Recently, I posted two possible covers for an upcoming endeavor on Facebook, asking for, yes, you guessed it, the dreaded ADVICE.
You see, I love hearing thoughts on cover art, on manuscripts, on marketing as well as how to live a better, more productive writerly life.
Advice can be the best thing EVER.
And then again, it can make you want to rip your hair out, piece by dyed-poorly piece.
The problem for me, comes in picking through the feedback. For example, when one person chooses one cover, and the other the second one, how am I to know who’s right? Aren’t both opinions valid?
Yes, everyone’s feedback is valued and valid.
But not everyone’s advice is right for me, and my work.
Therefore, to save myself from crying (mostly because it gives me raccoon-eyes), I’ve developed some advice for advice.
Aren’t I the clever one?
* Stop sneering. I do know how lame I am.
My advice for advice is as follows:
- Ask specific questions to get what you need
- If you don’t understand the feedback or need more, ask
- You don’t have to accept every bit of advice
- Just because someone says something doesn’t make it right for you
- Weigh the advisor’s knowledge on the content in your final decision
- Accept the very real fact that you cannot please everyone
- Ask for advice in the right places – know your advising audience
- Take risks – Don’t get locked inside your worldview
Being open to advice greatly affected my cover design. I had specific advice that has transformed my thinking about the cover. I plan to use my writerly tribe next to determine the best cover blurb.
The one thing I didn’t add above, and perhaps the most important albeit intuitive advice is, be grateful for every single word. Thank you, tribe. If I don’t say it often enough, thanks to each of you. Thanks to those who helped me last week. Thanks to those who continue to beta read and critique, just not me, but our community.
RMFW writers are amazingly supportive and I appreciate all of you more than I can say.
In that vein, please tell us in the comments the best bit of writing advice you’ve received. How did it affect your work? What advice would you give a beginner or even a professional?