First of all, thank you to everyone who responded to my questions last week, including the members of the Facebook online writing group during the blog posting day.
You’ve probably heard me say it before but I love writing and hate marketing. I know all the theory and how things should be done, and that you need to invest in this and that, and monitor results, and experiment and spend money on editing and cover design, and Facebook Ads and Amazon Ads and encourage awareness, be available for your fans, and post three times a day in every format and on every platform, and keep up with the new and latest popular sites and STOP!
Please can I just write some books, and be in a few select author groups and have time for other incidentals like eating and sleeping? I did try Twitter but never really got the hang of it, as it seemed to be something which demanded an instant response, otherwise the point gets buried and lost in retweets. TikTok seemed to become the in-thing, but is apparently geared towards the younger people glued to a phone, rather than the mature cheeses using a laptop.
My usual social media outlets are my personal Facebook profile which was initially intended for close friends and family, my Facebook ‘Val’s Tales’ which was my advertising platform, and my blog which seemed a good idea at the time. It’s tempting to post one thing across the board, but somehow I feel that’s cheating as each social media outlet has a different purpose.
In several ways it’s been a good week for catching-up, but on the other hand there’s been very little done on the latest work-in-progress. It was interesting how having a lunch date with someone from outside the writing world helped me put things into perspective. Perhaps I need to get out more, as it’s very easy for authors and writers to become introverts.
ABC Destiny was originally published under my pen name Voinks. I believe it was my second book, and was released by different publishers from the first. It could be described as quite character driven, and it was fun having three girls from very different backgrounds introducing themselves and their lives. The names were not ones I would usually pick but I realised Abigail, Beatrice and Cecilia followed the alphabet, and the idea grew to make each chapter start with consecutive letters. The Q, X and Z were a challenge but I got there in the end.
Thinking back, I wouldn’t have seen the cover until the book had been submitted and the contract signed, so I’m not sure how the French connection came into being. It could be I needed a name beginning with ‘D’ and as other names didn’t seem right I ‘invented’ the name Delphine, which has a French ring to it. How weird that about that time I met a lady with that very name. Again, the Eiffel Tower is not something I would particularly have chosen for the cover. It’s possible I was asked to submit a basic synopsis to give the cover designer a starting point, and they latched onto a brief mention of Paris.
It’s a fairly short book so it was quite surprising they actually published a hardback version. It’s a foible of mine that I tend to think of fiction as paperback, and reserve hardback for non-fiction, or at least very long books.
As I was writing this, it crossed my mind whether there was originally a Kindle version available. I had to Google to discover Kindles were first released in 2007, so they were around, but perhaps not as well-known as a reading format, particularly for new authors. When I re-released ABC Destiny under my own name a few years ago, it was accepted practice to include a Kindle version.
Comparing the two covers I genuinely prefer the later one. It’s an interesting thought whether views change with age and experience. If I could be teleported back in time to when I started writing the book, and given the choice between the two covers, which one would I have picked?
There’s a possibility I might be reading some of my short stories in my road’s Platinum Jubilee street party in June. Not something I’ve done before so I’ve been looking through some of my old stories to see which might be suitable for children, and writing some new ones more appropriate for the adults. It’s quite scary but at the same time I’m looking forward to it.
The last few blog posts have tended to be more serious, so I think it’s probably time we had some more Quirky stuff. See you next week when there might even be a short story.
© Val Portelli May 2022.