Happy Indie Author Day!

Hello my fellow Indie Authors, and to the readers who love us!

As an indie author, I am honored to have a day dedicated to me and my fellow independent writers who grind to build their own name, their own way. We push our work out to readers and make relationships on a deeper level with them whilst dreaming of what it would be like to “make it big”. We may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of books and writing, but I have met so many authors yet to be published with a voice so original, they could teach the big name authors a thing or two about writing. We may not be published by one of the Big 6 companies, but we still have a story to tell and want our readers to enjoy it all the same.

Today, celebrate all the hard work you have completed, and any new projects you may be undertaking with a pat on the back. Regardless if we ever get published, we are putting our work out there one book at a time, and that’s a beautiful thing. Happy Indie Author Day!See the source image

Goals and Criticism

As I was finishing up a few items for the book release giveaways of my latest novel Alyeska, I started to scroll through my previous two novels, See You Soon and The Shoreline, reviews. As a writer, I believe each novel I complete brings me to the next level in my writing like I become a better novelist as each project progresses. Going through some of these older reviews on my past projects only confirms my mindset.

I’m proud of the ratings each of my novels have including my first, See You Soon. This novella was my first go around with the world of indie authors, and I am extremely happy with its performance. Some reviews were outstanding while a few rare comments would appear negative. I refuse to consider them as such because every review is a learning moment. If a reader doesn’t like a certain aspects of the book then it is my job as the author to understand what need was not met by my work on behalf of the reader. Writing at times can be a selfish act, but without an audience, we are only talking to ourselves. That starts to look a little scary to outsiders watching the dialogue between you and you, so it’s best to have someone who wants to listen to you.

As I read through the comments, I realize how much I have grown in three short years since my first novel release. Some of the constructive feedback helped me to become the writer I am today because in those comments that some might take to heart and allow to hurt their spirit, I found enlightenment and a challenge that I gladly accepted. 

So to any and all that find criticism hurtful, my advice is this: look that person/avatar/computer personality in the eye and say, “Watch this.” Push yourself for better, strive to exceed their expectations, but always be sure that you are happy to do it. Always be hungry for more to not only outshine a seemingly below average standard, but to prove to yourself that you can be better.

Disclaimer: you won’t ever make everyone happy which is clear in any reviews you read on anything, but if you find a way to push yourself to meet the goals you set, then the only happy person that matters is you.

I’m going to try to remember this as well as we head into the new year, and I create my resolutions. Hmm. I have to get that list done soon. What goals can I set this year?

What Draws a Reader In

As a fellow seeker, I’ve been contemplating what exactly it is that draws us, the potential reader, into a new novel. Is it the cover? Is it the title, or synopsis on the back cover? How about the first few pages? Or the reviews? Could it be a combination of all the above?

As an author, each time I begin putting the final touches on my finished work these questions always pop into mind. I try to remember what it is exactly that brings me to each novel I choose to read. I picture my latest exploration into a different world and run the initial face value of the novel through my mind before settling on what aspect had hit my interest first.

Take one of my latest reads as an example, the Callie & Kayden duology by Jessica Sorensen.

As I usually do when I am looking for a new novel, I found the list for what is recommended for me based on a book I have previously read. As I scrolled through the works listed, the first thing that caught my eye was the title, “The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden”. The alliteration within the name rang in my ears, and I have to say the actual characters name’s really intrigued me! For many potential readers I’m sure when something seems to strike our interest, the first thing we do is seek for more information.

As I clicked the title, the second thing to really ignite my curiosity was the cover, a young couple shared a kiss in the rain. The contrast of the dark background to their white shirts and tan skin causes your eye to search rather than rest on any one aspect. Not to mention, what I could make out of the guy, he seems to be rather attractive. (I’m a sucker for a strong jawline.)

Finally, the last deciding factor to whether or not I was going to purchase and read this novel was the synopsis, the brief explanation on the back cover. This blurb really brought my emotions to the surface, connecting me to the characters while reiterating my infatuation with their uncommon names. After reading the summary, I knew I would find this newly created world a worth while read. (I try not to focus on reviews. I usually really like what others say is bad.)

After reading “The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden”, I went on to read the continuation of these characters in “The Redemption of Callie & Kayden” as I was already drawn in from the first novel.

What I have learned from so many authors, including Jessica Sorensen, is to appeal to the senses of your readers if you want them to consider enjoying your work. In this example, the title brought me in because of the alliteration, the cover sunk me a little further because of the contrast in colors, and finally, the synopsis triggered my emotions. Remember these steps, and you’ll have a novel a reader can’t help but read.

What intrigues you?