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I have been guilty of rookie mistakes. Yes, old rookies make the same mistakes as young ones. What happened to the wisdom gained by years? Good question. I'm still looking for the answer.
Mistake #1: Publish the book to quickly. The temptation is to rush a new book to market because there is nothing like seeing the first book in a new series for sale. The biggest sign of rushing a book to market is having to do too many edits in a published book. If books have sold and in the customers' hands, somebody is holding and reading a hand full of mistakes. Guilty as charged.
Anyone who purchased my book and wants the latest version, please let me know. I will take care of my readers.
Mistake #2: Unfamiliar with the publishing process. Amazon has revolutionized the publishing business. However, if you aren't familiar with the process and details, it can be confusing, especially in the print version. You are given options for size, paper used, finish of the cover and a few more details that sound minor.
But they are not minor. For instance, in my first release, I picked 6"x9", white paper and matte finish. The book had to be sold for $35. For my second book, I picked 5"x8", canary, and matte finish. The book could be sold for $8.99. I try to go back and change the first one, but once you get an ISBN number, according to Amazon, the format of the book is in concrete. Paper in concrete? Who does that?
Amazon's amazing customer service representative explained my options like this: "You can leave it the same, or you can do something so drastic, it's unreasonable. You would have to unpublish your book and do it under another title."
Unreasonable? It seems unreasonable to me for people to read my second book, or third, and desire to seek out my first one, expecting them to pay $35. So, I unpublished. I had to change name from "Water" to "Death Water" (a better title anyway), and I changed cover photo (I think a better one too). But it's the reader a writer works for, not the publisher.
So the moral to this story is, young writers, don't seek out an old writer for advise. Seek out an experienced one.
Have you ever been reading a novel and the author begins describing a character to your disapproval? I do sometimes. Let me tell you why.
Sometimes as I read a good book, reading about the roll and personality of a character, it reminds me of someone; maybe an actor or one of the many characters I have met in my life. Some writers are so detailed about each person, they box me in and I feel smothered with the details they create.
That's the reason I try to leave a little wiggle room for the reader to fill in the blanks. I try to leave enough dots in the description that the reader's mental image of a character is roughly the same as mine. But they fill in the details and therefore become co-writers with the storyteller as they read along.
My assumption was that everyone enjoyed that type of reading. What about you? Leave a comment about how you like your characters described.