New CRYO cover and blurb

One of the things you often hear when publishing is that it’s crucial to get THREE things right; cover, blurb and sample. It sounds pretty obvious, but it can be hard to know what people are looking for. A cover has to make readers stop in their tracks, the blurb has to cause interest and the sample has to  result in people having that ‘I HAVE TO BUY THIS BOOK’ moment. It’s well reported that even if one of these factors is lacking, sales can flat-line. H. M. Ward is a famous example for this. Initially, her books (Damaged, Scandalous etc) were selling, but not amazingly. She then changed the cover art, tightened up the blurb and BAM – New York Bestseller list. So…you can see how important it is.

CRYO200pxWith this in mind, I’ve decided to change up the CRYO cover. I love the Rise of the Immortals artwork, and the novel is my favourite – because I love the SciFi genre – but for some reason, it’s just not attracting readers. The few reviews I’ve received are extremely favourable (as you’ll see from the above link), and I’m about to embark on writing the sequel. With that in mind, I thought it was time for a change. In addition, I gave the sample a once over and changed a couple of bad style choices that had been overlooked.

So, the new blurb goes like this:

Would you accept a one-way ticket to the future?

Earth is dying, but John Carlody has the chance to escape. He wins the most anticipated lotto ever;  the opportunity to become part of CRYO, be one of fifty people to enjoy the latest cryonics technology and journey forward half a century.

However, a dream come true could be a making of a nightmare. CRYO isn’t what it pretends to be and John is about to discover their secrets. But will he be too late?
Since changing the blurb and cover I’ve sold a grand total of….drum roll….two books. BUT, that’s more than I had been shifting. When I say it’s not attracting readers, I mean it. So, we’ll see what happens with the new details. It’s not all about the novel….in some ways, the packaging it more important than what’s inside. It’s great to have a exciting book and all, but if no ones reading it, what’s the point?
Like the new cover & blurb? Prefer the old one? Let me know…for us little indie’s these details are vital!

The Difficulty of a title

As you may have discovered in my previous post, I’m setting about finishing a science fiction novel that’s been cluttering my computer files for far too long. I started reading it today and really enjoyed it – ok, I’m very biased – but I very quickly got back into the characters and story. I do have one problem, however, in that the new work has no name.

A title is pretty darn important. Inside Evil was always there from the beginning and worked so well as it can be interpreted on various different levels for the book, from the ancient evil lurking in the woods, to the inner conflict that many of the characters have throughout the story. Likewise, The Tower of Souls came to me as I was writing and I now can’t think of any better title for the second in the series. However, the latest work just isn’t coming along.

Self publishing means that I can flit in and out of published works, change inaccuracies and errors when they’re highlighted, add appendices and epilogues as needed and even, as I’ve just done, change the listings to create one book into a series of books. However, a title sticks. It can be the first thing that readers see and so it’s essential to get it correct. Along with good cover art, an alluring title can persuade people to delve more into the details of a book and hopefully make them buy it.

The problem with my latest work is that I’ve already written it and nothing enthralling has come to mind. I have a working title, but it’s pretty bland and boring, and if I think that, then god only knows what readers will think. Perhaps I’ll pass it to my proofer with the title TBC, perhaps something will come to me, or to her. But, until that crucial element of self publishing is decided, cover art and the ultimate publication is going to be seriously held up!

When to Write Again

Finishing a book is a funny thing. First, there’s utter relief, a sense of pride, the feeling that you’ve finally made it – you’re an author. Then, you look to publish, and whether you go down traditional routes or start off as a self published e-novel author, there’s that desperate hope of hitting the jackpot and making sales. And then, a few days after your book has gone on sale, regardless of how many copies have been bought, there’s that instant need to write again.

Many say that being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life. Whilst you may procrastinate and find it hard to actually sit down and write, once you’ve finished a story, you’re eager to start another. You can be walking down the street and a certain scene, smell or sound sparks something in your imagination and off you go. I’ve never found that I’ve had to actually sit and think, ‘I want to write, what shall it be about?’. There’s always some idea, some unfinished work, or the possibility of a novel sequel in the offing.

The best time to write again is immediately after you’ve finished your current WIP (Work in Progress). If you’ve been published by an agent, then you may be busy doing readings, looking at artwork or going to constant edit meetings. If you’re self published, then a vast amount of time will be taken up with your own marketing and advertising. But, amongst all of these extras, don’t forget to stop writing. Especially if you’re releasing your first book, then taking the plunge and working on the next novel will help you no end as you’ll be able to offer a catalogue of titles to readers throughout the years. You only need a reader to love one novel, to gain many more sales from your other titles.

So, though Inside Evil may only just be published, I’m already preparing to sit down and start writing again. Will it be to finish my other science fiction novel, or work on a sequel to my début book? Of that, I’m not quite sure yet. But, whilst the marketing process beings, one thing that will help keen me sane is beginning the writing process all over again.