Easter's Lilly

Monday, August 29, 2011

How much editing is enough?

The QOTD (Question of the day) on one of my writers groups the other day was simply… “How much is reasonable for an editor to charge?” That is a very good question. Something even more important, I found, was the different kinds of editing that writers were looking for. Some want total content editing, while some are simply looking for a second set of eyes. Some editors will charge more than $2000 for a manuscript of 100,000 words and some will charge 5 cents a page. I have friends who self-publish and pay exorbitant amounts for people to edit their work. But I do have to ask. If they are editing content, how do we know that they are right? And even if they are simply editing grammar, how much training do they have in this area? I will be the first to admit that I certainly need a second set of eyes. Dyslexia has made identifying homonyms a bit of a challenge for me. And certainly if I was part of a publishing house that wanted me to alter my content, I would comply. But how much content do we want edited? Especially if we’re self published or using an independent publisher. Just a little food for thought.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Genre and Marketing

As some of you already know, I have been re-evaluating the genre I use to market my books. Although literally speaking, they are romantic suspense novels, if we’re talking about what we expect when we pick up a romantic suspense novel and what you get when you pick up one of mine, they are two totally different things. Although there is certainly some loving going on in Lilly’s wild adventures, the scenes are not graphic and I use almost no foul language. Although I find Stephanie Tyler and Maya Banks incredibly talented, as an author, I am simply not one of them. The first time I picked up a romantic suspense novel, I thought it was just a difference in style. But after I read quite a few of them it became painfully clear: This is not me.

Originally, I simply thought they were romance novels but the ending is not always wrapped up in a little bow. I am notorious for leaving you hanging at the end. I must admit that while I was sending out queries, I was a little disappointed that no one even mentioned that I had the wrong genre. I guess it is not their job to let me know but as a new author, it surely would have helped. So removing the word, “suspense” from the title is apparently necessary. Romantic Thriller might be a more accurate description of what I write and perhaps it is time to change the genre in my marketing. If people who read romantic suspense novels on a regular basis are looking at Easter’s Lilly to satisfy that kind of thirst, it will certainly not be what they expected. However, if you’re looking for a romantic thriller, it certainly will fill the bill.

Not that I’m complaining. I seem to be getting positive feedback and I get quite a bit of support from my fellow author friends, my local friends and friends from my hometown in New York.   But I do think it is important that we are able to identify our work properly so that it gets into the hands of those who will most enjoy it. What are your thoughts on the subject? Does your book have an HEA ending but not enough romance? Or does it have an unidentifiable style? Can’t wait to hear from you.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The popularity of the series. Will there be a book two? How do you Decide?

When I first started writing Easter’s Lilly, I wasn’t thinking to myself, I must produce a series, it just sort of happened that way. I have become so attached to my characters that I didn’t want to let them go. Even though book four doesn’t “star” Lilly, so to speak, the people that we learn to love and watch grow up, while reading of Lilly’s turbulent life, still live on. I have been unable to end it thus far and am not sure when and even if I will. In the mean time, however, I have decided to try something different and write a book that stands on its own. So far, no series is planned for this one. But will it stay that way? Only time will tell.

I just finished reading a book called “Between Morning and Midnight” by Cindy Gerard and I was sad to actually finish the book. I would have liked to read a “book two.” I got totally caught up in the romance and the characters and wanted more. Now I see how the series is born. How do you decide if you want to continue on or simply let your book stand alone? I would love to hear your thoughts.