Tag Archives: moving the reader with words

Marketing My Novel, Step 3


The editing and re-writing process involves sharing my manuscript with others for reading and feedback. It’s here that I catch glaring errors that may turn off readers. If I have the hero in my story as a tall blond in chapter one, but a muscular brunette in chapter six, I have a GLARING ERROR.

When a book is written over a long period of time, it is easy to mix-up details. So going over and over the manuscript myself, then passing it on to several other readers to catch mistakes, is a critical step in marketing a novel.

If I have heard one consistent complaint about Indie books, it is this–Indie books lack quality editing. I still may not catch every flaw, but I want to make my best effort to get it right. I owe that to my future readers.

Feedback is also a critical component to creating a good manuscript. I may think I have described seven elves nailing new shingles on the roof clearly and concisely. When I hand the manuscript off to a trained reader, I’ll find out the truth about my assumption.

I love it when my test readers say, “I don’t understand what’s happening here.” It means I have a GLARING ERROR. If my test reader is having trouble following the narrative, my reader who has paid for my book is going to have trouble, too.

Re-writing and editing should improve the manuscript, which in turn improves a reader’s experience with the story. If a reader likes the book, she may recommend it to someone else. That word-of-mouth advertising is the best marketing out there.

Lovely Writing–An Example


The lovely writing I am talking about has nothing to do with grammatical rules. Rather, lovely writing is something that takes your breath and makes you fold down the corner of the page. Today I found a brief piece of lovely writing penned by Andra Watkins of http://www.andrawatkins.com.

Andra’s piece takes that which some find unlikable (characteristics of a strong-willed personality) and makes it loveable. Admirable even. It’s a brief excerpt, pulled out of context. Nevertheless, I hope you see the beauty and power in the simplicity of the words.

My Mamaw died a Fighter, sharp edges and ragged claws intact.

It takes a fighting spirit to stare down Death. To dodge the clutch of bony fingers. The strength of the Fighter is easy to admire.

It’s just as likely that Death eschews the spirit of the Fighter. Overblown personalities. Inflexible points of view. Dogged ideas about the World. Sometimes, I suppose, Death decides it’s easier to let Life erode the Fighter’s will.