more clear sense of Eric’s “mission” in version one. Maybe change the “laugh” about grandma into a short statement about how he is driven by what happened to his grandma as a catalyst for his current preoccupation with tricking the scammers? Cheers!

    Reply
    • Ryan R. Campbell

      Good points, Carrie! Thanks for your feedback. I’ll see what I can do to rework that section of version one if that’s the one I end up going with!

      Reply
  4. Michelle Rascon

    Version One. The part about his grandma makes the scambaiting more personal and relatable. I agree about the removing the laugh part: Corporate do-little Eric Amundsen has seen his fair share ever since his grandma squandered the family fortune to two-bit hucksters from “Microsoft Tech Support.”

    Reply
    • Ryan R. Campbell

      Thanks, Michelle! I appreciate the specific suggest, too. Very helpful!

      Reply
  5. Alex Aulisi

    Version 2

    Reply
    • Ryan R. Campbell

      Thanks, Alex! Was there any reason in particular this one stood out to you over version one?

      Reply
  6. thewriteedge

    Hi, Ryan! Can’t wait to read the book. :> I had a couple of questions about the blurb, though, and they might seem non-essential, but for some reason my brain keeps tripping on them for both versions.

    What does Eric do in his job? I know the blurb introduces him as a “corporate do-little,” but that doesn’t tell me much. The fact that he gets distracted enough from his work to “jeopardize his personal life and his livelihood” confuses me a little. The way I read “corporate do-little” makes me think he’s just a cog in a machine, that what he does isn’t really of consequence. What really leads me to think this is the part in the first version about his grandmother. It seems like he has time in the day to try to get revenge on her behalf, but why does that matter to him personally? How is avenging her tied to the stakes for him in the story? Even if he loses his job, he’ll lose his paycheck, yeah, but for some reason that isn’t landing as a major problem.

    Also, the blurb says his father is dead; at least, that’s what we’re supposed to assume. What does that mean to Eric? How is that tied to the stakes of the plot and to his personal stakes? What does it mean to him if he can’t find out whether the person on the other end is his dad? What will change if it is, in fact, his father?

    I know this may not be something you want to reveal outright in the blurb, but I don’t get the sense of importance that his father (or even his grandmother) has and why that would matter to him to the point where he’s willing to risk his entire well-being just to find out if the scammer is a jerk or his father (maybe both?).

    Sorry if this is a bit much! I really am looking forward to reading this and seeing what kind of trouble Eric gets into. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this process!

    Reply
    • Ryan R. Campbell

      Hi, Ekta! Thanks for all of these questions. You’ve definitely given me a lot to consider, but it sounds like what it all comes down to is demonstrating a little more connectivity and personal stakes without giving too much away, like you say. I think with a few adjectives in the right place and some small tweaks, I can likely give a little more insight and perspective into what makes Eric tick (or at least why he’s doing the things he’s doing in the blurb). Thanks again!

      Reply
  7. Staci Fritz

    I like version 2 better. It seems more streamlined, and I get a clearer sense of the book (I think!) right off the bat. Maybe there’s more urgency to it, with the second sentence getting right to the meat of “Is his dead father contacting him? And what if he is? Or isn’t?” It just feels a little more compelling — and that’s a really interesting premise. I’m hooked!

    Reply
    • Ryan R. Campbell

      Happy to know you’re hooked! Thanks for the insight, Staci. I definitely appreciate it!

      Reply
  8. Madolyn Rogers

    For a back blurb, I like version 2 – I thinker shorter blurbs are easier to follow and more compelling. (I’ve read a lot of long ones that just left me confused!) That said, version 1 is engaging too, with a lot of humor, and could be useful for marketing in other spots where a longer blurb works better (maybe on a blog or something?). Hope that’s helpful!

    Reply
    • Ryan R. Campbell

      Thanks, Madolyn! I ended up using version two as a baseline and then sprinkling in the details about Eric’s grandma as motivation for why he does what he does. Hopefully that does the trick!

      Reply

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