I’m Australian, and often find that the Australian edition of an ebook has a different cover to the US one. I understand that the publishers have a different cover to market to different people, but so often the Australian cover is AWFUL. Maybe they’re artistically following all the rules, but the Australian cover of some books can be very boring. Here are some examples where I think the US cover is better.
US cover – left, Australian cover – right
I actually think the Australian cover is better in the last one! Just had to prove myself wrong
What do you guys think? Do you prefer the US covers, or do you like the Australian covers better? Let me know!
As writers or artists, we will have to deal with doubt. The doubt will first come from ourselves, our own belief that our work isn’t good enough, but we may overcome this enough to show people what we have created. But then we’ll receive criticism from others.
This can be much harder to overcome, because if our work gets noticed enough, the criticism will be never-ending. It will come from many different people, finding many different things wrong with our work, or in some cases a lot of people agreeing that a certain part of our work is lacking. The criticism doesn’t stop, and it can be very blunt at times. It will never stop.
The critics are entitled to their opinion, and they can be as blunt as they like. If you’ve released your work for sale, if you’ve released a product people can buy or receive for free, then people can say whatever they like, however they like. It’s the nature of business – it’s not other people’s job to “soften the blow” of their comments. If people hate something they’ll say so, and that’s fine.
The matter then turns to how we deal with that criticism. It can take months to develop a thick skin, where we can read a harsh review and not feel wounded. I still feel a little wounded when I get a very negative review, although I find it much easier to deal with now. But this isn’t really our goal.
It’s not just about feeling okay when we receive a negative review, and it’s not just about making sure we don’t respond to a negative review. These things are very important – however our real goal is to still believe in ourselves, in our work, despite the criticism. To believe in ourselves regardless of what anyone says. That’s what we really need; that’s what can help us the most.
No matter what you do, someone will hate it. Do you write a book to please those that hate it? Edit it to please them? Rip your work apart to appease them? No matter WHAT you do, no matter how perfectly, someone will hate it. Completely. You quite simply can’t please everyone.
With creative work, like with any kind of work, all you can do is your best, and hope more people will be happy with your work than hate it. There’s no invisible barrier to reach – no long list of standards stretching from the sky to your feet, with things you must mark off that you’ve achieved. All you can do is your best – write your book, your way.
If you’ve created something it needs to be from you, not a carbon copy of what a successful book “should” be like. It should be your book. If it’s different, that’s fine. If it’s strange, that’s fine. If it’s unconventional, that’s also okay. It just needs to be your book. Not “the best book in the world.” No. Just something from you.
If we’ve done that, if we’ve tried our best, if we’ve put effort in, that’s all we can do. We can’t be perfect, and we can’t create something perfect. We can’t create something that will satisfy everyone, and maybe many people will say they hate what we’ve done. But it’s ours. It’s from us. Don’t contort yourself to fit a mold people set for you – don’t kill yourself thinking: “If only I’d written it this way! Everyone is saying I should have done that. Why didn’t I do that?”
You had a reason. You had a design. You had a thought process. Trust it. Believe. Trust yourself – BELIEVE in yourself. Your opinion is just as worthy as anyone else’s, so your decision to write your book the way you did is valid. You can’t go back now. You can’t backtrack now, wishing you’d been perfect or thought differently. Your book is what it is.
You loved it when you released it.
Now shouldn’t be any different.
Image courtesy of Sarah Arbogast / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I’m pleased to announce today I published the paperback of Tanner (Prentor Book 2). It’s currently available on the CreateSpace website and will be available for sale on Amazon and other websites soon. I’m pleased with how it looks and I hope other people are too I’m still finalizing the new cover of the paperback of Myriad (Prentor Book 1). That should be ready in a few days. The people that have won a copy of Tanner in my Goodreads giveaway should receive their copies soon. Thanks, Mona
I finally finished the first draft of the sequel to High Witch! I’m very relieved, as this book took longer than normal, and I was stuck for quite a while. I knew where the story was going, although I did change the ending dramatically when I wrote it. I was just stuck, didn’t feel like writing at all. But it’s finally done! I have a lot of work to do editing and rewriting, but I’m on track to publish it by September 2013 like I’d planned. Yay! Below is the blurb in case you haven’t seen it.
High Witches (High Witch Book 2)
Sequel to High Witch.
After surviving the trauma of Julius hunting Ariel, Brayden and Ariel settle into their married life. Ariel is determined to find the other High Witches like her, to make sure they’re alright. But there’s something going on with her pregnancy, something unusual, and she needs to find out what.
In the meantime, Hallie, an eighteen-year-old witch, is being pursued by Nicholas, a strange young man who knows about her past. What does Nicholas want with Hallie, and how are they both connected to Ariel? And what about Sean, the man Hallie loves? Will they end up together, or will Nicholas’ plan hurt all of them? The two witches will need to work hard to save those they love, and each other.
The book is still going to be a novella but over 40,000 words, maybe close to 50,000, so basically twice as long as High Witch.
Darian (Prentor Book 3)
My next project after this is published will be Prentor Book 3, which I have ideas for but haven’t started writing yet. I’ve written the blurb though, and thought I’d share it below:
Book 3 in the Prentor Series.
The Royal Family of Prentor are preparing to celebrate Princess Carmel’s upcoming birthday with a grand coronation. After so many years of bloodshed on her birthday by the evil warlock Myriad, now the Royal Family are going to rejoice in the anniversary of her birth, with the King stepping down and crowning her as Queen. The new leadership will bring about a time of peace with those of magic. It is the time many in Prentor have been awaiting.
But not everyone.
Darian, a man from Theodore’s past, leads a group of warlocks and witches who wish to destroy the Royal Family. They don’t forgive the King for his years of punishment of their kind, and want to ensure a person of magic will lead Prentor, not the Princess. Theodore and his group need to stop the planned assassination, but Theodore struggles with his enemy being the man he once loved.
Meanwhile, Kalin is preparing for the birth of his child, and dealing with meeting Edward, a man who was Myriad’s servant. Kalin has tried desperately to forget about Myriad but Edward brings answers to questions he’s had for months. Kalin realizes he plays an important role in the trials his country is about to face. He can’t deny who he is anymore. He can’t deny where he has come from.
I hope some of you are looking forward to the new books. Darian won’t be released until 2014, but I don’t know when exactly in that year. But I’ll work hard on it, and hopefully it won’t take forever
I recently decided to redesign the covers for my Prentor series. I think the old covers were nice, but maybe a little boring, so I designed new ones. Some people may prefer the old ones but I think the new covers are more eye-catching. What do you think? I’ve posted the old covers below for comparison.
I’m going to make a new cover for the paperback of Myriad in the near future, which means the existing paperback won’t be available for a while, but not long. When I release the paperback for Tanner in May it will have the new cover. I hope some of you like them
I was working on High Witches (the High Witch sequel) and I found a big plot hole. I realized how silly and convoluted I can make my plots in the first draft of a book, especially a sequel. I find writing a sequel so very much harder — trying to be consistent with the world and rules of magic I’ve created, trying to come up with a new story which is different enough from the first one, but still linked, not to mention introducing new characters. But it’s the plot where I screw up majorly in the first draft of a sequel. Don’t worry, I fix it! Here’s an example of how much I was messing this up.
Couple 1 (Brayden and Ariel) are looking for Couple 2 (Hallie and Sean). Ariel has just found out the town where Hallie is using a locating spell, and her and Brayden now have to travel a long way to get to her.
Hallie and Sean just escaped the big bad guy, found out that a strange woman named Ariel is looking for Hallie, and are at Hallie’s home. Then very smart Mona writes that Hallie and Sean are going to go on the run so the big bad guy can’t find them.
Problem 1: What, are they going to run forever? Why not stand their ground and fight, get rid of the villain once and for all? Don’t pull book 1 again, Mona
Problem 2: If Ariel is traveling to Hallie’s town, and Hallie’s traveling somewhere else, what the hell am I going to do then? I only wrote the stupid part recently, but seriously? I was sitting there and I’m like: “Just have Hallie stay still, woman. You’re going to have enough trouble researching how Ariel and Brayden are going to travel by ship, without this mess.”
Problem easy enough fixed, with only changing a few paragraphs. Hallie stays still, then I’ll write a chapter or so with Ariel and Brayden traveling, before the couples meet up. But now I really do have to extensively research how passengers traveled by ship in medieval times, just to write some scenes where I won’t likely mention the ship very much at all.
I just wanted to post an update on what’s happening with my writing. I had a big paperback giveaway for High Witch recently, and posted the copies to the winners shortly afterwards. I also posted some copies to reviewers, and made some High Witch postcards and smaller cards to give to some of my fans (see picture).
I think the postcards turned out great. I wanted to make bookmarks, but the website I used to design the items didn’t have them, so I settled for smaller cards. It feels lovely signing the cards and sending them to people. Makes me giggle like an idiot.
I currently have a giveaway for paperback copies of my book Tanner, the sequel to Myriad. The giveaway is run on Goodreads; see details below.
In terms of my new writing, I’m working on the sequel to High Witch, called High Witches. I usually write pretty quickly, but this one’s taking longer than usual. It’s going to be a fair bit longer than High Witch, though, as it has more characters and the plot is more complicated. I’ll be pleased to see what people think of the new book when I eventually release it. My expected publication date is September 2013. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.
That’s about all really. Is anyone looking forward to the High Witch sequel? I’d love to hear if you do – it might make me write faster! Take care
It’s very hard to believe in yourself. Everyone has self-doubt — although some more than others — so it’s very difficult to look at yourself and truly believe you will succeed. Even without the criticism of others it’s hard to think you’re doing well enough — but, of course, when you put your work out there you will receive criticism. If no one’s criticizing your work it’s not truly out there. If people aren’t judging you you’re not up against the real players, immersed in your chosen field. You will be told you’re work is lacking when you make it available. It’s better to be seen and judged than be invisible.
But how do you still believe in yourself with all of the criticism? DO you still believe? Or do you decide you have to change your work completely if a thousand people say it’s bad?
Those people have a valid point of view, and other people might agree with them. They should be heard — should be honest. But before you released your work you believed in it. Do a thousand critics mean there’s something wrong with it? What if there were a huge chorus of people saying your work was amazing? Would you feel it needed to be changed then — or would you revel in the praise, truly believing your work was wonderful?
What has changed in this case — the quality of your work or the opinions?
What if the negative feedback came first, and the thousand voices of praise came after? What if you’d already changed your work before those that would love it could see it?
Believing in yourself is a luscious feeling. It warms our heart, strengthens our soul, nourishes us, fulfils us. In the end, it’s not the words of others which should determine if we should believe in ourselves — whether people say our work is good or bad. It’s what WE think that matters. What we believe.
Having faith in ourselves has nothing to do with what others say. It’s a concrete, solid, strong belief that we ARE good enough — what we do IS worthy, regardless of what anyone thinks. It’s unshakable when you truly have faith. It won’t be diminished by a review or harsh words or lack of sales or success. Because your faith is in YOU, and you are good enough. No matter what anyone says. You’re fine, from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep, and no amount of failure or criticism can change that.
There’s nothing that can change a true faith in yourself if you have it. And the only thing you need to have that faith is believe. Decide you’re okay. Believe you’re wonderful. Decide to trust your heart and soul, instead of the world. The world changes every second. The only thing you can really trust is you.
So believe in yourself. Pretend there’s a chorus of voices telling you your work is good. Have that faith in yourself that would come from the acceptance of others — but have it now. Don’t let the negative words get you down. Believe, like you don’t have any doubts. You are good enough — you are amazing. You just have to believe.
Image courtesy of franky242 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I have a giveaway open on LibraryThing for ebook copies of Tanner.
100 copies are being given away! Entries close February 25.
Here is the link on LibraryThing.
My giveaway is about a third of the way down the page. It will move to the top of the page closer to the closing date.
I’ve just released Tanner, the second book in my Prentor series!
It’s currently available at Amazon and Smashwords, and will be available at other websites soon.
Sequel to Myriad.
Kalin is looking forward to his future with Regina, and finding out where his path lies. Then a new danger disrupts the life of him and his friends. Lisandra is a dark witch, experienced in using the worst kinds of magic. After forever damaging the lives of two in the group, she’s returned, and has a plan which could lead to the deaths of many in Prentor. The group is determined to stop Lisandra, not only to save the lives of strangers, but to help get Mark’s brother, Tanner, out of her clutches. But can Mark and Sasha ever forgive Tanner for what he’s done to them?
This is a NOVELLA of approximately 40,000 words.
I’d like to thank my editor Tricia Kristufek for all her hard work. If you liked Myriad please pick up a copy of Tanner!