YA Indie Carnival: Importance of the Wolf Pack

At the circus, everyone looks forward to the big show. It takes many folks to pull it off; from the ring master right down to the guy who cleans the elephant stalls.

Writing is like a circus.

The end product, a novel, is the big show that keeps everyone entertained. It takes many folks to get to that point; from the author right down to the guy who cleans up the grammar.

OK, I have to admit, I fail the test a little when it comes to assembling the wolf pack–that group of essentials to make a novel work, like proofers, editors, beta readers, cover designers, marketers, etc. I’m a bit of a lone wolf. (My New Year’s resolution was actually to become less of a control freak.) I design my own covers. However, I do so only because I have completed formal education in graphic design and have designed advertisements and publications professionally for many years. So it’s justified at least to me. I normally wouldn’t suggest that an author design their own covers. Consider it a marketing investment. It really is. A great cover can be your best advertisement.

I think that many indie authors are also tempted into proofing and editing the work themselves. While it is important for an author to edit their own work so that they may improve their craft; it is equally (if not more) important that they have others review it as well. When you read over what you write, you carry all the baggage that came with writing. You know the characters, the set, the details better than anyone. If something is missed in the writing, you don’t necessarily miss it, because it is already there in your mind. A new person can look over it with fresh eyes and a different perspective.

Finally, we come to beta readers and I have a little anecdote to share. I am extremely close to my little sister who is an educator (like the majority of my relatives). She spent several years as coordinator of the academically gifted program at her school. For the last two years, she has been curriculum director for her school district. She is very well respected and very good at what she does. Everyone is shocked when they find out that she doesn’t read my books before they are released.

To me, this shouldn’t be a shocker. My target audience is teen girls ages 13-17. And while I would absolutely love to say that my little sis (only three years younger than me) is in this age group–I can’t. In my opinion, beta readers should be the readers that you are trying to reach with your work, otherwise, the knowledge you gain from them is useless.

On the other hand, my mother has read every book as a beta reader. Okay, I know, hypocritical much? She IS my mom and a young soul at that. Plus, each read is worth a truckload of “teacup” points, which is a story for another time.

More on this topic…

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Melissa Pearl
4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed

3 thoughts on “YA Indie Carnival: Importance of the Wolf Pack

  1. Your covers are beautiful, Bryna! You’ve clearly got serious talent… not only can you write but you can also design. I’m so jealous 😉
    I’m still very grateful to you for Beta Reading The Lost Soul and saving me from embarrassment at the non-flying dinosaur! In fact, I mentioned it in my post!!

  2. You do such an amazing job with your covers. You don’t need a designer from outside 🙂 How cool that you’ve had graphic design training.

    My best friend does all my covers for me, but again – she does graphic design, so I feel very lucky to have her.

    Great post, Bryna

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