Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Hi, remember me? I used to live here.

Long-time no post on ths blog, right? I did feel as if I lived here, years ago. I loved posting; sharing about my art and my horses. Then Facebook came along and ruined it for everyone. 😂

Aesthetics are fun to make. To people still do those, or have they all run off to TikTok?

As now I've added publishing novels to my repertoire, when I was having Thoughts this morning, as I considered that business while making my morning cappuccino (that hasn't changed) I remembered this place and decided to write said Thoughts down here. Mostly because writing of all kinds is good practice, and I don't think anyone reads this anymore so it's almost like a journal instead of a public forum!

I was thinking about books, and what makes people decide to read them. Do you judge a book by its cover? My own covers have done okay, I think, though I haven't adhered to the norm for the micro-niche in which I write ("equestrian fiction"). It's my way of sharing a bit of my art along with the stories. 

Do you read the blurb, or description, for the book? I find blurbs really hard to write. How do you tell just enough about the story for potential readers to know what it's about without giving too much away? As a reader, the blurb tells me a lot about the writing, though in this day and age it's not uncommon for a writer to pay someone else to write it for them. I don't think that's entirely a bad idea, except often the blurb writer won't have actually read the book, so how accurate is it? I've found a lot of times after reading blurbs written by the authors that the book really isn't about that at all. So maybe that's a point in favour of hiring someone, or maybe that's just my brain being wired differently so I don't see things the way others do!

Pro Tip for aspiring authors (aka what I still really need to work on, so am I really a pro?): have your blurb ready before you mention your book to anyone. Have a pitch, even if you're not hoping to find an agent to become traditionally published. Be ready to answer the question, "What's your book about?" I failed this one recently, a year and a half into this gig. "Oh, um, well, it's about a girl and a guy and a horse and, do you know what the Queen's Plate is?" Not my exact words because I've probably banished them from my memory. I already spend too much time telling myself how hopeless I am, I don't need extra reminders. 😬 Also, I'm going to blame COVID for lack of practice talking to humans in person.

Another Pro Tip: I've often found that other people are better than you at telling you what your books are about, or that even if you think your book is about one thing, what your readers think matters more. You can always change up your blurb and try new ones to see if they work better. When it doesn't drive you insane, it's fun!

Are you someone who reads reviews? We authors can get obsessive about them. We try not to sound like broken records but they mean so much to our careers and thus our justification for writing more books that it's a sad reality we must keep asking for them, at least until we have a big enough name people drop reviews probably without even properly reading the book, haha! I am that person that reads reviews, but I also know how subjective they are. I'm reading a book now that has been raved about and I had high hopes for it, but for me, it's been very "meh." It's been set aside and picked up again, and I will probably finish it through sheer force of will, but I guess it's just not my thing. I'm not the book's ideal reader.

**Insert requisite ask for reviews here.** Don't want to write a review because it's too hard to find the words? Just leave a star rating (though I think maybe you can only do that with e-books when Amazon, or whoever, pops up at the end and asks you to rate and review). All I ask is that if you're going to leave one or two stars, have the guts to tell me why. I can take it. Promise. 😉

Personally, my go-to for deciding if I will read a book or not is reading the sample. It's what I would have done in the old days when I used to go to brick-and-mortar book stores and libraries. I read a few pages, and if the writing grabs me, it goes on my wish list or in the cart or on my library app bookshelf. I did not do that with the above-mentioned book. Do as I say, not as I do.

Enough thoughts for this morning. I'm nearing the halfway point in the very rough draft of my current novel project, so there's a word count goal calling my name. Later, there will be painting! And stalls. Because there are always stalls, right? 

Take care, and I'd love to hear what you're reading because personal recommendations are another good way to find new books!

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