Cover me! I’m going in!

January 25, 2012

Song of the day: The Way You Move by Since October

I’m a woman. I’m a writer. So it stands to reason that I am fickle and never quite satisfied. Shocking, I know.

Something has been burrowing in the back of my mind for some time now. It wasn’t until recently I decided to confront the gnawing little critter. My debut pirate romance Blood and Treasure has a couple of flaws. *gasp* The longer I tried to ignore it, the louder the flaws scratched, chattered, and hollered at me to fix them. I became obsessed by those damned errors. Now we authors know that no matter how polished and shiny our masterpieces are, we will find something we want desperately to change or improve. It’s the nature of the beast.

I could stand the incessant badgering no longer. The past couple of weeks, I poured over Blood and Treasure correcting wayward punctuation and banishing anachronistic words that somehow, either by oversight or blind eye, made it into the novel. The result? A breath of relief reviewers and readers didn’t find my faux pas—or found them serious enough to string me up by my toenails. Over dramatic and paranoid? Perhaps.

That’s not all. As much as I love my cover, I realized something very crucial. The cover need to be revamped. This became glaringly obvious once I saw the new cover for my latest pirate tale Beneath the Water’s Edge (forthcoming – I promise). These covers needed to match in tone, mood, setting, font, and heat level. Especially since they belong to the same series. As much as it hurt to let go of the current cover, it was imperative to move on. (I’ll miss you, Jimmy! Please don’t forget me. I’ll write every day! ) It’s marketing. And it makes sense.

The downside – all those print copies and trading cards sitting in my closet. I feel a sale coming on!

So what do you think? If you want to know who created the cover, check back for my next Link of the Week.

 


Melissa Ohnoutka- Self Published And Lived To Tell About It

May 5, 2011

By: Stacey Purcell

And by the way, everything in life is writable about, if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  ~Sylvia Plath

I enjoyed Jennifer’s article last week on what it took to prepare for jumping in the waters of self publishing. It made me curious about the actual jumping and what happens after the first splash. What is it really like to try and pull together your manuscript, your baby, and put it out there on the internet? Did you truly edit as much as you could? Did you choose the right font? Can you survive formatting hell? Will you have the fortitude to weather bad reviews? The questions go on and on. So many, my head starts to spin.

My very good friend, Melissa Ohnoutka, has just published her first novel. After much deliberation, she decided to retain all of the control and launch it herself. Faithful Deceptions hit the internet mid February and soon became a top seller on Amazon. I decided to pick her brain about the nitty gritty of this monumental decision and a two part post was born!

Melissa Ohnoutka

Thanks so much for having me today!  This has been one wild and crazy ride, but the support and encouragement from family, friends and the writing community has been unbelievable. 

When did you decide to self-publish? 

Melissa:  I’ve been thinking about going Indie for a long time. After reading Joe Konrath’s blog and his take on traditional vs self publishing, I decided to quit stalling and give it a shot. The “what if’s” were just too loud to ignore.

 

Did you query agents and editors before taking this route?

 

Melissa:  Yes. I feel like I paid my dues and did my time on the query-go-around.  I entered contests for feedback, revised and polished until I couldn’t see straight anymore, attended conferences, had several requests for partial and full manuscripts and it was always the same outcome.  Some loved my stories and writing and others just didn’t get it. The self-publishing route seemed like the next step for me.  I’m a bit of a control freak anyway.  Having so much say over important decisions like my cover, the page count, the release date, promotion and the direction I want my writing career to take really sweetened the deal for me.

Would you ever consider going with a traditional publisher now?

 

Melissa:  It would depend on the contract.  I would never give up e-book rights now that I know I can do a lot of this on my own and what a huge opportunity it is.  A wise friend (wink, wink) made an excellent point the other day.  The traditional publishing route would be an excellent marking tool. J

 

Is there something you learned along the way that you would do different now? 

Melissa:  That’s a big Yes. I would have started making my presence known a lot sooner and researched in great detail the marketing options available.  I’m finding the marketing to be a huge learning curve. But it’s one of the most important aspects of the publishing industry and can’t be ignored.  People can’t buy what they can’t find.

 

I also plan to give myself more time for the formatting and designing book covers.  This part is very time consuming and you must know what you’re doing.  There is no learn-as- you go option.

Looking back now, are you pleased with your decision? 

 

Melissa:  Oh, yes. It’s working out better than I ever imagined. I have only two regrets.  That I  didn’t do it sooner.  And that I didn’t have more than one of my manuscripts ready for distribution.  I’ve read the magic number for this publishing game is 6 months and 3 books.  That’s where I am now.  Working my tail off to polish up the next two books and get them out there.

What would you like your readers to know about you? Any advice you’d like to offer?

Melissa:  I love my family and friends with all my heart. That one was easy. J Hmmm…what else?  My favorite color is red. I love a great belly-laugh, you know the ones that make you cry. Oh, and I enjoy shooting my Px4 Storm 9mm way too much. LOL

 

For advice:  Take those risks and “Never” be afraid to Dream!

 

This was so much fun! I’m going to give away one free e-book copy of “Faithful Deceptions” along with a $10.00 Amazon Gift card, so one lucky commenter can buy more books! It’s a “thank you” for stopping in to say hello.

For more information About Melissa and her books, please visit:

www.melissaohnoutka.com

www.melissaohnoutka.blogspot.com

Direct Links to buy her books:

Amazon – Kindle  http://www.amazon.com/Faithful-Deceptions-ebook/dp/B004OL2JAK

Barnes & Noble – Nook   http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Faithful-Deceptions/Melissa-Ohnoutka/e/2940012197153/?itm=1&USRI=melissa+ohnoutka