Maybe a bit long, but this is my first stab at the Pitch Paragraph + Marketing. I would enjoy any feedback or discussion.
Gerry, again, great place to start in terms of getting all the good stuff packed in this paragraph. Some things to keep in mind: when thinking about your target audience, think about describing the center of the bull’s eye, rather than suggesting the broader appeal. Even though the latter may be true, the more you can clearly identify the narrower group, the more likely you will come across as a writer who really knows who his audience is. So, for example the first sentence could be shortened to something like: ‘Serrano Street Diversion’ is a political thriller that goes deep into the the law enforcement struggle of the SFPD in the [time period? early 1970s?].
I think you will see there are some redundancies that will be easy to trim. (No need to repeat what kind of book it is, or say, “In the book…”.)
Try to stick to the top-level themes, without getting too bogged down with explanatory details. For example, the third sentence could be trimmed so:
With zero political and only trace command level support, Greg commands the quasi-legal Operation Undertow to counter the urban guerrilla war being waged against its department.
Phrases like, “his city’s fecklessness” are too general or vague to suggest any real action or scenes or specific kind of conflict. If you can be specific: name a key character or specific threat/problem/crime. Think details, and think lean. Combine and collapse information where possible. For example in the sentence with Mari and Hugo, you might choose one or two words to describe how they are threatening the SFPD (say, “deadly attacks” or something similar). See if you can try to get the word count closer to 150-175.
Nice pick for comparative titles. One way to step it up might be to suggest an aspect about those books that is most like yours. For example, “Readers who like the grittiness of Wambaugh’s characters…” or “Like Wambaugh’s insider look into the LA police procedurals, Serrano Street goes behind the thin blue line of the SFPD”… to give you a little bit more specific connectivity.
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