Front and Back Matter: Important Things to Include in Your Book

Getting our books just right is hard sometimes. But there’s a really easy way to make it look more professional and potentially drive readers to your next book (or to review the book they’ve just read).

The secret?

It’s all those extra pages at the beginning and end of the book. The front and back matter.

Here’s a little list of things to include (or consider including) to take your book up a notch.

Front Matter

Pretty Title Page
This one isn’t necessary, but it does give the book a little something extra. In a few of my own books, I’ve put a page with the cover art but in black and white (printing in color drives the price way up), the typography off the cover, or a completely different design specially made for that page.

*Don’t include in ebooks. Different screen sizes from one ereader or app to another could cut the image off and make it look bad.

Regular Title Page
This one should be in there, whether you have a pretty title page or not. It’s easy to read and provides a good place for signatures.

Copyright Page
An absolute must. Include the copyright claimant, the copyright year, the ISBN, and the statement that the rights are reserved. If you want to, you can include the copyright registration number. If you’re not sure how to word all that, you can look at the books you read to see how they did it and take cues from their copyright pages.

*If you’re in a country that requires it, don’t forget to register your copyright.

Dedication
Optional, but nice. There are a lot of ways to format these. Sometimes a simple, “To Mom,” works, but you can get elaborate if you want to. There have been a lot of these floating around the internet that are more like… warnings for loved ones that shouldn’t read it.

Table of Contents
These aren’t 100% necessary, but a lot of readers really appreciate them. And as long as you have all your chapters/section headings marked as Headings in Word, it’ll format the table for you when you insert it. In the ebook format, you might want to set the table of contents up with hyperlinks to make things even easier for your readers.

Map
Not a necessity, but again, a lot of readers really like these, especially in high/epic fantasy.

Front or Back Matter

Other Books by This Author
I’ve seen these at the front of the book and at the back of the book. Either way is fine. If it’s an ebook (which means you can include hyperlinks) maybe put it at the back with something along the lines of: On to your next great read with…
If you’re publishing your debut novel, don’t stress about not being able to include this. Self-publishing means you can always update the files later to include this page.
If you have multiple books out, please please please include this! It’s free marketing for your other books directed at someone who already said yes to one of your books. Not including this is a wasted opportunity.

Back Matter

Thank You Page
Thank your reader. They just spent a ton of time in your world. They gave you and your characters and your creation their energy and focus. Thanking them gives the book a slightly more personal feel.
This page is also a great place to ask that they leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon.

Acknowledgements
This one isn’t a necessity, but it could be a nice little finishing touch. Whether you had a co-writer (who might have their own acknowledgements page to include), a developmental editor that really helped you from the start, supportive friends and family, a team of beta readers that went above and beyond, patreon supporters, or a group of writer friends that kept you going, this is a great place to mention them.

Afterword
Again, not necessary, but sometimes good. This is just a place to review some things that took place in the book, maybe compare themes to the real world, explain why something is the way it is, or address your reason for writing the book in the first place.
Two of my books include an afterword (though in one it’s called A Letter from the Author). One focuses on sexual abuse, its after effects, and the needs for better treatment of victims and stricter punishment for offenders. The other talks about suicide and includes the number for the suicide helpline. One that I’m currently writing will have an afterword that includes information about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and memory deficits/time misperception in survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
These are pertinent to the books they’re placed within.
Yours don’t have to be so heavy.

About the Author
You definitely need one of these. Tell a little something about yourself, list awards if you’ve gotten any, and provide a website or social media platform for readers to follow you. Don’t go overboard with links though. Just a dab’ll do ya.
(So, no more than three or four.)
And these links should not be four pages long with random letters and symbols and numbers. Provide clean links or even simply usernames for certain platforms.

Teaser of the next book in the series
If this is a series, you can include a small excerpt of the next book to try and lead your reader through. The first chapter is usually a good amount.

Pick and choose which of these are best for you and your book. Have fun with it, and good luck with your publishing journey!


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It’s time for me to restructure my writing blog.

I’ve been doing this blog for three years now. There have been some highs and lows, some moments where I really felt like it was helping people, and some moments where I doubted whether anyone even reads these things I spend so much time on.

Which could be said of any part of any creative field, honestly.

But after three years of weekly posts, it feels like I might be reaching a breaking point for this blog.

My mind comes up with characters and stories and worlds without even trying, handling creative writing with relative ease. But when it comes to trying to teach or share skills, my well often runs dry.

Partly because I don’t feel like I know enough to actually teach or share any skills. Partly because technical writing (like blogging) just isn’t my thing.

And partly because I’ve already done somewhere around 150 blogs, and to be honest, I’m not sure what else to cover.

Every week, I try to put notes into my phone about potential blog topics, complete with a phrase or two to round out a couple of those ideas. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes I just can’t think of anything.

Then, when Sunday night rolls around and it’s time to sit and write my blog… I sit staring at the screen, wracking my brain for anything to write.

And it’s stressful.

So unbelievably stressful that, every week, I consider just… not doing it anymore.

But I have this problem with giving up on things. Namely, that I don’t. I hold on, forcing myself to keep going, to keep doing things because it’s expected, because it’s a habit, because it’s what I’m supposed to do.

Even if it’s genuinely stressful.

Even if I’m not sure it’s benefiting anyone else.

Even if I know it’s not benefiting me.

And while I’m proud that I’ve managed to do a blog every week without missing a single time (though the holiday and extra time off threw me off and nearly made me miss this one), I’m not sure I’m going to keep it going as I have so far.

I’ve considered making it a weekly update on my writing, as that’s what it was to start with. It was a means to keep myself accountable with my writing and editing, a way to let people know what I’m doing.

But I don’t really need the accountability aspect. I genuinely love creative writing and editing, and do those things regularly.

Plus, I have my social media pages/profiles for sharing tidbits, with exclusive stuff sent out in my newsletter. (You should sign up, btw. You’ll get a free short story, updates on my progress, and exclusive sneak peeks/excerpts.)

So, maybe I’ll cut my blog back to every other week instead of weekly for now, just to ease the strain of trying to make myself feel like an expert in four subjects every month.

My newsletter will still be weekly. That’s not really stressful as it’s more of a place for me to show you how things are going. Plus, I’m an expert on the worlds I create. Lol.

But for this blog, expect a change.

Who knows, I may restructure it entirely, transforming it into something new altogether and taking the pressure of being an expert out of the equation altogether. Because I’ll be honest, the content grind of long-term blogging is absolutely exhausting.

If that happens, that’ll be a long time coming though.

So, in the meantime, if there are any topics you want me to cover, don’t hesitate to ask. Send me a message, drop a comment on social media, whatever.

I’d say leave a comment here, but honestly, there are hundreds of bot comments backed up, waiting for me to delete them, that are just full of spammy links to other websites. Any real comment here would get buried rather than approved to be posted. Which… is another exhausting part of running a blog.

Anyway.

As I said above, if there’s a topic you want me to cover (tips on a certain aspect of writing/publishing, resources for a specific part of the journey, etc.), let me know on social media. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

And don’t forget to sign-up for my newsletter to stay up to date on all of my writing projects (because there are a lot of them, and thus, there’s a lot that doesn’t get shown on social media).

And of course, if you want to check out my already published books, you can do so here.

6 tips for writing better dialogue

Dialogue is important. I think we can all agree on that.

For me, it’s one of the first things that come to me when working on a story. The characters have conversations in my head, and the scene develops around them.

It’s one of my favorite parts of writing, honestly.

So, today, I want to share some tips to help you get your dialogue down in a way that’s easy to read and feels natural.

Said is not dead.

Said/says are viable dialogue tags, but a lot of writers seem to think it’ll make their writing boring somehow to use “said” instead of “whispered” or “spat” or “hissed” or any of the other million dialogue tag options.

But there’s a reason said/says is kinda the standard.

It’s neutral.

Aside from the fact that it’s just the basic action of speaking, it’s virtually invisible. The word said is a background word, something most readers don’t notice unless the book is just dialogue heavy and there are no other tags attached to dialogue.

Things like “crooned” or “shouted” are more active. They change the way the dialogue is interpreted. The reader has to actually engage with that word to interpret the things your characters say appropriately.

And though it may be an infinitesimal difference in reading time, there is a bit of a difference. Refusing to use “said” means that every time a character speaks, there’s that little split second delay of applying the manner of speech to the words spoken. Not only does that add up, it gets annoying.

So, said/says should probably be your primary dialogue tag. Others should be sprinkled over the manuscript.

Certain grammatical rules don’t apply to speech.

People do not speak with proper grammar. We say “towards” instead of “toward.” We use contractions, saying “can’t” instead of “can not” most of the time.

This should be reflected in your characters’ speech patterns unless you’re writing a character who’s unbelievably proper.

Or if you’re writing a historical regency romance.

Go easy with the slang.

Just because we don’t speak properly doesn’t mean every other word should be a slang term. Slang happens and should be a part of your dialogue (though it should be customized to the world/characters).

But it shouldn’t sound like a parody where someone is trying to be cool and failing miserably.

Dialects/Accents can be distracting when typed out.

It’s unbelievably tempting to type things up according to a character’s accent or dialect. But there is a risk associated with that.

It can be distracting or difficult for people who don’t use that dialect to understand.

But they might also be the thing that really defines the character (if done well).

As with most things in writing, it’s all a matter of doing it well. Every rule can be broken (if you do it well). Every trope can be subverted or embodied with great results (if done well).

And accents and dialects are no exception.

Get it right, and it might be the thing that makes a character relatable or endearing or swoon-worthy (depending on what you’re writing).

New paragraph for a new speaker.

For the love of everything that’s still good in this world, start a new paragraph when you switch speakers. It gets so hard to keep track of things when there are multiple speakers in one paragraph.

And it’s such a simple fix.

Just hit enter.

Personally, this is something that will make me stop reading a book. If I can’t tell who’s speaking, I can’t keep track of the characters’ motives, fears, or relationships. And the characters are the main reason I read.


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Garbage Days: A New Writing Tradition?

I’m thinking of trying something, and I wanted to share it in case it might help someone else out there.

I’m going to call them Garbage Days.

Basically, I want to sit down and write literally anything. A short story, something new, an alternate ending, stream of consciousness, a random character description that’s been rattling around in my head…

Anything.

Things just feel so cluttered sometimes, and I’m always paranoid that I’ll forget the details. It gets a bit distracting at times.

So I think having a Garbage Day every now and then might help.

I guess if you don’t want it to sound so negative, you could call it Spring Cleaning or some other prettier name, but I tend toward blunt and sarcastic, so Garbage Day works for me. Lol.

I’m not sure how often to do this or when I’ll actually be able to start, but I’m kinda excited to see what the hell will come out of it.

Will you be adopting Garbage Days as a writing tactic?


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The Importance of Description (and three tips for doing it well)

I often rage about overly-detailed books. I don’t like being bogged down with unnecessary information.

But you can’t strip it all away either.

I mean, you could, but the result may not pull your readers in.

It’s a fine balance, and the line lies somewhere different for everyone depending on style and genre. But no matter what, you need some scene descriptions. Your characters probably don’t exist in a void. They interact with things around them, and those things interact with them.

If they’re outside, the wind might tousle their hair.

If they’re in a kitchen, they might lean against the counter while talking.

These little things that might feel superfluous are important because they connect the character, and thus the reader, to their world. It means that, instead of floating in a dark nothingness, the characters have mass. They take up space within a world, even if it’s a made up one.

That gives them weight. It makes them more realistic and thus, more relatable.

So, while you don’t want your reader to feel like you’re suffocating them under red velvet curtains layered over lace sheers that pool on the white marble floor whose mineral veins streak and sparkle from one ornately wrought wall to another…

You do need some detail to make sure the character feels grounded, in a literal way.

But how do you do it without overwhelming your reader?

Broad strokes first.

Maybe their eyes drift over the forest before them, rising to the mountain range behind it. Or maybe they’re looting in the apocalypse, and enter a trendy office space with colorful furniture.

These general notions give the reader an idea of what’s around the character without slowing things down or becoming overwhelming.

Sprinkle in some details.

Don’t info-dump. Instead, add a detail every so often, punctuating dialogue or movement with it.

When I enter a room, I don’t often stop in place to take in every detail down to the fabric a certain item of clothing draped over a chair is made of. Most people don’t.

These things are noticed slowly over time, if at all.

Show it through the lens of your character.

Instead of describing the room in the aforementioned (and dreaded) info-dump and then saying that your character is walking through it, maybe say that their footsteps echo in the cavernous space, boots thudding against the stone floor. That gets the action and some description taken care of in one sentence without bogging anything down.

Or instead of detailing worn down furniture and then describing your character’s anxiety, show them worrying ceaselessly at a loose string on the threadbare couch.

Showing what the character interacts with directly really helps to anchor them.


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Creating a Fictional Language: Things To Consider

Whether you’re new to writing or a veteran, creating a language is a daunting task. It’s a world all unto itself.

Language is usually a fluid thing that adapts and changes over centuries, even more so now that the internet has forced nearly every aspect of life into hyper-evolution.

But when creating a language from scratch for our books, we don’t exactly get centuries to perfect it. (Not unless you’re secretly a vampire.)

So, to help break this herculean task down into smaller pieces, I’ve put together some tips and things to keep in mind while creating your language.

Admittedly, I’ve only made one language for my series, The Regonia Chronicles, (and I’m still filling out the dictionary now that I have the things below ironed out) so this is not a comprehensive guide to language creation.

More like… a jumping off point.

Alphabet

Your language does not have to have the same alphabet as ours. Much like English vs. Chinese vs. Arabic, there can be some major differences.

So, your language will likely have its own alphabet, especially if it’s on a different world. And those unique letters can represent any sound.

Maybe they have a letter that’s a combination of v and k. That combination may not happen much in English, but their language is different. Maybe they have a letter that represents a “tick” sound.

Just keep in mind how you’re going to write these things for people who don’t speak that language to understand. In the book, it’ll likely have to be spelled out in the language you plan to publish in, unless there’s meant to be a language barrier.

When creating mine, I sidestepped the language barrier with technology (that particular story is a distant future sci-fi epic). The tech fits into the plot and world and helped me avoid having my characters make awkward attempts to mime their meanings.

And since the characters understood things with the help of their tech, I could just type everything in English.

But you might need to consider a means of communication if there is a language barrier.

Common sounds

Every language has specific sounds/letters that get a lot of use and others that are rarely used.

In English, A, E, L, M, N, and S are incredibly common. But Q, V, W, X, and Z aren’t.

That’s inevitable and should be considered when making a language.

Though honestly, it’ll probably happen by accident. When creating my language, I learned quickly that there are certain sounds/groupings of sounds that I gravitate toward.

Should it be Phonetic?

Do the letters always make the same sound? Are there ever silent letters?

English and French are particularly bad about both of those things, but Spanish and Japanese seem to be very phonetic.

English is so bad that I think only four letters are 100% true to themselves at all times.

And I hate that.

My language turned out very phonetic, partly because I hate how changeable the English alphabet is, and partly because the race that formed the language is a very logical race. They would never stand for something as varied as English.

But if your characters live somewhere that has blended cultures and languages, there will be inconsistencies.

Word order

Not all languages put the words in the same order. Some put the adjective after the noun (Spanish), some before (English).

And with your language, you can mix your word order even more. So long as it follows a pattern, you can put the verb first and the person doing the action at the very end of the sentence, strange as that would be to do if you tried it in English.

Grammar

You need grammar rules. They don’t have to be the same as ours, but you need to have them.

Do your people use conjunctions? Do they use commas or some similar punctuation? Do they put ‘e’ before ‘i’ instead of the other way around?

Do they have their own special grammar rules that we don’t have?

Verb Conjugations

How do you show past or future tense? In English, we add -ing or -ed (though as with everything in English, there are exceptions), but that doesn’t have to be the case for yours language.

And Spanish verb conjugations get even more complicated than that, conjugating for the noun they relate to as well as the tense.

For mine, keeping with the logical society that formed the language, I kept it straightforward. A prefix for past tense, a suffix for future tense.

Showing Posession

Is this as simple as adding a punctuation? Or does this require an additional word?

(For mine, I decided to cut this completely. The society that formed the language didn’t have personal belongings, being something more of a hive mind society, and the society that adapted the language just goes by context when placing the person with the object.)

Plural

Showing plural can be a complicated thing. Some languages pluralize only the noun, while others pluralize the adjectives too.

You could do either, neither, or make the entire sentence plural.

But you need to decide how to show pluralization. It doesn’t have to be adding an ‘-s’ or ‘-es.’

Specific phrases for culture

The culture will likely be woven throughout the language. Idioms (24/7), curses (bloody hell), and pleas for help (please, god) that are common place in our world likely won’t apply in your language.

They’ll have different religions to influence their speech patterns, as well as different views on time and life, in general. Their language will reflect that.

For my formative culture, they didn’t have turns of phrase, couldn’t be bothered with them. But the culture that adapted the language is more emotional and individual. They value sound and music, so they have many expression relating to that.

Evolution

This kinda goes hand in hand with the above section, but it’s more than just one culture adapting someone else’s language.

Older people will likely speak differently than young people. Words in ancient texts might make no sense to someone reading it a thousand years after it was written due to changes in the meaning, usage, or connotations.

Now, go forth and make up words. Be patient with yourself. It’s a lengthy process.


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Plot Armor (And How To Avoid It)

We’ve all seen it. The character that always scrapes by because they’re the main character (or the main love interest), no matter how ridiculously high the stakes are and no matter how unrealistic it is for them to come out okay.

Some genres demand a happy end for the book (Romance, in particular), but that doesn’t mean that your characters should just have everything work out through sheer force of luck and having you on their side.

That level of un-realism takes away from the story.

So here are a few things you can give your character in lieu of plot armor.

Knowledge

Give them the information necessary to realistically survive what you’re throwing at them. Some battles are best won with brain rather than brawn.

Build a subset of knowledge into their background (a hobbyist in the family who liked learning about the things they’re facing or maybe a previous job that had parallels). Make them research and plan.

Or just straight up give them a teacher.

Mentors can be excellent side characters.

Skills

Make these people practice. Make them learn combat or lockpicking or endurance running.

Maybe they ran track in high school. Maybe they were in the army or your book’s equivalent. Maybe they dropped out and lived on the streets, stealing what they needed to get by.

Or maybe their life changed at the beginning of the book and they found a mentor for the skills they’d need. Trial and error is a pretty harsh teacher, but also an option.

Allies

More than one person working toward the same goal will almost certainly increase the chances of achieving it.

Now, these people aren’t meant to be bullet sponges or cannon fodder, though some may end that way.

But a prepper friend can teach your MC about filtering water and keep them from getting dysentery in the apocalypse.

A friend who’s also a cop could help them talk down (or subdue) an assailant.

The Ending

Maybe give them the realistic ending. Tragedies may not be as common now, but they are part of literature. And though it might mean a genre change for some (dark romantic fantasy instead of dark fantasy romance), it could be worth it to stick to what would really happen.

That last one is the choice I would go with, but that’s just me.


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How to Write like a Reader

Sometimes, as writers, we ignore one of the greatest resources at our disposal: our own experiences as readers.

A vast well of knowledge resides within us, but sometimes we get caught up trying to figure out the rules and completely forget about that.

Our pet peeves as readers should guide us as writers.

Examples from my own personal pet peeves (and thus, my personal guides for my own books):

Blurb vs Review Quotes

I can’t stand a back cover full of review quotes. I want to see the blurb when I turn a book over, not some quote calling it “derisive” or “nebulous.”

Kindly fuck off with that shit.

I want to turn the book over and see what it’s about.

So when I publish, I put the blurb on the back cover. I might have a pull quote somewhere on there, but the blurb is front and center. (Well, back and center because it’s the back of the book.)

Series Numbers

I don’t typically write series (my current, almost completed wip being the exception), but from my experience as a reader, I will have Book One or Book Two or Book Whatever Number The Series Reaches on the cover and spine. There have been so many times that I’ve picked up a book and learned after reaching the end of it that there are 4 or 7 more books.

It’s infuriating.

So as a writer, I won’t do that to my readers.

Inconsistent Characters for Convenience

I hate when characters make stupid decisions that don’t line up with their personalities but are convenient for the plot. So as a writer, I won’t do that.

Head Hopping

I love books with multiple POVs, so I often write them. But I hate when the point of view changes without warning/within the same scene or chapter. Even worse… within the same paragraph.

So for the sake of my readers, when I change POV in a book, I start a new chapter and put the characters name below the chapter number, because that’s how I prefer to read it.

There are so many little things that we’ve learned as readers that can make us better writers or improve the reading experience as a whole for our readers.

So, next time you’re faced with a decision about your cover or your formatting or whatever, switch from writer brain to reader brain.

Do whatever wouldn’t piss you off as a reader.


Check out my gritty, literary sci-fi and fantasy books here.

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Pantser Vs. Plotter: A Guide for New Writers

Last week, we covered the pros of plotting and the cons of pantsing a novel. And I’ll be honest, it hurt a little to be so negative about my own writing method. But this is going to make up for it.

This week, I get to sing the praises of writing like a pantser (aka a discovery writer).

So, let’s dive in.

1. The story progresses at the exact pace it needs to.

If you write an outline and then start writing, strictly adhering to the outline, things may not happen when the characters and plot would actually get to them.

You may have a moment where a character figures something out that’s meant to be a eureka moment, but your reader figured it out seven chapters ago and has been wondering why the MC is so blind. Or you might have your character piece things together too quickly, completely blindsiding your reader.

As a pantser, revelations and developments come about naturally, thus evolving at the exact moment the story needs them to happen.

2. Characters can develop at the exact pace they need to.

Following an outline too closely can rush or drag out character development, just as much as it can hinder or expedite plot lines, leaving readers wondering why a character changed so quickly or why they seemed to stagnate for half the book.

As a pantser, the characters grow and change naturally, coping with the events of the story as they happen or driving the plot forward with their developments.

3. Authentic, realistic characters

Now, this is not to say that plotters can’t write realistic characters. They 100% can. It just takes more work ahead of time. By this, I mean character bibles or personality tests taken as the character or extensive mood boards or notes galore.

But when writing, it isn’t uncommon for pantsers to let the characters take the reins.

Which means those characters have to be whole people in the author’s mind in order to make these decisions and act/react in ways that line up with their personalities. They’re just there, like old friends whispering secrets and showing us the way.

4. The story can be changed as it needs to.

Sometimes, as you write, you realize that something just doesn’t work. Maybe you learn something new that reveals a piece of your book to be incorrect or implausible to such a degree that it might ruin the immersion.

Pantsers are accustomed to changing the story as is necessary to ensure plausibility, continuity, and entertainment.

In a situation like this, plotters who choose to stick too closely to their outline could endanger the viability of their story by refusing to change things.

5. Exploration

Pantsers get to experience the story for the first time as they write it, providing a sensation akin to reading. Writing this way means that you still get all the excitement and mystery of creation as the scenes unfold on the page. The writing process is punctuated with epiphany moments where things just fall into place.

Plotters can do that during the outline process, sure.

But epiphanies mid-writing session can really spur you on, and if they happen while away from writing, they can get you genuinely hyped up to get back to writing.

Now, I am biased toward the panster/discovery writer end of the spectrum, as I’ve mentioned that this is my preferred method. But that does not, in any way, mean it’s the only way.

For those of you just coming into this, last week’s blog was dedicated to the pros of plotting and the cons of pantsing.

Check that out here for more information.

Be sure to come back next Monday to learn about the writing method that most writers flourish with.

They’re the Plantsers.

And don’t forget to subscribe for a free short story, as well as exclusive content, sneak peeks at covers, and all the details on my upcoming book releases and giveaways.

Most importantly…

Keep reading. Keep writing.

Later.

“Important” Books vs. Fun Books (Does it matter?)

Hi, guys!

Today, we’re talking about “important” books. Yes, the quotes are one hundred percent necessary, there.

There are so many people who go on and on about writing or reading the next great American novel. So many authors feel pressured to write books that others will deem “important,” and tons of readers feel pressured to read all the classics and all the high brow literature they can get their hands on.

But you know what…

Fuck that.

Read and write whatever you want. Books don’t have to be “important” to be valuable. They don’t have to be profound or life changing or satirical. They don’t have to make some insightful commentary on society to be worth reading.

There’s nothing wrong with a book that’s meant to be fun and entertaining.

So chill out.

Stop shaming each other for what you read or write.

Stop letting others shame you for what you read or write.

Just live.

We all love books.

Can’t that be enough?

If you want to spend hours analyzing every book you read to find every possible meaning, do it. You do you.

Maybe become an English teacher and get paid for that shit while you’re at it.

If you want to write books that are deep and meaningful, going into the writing process with the intention of writing something truly powerful…fuckin’ do it.

But.

Not everyone reads to find the hidden meaning.

Not everyone cares why the curtains were blue.

Sometimes, sitting down to read or write is just about going on an adventure instead of being anxious about bills.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Every time I read or write, I do it because I want a story. Not because I have wisdom to impart or need the sage advice of the elders.

Do I learn from books? Yeah. All the damn time. But that isn’t usually why I read or write them.

I want to see another world or a different version of this world.

I want to meet interesting new people without…actually…having to meet people.

I want to go on daring adventures and face mythical, magical beasts…from the comfort of my couch with little-to-no risk of being disemboweled.

Sometimes that’s all you need to feel a little better about life.

So. Do you. Read whatever the fuck you want. Analyze it to whatever degree you want. There is room for readers and writers of all kinds within the book world.

I promise.

*steps off soap box*

Now. Progress report!

All formatting on World for the Broken is done! I have to adjust the cover size for the paperback, because I changed my mind on the trim size at the last minute.

The pages will be slightly larger, which means more text will fit on each page, which means about 130 fewer pages. Good news: that means the paperback will cost less than it would have otherwise.

Same content. Same print quality. Less expensive.

So I’m excited about that.

Since I’m just about done with it, I’ll be revealing the cover this week, which I’m also excited about. I love how it turned out, and I can’t wait to show it to you all.

Now that I’m not actively editing something (mostly doing marketing images and metadata, as well as exploring blog tour options), I can get back to actively writing my new story instead of just squeezing in writing time around the World for the Broken edits.

As of right now, I’m just over 22,000 words. Which isn’t bad. But I’m hoping to get quite a bit done on it this week.

But now, it’s time for me to get some sleep.

Keep reading (whatever you want). Keep writing (whatever you want).

Later.