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Art VS Market


I made a major renewal to my main novel 'Feeding the Urge'. 
New cover, larger page count, and interior design.
But why?
Simple, my creative side won against the marketing one.

In origin, Feeding the Urge (an 80,350 words novel) had a paging of 296. Browsing among similar titles, I found that my book had to compete with cheaper comrades (most were around 8 to 12 bucks for a paperback).
Being new to the self-pub market, I decided to change the fonts and style to lower the number of pages and had it sold at a competitive price of $ 10.00.
Nonetheless, times are changing and readers, too.
70% of American readers download their books on portable electronic devices (Kindle, Nook, iPads, etc.) mostly because of cheaper prices - with promotions you can even get free e-books - and storage capacity. The same trend goes on in the UK and Germany.
However, I'm a big fan of printed paper; love holding in my hands a physical copy, sniffing its aroma and looking at it standing on a bookshelf.

Last month I received a copy of Feeding. 
And was immediately disappointed.
171 pages of tightly fitted words, each one stumbling on the other, with readability deign of a legal agreement document. The cover looked cheap, out of a copy shop.
Had I spent seven months conceiving my monster to have it look like that?
No way.
My artist side kicked in; I sedated my creature and had it again back at surgery. New cover, a more professional interior, added an introduction, an author biography, and general editing of the front matter. Then, I went for the meat. Returned the fonts to Times New Roman (12 points, bold), added a blank page after each chapter; allowing the story to flow more fluidly, and finally won against a personal curse (the first line of my novel always came out corrupted by Word, no matter how many times I had corrected it, this darn 'auto-correct' typo kept showing in all versions).
I took some rest and that's when my marketing side blew in.
'Now it's going to cost more! Nobody's going to buy your book when they can get novels at 10, even as low as 7 bucks,' it whispered.
So what?
I don't care. That's my baby lying on the trestle table; I promised it a great look and all the skills and attitude it deserves. Let it cost 100, I don't care. Nobody's going to buy it? Whatever.
They'll buy the eBook version (less than a cup of coffee at Starblokes, if you ask), they'll pirate it, they'll do whatever they want. I want my physical copy to look good; as good as one of Crichton's trade paperback, as good as a real damn book, not something out of the corner copy shop.
'You'll have to order another proof copy,' protested Market-Head.
I'll do. I want it. I want my book to look perfect; for my readers and me. Listen, you logical-minded number-crunching fiend, there are people out there who care for a nice-looking book. Should they like my Kindle or Nook version, they will buy it in physical form. Because that's what I do when I really enjoy a book; I want to touch it.
Maybe, no one is going to pay 15 bucks for my paperback edition right now, but in the near future, when they'll do, I want them to get in their hands a paragon of the paper industry, something I want to be proud of.
So shut up and lemme work.

Feeding the Urge is now as it should have been from start: 300 pages long, with all the right info at the right place.
Buy it or don't buy it, I like it that way.

I know being an Indie must be a balance between good writing and sly marketing skills, but if you are an artist can’t allow your first creature to look poor in front of your eyes; let it have a professional cover, some good editing, and a wonderful pagination.
You deserve it.


Guest post by Jeffrey Kosh. Jeffrey Kosh is the pen name of an American horror author now living in Thailand. He had various art experiences, before discovering his love for writing fiction. His various careers have led him to travel extensively worldwide, developing a passion for photography, wildlife, history, and popular folklore. All these things heavy influenced his writing style. Extroverted in public, he is very private in his work, preferring complete isolation to ‘tune’ his mind to the ‘Great Tales Radio’. He believes stories are already out there, waiting to be put on paper.

Where to buy Feeding the Urge



1 comment:

  1. Hello, Jeffrey. Thanks so much for sharing such valuable insights. So glad your inner artist won out, as the new cover IS splendid! Congratulations and wishing you wonderful success with this new print edition!

    FYI: Aesthetics pushed me to go indie for my astrology book because paintings are integral to the content (and the cover). It took 15 months of working with the publisher to get the layout and look just right, and we had to price it as an art book because every page is full color. Worth it? YES.

    So thanks again for affirming the artist inside each of us. Right on! (And "write on!")

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