These 5 tips for balancing your creative life and your published author life might just help save your sanity. Every day when I wake up, I wonder whether I should be the writer or the author — should I spend my time on my new work-in-progress or promote my novel, The Renaissance Club. Creating and promoting are two different mindsets, thiough both involve creativity. More
I’m delighted to have a new interview up at Authors18 — a group of this year’s debut authors, of which I’m a proud member. Among the questions asked: “If you could spend a day with anyone in history, who would it be?” See my answer in today’s interview (hint: I’d travel to Renaissance Italy). Here’s a link to the interview.
Promoting your book should be fun and easy — are you crazy? When there are millions of books out there competing for attention, getting your published book to shine in a spotlight that readers can find seems at first like finding a gold ring that’s been thrown into the ocean.
If you’re a new author and waiting for your book to launch, or it has just launched and you’re obsessing over not doing enough, you know the feeling I’m talking about. After the book’s launch I felt like a real novelist, but I was worried that no one would find my published novel. And I read about this thing called an author platform — something like a launch pad from which your book can rocket into the stratosphere. Did I have one? Did I even have the planks for building such a thing?
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Happy 2018! What are your new year’s writing goals? Someone in one of my writers groups asked me, while wishing me a happy 2018. I was shocked to realize I don’t have many. My debut novel launches on January 23 — The Renaissance Club, my time-travel love story, available now on Amazon for pre-order. I have a poetry collection coming out in August — Arabesque, from FutureCycle Press. And I’m finishing the last revision before querying agents and publishers of my new novel, The Romantics. Plus I’m writing a new musical play.
For me, 2018 seems to be all about finishing up big projects and sending them off to sail in wider waters, with new readership and audiences. Do you have a book making its debut in 2018? Maybe your writing goals revolve around book marketing — blogging, doing interviews, giving readings, offering giveaways. These all require a lot of writing. But my big 2018 writing goal is to start writing a new novel.
The evolution of a cover design for my novel The Renaissance Club has been a fascinating process. I’m thrilled with this cover art, showing my main character walking into a mysterious, dreamlike Italian Renaissance landscape. The scene shimmers with possibility, like the doorway in time through which she walks to meet her 17th century artist hero, sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini.
Evolution of a Cover Design
The process of working with my publisher on cover art began with words. I filled out a form about cover ideas and how themes in the book might be expressed visually, as well as physical descriptions of the main characters. Having never undergone a process like this with a publisher — cover art for poetry is more a matter of the author bringing an image to the publisher — I was intrigued. Then long months of waiting and wondering, at the end of which I received three different concepts.
I liked them all, but felt that seeing the face of my main character was too specific. Fiery Seas’ designer them came up with this beautiful image of my heroine May Gold seen from behind, as she’s poised to move through the landscape of the Italian Renaissance, both contemporary and past. After seeing this wonderful evocation, I asked for just a tweak or two, and this gorgeous design became my novel’s cover. I love the way the feeling of time-travel is embodied in the changing light, from the dark below into what seems like a dawn sky. Transitional times of day make time travel seem possible. The butterflies that hover around her signify this transition, as do elephants. In the book, Bernini says elephants and butterflies are images of eternity.
Thank you, Fiery Seas Publishing!
Publication date – January 16!
Not only do I have his beautiful new cover revealed today, but I also got a specific publication date. On January 16, you’ll be able to purchase The Renaissance Club. Having worked on this story for more than seven years, this is a beyond thrilling moment. Stay tuned for details about ordering.
- Becoming a novelist is a major amount of fun, but it’s also very hard work. The unexpected challenges are the ones that come after it’s been accepted for publication. One of the big challenges is to write a short persuasive summary of your book, if your publisher requires you to write it, or you’re self-publishing. Wonderful writers have been known to tear out their hair over this.
But because these blurbs or book descriptions are needed for a book’s back cover, for the Amazon page, the author’s website, and countless book marketing materials, you have to win the challenge. You haven’t come this far to break down on a couple of paragraphs! Blurbs are used everywhere in social media to sell books. They’re probably second only in sales to good cover art.
Tips on Blurb Writing
Here’s an article with good writing advice on book blurbs:
The Fussy Librarian – Beth Bacon on Book Blurb Writing. Anne R. Allen has 8 Tips for Writing That Killer Blurb. I especially like the one about staying true to your genre. There are endless examples as near as your local library or bookstore (online or other). Joanna Penn has a great How to Write Back Blurb for Your Book Some more writing tips on crafting a blurb for your book: