Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Things I Learned the Past Year~Covers, Edits and More

Now that we are well into January and a new year, time to look back and reflect on what I learned the past year in my writing world.

First and foremost, I learned to always go with my gut and listen to that annoying inner voice. During the edit for one of my books, the editor suggested I cut back on the secondary characters back-stories or cut the characters out all together. It wasn't a demand, merely a suggestion. I could have said no. My inner voice said to say no.

But I didn't. I cut out 3500 words and now regret it. A recent book review on the book claimed they wished they knew more about the secondary characters, so live and learn. Turns out both me and the editor were correct. Either take out the secondary characters all together or go all in. You can't go half-assed.  If you are going to have secondary characters, give then stories, purpose, and even their own POV if the narrative calls for it. Even if its only a novella, flesh them out. Lesson learned.

Second, speak up if you don't like cover art. There are a couple I didn't care for this year, and I wish now I had spoken up instead of letting it slide. The cover is the first thing readers see when purchasing an e-book. Big selling point. If it doesn't properly reflect your story or the time period, (or even the season) say so! I will in future.

Another I learned, always check Amazon and third party sites to see just what categories your book is being slotted into. Is your historical a Victorian but the publisher put it in Regency? Let them know you want it changed!
Also, I learned Amazon slots books into categories according to search and key words. Really, sometimes their algorithms suck. For example: My publisher put in Scotland Yard as a key word when uploading the book, and Amazon slotted my Victorian Suspense into 'Scottish'. *rolls eyes*

I also learned buying a ad on a third party site can be a total bust. I had some extra $$ laying about so I bought an ad in a newsletter. Did it generate any interest or sales in that title? Nope. Lesson learned. Never again.

So what did I learn this year? To not shrug off things as if I don't care. I do care about my books and if they are properly represented. I will be more proactive in future~

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