insecure writers support group, writing

#IWSG Blurbs, Titles, and Covers Oh My!

Happy November to all insecure writers everywhere. Join us here, and thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for creating and sustaining this writer community.

Kudos to the co-hosts for November: Kim Lajevardi, Victoria Marie Lees, Joylene Nowell Butler, Erika Beebe, and Lee Lowery!

This month’s question:
What’s harder to do, coming up with your book title or writing the blurb?

Eek, I’m getting the shakes from this question. I thought Halloween was over? Both tasks can bring a writer to her knees, but I have to choose creating titles as more difficult.

Blurbs kick my butt at first, but after scuffling with the sentences, my critique partner and editor always help turn the blurbs into something coherent and catchy. (Whether or not the blurbs are appealing enough to make readers want to buy my books is another matter.)

Titles, though? I’ve ridden the struggle bus drumming up titles for at least four of my nine novels.

The toughest title was for my swimming military murder mystery romance published in 2012. (Maybe covering 11 genres in one novel was the start of the problem?) The initial title was Swimming Against the Tide, then Against the Tide. However, when it came time to publish, both titles seemed cheesy.

My hero faced countless obstacles, including an abusive father, and he had a talent for exploding off the walls on his flip turns. I suggested the swimming term, Streamline, to signify a tight body position allowing him to slice through even the roughest waters.

My publisher thought “streamline” evoked a corporate takeover more than a new adult sports romance. She was probably right. But, I couldn’t think of another damn title! So we went with it.

In addition to blurbs and titles, I want to add another TOUGH task of publishing: creating a book cover. I’ve had countless back-and-forth convos with book designers over the years. My publisher grappled with the cover concept for Streamline, but I love the design they landed on, representing an underwater kiss scene from the book. Still, I wanted the image of the characters to be bigger.

Streamline by Jennifer Lane

How about you? Which writing task gives you the willies the most?

insecure writers support group

IWSG: Writing Productivity

Thank you to Alex Cavanaugh and the congenial co-hosts for December: Pat Garcia,Sylvia Ney,Liesbet @ Roaming AboutCathrina Constantine, and Natalie Aguirre!

December’s question: Are there months or times of the year that you are more productive with your writing than other months, and why?

In the past, the demands of my university day job used to lighten in the summer months, and I would write more then. Now, my day job is steady throughout the year, so my writing has the same pace year-round: LEISURELY.

Although my writing pace has slowed, I’m thrilled that the wonderful Jessica Royer Ocken took less than two weeks to edit my latest novel, Rivals. Thanks to the speedy critique of Nicki Elson as well! I’m now working on cover design, formatting, and…

creating my first AUDIOBOOK *squee*

Image by Felix Lichtenfeld from Pixabay

Audiobooks are the only format I read these days, and I’m eager to develop one of my own. If you’ve made an audiobook, any tips for me?

Happy Holidays to all writers!

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#IWSG Editing, Blurbs, Cover Design


Happy July to all writers! Join us at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog for the monthly support group.



My favorite season is summer, especially swimming outside. Swimming a couple of miles is much more fun in the sunshine.


Americans, what are you doing July 4th? Attending a cookout like me? I’ll attempt these patriotic red velvet brownies (*points right*)

Check out the recipe HERE.

My editor and I are thick into edits for my fifth novel, Blocked.

We came up with a blurb (that was tough!) and posted it on Goodreads.

And now I’m getting quotes from cover designers. What do you think is a reasonable cost for a cover artist? I’ll likely pony up and pay a bit more than I’d planned in order to get the designer I want.

One thing I’ve noticed in editing is my typical writer mistakes. (Thank God for editors!) In the past, I’ve had shifty POV, but I think I’ve cleared that up. But I continue to struggle with the timeline. My editor has to ask “When is this happening?” or “Is this before or after Beergate?” I wrote out a timeline, chapter by chapter, so hopefully that will help. 

A new problem with this manuscript seems to be my use of commas. Apparently, I use, commas, too much, at times. And at other times I don’t use commas enough. 😉

What writer mistakes haunt you?

I’m giving away a $10 gift card for the Freedom to Read Giveaway…feel free to enter below. Hope you have a wonderful July!