Just Like Kids

It’s been said that you never finish raising your kids, although, like Alexis in the television series Castle, my daughter is probably more adult than I am. Be that as it may, I’ve decided this bit of wisdom applies to my writing.

After years of wrestling with the story of Fancy, I decided to quit trying to write it as a novel and write a series of novellas instead. That seemed to work well, and I put the final volume on the market a few months ago and started on a new work.

Like the child that keeps moving back home, Fancy keeps returning and demanding that I drop everything else and take care of her. She’s done this to me several times now. Here’s the original cover we published for the first volume:

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First, she came sniveling home crying that people made fun of her and said she looked like a first grade primer. I’d published the paperbacks in size 6 x 9 with large print, and I realized that was right. She did look like a first grade primer. So I changed the sizes of all the paperbacks and resubmitted them to CreateSpace.

No sooner had I got the new size on the market than she came back home and moaned that the titles of the novellas weren’t quite right. In particular, the title of volume five didn’t even bear the name Fancy. Once again, I agreed with her and decided to have all the titles redone so they maintained a consistency, including volume five. This meant having the covers redone, which of course, cost extra money.

Here’s how this cover looked:

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Finally, everything seemed to be all right, and I settled down to work on my WIP. All right, that is, until about two weeks ago. I was at a “Meet and Greet” session with a bunch of other authors gathered for a book signing event, and someone mentioned that the covers of NY Times bestselling books generally had the authors’ names in big bold print at the top, with the book title below and somewhat more subdued.

While we all exchanged glances and began to discuss how much sense that made, Fancy came up and tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that mine were not that way. She told me that, as much as she enjoyed having her name prominently displayed, I’d probably sell more books if I branded my own name instead of hers.

After discussing this with others at the event, I concluded she was right and that I needed to correct this. Once again, I’m helping my cover artist buy his groceries in order to overcome my own mistakes. The new cover of the first volume will look like this:

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Of course, these changes don’t involve just the first volume. Each change had to be carried out with all seven volumes individually.

Actually, I’m undertaking two different projects at once here. She also told me I should bundle all the novellas into one or two volumes to make it easier for people. I won’t have to charge $2.99 per volume—which is admittedly on the high side for an e-version of a novella—just to keep Amazon, et al, from cutting my royalty in half. With several novellas bound into a single volume I can charge much less. So I’m working on putting all the e-versions together into one or two volumes. The paperbacks will be in three volumes, since putting all of them together would create a 700+ page book and they don’t divide logically into two volumes.

I don’t disagree with Fancy. The improvements did need to be made. But—over and over again? Maybe once I get these latest changes done Fancy will leave me alone to pursue new work. I’ll let you all know when the new covers and the combined volumes are ready. Maybe we’ll have a party, but I won’t invite Fancy. She’d probably tell me of some new change I needed to make.

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WANA: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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10 Responses to Just Like Kids

  1. David – I love it that Fancy talks with you and follows you here and there. Do you really think her story is finished? Maybe she has a burning need to blow your world apart and hasn’t figured out a way to tell you yet. Does Fancy have a playlist? Listening to the music I create for my characters often helps me figure out what they are specifically trying to tell me. I don’t always like what they have to say but, they are almost always right.

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    • Don’t know what songs were around when Fancy lived, but I don’t have any music devices anyhow, except for my Sirius radio in my car, which I keep tuned to Willie’s Roadhouse for classic country music from the 50s-70s.

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  2. Barb Estinson says:

    Wow …. who knew that Fancy would be such a nag?

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  3. Carole McKee says:

    Actually, I think the title alone is a grabber.

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  4. Sharon Walker says:

    Personally, I prefer the look of your first cover. Keep polishing Fancy to enhance her sparkle. She makes for a great story.

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  5. susielindau says:

    I love the new cover David! Good for you listening to others and making changes. So many authors don’t do that.

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