Category Archives: Writing Advice

Judging a book by its cover: Do you do this?

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

But one does when it comes to actual books. We will pick the ones that are pleasing to us and then check out the blurb.

How much time do you put into creating a cover? It can be pricey if you are unable to design your graphics. Or to find an artist who will work with you and not break the bank.

Yes, there are sites where you can buy prefab covers. There is nothing wrong with those if you are starting your career. Maybe a prefab cover will be just the right fit for your book. I have seen some amazing ones that can fit into a variety of budgets.

But coming up with the right cover can determine if your book is purchased and read. It is a decision that one should not take lightly.

I am the same way when I am checking out books. Once it is in my hand, I soon learn the blurb does not always interest me. The point being is it has a shot of being purchased.

Paying attention to your cover is just as important as the work between the pages. Spend some time on this part. After all the work one puts into a book, it would be a shame if it remains on the shelf due to a cover that has no pop.

Count the big and small wows with your brand: Your book has earned it

 

Count the little things when it comes to your brand. For a lot of little things can add up to a whole lot of WOOHOO!

I think me staying home in quarantine has done wonders for my brand even though I have yet to start writing. During the time I have stayed home volume one of my Jasper, Amazon parrot series, “Jasper, Amazon Parrot: A Raiforest Adventure”,  had placed in the top 100 for Kindle in the UK in two categories. This same book was translated into Spanish.

I was flying pretty high than my head blew up. It placed in the top 100 for Kindle in the US for one category and was only three off from placing in two categories.

What the heck? These are events that happen to the high rising authors that everyone knows. The authors who have movies made out of their books.

Yet, Jasper and I was up there. But things don’t last as it was a short ride in the US. The ride in the UK was a tad longer.

This is just the more reason to take screen shots of any thing that is positive for your brand. I have a folder of screen shops of the accomplishments that has happened.

You got to enjoy the little moments of joy when it comes to your job regardless if they are one big wow to a bunch of little wows.

How this all happened I have no clue. But it has gotten me even more excited for my series, my brand and my writings. People out there are buying my books, leaving great reviews and are appreciating what I do. That deserves in its own right for me to pause, breath deeply and think, “Damn girl. You got something here.”

Take a few minutes and ponder. And if by chance it is something online take a screen shot or photo of it. You earned it. Your brand earned it. At least I think so.

Edit:

Since I wrote this I have written three days in a row on volume four to my Jasper, Amazon parrot series. I have added 3500 words.

What is your voice as a writer?

As writers do you know what your voice is?

According to Margaret Maron, creator of Judge Deborah Knott: Voice is the most important ingredient in a successful book. The plot may be clever, but if the voice doesn’t engage us, how can we care?

According to John Morgan Wilson who writes the Benjamin Justice mystery series: There is difference between voice and style though it is difficult to get at. To me voice is closer to attitude and the emotional quality of the prose, reflecting the personality of the author.

According to Chris Roerden: The first step in developing your voice is not to add something but to identify the ineffective writing habit and techniques you’ve picked up over the years and get rid of them.

My Character Development instructor said he knew my voice and I did as well. Funny I thought to myself for my last instructor told me the same thing. This is a trend for people out of my writing groups concur with these teachers. How come everyone knows what my voice is but me? I try hard not to think on this and just write. Apparently I am accomplishing the voice subconsciously.

I have read numerous articles on this topic and when it seems the definition makes sense then a new article comes across my desk and destroys it, enter Jason Pinter , former St. Martin’s Press editor states: Voice is the conversational quality of your writing, the way you “talk” to your reader. It’s as important in writing as it is in conversing aloud with someone or speaking to a group. If your voice isn’t confident, assured, authoritative, natural, and appropriate for your characters and story, the writing will feel stilted, forced, ragged, weak, awkward. Just as speaking aloud is ineffective if one is halting, hesitant, lacking in confidence, and so on .

This one makes sense to me since for now I can’t verbally express my definition of the voice. One good way is to read your story aloud. It may sound silly but it is a good way to hear one’s errors, pace and flow. Perhaps a writer will discover their voice. Will I ever be able to describe this important ingredient to others, I do not know. Hopefully though my voice is being written loud and clear in my writings.