Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why do you write?

I've been busy.  In the past year I have written four books (3 novels and one that ended up being a novella, but I might add to it).  I didn't set out to write so many, but the characters and their stories came to me and I felt compelled to write them down.  I tried to write every day, but I do have a real job, so that didn't always happen.  When I stopped to take stock of what I had accomplished since last June, I realized how hard I had worked. 
Looking back on what I wrote made me think.  Why do I write?  Like I said before, I do have a real job.  Writing is not how I make my money.  Honestly, I don't think I will ever have a "career" in writing.  It's difficult to bust onto the scene as a new writer, especially in the Chick Lit genre.  However, knowing the reality of the situation has not deterred me from writing.  Right now, I have at least three more stories in my head, just waiting to get out.
Why do I bother if it seems like my success will be limited? 
I do it because I love it! 
I love sitting down in front of my computer and bringing characters to life.  I love the feeling I get when my characters say or do something funny.  I love when things come together and my stories fit!  I love it when my friend reads what I've written and talks about how she loved the characters or what they went through.  I feel a sense of pride when I complete that first draft and love the feeling I get when I go back to revisit a draft. 
I write because I love it!
I kept my writing a secret from my family for a long time.  When word finally got out about my writing, they were really encouraging.  They pushed me to pursue the publishing route.  When things just weren't working out, they encouraged me to self-publish.  It is still a struggle for me to explain to them that I put in all the long hours simply because I love it!  Yes, it would be nice to do it full-time and be able to make a living at it.  However, if I only sell a few copies of anything that I write then that's just fine with me!  My characters and my stories are still there.  I enjoy them and that's enough!
Why do you write?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To cover or not to cover, that is the question...

As an avid reader and Kindle owner, I am faced with a dilemma as an aspiring author.  If I'm not trying to market my books in print, then why should I bother with fancy cover art? After attempting to get published the traditional route, I found success (okay, limited success, but I'll take it) with self-publishing to the Kindle.  However, I am starting to wonder if I would attract more readers if I had cover art for my books. 
As a Kindle reader, I don't ever look at the cover art for a book after I've downloaded it.  Why would I?  I'm reading it in its digital format for a reason.  As a self-published author, why should I spend time and money designing a cover that no one will ever see?  The saying goes "Don't judge a book by its cover" but honestly, don't we all do that? 
Anyone who has read any of my earlier posts knows how much I love Jill Mansell, and while it's the content that keeps me reading, I'd be lying if I said the cover of her books weren't what initially drew me to her.  I can't help they're just so adorable!  I would argue that sometimes we all go so far as to judge a reader by their book's cover!  If you plan on reading a book where others can see you, you certainly don't want something that is embarrassing.  I know I wouldn't want to be seen sitting on a park bench reading a book with a half-naked couple lounging on the beach together no matter how entertaining the content might be.  However, with the invention of ebook readers, that problem is solved.  No one can see what you are reading.  You could be reading the trashiest of trashy romance novels while sitting on the bus and no one would be the wiser! 
If you are purchasing a book to be read electronically then what purpose does the cover serve?  When I search for a new book to download and read, I don't put much emphasis on the icon of the cover art that pops up.  I look at the title, the author, the "teaser", and then the cover art.  I'm definitely not going to rule out a good read just because of its cover. 
So my dilemma remains.  Do I, as a self-published author, shell out money to get covers made for my books?  Should I pay someone to create the cover art or just purchase a program that would allow me to create my own?  If the title and teaser aren't enough to intrigue a reader will a simple picture do the trick?
How many Kindle, Nook, or other ebook readers out there have an opinion on this matter?  I am very curious to know!