#1 Indie Writer Pet-Peeve

Okay, I’m actually going to talk about 2 of my pet peeves today. One is book ads, the other is blog articles about mistakes indie writers make.

Let’s start with the latter.

I get it, you’re finding some success as an indie writer, or maybe you’re an avid reader, either way I’m assuming you’ve seen and hopefully read a lot of indie books before writing your article. Or maybe you’re a marketer and you’re viewing the mistakes from that angle. Most common items to make the list? Cover art, interior formatting, lack of editing, plot holes and character issues, pricing issues, spamming people with ads, not being willing to work at the marketing aspect, and ineffective marketing techniques.

No wait, that’s ALL you ever hear about.

And that’s my pet peeve right there. It doesn’t matter how many links I click on by any number of writers, marketers, or readers, they all say the same thing. I’ve read this advice already. I know my cover has to be professional, age appropriate to my YA readers, and catchy. I know how to format the interior. I know I need an editor. I’m very thorough about plot and character. My only pricing mistake is maybe putting it a buck or two too low. I don’t spam, I spend an hour per day online working on building my network and platform, and I do a lot of marketing research.

So tell me something I don’t know.

No, seriously. Please tell me something new. Please identify another little trick to success or quirk that is turning readers away. Give me something more to work with!

But if you’re just posting the same 5, 7, 10, 15 … tips that everyone else is posting, maybe you should just go reblog them instead.

And my #1 pet peeve has to do with book ads.

We see them everywhere. There are hundreds of Facebook groups that are basically ad spam hell-holes. I follow a few because I like to study them from a marketing perspective. Which ones make me interested, and why? Which ones do I scroll past and why? What appeals to me as a reader?

But I’ve become adept at identifying “authors” who speak English as a second language and I’d put money on the fact that most of them are purchasing their stories from ghost writers. I’d put my money on it because I am a ghost writer. I’ve worked with people with very unique names by my Anglo-North-American upbringing. I was also an Educational Assistant and worked with children who had recently come to Canada so I recognize the speech pattern errors of EAL speakers.

I can tell you right now that grammatical errors or spelling errors in your ad is BAD. Maybe not so much if you’re selling 99-cent smut, but if you’re serious about your book your ad had better be 100%.

Because it’s the first thing I as the reader often see. And if I see an error in the ad I’ll assume you were just as careless with the book. Because readers do judge the book by the cover – and the cover is no longer the first thing they see.

Maybe I’m preaching what everyone knows and am guilty of my other pet peeve, I don’t know. But not everyone knows it or it wouldn’t happen anymore.

Oh, and don’t use a copyrighted image in your ad unless you hold the copyright. Because that book of dark poetry I see crop up from time to time, yeah, your cover is recognizable the guy from the front of the Borderlands game box. Sorry.

So, what are your pet peeves in the indie world, as a writer or a reader?

New Releases

Children’s picture books! Oh my!

I will be updating the list of books here on my blog shortly, as soon as all the links are active, but here is the list of books being released, basically as I type.

Piggy’s Pies – a children’s picture book about a pig who thwarts a hungry wolf with pies. No, it doesn’t use the word “thwart” in the book! I was written by 7 children at the daycare where I work, they are aged 5-10 years. They drew the pictures too.
The paperback is available on Createspace and the profits will go to the daycare. I’m still working on getting the e-book version sorted out.

Nelly-Bean and the Kid Eating Garbage Can Monster – what a mouth full! This one was written by me and is being illustrated by Andreas Ganz, a friend of mine. I was supposed to do the layout this morning but I had a power outage for 3+ hours. So it will be available on Createspace this week. And then as an e-book before Christmas.
This book is about a young girl named Nelly-Bean who faces down the kid eating garbage can monster in her kitchen to get a piece of cake from the fridge. It’s sweet and exciting and my kids love it, even without pictures.

In the novel department I’m still finishing the draft of Pieces, it’s late, I know, but it’s taking longer than expected with me working again. I’m also outlining a middle grade adventure series, or three. Always busy. Oh, and the espionage plot that dropped in my lap last week – gotta flesh that one out too.

If you’re in Manitoba swing by the Steinbach Arts Council building on November 1st between 1 and 4:30 pm to meet some local authors – myself included. If you’re not in Manitoba but know someone who is, send them my way. Free admission, free food, door prizes, and lots and lots of books.