Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lessons learned from my blog tour thus far

What the heck is a blog tour anyway? Well, it is a great way to spread the word about your work by getting other authors, editors and reviewers to read your book and then the blog about it. Their readers, in turn, learn about the book.
It's like planting seeds.
It's gone very well so far. The overall response has been VERY positive. The story is something that people have really enjoyed, even if it isn't quite what they expect.
Case in point: The Hidden Sun is broadly classified as a fantasy due to its Medieval themes. But there isn't magic in the book, nor are there non-human characters. One of the reviewers pointed out this book was not a work of fantasy--and I couldn't agree more. It's more like an action / adventure / romance / political drama set in Medieval times.
I often hear people say their favorite stories to read are about castles, princesses, kingdoms, heroes, villains and happy endings. So, I decided to write one, but with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.
The few criticisms have been around technical issues, such as typos or added / missing words. Granted, there are a few that made it to the final book, which I plan on getting cleaned up for the next release.
However, sometimes I think that people can get too caught up in the technical issues or have that be the focus of their reading. I'll be honest, if you enjoy a book that is 100% error free of technical issues (and this doesn't mean plot issues) then this version of The Hidden Sun isn't for you.
And sometimes there are things that seem to be technical issues that aren't. Here are a couple of examples I've gotten from readers:
"Captain Wayte is too formal in his speaking. I can't pinpoint quite why." The answer? Wayte doesn't use contractions. It's on purpose to help his character have a unique voice.
And then my favorite feedback about typos: "It seems like any time Cameron speaks, there are multiple typos." The answer? YES! The typos are there to give him a distinct way of speaking. It's important to the plot. Example: For the sentence, "You will begin your reading lessons later today," Cameron would say, "Yous will start learnin' to read laters today."
I've also had numerous people tell me that they got mad at me as the author when certain things happened in the book, only to finish the book later and then understand why. My response? Good! I think if you can evoke an emotional response from the reader then you have them invested enough in the story to care.
For me, that's harder to do than to remember "i before e except after c" and the like. That's what editors are for. *smiles*

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