Turning a chimera into…

Well, it’s about turning a 150K word novel with three first-person narrators and multiple themes into a no-more-than 250 word description for Amazon.

Mackerel Sky is twenty-two today, hence my posting. Even if I’m not writing, I know the anniversary date. Twenty-two years is ridiculous, but in all honesty it has really only been since November 2016 that I really picked up the novel and ran with it. And though I had the bones of the draft written prior to that (so many bones that there are now two books) I’m pretty sure that my re-writes and new writes constitute more writing than in the last ten years total.

Anyway, since I’ve chosen my publishing date (June 27, which is Owen’s birthday) it has hit me that that’s really not that far away and I don’t know what I’m doing. I went to my writing/publishing group on Saturday seeking ‘what’s on my checklist’ advice. The three main ones were cover, description, categories (the latter two relating to publishing on Kindle via Amazon). And, honestly, two things I’d totally not thought about. But added to that list were front/back matter and sorting out the ISBN. At least those two things shouldn’t take me too long.

I am going to get a new cover. I love the one I have but I’ve decided it is ‘my’ cover and it won’t be the one on the book. So that’s probably going to be the toughest of the three – finding someone who can put my awesome-in-my-head design into reality (or something close to it). I’ve got a pin-board of covers from books of the same genre. Mine will fit that overall look and also be different.

The categories I’ve also sorted, and the keywords. I even got looking at the numbers of items in the keywords to see what would be the better ones.

The description… this is causing me angst! Back before November 2016 my giant novel really only had one narrator, and so it was fairly easy to put together a description but I really only had to focus on him. After all, his story. But now having two extra narrators (both pivotal to the plot) I feel like I have to give them description time, even though my initial narrator is still the MC. I’ve got about seven drafts of descriptions at the moment and they’ve all got good points (I think) but not the absolutely right points. Furthermore, the chimera in the title. A chimera is a beast made of several different animals. I feel like Mackerel Sky is like that and I’m not sure what I should focus on in the description because I don’t want it to come across as one thing when it’s also other things and people want those other things more.

I think I’m going to narrow the drafts down to maybe four and then put them out for consultation. I know the description can be modified post publishing but I’d rather hit the nail on the head (or as close to it) straight up.

One other thing mentioned (my head was swirling by this time) was marketing. I was gonna push the publish button and then run away. I mean, I’m not publishing for the money (even though a little part of me is saying ‘OMG, making money from this would be AWESOME’) so I’d never thought about marketing or that sort of stuff. One way around it was, I’ve decided, to make more use of this website. Paying for the thing after all and in two-and-a-half years I’ve written six posts. Oh, money well spent. So… not really marketing, but hopefully once a month until publishing time I’ll post on here about how things are going.