Should Authors “Taste Test” Their Books

No, all you book smellers I’m not talking about actually tasting books. I’m basically talking about expanding the beta reading process.

I just read an article about authors not doing this. And publishers not doing this. And how they should. But I think otherwise.

This article talks about having readers from the book’s target audience advance read the book for the purposes of editing and rewriting. Not for the purposes of promotion. You’re talking untrained eyes having a hand in the decision-making process. These readers might know what they like, but that doesn’t mean they know what REALLY makes a book great. It’s ridiculous.

And sure there are publishers and Amazon doing things like this, but we still don’t know how successful they’ve been. At least I haven’t heard anything.

What do you think of authors “taste-tasting” their books?

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Supporting Writers

Every blogger on WordPress is in the business of telling everyone else on the site what they SHOULD do about something. It’s a little funny at times. Anyway, one of the things I see discussed over and over is how you’re supposed to support other writers.

Some would have you simply give encouragement. Some would have you beta read for them. Some would have you buy their books. Some would have you buy and review their books. Some would have you use your own social media accounts to drive attention toward the writer in question. Some would have you attend a book signing. Do you see what’s happening here? There are a number of ways to support other writers. You don’t have to do one thing or another just because that seems to be the consensus among random bloggers. That’s absurd. And just because someone is more forthright with their opinion doesn’t make it any more right or reasonable.

If you want to beta read for another writer, then you should. If you want to buy another writer’s book to show your support, then you should. If you want to launch a mini social media campaign for another writer, then you should. But you should never feel obligated to support any writer in any way. So what if they have a nice little blog? That alone isn’t grounds to go off and support them like they’re running for president.

Support other writers how you want to because there is no “correct” way of doing so. No matter what others would have you believe. And don’t forget that the number of writers you’re obligated to support is zero. It’s all up to you and not everyone else.


On this day in 2014 I published A Letter to my Character.

 

Using Kickstarter to Publish Your Book

I’ve come across just about everything you can think of when it comes to books on WordPress. One of the posts that seems to persist is writers asking for help via Kickstarter to publish their book. I was one of them. I thought it would be a good way for me to get people interested in my book and to make it better in the process. I haven’t read any Kickstarter campaign pages in a long time, but I wanted to use mine for the things that you’d expect like editing and cover design.

But now I’m really thinking of Kickstarter’s place in publishing and I have some thoughts on it. Sure there are plenty of successful publishing projects on the site, but should it be used as often as it is? I don’t know. It’s nice to help someone get their book out in the world, but in using Kickstarter to deliver that assistance one has no idea what he/she is getting involved with. You likely aren’t beta reading the book. You have no idea how well the author writes. You don’t know much of anything outside of the campaign page. And those are a problem.

I’m not sure I’d be comfortable helping fund any book project. I know, I know. I tried funding mine on the site, but I didn’t know anything. And when I really think about it it’s just not a good bet. Other creative projects are different. Someone trying to fund an independent album can refer you back to song covers they’ve released. Someone trying to fund a short film project can also refer you back to previous work. And even artists can do the same. But I’ve found that many using Kickstarter for a book project have never actually written a book.

What do you think of aspiring authors using Kickstarter to publish their book?

PS: I’ve received two guest posts that I know I’ll be using next week. Which means I need three more. I’m not waiting for people to decide what they’re writing about. All you have to do is let me know you’re interested in guest posting and I’ll send you an invite. I’ll refer you back to this post to see what I’m looking for.