To be a good writer you have to first, well, be good at writing.
Obviously. Because if it’s shit, it doesn’t matter how you dress it up.
So of course, the writing itself is the most important thing to any author.
But just because that is true, doesn’t mean there are other things that are very nearly as important if you hope to have any kind of success. They are three main things that fall into that category:
Title, Cover, and Blurb.
So you wrote a book. Maybe a good book. There’s only one question now:
Who gives a shit?
The biggest failing of writers, especially new writers, is feeling that your accomplishment of your book stands for itself and requires no special attention. You did something incredible–you did, in fact–you wrote a book. But readers, they don’t give a shit. Thousands of new books are being made all the time.
So the question then isn’t who gives a shit? But rather, how do I make them give a shit?
The answer is stated above. You choose an outstanding Title, Cover and Blurb.
- Your title should do one thing: tell them exactly what kind of story it is. And make them curious about it. Okay, two things. It does not help to have a literary-ass title that tells the reader nothing about the book. I don’t care if the title is somehow relevant to your story, Moonlight Parade is a god awful title for a thriller novel. Sudden Departure might be a great one for a thriller, though.
- Your cover should convey genre, should evoke some feelings or again, curiosity, and it should be clean and professional looking. Do NOT underestimate the power of images. We are an image driven race. A good cover is priceless. A bad cover can absolutely sink you.
- Your blurb should show some idea of who the hero is, what the conflict is, and what’s at stake. This is not a plot summary. This is not a foray into theme and mood. This should pique the readers interest, and you do that by showing them WHO your characters are and what they’re up against.
If you have those three things done well, and if you have yourself a good book when they crack the [virtual] spine and look inside, you’ve got a chance to do really well.
If you don’t have those things, well, then you’re fighting a mighty uphill battle my friend.