Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Writing progress report
Since I put my manuscripts as eBooks, I haven't written much about it here although I've gone more into it on the blog on writing, Rain Trueax, for readers interested in new books coming out, free days, and want to hear about my experiences in writing and eBook marketing. Once in awhile I have something I want to write about here. It's hard not to do it more often as it's all a major part of my life these days.
When I began the writing blog, I wasn't sure what I'd do with it. I wanted it to be an encouragement to others for writing and possibly ePublishing. It's been pretty much the nuts and bolts of writing and what I am learning about marketing (bit by bit). When I get time to take a breath, I'll evaluate where that blog goes.
In my life, until that blog about it, I really haven't talked or written a lot about writing as a process. Mostly I saw writing as something I did, as part of who I was; but I didn't think others would find it that interesting. I had a bit of the attitude-- those who can do; those who can't talk. I was wrong. I am finding I like writing about the process as well as writing the stories.
When I decided I wanted to go independent, not self-publish in paper but online, I saw several benefits. The biggie is that the books would be out there, and I would own my work. I would have control of the whole process. I knew from the start that marketing would be the problem, something I knew very little about but see as part of life in many ways that we often don't think about. For me, the idea of marketing, where it had come to my paintings or sculptures, had been almost a bad word. I had to change that view to see my books not disappear into the black hole of Kindle.
From the get go, I made a decision that I would not put money into any of it until the books made a little money. I would, at least to begin, invest what they created. I have heard of people who put over a thousand dollars into getting just one book out. I had a lot more than one, and I felt putting money into it would increase the pressure on me to see them sell. What if they didn't-- despite paying someone else for editing, graphic artists, publicists, etc.? With no money in it, I felt I could afford to let them sit there until the right readers came along.
Taking that view didn't mean I intended to do nothing about attracting interest to the books. Although I opted to not push them here, that was as much selfish as noble. I didn't want to lose readers who had come here for discussion of ideas, politics, photos, or something about the farm and had not come for sales of books. I didn't want to change what Rainy Day Thoughts was originally meant to be. So sales not-- but the creative end of it, well that does belong here sometimes.
While my process of editing and publishing was going forth, art has been a surprising part of it all . At first I thought how neat I know how to do this. Then the covers became a less positive issue. I learned there is a bit of prejudice against indie writers from readers who comment in the Forums. They look at covers as a sign of whether the authors are going to do sloppy, amateur writing. They really thought a graphics artist should be hired. Besides my view of not spending money, I also believed I could do the work-- after all I knew art. The thing was I didn't know the readers and their expectations.
Bottom-line, there was no way I could afford a good graphics artist and a bad one would put up something maybe showy but not fit my work or characters. Besides, I wanted to do this. So I set about looking at what would work, what needed to be changed, and redoing covers again and again. I wrote a lot about that in the writing blog.
Doing those covers, plus reading the forums led me to learn something else-- they make trailers for books. Who knew! For me, once I saw a few trailers, the idea of creating my own was attractive even though I was also reading that trailers don't actually sell books (not hard to see why given most folks probably don't know they even exist).
Well there was no choice for it, I had to do one... and then two and now three. After all, my goal for this has all along been to turn out the best and most complete product I can. A trailer was too big a temptation to resist-- sell books or not sell books.
So taking my art a step beyond the covers (while editing a story that I put out on Friday the 13th-- just because) led to creating trailers. It's like an addiction and more about how it's done and what I've done with it comes next as this is already too long.