Fade Away Now Available for Audio book!
As writers, we sometimes forget the little things. I wanted to write a blog article that would cover some of the elements readers look for in books. Without these elements, you may find it hard to make your story enjoyable. Let’s take a look…
Some characters have questions, and some characters have answers. Often, characters have answers that they never want to share with anyone. Answers that would be secrets. Dark secrets, scary secrets, weird and odd secrets that they don’t want you, the reader, to find out… until it’s time for you to find out.
A Little Bit of Motivation
Just like living, breathing humans—characters want things. They are motivated by desires and requirements. In many cases, they spend an entire story trying to fulfill a dream or an ambition. This is one of the base requirements of a story. What does your character want? What are his or her motives? If you can’t explain this, then the story will fall apart.
Connections Are Everything
Characters need connections to other characters. These don’t need to be desired connections. They can be connections that the character is actively trying to deny. But they need to be there. They help make the character the character. Without connection to other characters, you will find the story falling pretty flat.
Strengths & Flaws
Characters who have absolutely no skills are dull. Readers really like to find characters who are really good at something. The best doctor? The best zombie hunter? The best detective? But at the same time, characters can’t be perfect. They have to be relatable. So, be sure to give your characters well-rounded skillsets, and make them as realistic and as relatable as possible.
Everyone has emotion—even if we don’t like to show it. Characters have to have some kind of emotion to actually exist within the fabric of the book. Love? Desire? Hatred? They don’t have to be shouting these emotions out at the top of their lungs—but the reader has to know how the character feels. Do they feel hungry? Tired? Mentally wiped out? Is the guy in the corner so angry he could punch the wall? Essential.
What do you think?
There are a few things to consider before pressing that “publish” button on your publishing platform of choice. That’s what we are going to talk about this week. The last minute problems that crop up, or get forgotten, as writers rush to get their book onto the market. For example, how often do you think about keywords? Categories? How about author name? These might seem like easy things now—but authors all around the world have forgotten to fill in the metadata before they hit the publish button—and those authors have been cramped by these problems throughout their book publishing run.
These seem like gobbledygook, meaningless things when you first see a section to select keywords. What is a keyword? Well, take a major publishing platform like Kindle, and you will see that there is space for seven keywords. These keywords are how readers find your book. Many authors just overlook this spot on the page and don’t fill them in. That would be a mistake. Take some time, think about what search terms people will be using to search for your book. Is it a Western? A horror novel? A book about bamboo sticks? What is it? Fill in the space with words that will help you sell books.
This is a crucially overlooked part of the publication of a book. People tend to find the biggest category that applies to their book, and then just add it to the metadata. But normally, you get to pick two categories. Spend some time going around Amazon and looking at the different category opportunities out there. Look to see where similar books to yours have been placed. It’s a good idea to note that the smaller categories will give you more exposure. Why? Because it will take you less sales to get to number one in a small category, and then once you’ve hit number one, the momentum of being at number one will hopefully keep you there.