J to tha M: Trailers

The Book Kind of Trailers

medium_1369495998J:  I’m working on a book trailer. Let’s talk what we like, if they’re helpful, etc.

M:  Sure. you know a lot about them

J:  I don’t know if I know a lot about them

but I’ve seen quite a few

and I know what I do and don’t like about them

It’s like a dynamic way to read the book blurb

as the creator, you can set a tone for the book that the blurb might not completely convey

M:  I haven’t seen very many

J:  What did you like or dislike about the ones you saw?

M:  I get such vivid mental images from reading – the characters, the settings

and I’ve found trailers tend to change my perceptions

and honestly, I like what’s in my head better

I like the trailers that are more conceptual, ones that give feelings rather than images, because that’s what reading is about for me

J:  I’ve done some experimenting with them. Told full stories and just given the basic idea

I’m with you, after several attempts

conceptual

ideas, moods, the blurb

I actually saw one that had “acting” in it once

(acting in quotes for a reason)

unless the trailer is for a movie, I don’t think there should be speaking parts

M:  it’s kind of a fine line

I guess depending on what purpose the trailer is to serve

I mean, so many books are turned visual, into movies

and with the obvious huge success, we do like visual interpretations of books

but that’s completely different than a trailer level, I think

J:  I think, if done right, a trailer can hit that perfect note

that visual interpretation while still leaving plenty to the imagination

M:  and it still does go to what an individual likes

some want to give visual representations of what is in their head as they write

and some readers really enjoy that anchor

and some don’t.

so it’s kind of all back to personal preference

like with us – you like to have an actual picture of the characters

and to me, it doesn’t matter. I kind of prefer not to have anything concrete

J:  Oh, I do, but it’s usually one I create in my own

head. or associate in my own head

when given the image from the author, I usually don’t agree

M:  I can never find an actor or model or photo that looks like the characters do in my head

I can get inspiration, or a type

but I don’t usually think about having an actual physical image until you bring it up

heh

J:  when I’m writing, I like to have that concrete image so it doesn’t change throughout the book

blue eyes, curly hair, etc.

if my perception of the character changes over time, so does the description

M:  for me, once I’ve got the character, they come to complete life in my head

they’re like a real person. I see them, know them. they don’t change

and images just kind of mess with that

J:  I’m so backwards. I get to know my characters as I write them

M:  not backward, just we have different styles and methods when we write

J:  that’s why my editing process is so messy

because in the beginning, this character’s kind of an ass, but by the end, maybe he’s not so bad. But then I have to rearrange his behavior in the beginning so it makes sense

hahaha. I devolved from trailers to editing

welcome to my head, everyone. make yourselves comfy.

M:  but that’s character growth and development

heh

and now we’ve moved on to craft

J: know what stands out to me every time we have a chat?

we’re almost always on opposite sides of the debate

M:  that’s because we’re debating

you can’t really debate if there’s only one side

or the same side

J:  true. but they’re always so successful because we’re always on opposite sides. I kind of like it.

to sum up, as with almost anything, I’m a fan of trailers to a point. Not to the point of telling the whole story

or having the thing acted out by “actors”

M:  I honestly don’t watch them much. Not the first thing i go to when I’m looking at a book

I make my interest and purchase decisions more on the blurb, word of mouth, and excerpts or samples

but I do know a lot of people really enjoy them

and I do like them when they’re done well and represent the atmosphere of the book

just like anything, I guess

J:  careful now. we might actually agree on something

M:  we tend to take the way around but generally agree on stuff

just different views

and the view today is too gorgeous to be behind a computer screen. Going for a beach walk to mull character points.

brb

photo credit: debaird™ via photopin cc

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The Importance of Professional Cover Design

Judging a Book by Its Cover

(J recently appeared on the Writers’ Collective blog with advice on cover design. Read the beginning of the blog below. If you’re interested in the rest, head on over to the Writers’ Collective blog by clicking the link at the bottom.)

professional book cover design

freedigitalphotos.net/Salvatore Vuono

It really does happen; people judge books by the cover. Maybe it’s not fair to assume a crappy package means a crappy present inside, or maybe the cover tells a potential reader exactly what they need to know: This author didn’t think enough of the story to find a great designer.

Before you skewer me, or worse, run off to look at my cover designs ready to judge, consider a few things. First, why exactly would you attempt designing your own cover? Second, how much would a professional cover designer cost? And last, just how important is a cover that reaches out to potential readers? Your answers should be: I wouldn’t, as much as it takes, and very, very important. Now, let’s consider how you can get a great cover for an affordable price.

Genre First

I write this blog under the assumption that any reader interested in this subject is considering self-publishing. After all, even small publishing houses have in-house cover designers. If you’re going it alone, your first step is to determine your genre. This is so bloody important, and yet so many cast it aside with a flick of the fingers. Write a romance novel? Why on earth would you design a minimal cover without a hint of love or sex? Penned a thriller? Whimsical fonts will confuse readers every time. Plan your cover around your genre, and you’re one huge step closer to hooking readers right away.

Check the Trends

When you’re certain you have your genre nailed down, cruise the bookstore to find other books in your genre. No bookstores close by? It’s a tragedy, but we do still have Amazon. In fact, Amazon will show you all those covers you don’t want to imitate. Take note of the images, fonts, and colors you like. Absorb the many different ways to show the very same thing. You’ll be shocked and amazed, but most of all, you’ll be inspired.

For the rest of the post, click here.

J to tha M Have the Self-Publishing Blues

This Stuff Is, Like, HARD

self-publishing information

sxc.hu/pygment2

M:  So, I’m considering self-publishing my Ash story

J:  I know it’s been on your mind for a while. It’s not a bad idea. Self-pubbing doesn’t have the same stigma anymore

it’s still tough

and crap. After doing some research to possibly self-pub the oracles, I have a lot of respect for people like Elizabeth Hunter who do it all on their own

M:  we’re jumping in together again

J:  it’s just what we do

There are so many options, too

what used to be considered vanity publishers are now “assistants” to the process

M:  and honestly, the whole stigma thing doesn’t factor into my decision. It’s more about what’s right for me – where I’m at – and the story.

J:  still, it’s easier knowing you’ll get a fair shot

that people won’t immediately set it aside

M:  I think it’s a good story. I just don’t know that it fits into the “formula” that a lot of publishers look for

J:  it does in a way, though

you’re thinking the romance formula

which it does not fit

but the romantic thriller…yes

M:  and I’m not willing to compromise. And I think readers are not only willing to accept non-formula, they like it. I know I do

plus, while a publisher might be willing to look at it despite it being outside the norm, I’m not willing to give up a lot of the rights some publishers want

J:  it really is a give and take. They offer so many things

but they also take

M:  very true

each manuscript and situation is different

J:  My reasons for self-pubbing (or considering it) are more a timing issue, since Morning Star will be ready very soon, too

though, by the time I figure out what the hell I’m doing…

M:  exactly. So many choices and decisions

and while that’s a good thing, it’s also confusing

especially when you’re just in the beginning stages of learning

J:  There are some options for those who want the freedom but not the crazy work

confusing work

M:  yes, so many places offering packages to self-publish, and I’ve heard all kinds of stories, good and terrible

some do all the formatting and distributing

offer cover art and editing services

some take a flat fee, some percentages

some reputable, some not

holy crap

or do you just take it all on yourself and hope you learn as you go, don’t screw up too bad?

J:  that’s what I’m looking at

but whoa

there really is a lot

M:  yeah, whoa

J:  I mean, formatting, distribution, royalties, legal issues

maybe it’s worth finding a company that knows what’s going on

but then you still lose something

that tiny little piece that’s just not your own anymore

M:  or then, what is really the benefit of not having it traditionally published? Where does that line get drawn?

When is one a better decision than the other?

ugh. It’s so confusing

and stressful

I just want to get the story out to as many people who might be interested as I can

and be fair to me, readers, service providers…

J:  well, as a self-published author, you get to make so many more decisions

how much you charge, when to offer it for free

M:  I really like that part

having more flexibility in making it available to the readers

and what I find really cool is you can make changes to the published version at any time

like if you find a whoops, even after the eleventy billion times you’ve gone over and edited

J:  ugh. I hate that feeling

M:  the control you maintain is a pretty big benefit for all the research and uncertainty

and money invested

J:  it is

it’s very inviting

M:  that’s another big thing. With a publisher, you don’t have to invest up front for editing and cover art, formatting and distribution. But you give up control over other things

so many pros and cons to either side. It’s a hard decision.

J:  you know what, though? I’ve paid editors to help me get my shit together before submitting to MSP

it’s an investment you make when you want your book to be as good as possible

I’m willing to go a step further to get the rest of it right

M:  you take your chances with either, sure

a traditional publisher is not a guarantee of a good editor or cover artist, just like hiring one freelance isn’t.

but I think you have a better chance with freelance, because you have choices. You usually don’t with publishers

J:  yes. I’m often gobsmacked at the lack of editing or the terrible cover design on books from big publishers

M: so, it comes down to what’s best for you and the story.

I bet we have lots of people out there with experiences, thoughts, and opinions

we want to hear them!

lay it on us

J:  I’m afraid I’ll just be more confused

but I want to know.

M:  more info, more better

J:  I’m going to get some – more info, that is

M:  You’re so good at that

J:  brb

The E-Reader Revolution

And Why I’ll NEVER Own One

Guest Post by Eva Pugzlyte

ereader revolution

© Mahroch | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Tablets.

Moses was already marketing the stone prototype (second-generation since he broke the first one) of this gadget around Mount Sinai before it was cool. Hipster. Apparently he was hooked on it for forty days and forty nights (gadget dependency was seemingly not a hot topic back then) before he finally got off the mountain and showed it to his followers (and that before Twitter!). Since the Stone Tablets the e-reader has gained a few more electrodes (hence the ‘e’) and millions more who swear by it like the Israelites did by the ten commandments.  Now there’s the Kindle, the Bookeen, the Nook, the Pocketbook, the Kobo and the Sony. Basic, Mini, Touch, Sense, Glo, Pro. The Essence. The iLiad (which ironically was discontinued)  and the eClicto (which ironically hasn’t been discontinued). Then there are the tablets you can use as e-readers and e-readers that you can hook up to Wi-Fi and use as tablets that can be used as cameras, which can be used as coffee makers which can probably navigate satellites.

Wow.

And I’m – I’m equally unimpressed, because in the end all I want to do is read a book.

Ah! Let me finish. An actual book, which is “a set of written, printed and/or  illustrated sheets made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side.” That kind of book.

“But e-readers can store thousands of books in one device, which is perfect for a book worm like you,” you might argue?

Valid point, if not for the fact that I like to physically be surrounded by my books in that creepy porcelain-doll collection sort of way. I love to see their colourful spines snugly stashed on various shelves. I love the double rows. I love the random piles that tend to sprout all over my flat like mushrooms after rain. It makes my home feel inhabited not by just me but also by the characters in those books and the great minds that birthed them. Granted there’s also a few that are the equivalent of that one aunt or uncle who channels North-Korea at family functions (with or without booze), but you love them anyway. Because it’s family.

In addition few things beat walking into a bookstore or a library and knowing that you’re literally surrounded by millions of words. Thousands of e-books on a Kindle will never kindle the feeling of walking in to a place like this: http://www.miragebookmark.ch/images/inside-shakespeare-and-co.jpg and ordering an e-book will never be as satisfying as feeling the weight of the novel you purchased in your hands, nor will you feel the little thrill of being the first to properly open a book,  the cover still rigid from never being used, the pages crisp as you brush your hand over them to set them in that first fold (of hopefully many) until it is pliant and perhaps a bit weathered under your fingertips. Same way an e-reader will never hold the charm of an antique book or even simply a second hand one, perhaps holding a personal inscription or a few incriminating dog-ears, fondly pressed in the pages. It will not give you that slightly mouldy smell of old paper.

You’re probably rolling your eyes at the illusive book smell, but here’s a little fun fact: An international team of chemists has devoted a study to this unique odour of old books and concluded that the smell was “a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness”. Call me when anyone starts waxing poetic on the scent of an e-reader like that.

Which brings me to the next point. Books are mostly made from organic elements. The paper, the ink, the glue, the fabric, etc. All these compounds react to temperature and humidity, exposure to the environment and even each other as time goes by and release what in the study of degradomics (the science of book-sniffing if you will) is called volatile organic compounds which cause a unique smell. So you see, books are a living organism. They age like we do. The yellowed pages, the different scents they absorb and the weathered edges are the wrinkles etched in our skins.

The story remains, but if you eliminate its physical existence, its body if you will, you are left with a fragrant perfume in an airtight bottle. And then there is the sharing of books which I find somehow intimate, both receiving a book belonging to someone else or lending one out to someone. A friend of mine who spent 6 months travelling the world told me about the practice of backpackers exchanging books as they travelled (both the books and the backpackers). Imagine a manuscript travelling around Vietnam and suddenly crossing paths with you only to leave your side on the sandy beaches of Bali after a short but meaningful love affair only to thrust you in to a new adventure, both on page as in reality.

Imagine making that same trip with an e-reader. It surely is much more convenient. An e-reader offers thousands of manuscripts in one light-weight gadget. It eliminates spilled coffees, crumbs between the pages, reservations at the library or late returns, it eliminates frantic searching for that one quote you read somewhere between page 53 and 734 or the quest spanning four bookstores in one day to find a certain title, it offers font-enlargement, and makes bookmarks obsolete. It saves space in your suitcase and in your cramped flat.

It’s convenient, but then the best things in life often aren’t.

I rest my case. If you need me, I’ll be curled up on the couch with the yellowed pages of The Great Gatsby copy I picked up at a second hand bookstore for €2 last week. It smells vaguely of coffee and has a dog-ear on page 24.

I agree with the previous owner. It’s a good page.

About the Author

Thinker. Dreamer. Independent. Observer. Night owl. Frank. Stubborn. Easygoing on the surface, but shy underneath. Prone to sarcastic remarks. Ticklish. Lover of arts. Foodie. Would never exchange the feel of paper under her fingertips for an e-reader. Often talks in references. Could eat her weight in licorice. Secretly suspects her house is trying to kill her and shall deny every accusation of klutzery on her behalf. Is known to on occasion name inanimate objects and oftentimes can’t decide whether she loves something because it’s beautiful, or whether it’s beautiful because she loves it.

J to tha M: The New Adult Revolution

J and M Plot a New Adult Novel

New Adult genre

© Djma | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

J: After reading Jeanette Grey, Nichole Chase, and Jennifer Iacopelli, i’m liking the new adult genre

I think I’m going to angle the new book as new adult

M: I’ve read a couple that have been good. Jeanette’s Take What You Want for sure.

but I really enjoy good UST, and a lot of the YA, NA, whatever/A seem to replace the sexual tension with just holy-crap-over-dramatic angst.

J: yeah

they’re all wounded boy/abused girl

hate hate hate then screw

so I pounce when I find one that isn’t, even if it’s too sweet

M: yeah, there’s been a couple I considered checking out that people have raved about, but angst for the sake of angst, just to pull a response from the reader, tends to irritate me

I’m scared I’ll just be annoyed

J: yeah

if it says anything about a dark secret or whatever, I avoid

M: usually just annoys me instead of tugging at my emotions

J: or a hidden past

M: ugh

J: or worse, a dark past

M: the boy is wooooounded

the girl was raped. Ya know, that’s not the only background “reason” for angst, and it’s so overused anymore, which causes its own problems. But that’s a discussion for another day.

J: HIDDEN SECRETS AND DARK PASTS!

alcoholic father

M: all excuses to be a dick

J: exactly

I don’t want to write that

“I’m no good for you. I’m going to kiss/fuck you and then run away forever!”

M: I read one that’s a new adult. It’s selling like crazy on Amazon

Broken Beyond Redemption or Damaged Past Caring or something like that. Probably not that exactly, but you know what I mean.

J: oh no

M: and oi

J: not with a title like that

DARK SECRETS, M

M: it was just stupid

stupid stupid.

PEOPLE DON’T ACT LIKE THAT!

EVER!

J: hahaha

I’m starting to think we should plot out a New Adult book

seriously

and throw in the craziest things we can think of

M: every damaged Alphahole with mommy issues who turns to BDSM and the girl who was raped by her cousin’s brother’s best friends lover saves him with her pure and innocent love

add in slutty best friend with drug problems

who secretly is in love with Alphahole and wants him for herself

J: who likes to dress her up like a barbie doll

oh, yours is better

the guy’s best friend gets a little fresh a little too often with her

and tortured hero beats the crap out of him at a party one night

and she’s all “you kicked your best friend’s ass over me? It must be love!”

and he’s all “whoa, whoa, let’s not use that word.”

M: oh, yes. He has to beat the crap out of everyone. That’s love, not anger issues and violent tendencies

J: and she’s all “I’ll love you if I want to. I just won’t say it. Instead, I’ll mope around for six months while you spiral into a deep depression and take to cutting yourself.”

M: and Tattoos

he has to have Tattoos

capital “T”

J: of course he does

big scary ones

M: because he’s wooooounded

poor little Alphahole

J: but they have to be hidden by a long-sleeve shirt for his day job at a call center

but they’re just fine for his night job as a bar back at the hottest club in town

I mean, his dad gambled away all their money, so he has to pay his way through college somehow

sorry, his dad drank all their money. DARK PAST!

M: yes, he works at a call center saving kittens and rainbows

J: but no one can know about it

M: between beating the crap out of people because he lurves her

J: except the sweet, batty old lady that manages the employees

(comic relief)

M: oh, yes. And, we forgot about the fiery attraction

dueling for dominance tongues

and not knowing where she ends and he begins

J: we can add that in around the dickishness

where it makes the least sense, of course

like after he’s beaten the shit out of someone

M: and flashed his tattoos

J: Tattoos. Capital “T” remember

M: OH!

and he’s in a band

*nods*

J: of course he is

he plays bass

no

bass players are too laid back

he’s definitely the broody lead singer

M: No, moody, sexy lead singer

haha – you just said that

J: sometimes we scare me

I’m gonna go mull our new hero

brb

J to tha M: What We’re Reading

Series, Serials, and Cliffhangers

series, serial novels, and cliffhangers

Dudley Do-Right, created by Alex Anderson

J: so, I’m currently about 50% through the fourth book in Elizabeth Hunter’s series

Elemental Mysteries

and our stalking paid off

she has agreed to a guest post

M: You read three books in a week? Woo-hoo! They must be good

J: um, yes

they’re really addictive

I know I need to read up on The Painting of Porcupine City so our interview with Ben Monopoli doesn’t spoil it for me

so that’s next. I promise

M: That’s one of the things that makes series so fun. If you like them, you can pick up the next.

fun for both the reader and writer to stay in an intriguing world

J: yeah, but I’m not a fan of the cliffhanger thing. There are a few reasons for a cliffhanger, and none are good

the first is that you’re too wordy to fit everything in one book, so you split at a vital point

the second is that you aren’t sure if you created a compelling enough story to keep readers coming back for more

so you have to trick them

M: Some cliffhangers are good, to build suspense, keep the reader wanting to turn the page. I love a good cliffhanger when used like that.

What I’ve found annoying is those books that are written to end on a huge “cliffhanger” for the sole purpose of getting you to buy the next. You get 130 pages for 2.99 and the story just ends in the middle of the scene, so you have to pay another 2.99 for the next 130 pages if you want to read the rest of the story.

And then you find out there are like four “books” in the series like that

to me, those aren’t really cliffhangers. Those are just ending in the middle of a scene.

J: there is that, too

M: There are the serial novels, which is a much better alternative

I mentioned a couple I’m reading a week or so ago

Where you pay one price and get installments automatically delivered to your Kindle

J: I could get behind something like that. Would be like a TV show

M: but you know in advance the (reasonable) full price and when you’ll get the next episode

J: yeah, instead of getting to the end and finding out you have to fork over more money

M: exactly. You can make a fully informed choice from the beginning

J: i love a good series, though. I love an epic story that requires more than one book to tell

M: I wonder if the new interest in the serialized novels is a reflection of the proven popularity of fanfiction. They do follow a similar format

J: I thought that, too

are they all dramatic and soap opera-y?

do you hear “dun dun dun!” in your head when you finish an installment?

M: some are, just like any book

J: She turned to see who was at the door and gasped.

tune in next time!

M: it’s like the ending of a chapter, though. They’re ended that way to keep you turning the page

whether it’s a serial or a traditional book

J: well, I can get behind it because you know what you’re getting when you go in

M:  In that format, a cliffhanger is, I don’t know, more accepted. Expected.

When one just ends only to sucker you into buying the next…I’m not 100% sure how I feel about that, but mostly no likey

J: accepted because you know the rest is coming

I really no likey

and usually enough to abandon ship

M: Yeah. I read one like that recently. Thank goodness the first one was free – which is a whole ‘nother subject, I think. And the story was fairly good, but then, it just ended in the middle of an action scene, and the next book was 2 or 3.99. And the next, and the next.

J: >.<

M: And even though I did like the story and would have liked to read more and see what happened – oh, hell no.

J: I feel you

M: I was annoyed

as both a reader and a writer

J: and I bet a lot of people agree with us

except, of course, the authors who exploit their readers in this way

M: and then there are those novellas – which are really popular right now – that just…end

J: oh, I’m a fan of the novella. bite-size fun

M: I like them, too. I mean, I understand the shortened nature of them and how difficult it can be to get in enough character and story development, but it’s just frustrating, to enjoy a story and characters so much, for the author to have done such a good job with the rest of the story, and then…

wah, wah, wah wahhhhhhh

J: but if you have to end without an ending, you probably should have made it a full novel

M: or, you know, come up with a better ending

J: oh, yeah

or that

what I think is a fun idea are the novellas centered on side characters in a series

M: Oh, I like those, too. It’s like a special surprise bonus to revisit a world you loved and characters you want to know more about. I think it’s cool that ebooks seemed to have opened that up as an option. made it more viable.

Oh, hang on. I need to see who’s at the door

brb

**gasp**

Tune in next week!

On Editing: This Is Soooooo Important, Guys

NaNooooooooooo!

Guest post by ML Gammella

The importance of editing

Posted on fugly.com

November is such a great time.

Then… December happens, which makes me want to scream and shout, so instead I’ll rant *cough* express my opinion here.

I love NaNoWriMo and think it is an absolutely great program.  It brings so many novice and experienced writers together for one common goal. There is so much love and support to get the sometimes elusive 50,000 words.  We all write together during word sprints, write-ins, Skype calls, whatever works to get to the finish line, all while helping and encouraging one another.

For some, NaNo is just something fun to do to see if he or she can actually write 50,000 words in a month. For others, this is a step toward a writing career or a continuation of a writing career. My rant is geared at those people, like myself, who hope and dream of seeing the words they create released to the masses as published authors.

We all know that what we write during NaNo isn’t ready, not by far, for public dissemination. It is hastily written with grammar rules thrown to the wayside, all in an effort to drill away to 50,000 words. It is the time after NaNo that we are supposed to go through and heavily prune those hastily written words to mine the gold that lies within.

That time starts in December, and for most, last for many months (even years!) afterward. We madly delve into our stories, crying over awesome scenes that need to be cut to keep the integrity of the story or to eliminate unnecessary plot holes. Slowly, the story begins to take shape, and yet, still, our stories aren’t perfect.

Yet, around this time of mid-December to January, I start to see announcements by my fellow Nano writers that their self-published novels are available for purchase on Amazon, Smashwords, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Wait, what? So quickly?

I have nothing against self-publishing, but I have read MANY a self-published novel and wished I hadn’t. The author was in such a rush to publish that he or she didn’t take their time to make sure it was edited properly. Now, I’m not just talking about grammar issues, but content ones as well. I can overlook a few grammar mistakes, but content or continuity errors create problems. You can get lost in plot holes big enough for my truck-driving husband to drive his 53’ tractor trailer through.  No joke.

There are some really great stories out there, written by some really talented writers, but those stories are lost due to lack of editing (or lack of good editing), whether it be strictly grammar/structure or also content.

I cannot comprehend why anyone who wants to be a serious published author would even remotely consider releasing a book without proper editing.

Proper editing is just not having your friend read it and mark it up (even if your friend is an editor by trade or is a teacher or someone that is ‘in the business’). Proper editing is not just having a trusted beta reader (or readers) look through it and mark it up. Those are steps to proper editing but should not, should NEVER, be the last step before a book is published. Your friend will not be as honest with you as he or she should be, even if they swear that he or she will be brutally honest. It just doesn’t work that way. Beta readers are awesome resources, but they tend to catch the content issues, not the structure or grammar problems.

Proper editing involves hiring a third party, a professional editor, to thoroughly read through your book. Yes, professional editors can be expensive. So can cars. Shop around. You don’t buy the first car you see, do you? Treat editors the same way. Talk to them, find out their prices, their turnaround time. Develop a rapport. A great editor is worth his or her weight in gold.

I can’t say this enough. If you are a writer and you want to be taken seriously, if you want your books to be enjoyed, and if you want to make a career out of writing…

HIRE AN EDITOR.

I was amazed to see fellow Nano writers proudly proclaim that their book was published and ready for purchase.  Wait – the book you just banged out in 30 days with no concern on grammar or editing, you only took a few weeks or a month to edit and you think it’s ready?

It’s practices like this that make readers hesitant to buy self-published books. I’m a reader and a writer, and I will no longer buy self-published books unless they are referred to me by someone else besides the author. I have bought or read too many and have been horrified over the lack of care taken. If you won’t take your work seriously, why should I waste my time reading it?

Have respect for yourself and your writing and have your work professionally edited. Your readers will appreciate it.

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M L Gammella has been writing on and off since high school, where she was often found scribbling in her notebook instead of following along in class. She finally made the leap to make writing a paying career and began freelancing after being laid off. M L Gammella lives in Ohio with her husband and their three pets. She is currently working on her first novel, a paranormal suspense based in Maine. You can follow her on Twitter@MLGammella.