Huck, by Janet Elder, looked like a sure thing. All the crucial heart-tugging elements were there:
- A mother battling breast cancer
- A stalwart, caring father
- A precocious young boy
- An adorable puppy
- A wish denied, then granted, then lost, then found
- A small town that pulls together to help save the day
Danger, drama, determination, the 3Ds of fun, escapist reading, all with a guaranteed happy ending. What's not to like?
Almost everything. Instead of being charmed, I was bored. Instead of being diverted, I was annoyed.
At one point, I realized the local police blotter was probably more readable and entertaining. Nonetheless, I kept plugging away waiting for something (anything?) to pull me into the story, engage my heart as well as my mind and encourage me to keep reading. That never happened, although I finished the book out of sheer stubbornness.
Next I turned to Right Rose, Right Place, by Peter Schneider. I started flipping through the pages, admiring the photos. Soon, I was scanning the copy. In short order, I stopped, went back to the beginning, and read the book from cover to cover. Why?
This book hits all the marks:
- Great photos
- Strong, useful content
- Excellent plant-specific descriptions
- Practical, user-oriented organizational structure
- Handy rating system for informed decision-making
- Easy-to-read writing style
The copy is clear, informative and enjoyable. The practical, user-oriented structure allows you to scan, browse or read based on your mood and preferences. The author sprinkles personal, first-hand observations and experiences throughout, and they are helpful and often amusing.
What are the take-aways? Clunky writing can transform a heart-tugging true story from surefire to misfire. Factual content can be highly engaging, entertaining and persuasive in a skilled writer’s hands.
Right Rose is so well done, I'm buying it. With this book in hand, I'll also have the information I need to buy the best easy-care roses for my yard ... and the right soil supplements, fertilizers, gadgets and tools. One book. Multiple sales.
Great photos attract potential buyers. Strong writing and quality content sell them ... again, and again, and again.
Quality Content Includes Photos
Can a Picture be Worth 8 Million Words? (coming Dec 15)