Today, I’m thrilled to welcome author Elizabeth Cole to the blog. She’s known for her engaging regency novellas and her smart approach to indie publishing. Today’s she’s talking about something that none of us want to admit: no one cares about our books as much as we do. But read on. There’s good news here!
Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach
I’ve been on the independent publishing track for almost two years now. After publishing four novellas and three romance novels, I’ve learned a few things. The most important one is this: no one cares about your book as much as you do.
But wait! It’s not the end of the world. Read on…
No one cares about your book as much as you do…while you write it.
So you’re writing a book. Yay. Woop woop. Everyone and their poodle is writing a book, at least according to my Twitter feed. So what does that mean? It means no one is interested in your process, your progress, or your internal struggle. And that’s great! The writing process should be largely private. This is the only time in the book’s life when you’ll be completely free. So dig down and really make it your book. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect. That’s what editing is for. Use this time to try new things, explore your reasons for telling the story in the way you do. For example, I’m not crazy about overly cutsey romances where the heroine is perfect all the time, so just I finished writing a historical romance in which the heroine gets sick all over the hero…more than once…and it still ends happily! I might not have written that that way if I was worried about what an agent or publisher might think. Luckily, no one cares.
No one cares about your book as much as you do…during production.
After writing a book, there are tons of pesky steps required to actually publish it. Editing, proofreading, marketing, design…basically, everything that is essential to creating a stellar product. While I absolutely think that one should hire professionals to do these tasks, the author must maintain creative control of the book, and demand the best work possible. Don’t ever settle for an OK job. Whether it’s cover design, typography, editing, or whatever, remember you know your book best. Details matter! If the title doesn’t look right at thumbnail size, tell your designer to try something else. When I started publishing historical romances, I was dissatisfied with the quality of stock photography available. So I commissioned a photo shoot to ensure my books would have the right-looking models in period appropriate costumes, and the final image conveyed the right mood for the story. Respect the professionals you hire, but don’t capitulate if the work isn’t to your satisfaction. You are the one who cares most, and has the most to lose.
No one cares about your book as much as you do…on launch day.
This can be hard for authors to accept. Your big launch day comes, you tweet excitedly, get a few congratulatory comments, and…that’s it. No balloons, no cake (unless you bake it yourself). The plain fact is that your book coming out is just not that important to anyone. People have lives to live! Unless you wrote a book about curing cancer, chances are that no one really NEEDS your book the first day. So understand that marketing any book is an ongoing process. Try new things, pay attention to sales rates, bumps, and trends. If you’re writing a series, work on the next one while marketing the existing ones. Build relationships. Don’t expect readers to come running unless you offer something in return.
No one cares about your book…until they read it.
Any reader has millions of options when it comes to what book to read next. You’re extraordinarily lucky if they choose to read yours! Congratulate yourself on a job well done if you’ve managed to get your story into the hands of a reader. And right after you do that…say goodbye to your story. Because guess what? Once a reader reads your book, it’s not just yours anymore. Each reader brings their own imagination, background, and unique interpretation to all those words. The story bends and warps a little bit each time it gets read. It’s a wonderful process. You find out what worked and what didn’t. You become a better writer. Ideally, readers will find you and say “More, please!” And so you write another book…just remember that no one cares about it as much as you do.
Not that you care, but my newest book came out this month. A Reckless Soul features romance, spies, betrayal, poison, and more…all set against the backdrop of early Regency England. Think James Bond meets Jane Austen. Find out more right here.
About the Author. Elizabeth Cole writes historical romance. She can be found hanging around museums, coffeeshops, and (occasionally) graveyards. She believes in love at first sight. Then again, she also believes that mac ‘n’ cheese is a healthy breakfast, so don’t trust her judgment on everything.
In addition to her sweet Regency novellas, Elizabeth is currently writing the SECRETS OF THE ZODIAC, a series of steamy, romantic spy thrillers also set in the Regency period.
Elizabeth loves hearing from readers, because otherwise she starts taking the cat’s advice a little too seriously. Connect with her and sign up to get early alerts for new titles at her website.