Home > Writing > Archives > ART & SOUL

 I want to be upfront: I borrowed that headline. I saw it in the Los Angeles Times this morning and it started me thinking about how we, as writers, view ourselves. Actually, that’s not quite correct. I’ve been thinking about this ever since I joined a discussion on LinkedIn. It went something like this.

Author #1:How do you decide on your novel titles?
Author #2: I like to use lots of words.
Author #3: I like titles that keep people guessing.
Author #4: I hate publishers. They always change my titles.
Author #5: Publishers have no soul. They aren’t creative.
Me: I disagree. Publishers are creative in a different way, a business way. We should appreciate that and learn from it.
So, while we write, immersing ourselves in our fictional character’s lives and worlds, we are being artistic and creative. When we come up for air, we need to be something else. We need to be publishers: clear-eyed, objective, and strategic.
If it weren’t for traditional publishers taking a chance on me, investing in my art, offering me a platform for the work of my soul, I wouldn’t have grown as a writer. I still have every rejection and acceptance letter I ever received because reading them reminds me of why I failed as much as why I succeeded. I still can visualize every editorial letter that came in the mail (after 28 books, that’s a lot of letters). They outlined where I could do better: style, grammar, character development, transitional efforts, titles, plot and story. I still remember meetings with sales reps, buyers, distributors and realizing that at every level there was effort and money being spent on my behalf in ways that were corporately creative. I also know that the administrators did the research I could never do regarding an ever-changing marketplace.  Sure there were inequities.  Sure there were things I didn’t agree with but my interaction with the publishers, more than any writing lesson, taught me the true art of bringing my work to an audience.
Now that I’m indie, I wear a publisher’s hat. I can hire a freelance editor, a cover designer, and a formatter. I can even hire marketing experts to handle the last, critical part of the publishing puzzle. But if I do not understand and appreciate the creativity of the input they provide me –  a title that will cut through the ever-growing clutter, a cover image that is arresting even though it appears as a thumbnail, interesting ways to communicate with the marketplace –  then my money is wasted. I will never be able to truly control my own brand. 

When your book is finished and it’s time to publish, take off the rose colored glasses of an author and get out your publisher’s magnifying glass to assess the marketability of your work. Ask yourself “what would a publisher do?” I promise, if you answer that question honestly you will find avenues for success you never dreamed. In my book, that last step qualifies as creativity. That is the Art & Soul of  the business of publishing.
Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

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    ×
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.
     I want to be upfront: I borrowed that headline. I saw it in the Los Angeles Times this morning and it started me thinking about how we, as writers, view ourselves. Actually, that’s not quite correct. I’ve been thinking about this ever since I joined a discussion on LinkedIn. It went something like this.
    Author #1:How do you title your novel?
    Author #2: I like to use lots of words.
    Author #3: I like titles that keep people guessing.
    Author #4: I hate publishers. They always change my titles.
    Author #5: Publishers have no soul. They aren’t creative.
    Me: I disagree. Publishers are creative in a different way, a business way. We should appreciate that and learn from it.
    While we write, immersing ourselves in our fictional character’s lives and worlds, we are being artistic and creative. When we come up for air, we need to be something else. We need to be publishers: clear-eyed, objective, and strategic.
    If it weren’t for traditional publishers taking a chance on me, investing in my art, offering me a platform for the work of my soul, I wouldn’t have grown as a writer. I still have every rejection and acceptance letter I ever received because reading them reminds me of why I failed as much as why I succeeded. I can visualize every editorial letter that came in the mail (pages long and single spaced) which outlined where I could do better: style, grammar, character development, transitional efforts, titles, plot and story. I still remember meetings with sales reps, buyers, distributors and realizing that at every level there was effort and money being spent on my behalf in ways that were corporately creative. I also know that there were administrators doing research I could never tap into regarding an ever-changing marketplace.  Sure there were inequities.  Sure there were things I didn’t agree with. But my interaction with the publishers, more than any writing lesson, taught me the true art of bringing my work to an audience. 
    Now that I’m indie, I wear a publisher’s hat. I can hire a freelance editor, a cover designer, and a formatter. I can even hire marketing experts to handle the last, critical part of the publishing puzzle. But if I do not understand and appreciate the creativity of the input these people provide me –  a title that will cut through the ever-growing clutter, a cover image that is arresting even though it appears as a thumbnail, interesting ways to communicate with the marketplace –  then my money is wasted. I will never be able to truly control my own brand. 

    So, when your book is finished and it’s time to publish, take off the rose colored glasses of an author and get out your publisher’s magnifying glass to assess the marketability of your work. Ask yourself “what would a publisher do?”. I promise, if you answer that question honestly you will find avenues for success you never dreamed. In my book, that last step qualifies as creativity. That is the Art & Soul of  the business of publishing.
    Author Details
    Author Details
    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

    #Me Too

    Buy now!
    #Me Too

    A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

    Buy now!
    A LADY’S POINT OF VIEW

    A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

    Buy now!
    A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS
    BECKONED, PART 1: FROM LONDON WITH LOVE

    CITY OF BLAZE

    Buy now!
    CITY OF BLAZE

    COWBOY KARMA

    Buy now!
    COWBOY KARMA

    DANGER MUSIC

    Buy now!
    DANGER MUSIC
    FATHOMS: A NOVEL OF THE PARANORMAL

    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

    Buy now!
    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two
    FUR, FEATHERS AND SCALES: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Animal Tales

    GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

    Buy now!
    GIRLFRIENDS & SECRETS

    GIRL IN THE MIST

    Buy now!
    GIRL IN THE MIST

    HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

    Buy now!
    HAGAR’S LAST DANCE

    HOSTILE WITNESS

    Buy now!
    HOSTILE WITNESS

    ILONA’S WOLF

    Buy now!
    ILONA’S WOLF
    INTIMATE RELATIONS

    LEIF Viking Glory Book One

    Buy now!
    LEIF Viking Glory Book One

    LET IT SNOW

    Buy now!
    LET IT SNOW

    Savaged Surrender

    Buy now!
    Savaged Surrender
    SNOW IN LOVE: Sweet Romance Holiday Collection

    SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

    Buy now!
    SUPERHERO IN DISGUISE

    THE WOULD BE MOMMY

    Buy now!
    THE WOULD BE MOMMY
    THIEVES: Book One of the Obscurité de Floride Trilogy
    THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

    THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

    Buy now!
    THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR

    THE FIX UP

    Buy now!
    THE FIX UP

    THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

    Buy now!
    THE GHOST OF DEPFORD HALL

    THE LIFE OF RILEY

    Buy now!
    THE LIFE OF RILEY
    WHO’S THE FAIREST? A Sisters Grimm Anthology
    #PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

    CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

    Buy now!
    CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN

    CLEAR INTENT

    Buy now!
    CLEAR INTENT
    COLTON 911: CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE

    DARK WINE AT DUSK

    Buy now!
    DARK WINE AT DUSK

    DEAD BLOW

    Buy now!
    DEAD BLOW

    FOR A GOOD PAWS

    Buy now!
    FOR A GOOD PAWS

    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

    Buy now!
    FREYA Viking Glory Book Two

    GAME TOWN

    Buy now!
    GAME TOWN

    HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

    Buy now!
    HAUNTING MISS FENWICK

    HIDDEN BETRAYAL

    Buy now!
    HIDDEN BETRAYAL

    HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

    Buy now!
    HIS HIGHLAND SURPRISE

    LEIF Viking Glory Book One

    Buy now!
    LEIF Viking Glory Book One
    LOST WITNESS: A Josie Bates Thriller
    Off the Rails: A Collection of Weird, Wicked, & Wacky Stories

    ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

    Buy now!
    ONCE UPON AN ENCHANTED FOREST

    ONE TASTE TOO MANY

    Buy now!
    ONE TASTE TOO MANY

    REWRITING THE PAST

    Buy now!
    REWRITING THE PAST
    SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

    SHADOWS AT DAWN

    Buy now!
    SHADOWS AT DAWN
    THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIDGE, NEW YORK, 1930
    SHORT and SWEET’S FAMILY ALBUM
    THE WITCHES OF NEW MOON BEACH BOXED SET

    THE WITCH OF BERGEN

    Buy now!
    THE WITCH OF BERGEN

    THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

    Buy now!
    THE WORTH OF A VISCOUNT

    THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

    Buy now!
    THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT

    TRACKING SHADOWS

    Buy now!
    TRACKING SHADOWS

    THE CONSPIRACY

    Buy now!
    THE CONSPIRACY

    TWO BITES TOO MANY

    Buy now!
    TWO BITES TOO MANY

    THE DECEPTION

    Buy now!
    THE DECEPTION

    THE DEVIL’S CARESS

    Buy now!
    THE DEVIL’S CARESS

    THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

    Buy now!
    THEIR HIGHLAND BEGINNING

    THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT

    Buy now!
    THE MASK OF MIDNIGHT
    WINTER WISHES: A REGENCY HOLIDAY ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY

    THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE

    Buy now!
    THE OBLIVIOUS BILLIONAIRE
    CHRISTMAS ON NANTUCKET AND OTHER STORIES

    HER COWBOY KING

    Buy now!
    HER COWBOY KING

      ×
      A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.