Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's All in the Title

The title of your novel is more important than you realize. Not only do readers judge a book by its cover (oh yes they do!) they judge a book by its title.

In a few short words you need to convey a sense of what the story's main ingredients are, the curiosity that will draw in the reader as well as the connection with an emotion, memory or sense that will make the reader feel something and that feeling will intrigue them enough to take your book off the shelf and purchase it.

We've all seen the books that have horrible titles and if we hadn't read the blurb we never would have realized how good it was, or maybe even what it was about. There are many books that never hit the bestseller list, not because they weren't well written, but because their readership couldn't find them, didn't even know they existed.

So keep it in mind the next time you give your book a title that you love, maybe you should look a little harder in the direction that will help you find your market, your target audience. If you write romance, make sure your title gives a romantic feel, horror, same thing. Give your book the best chance you can by titling it in such a way that the readers can find it easy, remembering that your title is your first step in marketing your book to the world.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Let there be re-vamping!

This is (hopefully) the last change to my blog for a while. As you can see, there are pages you can click on, check out all about me, my books (yes there are books there as well as a trailer) and a page for announcements. It took me a couple of days, but I'm really pleased with the outcome. What do you think of it?

Why all the new stuff? Well, if you notice on the book page, I am releasing a trilogy, the first book, Sundered, being available September 1/11. This is so exciting and I wanted for my friends, family and readers to have an easier time navigating around my sites.

And yes my agent does know that I'm self publishing, in fact when I suggested it to her she thought it was a good idea. With the way that the industry is changing, self publishing is no longer the death knell if you are good at not only the writing, but marketing yourself. It is truly becoming the resume from which the publishers decide if you are any good or not.

Over the next 6 weeks while I ramp up for the release, I'll be trying to keep up on everything, including my blog, my day job, revisions, book trailers, websites etc. Just a few things to keep me busy. ;p

*For those of you interested in the iPad contest, this little announcement should give you a hint as to how you might win the iPad. But I'm not giving you all the details yet!*

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The ugly green eyed monster rears its head . . . again . . .

*This is a cranky rant so please pass over it if you aren't up to joining in*

Okay, this hasn't happened to me in a while and perhaps that is exactly why I feel the need to write about it. I just saw the cover and release date for a book, what looks like a really good book and the green eyed monster jumped up inside of me and started to stomp around.

I met the author at a conference before she was published, about a year after she had her contract with her publishing house. We had a great visit, she is a very lovely gal and if she's reading this, I am completely happy for her. No, really, I am!

Yet still there is that part of me that wants to roll around on the floor, kicking my heels and shaking my fists at the heavens. I'm no newcomer to the industry (going on 8 years writing with purpose, more than that writing for the hell of it), I've been to my share of conferences, met lots of people, pitched till I was blue in the face. Hell, I even have an agent. But that doesn't change the fact that I am still in the search for a contract, still in the same spot that most other writers are and as much as I am happy for those who "make it" it can also be intensely frustrating.

There is no magic wand, despite the urban fantasy theme, there is no set of rules that if you follow them step by step you are guaranteed a spot on the bestseller list. Perhaps for me that is the core of this green eyed monster. I am by nature, a person who likes to figure things out and as hard as I try, there just is no figuring out what will sell and what won't. One day vampires are in, the next day they're staked out in the sun to shrivel up.

Maybe because I have an agent I'm not supposed to say these sorts of things. But really, it doesn't matter what part of the journey you are in, you can end up feeling as rotten as you once did on step one, even though now you are on step ten or eleven (just guessing). I think that's important to remember, especially for me. The journey is what this whole writing business is about. The destination will come, one day, but focusing on the journey on the rough days is how to get through.

Okay, I think I'm done now and I can go back to my writing, believing that one day, me too, will be on the bookshelves. But please, if you feel the need to rant, go right ahead, the comment box is open.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Poll : Do you charge .99 or 2.99 for your E-book?

This is a quick post, but I think, an important poll. If you choose to publish on Amazon through Kindle publishing, you have two choices. You can go with the 35% royalty program or the 70% royalty program. Initially, it seems obvious which way we would all go, I mean, who would take 35% if you could have double that? Right?

But a little more digging shows up this information. The 70% category is available only if you charge $2.99 - $9.99 and the 35% category is .99 to $200.

I'll break this down a little more because the numbers are interesting. In order to make $1000 on the 35% program you need to sell 2886 books. To make $1000 with the 70% program, you need to sell 477. Selling almost 3000 books can be a daunting number to anyone, especially a new author. IMHO.

So my question is, do you go for the volume and hope that a lot of people try out your .99 book or do you put your book up in price and hope for half the volume but more money?

I'm very curious to see what you all think as I am on the fence on this particular subject and would love to see arguments for both.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Narcissistic Writers Anonymous

Yup, I said it. Narcissistic Writers Anonymous (NWA) ain't so secret now. You say to yourself, but I'm not narcissistic, I'm a writer, I'm humble and nervous and maybe even downright shy.

But I think I can prove to you that yes, indeed you have some narcissism floating around in you, particularly when it comes to your writing. Take a look at these scenarios and see if they are familiar.

1. When someone asks you about your writing you launch into a detailed description of the characters, the world you've built, how you came up with the idea, current rejection of your work and pretty much go on, and on, and on, monopolizing the conversation.

2. You secretly think that you can write better than many of the best sellers out there, I mean jeez, the crap that gets published is unbelievable, right?

3. When others want to talk about their job/passion, you quickly become bored and find yourself steering the conversation back to your writing.

4. You try not to judge your writer friends work/manuscripts but constantly feel like you could "write it better".

If any one of these seem familiar, you, my dear, are in NWA.

So, what to do about it? Well, first off, be conscious that others might like to talk about their lives and remember, that's where a lot of our fodder and ideas can come from. Everyone likes to talk about themselves, so encourage it in your friends and aquamntinces and when asked, of course discuss your writing. But try not to take over the conversation.

You probably CAN write better than many bestsellers out there, but don't shout it from the roof top! It makes you (and by association, the rest of us writers) look like a bit of an ass. Not a good idea, not to mention that telling an agent/editor that you can write better than JK Rowling is something of a turn off in a business relationship. Who wants to work with a snob?

Don't worry about your writer friends. Work on you and your skills, develop your talent and IF they ask for your opinion, give it, but gently.

We all love to write, we are passionate about it and want to share it with the world, but how we do that can be the difference between finding support and a readership and finding ourselves with zero sales and no friends.