Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Setbacks / 100 Happy Days Part 2

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds. 


I am riddled with insecurity about my novella, 30 Seconds, which is coming out September 10th. This story has encountered one set back after another, and I'm afraid these are signs that it's not going to do well, that the ratings are going to be low and the reviews harsh.

First, I had to pull it out of the galley phase to do extensive, last-minute editing. This is normally unheard of, but my editor was a gem and let me do what I needed to do to make sure I was 100% satisfied.

Second, the first cover art I got back was . . . wrong. It was far from my vision and didn't represent 30 Seconds in the least. The only thing it had that I wanted was the timer tied into the title. Everything else was lackluster and would've been better for a crime novel. (FYI: I don't get to work personally with the cover artist. I only have a form to fill out to express what I want.) Fortunately, I was able to personally select the stock photos of the woman and the police car to pass onto the cover artist for a quick fix. 

Third, after I revealed the blurb this past Friday, a few people offered suggestions on how to change it. My editor and marketing team altered the original blurb I wrote, but the fact that people were offering suggestions made me doubt the blurb I had so much that, even though it's past the point to make major changes, I emailed the marketing director to see if I could change it. I am waiting for a response.

Anyway . . . I'm sorry for the rant. 


**If you would like to sign up for my 30 Seconds blog tour, GO HERE.


Here are the June Photos for my 100 Happy Days Challenge:

Last year, I wrote a letter for DEAR MOM, a project dedicated to the mother/daughter relationship. My letter was published in a book with countless other letters written by daughters. And these letters were used for a play, which had its world premier this past April in Philadelphia.




A graphic designer created this as proof that I am a heroine of steel.


And another one. ;)


UPDATE: In my last IWSG post, I mentioned a big day was awaiting me in June that could change my life for the better. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and positive vibes. I wrapped them all around me like a cloak of armor. Unfortunately, I won't know the results of this day for a while, but I'll let you all know if the results are good or not. :)


QUESTION: Have you encountered set backs while publishing a book?














72 comments:

  1. Well, it certainly sounds like you're making progress on those setbacks, making them work for you as well as you can. Keep at it!

    And good luck with the results from the big day!

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

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    1. Thank you, Madeline. I hope they do work for me. :)

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  2. Don't look at them as set backs, look at them as catching the problems before it's too late.
    Hope the results are good - let us know when you hear.
    And other than the one typo, I thought the blurb was good.

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    1. Thank you, Alex. Yes, the typo was my fault in typing it up. And I'm glad you liked you it. :)

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  3. Oh setbacks come all the time to many a thing, books or not, but just makes it more satisfying when done, I find.

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    1. I hope these setbacks make 30 Seconds more satisfying to my readers, and better than it would've been before the setbacks.

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  4. Challenges make you stronger and the success will be so much sweeter. I am happy to know you didn't let the set backs stop you from progressing. I loved doing the 100 Happy days challenge!! I really like your 30 seconds cover :)

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

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    1. You're right, Chene! Challenges and hardships do make us stronger. I've definitely learned some lessons through all of this. I'm glad you like the cover, and I am having love doing the 100 Happy Days Challenge. :)

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  5. Chrys, have no fear. I'm am confident that your novella will be well received. Take the bitter with the sweet. You might get some cranky critics (they are always out there) but you'll get good reviews too. You are a good storyteller and have a lot of supporters.

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    1. I know there are a lot of cranky critics, and I'll get some not-so-sweet reviews, but I also know a lot of my readers will enjoy it. I have to focus on the good more rather than the bad, but that's not always so easy. Thank you, Stephanie!

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  6. You can't let what people say about your blurb get to you. No matter how perfect it is, people will have suggestions--and 90% of them will want to completely rework it. The only person who can say it's right is you. (And maybe your publisher.) Sending cheese to help you through the troubles.

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    1. You're right, Crystal. I shouldn't let it get to me. I can't satisfy everyone, and as long as I'm happy nothing else should matter. Thank you for the cheese! :)

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  7. If you're satisfied with your blurb, then it's good enough. It's your book, after all--you know how to summarize it better than anyone.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. I don't think they had a probably with how I summarized it, but more how I used the word "thought" twice and and how I ended it. *Shrugs*

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  8. I used an outside (local) artist for my May release, and the final design came to me only days away from the release date. There wasn't much time to get used to it, and probably no time left to make any major changes. Luckily, I ended up liking it. I'd be really upset if I had an artist assigned to me and saw a cover which had nothing in common with the book, or which used a trend I loathe and despise, like a headless bare chest.

    At least you caught all these issues before the book goes to press.

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    1. I can only use the cover artists employed by my publishing company. I actually requested the same artist who did the cover for Hurricane Crimes because I thought she would create my vision again like she did before. I'm confused about what happened with the first cover, but I at least had the option to request changes. I'm glad for that!

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  9. I just signed up for your blog tour! Looking forward to it!

    Don't let what others say get you down. If you like it, and you think the blurb is good and ready, then go for it. I like the cover art you posted...is that the final one? Good luck making it through all these last minute changes!

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was going to ask you later if you wanted to participate, so thanks again for signing up now.

      Yes, this is the final cover and I am happy with it. :)

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  10. It's so easy to let the pre-publication whirlwind sweep you to negative places. Sometimes feels like a story just ins't meant to happen. But stick to your guns! All of the work you're putting in is going to make it shine. Your editor/publisher obviously has faith in this story, and you should, too. :)

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    1. There were several time when I thought I was making a mistake publishing this story, because of all the setbacks. But I am sticking to my guns. Thank you!! :)

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  11. Chrys, you are not alone! I am experiencing that same kind of doubt with my upcoming release. I'm doubting the book cover, the blurb--everything! I'm sure your release will go just fine. Best of luck!

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    1. Thank you, Quanie! And it's good to know I'm not alone. I'm sure your book is going to be fabulous, too. :)

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  12. I LOVE the way you have the timer tied into your cover! That's perfect. And that Mother/Daughter project sounds so touching and wonderful. Congratulations on being part of it.
    Hope you get good news on those results soon! Thinking of you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie. Having you sending me positive thoughts really helps me through. :)

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  13. Great cover! As Alex said, better to face the problems now rather than later. Just remember, no one knows your book or how to blurb it better than you do. As long as your blurb is as unique as your story, it will grab readers.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Thank you, VR! It is a blessing that I found these problems in time to fix them.

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  14. Just make sure that when you have doubts and want to change something that it's legitimate and not just fear talking.

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    1. All of my previous doubts definitely were legitimate and made my novella better once they were addressed.

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  15. I don't think it's an omen that your book will be received badly, I just think it means you want it to be perfect. It's good that you care so much.

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    1. Thank you, Laura. I really do care. :)

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  16. I do like the cover with the timer on it. I never knew you were an X-Man!

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    1. Thank you, David! Oh yes, being a writer is just my disguise. ;)

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  17. I love the cover. And I think it's perfect. I would read it if I see this cover. Awesome about your story!

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    1. That's awesome! I like to know that. Thank you!! :D

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  18. Hi, Chrys,
    Many writers go through these setbacks. I know it's not what we want to experience, but I think it's all right as long as it helps the book to be exactly what you want it to be.

    The cover looks good to me, but then I'm biased as I like them dark.

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    1. Thank you, J.L.! Your comment made me feel better. I know many writers go through the same things, but it's always hard when you have to go through the yourself, especially when you're a newer author.

      I love the darker covers, too. :)

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  19. At least you were allowed to make changes with the cover. Sometimes the author just has to live with what the publisher gives him or her.

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    1. I was lucky because the marketing director actually emailed me to let me know the artist did her own thing with the cover and gave me the option to suggest changes. I'm relieved and grateful about that!

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  20. I totally have encountered the set backs. It is always right at the end that you face the struggles. I love your cover! The blurb was great, too! It's going to be awesome. Keep calm and carry on...until you're absolutely satisfied with the end result. xo

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I am keeping calm (now haha) and carrying on. :)

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  21. Your extra effort will be appreicated by your readers. Making sales completely depends on your cover and blurb. Many in my crit group ask for feedback on queries, taglines, blurbs. :-) sales completely depends on your cover and blurb.

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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    1. Thank you, Anna! What's odd is that I never though I would need beta readers or critiques on my blurb, but I know now to ask for them in the future. :)

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  22. Oh setbacks, how do I know thee! Your cover is great. Take a deep breath and move forward. Each step means you persevere.

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    1. Thank you, Christine! I am taking a deep breath right now. :)

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  23. The worse setback for me was when a small publisher that I had two novels contracted with went bankrupt. It took almost a year to get my rights back. It was a stressful headache. Hope everything is all perfect now.

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    1. Oh, that would be a nightmare! I'm glad you were able to get your rights back, though.

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  24. Well, I guess you can count rounds of rejections and rewrite after rewrite as setbacks. Sounds like you've been through the wringer though, but it all sounds like a test of perseverance and sounds like you have a stronger end result because of it.

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    1. Rejections and rewrites are definitely setbacks.

      I feel like I've been through the wringer on this one. Thank you for that. :)

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  25. Love your cover, Chris. Glad you were able to work with your publisher to get what you wanted. Best wishes.

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  26. Each publication experience has had it's "issues." As authors we want all to run as smoothly as possible, but we have to be prepared to do some juggling. It's great that you have a publisher that will work with you like this. Consider that a boon!

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    1. I guess it's because I had no problems with Hurricane Crimes, my debut, that made me think this one and all the others would run smoothly, too, and that's why these setbacks really impacted me. I am grateful my publisher and editor are so helpful and understanding.

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  27. I like the existing cover art. I guess I wouldn't change the blurb unless you TREMENDOUSLY preferred one of the suggestions over the existing blurb. At some point, you just have to trust your instincts and let all the other voices go.

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    1. Thank you, Robin. One person's suggestions were small but did make the blurb better. So I'm hoping I can get the changes approved since they aren't huge. But you're right. I need to let all the other voices go. That's something I have to work on.

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  28. Whooboy. Sounds like a rough time. I self-published, but still ran into timing issues. I'd planned for November, but then the editor I'd hired suggested a change based on a question I asked. That set me back by a month because I had to rewrite several chapters.

    At least you ended up with a cover you like. Hopefully your publisher responds well to the blurb changes.

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    1. Ouch on having to rewrite several chapters.

      Yes, I am very thankful the final cover is what I want now. Thank you, Loni!

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  29. I love the cover, so pleased you were able to work with your publisher to get what you wanted. I think it's natural to feel anxious but it is because you want the book to be perfect which is a good thing.

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne! And I'm glad you like the cover. :)

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  30. Setbacks in publishing? All the time! I just remind myself that each issue will be resolved one and I will still get my books out, so relax and enjoy the journey. You thought the first cover art was a minor setback, so you went and requested for something else and hey, it looks awesome now! You are a heroine of steel (made with raw flesh beneath ... so it's perfectly okay to rant and feel disappointed on some days!) Good luck with the edits and with hearing back from the marketing director!

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    1. Thank you for giving me permission to rant, Claudine. ;)

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  31. Wow! That is a supportive publisher! I'm so glad you were able to get things up to your satisfaction!

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    1. My publisher and everyone involved are super supportive. I realize how luck I am. :)

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  32. I love the cover. And your two photos! I kinda want a Terminator photo too now...

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    1. Thank you, Colleen! It's fun to be a Terminator. :P

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  33. I see it another way - problems now mean plain sailing after publication! You've done everything you can to make it as good as you can, rather than just accept it being less than perfect! Your editor sounds great. Good luck with it :-)

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    1. I sure hope I'll have smooth sailing now! ;) Thank you, Annalisa!!

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  34. I think when problems surf their way into our lives, the waves can come crashing down.. surrounding us and drowning us in our own worries and sorrows...
    But they also make us stronger and give us a better approach on the things that need to be done in order to change them or make them go away. I think all of your readers want what is best for you and your work, Chrys. But if you like the blurb, keep it. And if you like the changes those people have brought up to you, then fight to get them.
    I definitely have a good feeling that you are going to be at a better place when everything is said and done. Cheer up!
    Congratulations on your letter to your mother being published. What an achievement! You are so talented and a person I constantly look up to. Happy 4th my friend!

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    1. Thank you, Gina! You always know what to say. What's funny is that after I asked the marketing director if I could change the blurb I got an email this morning and she told me she's talking to the head of the blurb committee. She even told me she was going to approach her about adding finesse to my blurb, so she feels the same way that I do . . . that it needs a little boost. Now we just have to get approval to go ahead and do it.

      Thank you!! Happy 4th of July to you, too! :)

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  35. It sounds like you are doing the right thing: using the setbacks encountered to create a better final product in the end. Funny how each creation follows its own path--some more difficult than others.

    I hope you hear good news about June and happy 4th, Chrys.

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    1. Thank you so much! Your hope for good news makes me feel good. Happy 4th of July!! :)

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  36. Good luck with everything! I'm glad you at least got to give feedback on the cover that was all wrong. I've heard from people who didn't get to see theirs until it was a done deal, and with no feedback whatsoever. It's not perfect, but hopefully it continues improving with more feedback from the authors. I haven't released a book, so can't be reassuring, but I can say that I see your same worries reflected in other authors each time a book comes out. Doesn't seem like it gets any less stressful, but you're not alone.

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    1. No, it doesn't get any less stressful. This is only my second one, but I don't think it'll go away. Thank you for your comment, Shannon! :)

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