Tag Archives: prevent unwarranted criticism

Write for Yourself–and Only Yourself


That’s right. I am warning you. Otherwise, you could find yourself washed up with the first book. Or, in the case of Herman Melville, the sixth book.

Writer Lucas Reilly tells the story at mentalfloss.com.

Herman Melville had everything a young author could dream of. By the age of 30, he’d traveled the world and written five books, including two bestsellers. He’d married the daughter of a prominent judge, and he owned a beautiful farmhouse. He hobnobbed with the literati. Strangers asked for autographs.

Then he wrote Moby-Dick and ruined everything.

Today, the book is often hailed as the Great American Novel, an epic D. H. Lawrence called “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world.” But in Melville’s time, it was a total flop. Readers couldn’t comprehend the difficult narrative. Critics dismissed it as the ravings of a madman. When Melville tried to mend his image with a follow-up, titled Pierre, the reviews were equally brutal, and the work cemented his reputation as a lunatic. At just 33, Melville was finished.

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New Author Education from Lauren Carr


Lauren Carr, top-selling mystery author, has a new book in the works: Authors in Bathrobes. It is a down-to-earth tutorial for the new author. It will be  available before Christmas on Amazon.

I want to share an excerpt from her book that describes where I am in the publishing process. It is an educational eye-opener for the new author who has a publication-ready manuscript and wants to know what comes next.

ARC: Advanced Review Copy

When you traditionally publish, approximately three to four months before a book is released, the publisher will send out advanced copies of books to publications, reviewers, or even celebrities. Authors will sometimes offer ARC’s as giveaways or prizes for fans.

The purpose of this advanced release of the book is two-fold:

The reviewers are able to read the book and provide reviews, which will come out at the same time as the release. This is how big-named books by major authors have hundreds of reviews posted, sometimes even before the book is released. Big publishers will send out hundreds (sometimes thousands) of ARC’s, also called Uncorrected Proofs, to get the publicity ball rolling. The reviewers know that they are reading a proof, so they are forgiving of typos and errors.

Meanwhile, the author is reviewing the book for any last-minute errors he or she may catch.

Because I am a new author and do not have a staff of editors to do the work of editing for me, I am s-l-o-w about getting my changes made. I grossly underestimated the time it would take to proof and correct my book manuscript.

Lauren’s book will help you avoid lots of mistakes that beginners make. Watch for it. It is coming soon!

 

MATCH YOUR COVER TO THE CONTENT


Recently I met an author who shared with me an interesting story about yet another author. There is a lesson in the tale for those of you about to publish.

An author wrote an adult book that started off with two chapters that sounded more like a youth book. You know, the part Amazon.com let’s you read before you buy? A parent reading the preview could wrongfully assume the book was safe to purchase for a child. The cover art also suggested the story would be suitable for the Youth/ Adolescent market.

However, once a reader read past the first two chapters, the book had language and sexual depictions that were not suitable for kids.

The book was purchased by a parent for a child. Once the child read the adult material, and brought it to the parent’s attention, the author received protest on misleading the buying public.  Poor reviews on the book followed. True Story.

The trouble could have been avoided if the author had designed a cover that made it plain that adult material was part of the book. The cover art should have looked “adult” versus “youth-oriented.”

Sometimes an author has an image in mind for the cover. The rendering artist, knowing the content of the book, may suggest revisions, but the author (or publisher) is adamant about the original image. The author-selected image may be all wrong for what is inside the book. And the image may, indeed, mislead the reading public.

When your cover artist makes suggestions about changes to your cover art, please listen. You may spare yourself–and your title–criticism.