Monday, January 28, 2013

Indie Vs. Traditional: Round 3



  • Pros:
    • You control the quality of everything from each word to the cover. It's all your decision and if it doesn't fit your vision, you don't have to do it. 
  • Cons:
    • You control the quality. Yup here we go again! See, here's the thing... Having a good editor is priceless. I truly believe if you don't have your book edited, you shouldn't put it out there. There are things you just can't see because you are too close to it. Great beta readers are important, but you need a healthy line edit and of course copy editing as well to make it perfect - or as close as you can get it. It's so important that I can't stress this enough. You have to rely on others to help you out. A great cover artist is important too. You have final say - and that's awesome! But you have to take your time and approach it like a business and DO IT RIGHT.
  • Pros:
    • You are dealing with a known quantity. You can go to B&N and see their work for yourself. You can rely on the professionals and know that you are in good hands.
  • Cons:
    • You usually don't have much of a say (if any) in things like cover art and design. Sometimes even marketing. I know of authors who've had issues with the ages their publishers have suggested on both ends of the spectrum (too young and too adult). 
Confused yet? Next week is round 4: Audience.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Indie vs. Traditional: Round 2!


We all know how long it takes to write a book. We also know how long it takes to publish one. Here are my pros and cons on the time involved in both traditional and indie publishing.


  • Pros:
    • It may take a while, but you know they're doing it "right".
    • If it's delayed even longer, it's possibly because your book will do better if released at another time.
  • Cons:
    • It typically takes a MINIMUM of a 1 1/2 years from deal to publication.
    • Many times the list gets shuffled and your release is delayed. Sometimes it's better for the house and not your specific book.
  • Pros:
    • You control the timeline. If you decide to put all your effort and time in, it's not like you're splitting that between dozens of other books and submissions, so you can push it through faster. *note this will also appear as a potential con below.
    • You can put out secondary novels/sequels faster than a traditional publisher would, potentially reaching more readers/fans faster. 
  • Cons:
    • You control the timeline. Yup. You might be so excited or so sure your book is perfect that you don't invest the time necessary to do it "right" as sited above. That's up to you as a professional and a true writer. 
    • You can become so overwhelmed with trying to act like the publisher that you forget to spend time writing and revising and subsequent books can suffer.
So there you have it. My second edition. What can you add? Next week is something I touched on today: Round 3. Quality

Monday, January 14, 2013

Indie Vs. Tradiitonal Round 1

This isn't about competition. Most people think it is. That only one format can come out on top. I'm not here to play that game. Personally I believe they can coexist and in fact, I'm going to continue to pursue both. But I do want to take a look at the pros and cons of both as I see them in a series of blogs. I know there are so many people out there better researched than I, but maybe you're just as confused as I was not that long ago and perhaps a layman's view will come in handy.

Today I want to look at Publicity.


  • Pros: 
    • Sometimes you get a publicist!
    • You have a name behind you
    • You have wider exposure in print
  • Cons:
    • Most new authors have to promote themselves
    • Other books from the publisher may take precedence
Indie/Small Press:
  • Pros:
    • You can release more books in a shorter period of time (provided you still use professional editing/copyediting/design etc.) 
    • The publisher (sometimes you) might be better invested in your book.
  • Cons:
    • You definitely have to promote yourself
    • You can pretty much count B&N out unless you are doing NOOK. 
The truth is I'm not sure I see much of a difference in work unless you are one of the lucky few the big five decide to help publicize. The biggest difference is in traditional print and availability. It's not impossible with Indie by any means, but in a large chain it is.

What did I miss? Fill me in!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Standing Out From The Crowd

As adorable as these little guys are, I couldn't pick one out that is cuter than the rest. Now imagine if one had a tiny bow-tie and top-hat. Yeah... Then he'd be cute like the others, but really draw our attention!

Enjoying my drawn out metaphor yet? I'm talking about books of course. We want to be original and not follow the same formula as everything that's already out there, but we also want to make sure we stay on top of the trends so that we can blend in enough. 

A kangaroo in a top-hat would just look weird in that pic, don't you think?

So what am I saying? Here are some things to keep in mind if and when you think about the potential marketing of your book. And think about you must if you're serious about this.

  • Read, read, read! That's right, especially in your genre, but also without. If you don't love to read in genre anyway, you probably aren't a writer. 
  • Write what you want BUT figure out where it belongs. For example, if your MC is twenty you may have an issue marketing it as YA and you'll know that if you read in genre. Age him down and if it absolutely hurts the plot? Then you probably aren't writing YA. You can disregard this of course, but I'm only trying to make your life easier in the long run and chances are if you examine why, you'll find it's more emotional than imperative. Choose your battles, my friends.
  • Think about comp books. Don't pick Twilight or Hunger Games. Be realistic and show you know your stuff. What's similar about them? What's different?
  • Find a beta reader from the audience you're aiming for. Have your teen cousin read that YA and see if they like it. No you shouldn't say that in your query letter, but it's not a bad personal hurdle as long as you also use professional critique partners. 

In the long run you have to write what you are passionate about or it won't be your best work. But if you're doing your job treating writing as a profession, you will use revisions and a touch of planning to make sure you aren't dressing up a kangaroo. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year! And with the New Year, I have a very important announcement. 


The first novel in my DJINN series, THE BINDING STONE, will be debuting in April of this year!! 

*pops cork*

Thank you all for sticking with me. I hope you will continue the journey because I couldn't do it without all of you.

I'll have more details as the date draws near, and I'm happy to answer questions as we go, so don't be shy! I promise not to make this blog all about me either, I will continue to post on writing, though now I'll have more experience to draw on. 

AND one more thing... I am very excited to be a part of the new blog Scene 13 with so many other AMAZING authors! So go take a peek and join us for the fun.