Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just to carry on......

There are quite a few things on that list that I won't or can't cover off. Mainly because those bits were admittedly outside of either my ability or logical comprehension.

Once you have a completed book ready to go there are many exciting things that happen all at once. If you blink you miss them, and some of them should really be enjoyed.

Contrary to what many people may think about me I actually don't like talking about myself too much. I have a closed 'space' buried deep down that nobody gets into, it's just me, it's very private and that's the end of it. I go there to draw on my past experiences of life and love and that allows me to bring some emotion to my words, so it has a use.

Anyway, when Judi tells me that I have to produce a series of 'personal' pages for the book, the developing website and the Amazon Authors Page I really struggled. I searched the internet to get some ideas of the sort of format and content that was expected and, you guessed, there's about 500 different way's of 'there's only one way to do it'! Eeek

After a number of awkward conversations with Judi we settled on a very basic format; well in truth I settled and Judi rejected it. Y'see your 'Profile' page has to show the reader that you are actually human (?). Apparently people can relate to mistakes, human error, tragedy or fluffy life stories but they struggle with a brick wall of silence - it makes you seem 'cold'. Hmmm. It took a while but it appears that you have to offer some of your soul as a sacrifice to all that is 'public interest'. You just need to be very careful of how much! So, the lesson: It has always been my promise to be honest throughout this entire 'adventure' but you need to think long and hard about your Author's biography, the things you put in black and white, out there in the public domain, cannot be unwritten.

Another task that belongs to the Author is the Synopsis. How to compress 270+ pages into a few paragraphs. You're going to need a synopsis for a number of reasons, the back cover summary, the Amazon sales page, any 'Agent' letters and probably your website. Here's a problem though, they aren't all the same! Who'd of thought it.

A couple of hints that might help:
1. Focus on the MAIN characters only, no more than two or it gets confusing for the reader.
2. Try and keep it to a maximum of three paragraphs. Some schools of thought say two, but I think you can get away with three if it's good enough.
3. Introduce the 'scene' so the reader knows where to set their brain at the beginning.
4. Find the 'Hook'! There has to be something that will draw the reader 'in' and bring them back for more.

These are the very basic's only. You'll need to do some more research to find what best suits your style of writing but it needs to be 'enough' information for the reader to want more, but not so much that they get confused, after all you can't expect to shrink 270+ pages into a few paragraphs and still have a story.

Another area that was over my head was identifying chapter breaks. Much acclaim needs to be given to Judi again. Traditionally, when I used to read a lot, 'chapters' could be of some considerable length and so that is where my thoughts were. However, as was explained to me, shorter chapters are more appealing to the reader especially as Russian Redemption is quite a fast moving story, it allows the reader to breath, then dive straight into the next chapter, into the action. It really does add a quality to the story.

I was going to continue on looking at the topic of 'Reviews' but it is such a complex  section that I'll carry it over to the next one. It is a critical but delicate subject where I have learnt a hell of a lot, hopefully it can help you to. See you then

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