May 26, 2010

So you want to be a writer?

Are you thinking of becoming an author? Well, here is some advice that you may find a bit helpful from someone who works with books all day...

1. Don't make your name bigger than the title. Nobody cares what your name is, in all honestly, they just want to read your book. It makes you look desperate for fame. It's like guys who drive huge trucks, you know their trying to compensate for something else ;] There are some books where you literally have to squint to read the title. Nobody likes squinting, and no one will read your book.

2. Put your full name on the binding. Especially if you have a common name like Smith, or Brown. It will not only be easier for shelvers to find the right spot for each book, but it will be beneficial to you because all you're books will be together instead of crammed in with all the other Browns'.

3. While we're on the topic of names, use the same font for your name on each of your books (DON'T use tight cursive or weird fonts that are hard to read). It also wouldn't hurt to keep your books all the same size and with the same sort of layouts and/or color schemes. That way whoever is scanning the shelves looking for a book can tell that your books all belong together. It'll make your books stand out from all the others.

4. If your book is in a series... INCLUDE THE STINKIN' NUMBER! Put it on the spine, the cover, and on the cover page in the inside! There are so many series out there that aren't numbered and people get frustrated when they go home with a book and realize they picked the wrong one in the series. AND if you end up writing other books not included in a series, they will all get mixed in together. Take the Twilight series for example; Stephanie Meyer didn't include the numbers on her books so they are all out of order on the shelf, and her other book 'The Host' is right in there with them.

5. If you are wanting to write a mystery book, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE... don't include any of these words in the title: Dead, death, dying, bones, case, murder, blood or bloody. I would bet you $20 bucks right now that almost half, if not more, of the mystery titles have these words in the title. Come on people! You can be a bit more creative than that.

Anywho, these are some of the things that have been driving me nuts the past few weeks. I know that some of these things are all up to your publisher, but at least let them know what you want and work with what you're given. You will sell more books, and the people who work with them all day won't have a deep seeded resentment for you.


  1. Ha! You never think about these things until you are exposed to them AGAIN and AGAIN. I saw you are reading Eat, Pray, Love... I read it a couple of months ago. I really enjoyed it, I hope you do too!

  2. It's so true about series! I got a book and had I known it was the second one in a series I would have gotten the first! People in the book making industry should work in a book store or library so they learn these things.


Leave me a comment and I will give you an imaginary penny for your thoughts :]