Noah Padgett and the Dog-People: Categories, Blurb, Excerpts, and a Poll

NPDP ebook_image

Fingers crossed, official publication day for Noah Padgett and the Dog-People is set for Friday, 9th September, although I might have a soft launch a couple of days earlier to marry up the paperback and kindle editions on a single Amazon Product page. With my début novel, Desiccation, I had to email Amazon to ask them to do this, despite the fact that it’s meant to happen automatically. Such is life.

Before things go live, I’d appreciate a little feedback on my product description for Amazon and/or your votes in a 24-hour poll.

I’m happy with the four sentences below that are a replica of the blurb on the back cover of the paperback edition, but please let me know if there are any glaring errors that I’ve missed. I’m also happy with the Audience Guidelines, which will go at the foot of the blurb.

The area that I need help with, is deciding which of the two excerpts from the novel would work best as a prefix to the blurb. In other words, the excerpt is the first thing a prospective customer will see, so it needs to draw them into looking at the rest of the description, encourage them to read the sample pages in the “Look inside” feature on the product page, and then buy the novel.

I’ve decided to market this novel under the main category of Juvenile Fiction/Animals/Dogs and the secondary category of Juvenile Action and Adventure. The reason for not marketing it under Fantasy, is because there isn’t a Juvenile category for “General Fantasy”, only “Fantasy and Magic”. Noah may have many attributes, but magic isn’t among them. He has to survive by his wits, not the waving of a wand!


The Blurb

Noah Padgett’s new stepmother Kate treats him as the worst inconvenience in the world and wants him to disappear out of her life, along with the nuisance puppy that his father bought him for his birthday. Her wish comes true, although too fast for her to notice.

Mad entrepreneur Monsieur Percival Poodle is the self-appointed ruler of Zyx, a dimension where Canis sapiens is the predominant species.  Percival likes to collect alien specimens, and two of them have just arrived in his dimension from Earth. One is a primitive four-legged chocolate Labrador and the other a human boy.

Mercenary Lurcher Sergeant Salt works for the highest bidder and makes it his policy to extract maximum profit from jobs. This means selling his alien captives separately, however much distress it causes them.

Fate has already stolen Noah’s beloved mum from him, replacing her with a stepmother from hell. Now it seems that Fate has struck again and stolen Noah’s beloved puppy, leaving him to languish in a high security hospital for criminally insane Canis sapiens, with no apparent means of escape.

Audience Guidelines

Average Grade level 6
Readability fairly easy
Younger Middle Grade Advanced Readers (aged 8/9)
Upper Middle Grade/Lower Young Adult (aged 10-13)
Older teenagers and adults who enjoy reading children’s fiction


The Excerpts

A. The hall clock strikes midnight. Noah counts its chimes from one to twelve. He tells himself the ravenous clouds are just a preview to a fantasy game: that there’s no harm in checking things out.

He clicks the link.

B. With every beat of his heart, his yearning grows for home, or rather for random things to do with his city. The sound of seagulls, swishing waves, and a gale-force wind whipping flags about poles; the smell and taste of salt; slimy green rock-pools full of crabs; old shells; vinegary fish and chips wrapped in paper and eaten out in the fresh air; hot pavements; shimmering roads; cycling through traffic jams; the stink of petrol and diesel fumes locked in a heat haze: anything other than this sterile whiteness and deep silence, broken on and off by muffled dog barks.

Author: Sarah Potter Writes

Sarah is a British eccentric who writes offbeat fiction, haiku and tanka poetry. When stuck for words, she sketches or paints instead. She's into nature conservation, sustainability, gardening, dogs, natural health, and reading. Her sociability is something that happens in short bursts with long breathing spaces in between.

22 thoughts on “Noah Padgett and the Dog-People: Categories, Blurb, Excerpts, and a Poll”

  1. These are Amazon’s categories? Shame on them for being so behind the genre times! But I think you made the right choice. Not going to say which I voted for but I seem to be in the majority… Excited for the release!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I seem to be in the majority also Sarah, although I enjoyed both excerpts, but the shorter ‘A’ grabbed me quickly. Hope that helps! I hope the categories work well and wish you every success with your any-day-now book launch! So proud of you my dear friend 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve gone with ‘A’. I like ‘B’ but what’s important is what will first grab a reader in a few seconds. ‘B’ is for people who’ve already bought the book and started reading it, after they’ve got to know Noah. ‘A’ doesn’t require you to know Noah. With my first book, I found it very difficult getting inside the reader’s head, re marketing. This time, I hope to do better. I really appreciate your input, Sherri, as you have so much on your plate at the moment. Thank you, my dear friend 🙂 xxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome dearest Sarah, so glad I could help in some small way. Marketing is such a challenge, one I’ve yet to experience. You are a wonderful inspiration to your fellow published-to-be writer friends with all you’ve learnt and share so generously with us. Here’s to every success for you my dear friend 🙂 xxxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Inese, for your good wishes and for voting. Much appreciated 🙂 I agree with you about A, for the reasons you give. It has really helped having my blogging friends helping me to make a decision about this, as I’m terrible at prevaricating. It sometimes drives my husband up the wall!
      Today, I’ve been brave and clicked on “publish” for both versions, hoping that everything will be sorted by Friday. I’m feeling both elated and nervous this evening.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that’s what I’ve opted for. The book is already up on Amazon, although it’s not official launch day until Friday. But just as well I did a soft launch in advance, as Amazon hadn’t linked up the kindle and paperback versions. Finally, today, 48 hours on, it is all as I want it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I voted for better without an excerpt because I prefer a synopsis (and cover design) to be what entices me to buy and read. That being said, Option A was better as B was a little too long. A was intriguing and to the point. Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic 🙂 Hope you enjoy it. Is there any chance of you adding to your “currently reading” shelf on Goodreads, when you have a moment? I’d really appreciate it, as it encourages other to read it… hopefully they will, anyway. Thanks, ever so.


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