Archive | February, 2013

What Indie Authors Should Really Be Worrying About

26 Feb

If you didn’t read my post What I Don’t Understand Right Now, you may want to consider it before joining the conversation. Not necessary, but just a little more background info.

What it discusses is my view on the “good enough” situation we’re seeing with a lot of indie publishing. I won’t rehash the whole thing, but I think it’s one of my posts that’s definitely worth reading if you’re a writer and maybe if you’re a reader.

I’ve put some more thought into it as I’ve watched writers tout the successful books that haven’t been edited… the books on the Top 100 lists that are filled with errors and poor grammar and bad writing but have stories that NY isn’t putting out so people are scooping them up like hot cakes (which, have you ever seen people scoop hot cakes?)

The motto seems to be: People will buy horrible products if they’ll enjoy the story. Get more out faster!

Only, people haven’t taken something into consideration: The Acceptance of Indie Publishing.

TAoIP (let’s pretend that’s a real acronym) brings about several changes we’re already beginning to see. First, we’ve already seen Trad Pub writers taking their backlist (typically books that have already been polished, professionally edited, and sold through a publisher) – These books are ready to go. All they need is good formating and a new cover and a whole new generation of readers can pick them up.  

Also, more and more writers who have been working for a long time — honing craft, polishing manuscripts, focusing on the NY standard as their model — are going to move over to publish their manuscripts (those polished, honed, NY standard editing manuscripts) as an indie. Again, they are probably (if they truly are books that slipped through the cracks) only in need of copy editing and formating.

Finally comes the writers watching these other groups do it (or who fit into that group of “do it right, show your pride” I talk about in the link above) who bring NY Standard (I keep wanting to say professional, but there are tons of professional indie writers everywhere) editing and packaging to strong storytelling.

So, look at those three groups. Let’s assume that between all of them, that 70% of the books are also compelling reads.  What happens next?

Well, ask yourself: If you could read a compelling story in a sub-genre that NY doesn’t touch that much that’s done professionally, edited, formated well and copy edited OR a compelling story in a sub-genre that NY doesn’t touch that’s… just a compelling story, which will you choose?

No. Don’t rush. Take a moment. I don’t want you to feel pressured.

Ok, most of us said, “Choice A, Caitie” right?

So, as more and more people join indie publishing the issue isn’t going to be “How will people find me” (which is repeated as the growing issue over and over again on indie sites). The issue is going to become, can my work compete with other indie books in my sub-genre?

If it can’t …. well, good luck.



Being ‘In’ With the Books

18 Feb

I’ve been getting emails and tweets this week after the free day for The Last Single Girl with a bunch of questions, so here goes:

1. Yes! I just started a mailing list *points to the right side of the screen* I will only email you when a new book or story is coming out and I won’t give your emails to anyone else.

2. The next 2 books are about getting close to done. They’re both about 50k. They’re both in the Theories in Love series, so more Ben and Jenna although they aren’t the main couple. These heroines are, while still quirky, less of the underdog than Jenna or Sarah. Now that Jenna’s on the scene being a good friend, there’s less girlfriend pain.

I guess, I’m drawn to the girlfriend relationships  – They bring us so much joy, relief, heartache and betrayal that sometimes the boys in the story are really just a bonus. But, the next two books definitely don’t go down that path.

It is weird that both Jenna & Sarah struggled with a less-than-great girlfriend situation, but when I wrote the books, the two I’m finishing now were written between KISS and Last Single Girl, so it was less “Oh, Caitie writes about girlfriends” than it feels now. 😉

3. The next books are longer. Because of other writing stuff going on, I can’t give you guys any fulls right now, but these are just short of some of the category lengths. It’s been interesting trying to maintain that level of hilarity at that length without being absurd or threatening to exhaust the reader. BUT, it’s been a whole different type of fun.

4. YES! You will also be seeing more Sarah and John and we’ll be hanging at The Brew Ha Ha for books to come! Seriously, I want to own The Brew, then you could all come there for book club!

Special #5. The winter is slow for romance sales and I know that each and every sale I get is because one of you told a friend or gave Kiss or Last Girl a good review somewhere. I love my readers. They’re awesome and I want to say THANK YOU for that!


What I Don’t Understand Right Now

15 Feb

I’m going to kick this off by admitting I realize the irony of the next paragraph.

Just because someone has published (trad or indie) a book, has a blog, or is even making a living as a writer, does not mean their advice is valid, worthwhile or even safe to your career. If you want to go it alone as an indie-pub’d person, you absolutely need to learn the difference between “someone with an opinion” and a “topic expert.”

Now, just to be clear, I know I’m not a topic expert on much. It’s easier to just say that now, isn’t it. 🙂

But, here are some things I’ve been seeing lately that I completely do not understand.

First there’s the, All readers want is a compelling story so just get it out there. Don’t worry about the editing school of thought.

Why would you publish something that’s less than your best work? Why are typos, poor grammar, and poor construction acceptable when they can be fixed? Why is the review “I read it in spite of all the errors because the story kept me going” becoming a really positive review?

This is how I feel about my own writing: My job as a storyteller is to be entertaining and compelling. My JOB as a writer is to do it well. My job as a self-publisher is to make sure that both are happening before I hit send.

Am I perfect? Sooooo not perfect. I can see my own writing getting better as I do more of it, but I have and hire help.

Which brings us to the next comment.

The, I did this ALLLLLLLL by myself so I’m better/smarter/richer/more impressive/etc.

Why? Why is doing it all by yourself so important? Wouldn’t you rather bring in the big guns who can make that story can be as good as possible? Is ego and pride more important than excellence or credibility?

And, lastly, the I’ll publish it and fix it as the reviews come in process.

That’s not what readers are for. They are paying to read your book. If someone is doing work for you, the money should be going the other direction. It is their entertainment. Doing work is the opposite of entertainment.

I know a lot of writers (and maybe even readers) are going to disagree with me on these, but that’s okay. There’s room enough in the writing world for everyone. I will add that it breaks my heart every time someone holds up a book that falls into one of these examples and declares that NO indies are good because they’re all poorly done like book XYZ.

Publishing a book that isn’t the best product you are capable of dishonors the unwritten reader/writer covenant, disrespects writing as a craft, and is a disservice to yourself as an artist and entrepeneur.

Or, maybe it’s just me.