17 January 2014

Would you read this book?*

I'm working on the text for the back cover of my book, but I'm not sure if I'm being clear or if the text will attract readers.

Can you give me your opinion for changes or improvements?

Version 1:
Water scarcity leads to water shortages as excess heat leads to burns. The warning is clear to people who pay attention; the damage is regrettable to those who do not. Water scarcity is increasing with population, affluence and concern for the environment, and damaging shortages will result if we do not respond to those signals.

Living with Water Scarcity will help you understand the causes and costs of water scarcity at the same time as it suggests solutions suitable for your community's priorities and conditions. We must learn to live with scarcity, just as we've learned to live with each other. First, we set goals for social water uses and act to meet those goals. Second, we make rules for private water uses that are fair and objective. Third, we work together to balance those systems under changing conditions. Too little water, like too much heat, can be deadly, but neither shortages nor burns are inevitable. We can manage water as we manage heat -- as an essential, fun, and useful part of our lives.
Version 2:
Water scarcity is increasing with population, affluence and concern for the environment, and damaging shortages will result if we do not respond to those signals. Living with Water Scarcity will help you understand the causes and costs of water scarcity at the same time as it suggests solutions suitable to your community's conditions and priorities. We can live with scarcity as we live with each other -- by setting goals for social water uses, implementing rules to reconcile private water uses, and adjusting those goals and rules as conditions change. Too little water can be deadly, but shortages are not inevitable. We can manage water as an essential, fun, and useful part of our lives.
My bio:
David Zetland has worked on water issues for ten years as a consultant, speaker, teacher, and blogger at aguanomics.com. Since earning his PhD from UC Davis in 2008, he has lived in Washington DC, Berkeley, Amsterdam and Vancouver. He hopes that people implement these ideas so he can get back to baking bread.

* Many people decide to read a book based on its back cover.

8 comments:

  1. Both versions are good, but I prefer the second one. There are some implicit assumptions in the first one (knowledge and damage are contrasted; something that is not common) that isn't there in the second.

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  2. I'd read it with any of the coverages but if I have to choose I rather the first more elaborated one

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  3. I believe that version 1 makes a better sales pitch, even though it is longer.

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  4. "Water scarcity is increasing with population, affluence and concern for the environment..."

    It sounds very strange and wrong to say that concern for the environment is increasing water scarcity.

    "He hopes that people implement these ideas so he can get back to baking bread."

    Personally, I think that’s way too flippant for a book about serious, important issues.

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  5. Hi David,

    Based ONLY on the cover and not what I know of your blog and other books I'd probably NEVER read Version 2 - the start of it like that would lead a lazy me into thinking it's another poorly argued, polemical, pseudo-scientific works. That's the lazy me talking of course. In reality I'd read the book either way.

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  6. I second JR's comment about water scarcity increasing with "concern for the environment".

    My first thought was that #2 was more intriguing, but after reading both of them a second time. They are both good and I suspect that I would consider reading either of them.

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  7. - "Water scarcity is increasing with [...] concern for the environment"?
    - "respond to those signals": what signals? You have not mentioned any.
    - "your community's" addresses an American/USA market. We have no 'communities' or 'your community's' thinking. Hardly.
    Version 2 is better, but I like the white space before "Living with Water Scarcity" in version 1.
    In version 1 I stop reading after the first sentence to think again about what I just read, what it means and whether it makes sense.

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