Sunday, May 26, 2013

Back to Book Selling 101

Everything is in place.  The last thing to do was getting Claws of the Griffin in paperback format out there.  I fretted for awhile about the cover spine where the the title and author name didn't center as I'd hoped. I examined the artwork closely and found that everything was dead on right. The answer is the limits of the printer. Covers are designed with a bleed area; in other words, the cover extends slightly beyond edges of the designed print area. The reason is to allow for variation in the print process.  My day job is engineering and we call this tolerance.  The net result was the off center title and name. Bottom line: it is what it is.

Now comes the tough part of writing. Promotion.  Although I am a believer that a good story is key to success, getting noticed is the hard part. I wrote a column a while back on things to do to promote a book. I also found some ideas on Book Baby. #7 Banners/Ads is one area I need to think about, and #11 Book Trailer may be the way to go.

Ron D. Voigts is the author of the Penelope Mysteries and Claws of the Griffin for "big kids."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What makes a story Interesting?

Probably the answer to this question is as varied as are the number of reader. One thing that pulls in interest is being different. The mundane is out. Something unique sets aside the story from everyone else. But the readers needs to identify with the story’s elements. Something about it must be familiar. The combination of unique/identifiable seems like an oxymoron but think of some of the great successes.

The Twilight series is a good example. What is Identifiable about it? Vampires. We all know vampires. Yawn! What is unique? This is a love story between Bella (the girl next door) and Edward (the vampire). Continuum, available on Netflix, caught my interest lately. The story is science fiction time travel with the obvious paradoxes, but it’s also a police procedural (aka mystery-thriller) where the time traveler works alongside of a detective on the Vancouver police force. Also, the lead character, Kiera, is not only a high tech cop from the future, she’s a mom and wife, sorting out career-work issues.

Ask these two questions about your story. Why will everyone identify with it? What makes it different from everyone else?

Ron D. Voigts is the Author of Claws of the Griffin available on Kindle and Nook.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Black Hat and White Hat

When I was a kid we played "cowboy". Not sure if kids do anymore, but back then we didn't computers or tablets or iphones or all the gadgets of today. Back then it was pure imagination.  "I'll be the good guy and you be the bad guy."

Many writers today still play good guy-bad guy.  The hero is handsome, smart and wears a white hat. The villain is ugly, cunning and wears a black hat. As Melanie Anne Phillips points out in her book "Hero" is a Four-Letter Word, what they've created are stereotypes. 

A reader mentioned recently that in my book Claws of the Griffin, the "hero" Peter Reynolds is a bit of a snob. Why not? He's got seven million dollars in the bank and a gorgeous girlfriend even if he isn't terribly handsome. Peter finds his world falling apart  when he gets mixed up with moonshiners, Southern politics and a sociopathic killer

What is the hero like in your story? 

Ron D. Voigts is the Author of Claws of the Griffin available on Kindle and Nook.