Where am I in the writing process?
1) Picking cover art. Jennifer and I sat down yesterday evening and looked at cover concepts for the new book. We hope to have 3-4 different cover ideas for you all to vote on in the next couple weeks.
2) Finishing rough draft. I have about 30% more to write before the rough draft on the book is complete. Then, I will spend several weeks proof reading and editing before the final product is ready to be released. This process takes a long time for me since I constantly go back and rewrite parts of the book while I am editing.
3) Working on distribution strategy. I will also spend some time trying to figure out how to get the word out to as many people as possible on my shoestring budget. I will be reaching out for assistance and ideas on that in the near future as well.
That's all for now,
Who are you writing that content for?
Most authors have a particular niche or style that they work in, and a reputation that proceeds their name. Stephen King? Anne Rice? John Grisham?
See, you probably figured it out already. Each of those three are known for a specific niche that their name resonates within. They also have a reputation for producing a certain writing style that you may or may not like. But, did you know that most writers have multiple voices inside their head that want to come out and play?
No, this is not the time for a multiple personalities, you are the father, Maury Povich show joke, but if you were thinking about one like I was right then, then you understand the quandry that many writers face. The content of the writing forces you to take on a certain style, even if you want to do it differently. If you're writing about money or finance for example, then you can't write a funny book about money. Now sure, you could have some funny stories to make a point about something, but the overall tone has to be quite serious and commanding or no one will take you seriously.
But what if you desire to write about more things than just your known niche? How do you go about setting up that different voice and letting it be heard?
Many authors use a pseudonym, or a fake name, in order to publish work outside their normal go to zones. I don't think that makes a lot of sense in today's world anymore, but it does still happen.
In my opinion, the better option is to write a disclaimer at the beginning of your book, letting the reader know what kind of content is about to follow. If you are suddenly going to start cussing, killing, raping, or murdering characters in a book, you might want to tell people what they are getting into first. This is especially true if you have a reputation for being family friendly or producing children's content.
Take the new book I am working on for example. I have a reputation for writing advice and finance books. Those are very straight-laced, no nonsense subjects. I am now working on a fictional piece that is wickedly different that anything else I have ever produced before. In order to prepare the reader for what is about to come, I have attached this warning on the first pages of the new book.
This book is intended for a mature audience.
The following story contains scenes of explicitly detailed sex, violence, crude and inappropriate language, and rape against underage children.
If you are sensitive to the subject matter contained within, or wish not to read such material, then please stop reading now.
Now my reader has been given a choice. They can stop reading and get a refund from Amazon, or they can proceed knowing that they are going to read about some nasty stuff that happens in a story based on real life. I am not risking my reputation by just letting them get into some gruesome story that they didn't know was coming.
Until next time,
So you started to write a book, huh?
Sure, it sounded like an amazing idea at first. You probably even had good intentions to get out of bed every morning and work on it too. We've all been there.
Before I wrote my first book, Mattress Buying 101, I had big doubts about writing anything. One, I had never written anything for publication before, and two, how did I know it was any good? Luckily for me, at the time, no one else had really conquered the mattress niche on Amazon, and so there were people actively looking for my advice and opinions. That book is still purchased all the time and continues to receive positive feedback.
Someday I will get into the longer story of how I know that a book is coming together well, but for now, I want to talk about how to let a project go. When do you make the decision to stop writing that story and throw that piece of $h!t out with the trash?
When I am working on a project, there are three key things that happen while I am working on it that tell me to keep going. They are:
Now most authors, myself included, have some sort of written plan before they start writing a book. They usually have a general layout of the plot, and some notes and details on certain things that are going to happen during the story. I know I do. I take an idea and run with it on paper before I ever start writing a sentence. The key to writing like this first is that everything you are mapping out has to fall into place before you start wasting time on a book that goes nowhere. The characters have to evolve. The writing style has to be comfortable for you and easy to write. The hero or heroine has to find an inner struggle and come back from it changed in some way. Whatever the story that you are writing, IT MUST GO SOMEWHERE AND COME BACK IN ONE PIECE. If it starts to fall apart, rather than falling into place, then it's time to let the book or idea go.
Stephen King once spoke at a new book launch for one of his books. Someone in the audience asked him where he got his ideas from. His answer? "The good ideas stay around forever". He's right! Don't keep a journal of ideas or notes about things you want to write someday. Sit down and start mapping it out. If the idea is good enough, it will start to work out on paper first in your outline, then in chapters of the book as you begin to work on it. Another thing to remember is that if your passion begins to fade while writing the story, then your readers will probably not like the results of your writing either. A good book idea will keep the fire lit inside you at all times. It will get you out of bed to write. You will find time and energy to work on your project. In other words, the passion never leaves.
If you are ever doubting your material, go back and start to read some of your work for yourself. Take the writing hat off for a couple minutes and become the reader that you want to sell the story to. If you find yourself going through the pages without pausing or thinking, then your readers will most likely do the same thing when they are reading your book as well. Don't over analyze your writing. Just enjoy the story. If you can't focus, or you begin to pick the story apart, then no one else is going to enjoy it either. Time to let that baby go!
Hopefully, I have let you inside this mind of mine (See what I did there?) a little bit and have helped you along on your journey towards publishing a book. Just remember, the world is always waiting on the next great idea. Are you going to write it?