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Ensemble Cast

by Christa Kinde

In our books, the main character rarely operates alone. Depending on the needs of the story, we provide them with friends and neighbors, romantic interests and rivals, critics and supporters. The first book in my new YA trilogy is steadily building an ensemble cast of mongrels and misfits. All of them are needed. The story couldn’t happen without each of them contributing their unique skills and perspectives.

Let’s apply that to publishing. Because bringing a book into existence is a team effort. Those with traditional contracts partner with their publishing house’s team of professionals. And those who choose the indie route aren’t truly “independent.” We become our own project managers, leading an ensemble cast with unique skills, each a needed contributor to the finished product.

Author. We’re responsible for planning and plotting, setting realistic goals, and meeting our deadlines. No matter our path to publication, dedication to good storytelling remains our foundation.

Beta Readers. First impressions from critique partners can pinpoint plot holes and continuity issues. Early feedback can also be the encouragement we need to push to the finish.

Editor. Miracle-workers who can untangle knotted sentences and whittle ungainly word counts. We need fresh eyes on our story, so hire someone with grammatical and punctuational know-how.

Illustrator. Indie authors get to hire and direct the artists who create interior and cover illustrations. I’ve been working with my illustrator for years now. She makes my indie titles really stand out.

Typesetter. Print editions that have been professionally typeset have polish.

Proofreader. After the book is in its final form, bring in more fresh eyes. Typos are insidious.

Cover Designer. Somebody has to put text on that book cover, which is every potential reader’s first impression of your story. If your book will be in print, you also need to consider the back cover and spine. Good designers help with shelf presence and branding.

Publicist. When you go indie, you either hire a professional or learn the ropes. Arrange for professional reviews, buy ads, run sales, tour blogs, host parties, connect with influencers, enter contests, and otherwise use your creativity to promote your book.

Book Bloggers. Those who have turned reading and reviewing books into a way of life are invaluable to authors. Find bloggers and bookstagrammers who are excited about your genre. Their love of stories may shine light on yours.

Readers. Touch hearts, and your readers will recommend your story to friends.  When readers trust our heart and our voice, they’ll follow us from book to book, bringing others with them.

In The Three, God gives Benaiah the seemingly impossible task of getting his newly anointed friend onto the throne of Israel. The rag-tag crew he gathers will become the elite fighters later known as David’s Mighty Men. In your quest for publication, find those people whose specialties will give your story the chance to touch hearts.

MCs rarely operate alone. Give them with friends and neighbors, romantic interests and rivals, critics and supporters—all necessary to the story. @ChristaKinde compares ensemble casts to project management. #ACFWBlogs #amwriting #indie Click To Tweet

Christa Kinde writes studies, stories, and devotionals that bring truth into focus and give faith a practical spin. Her latest title is available everywhere. In The Three (Forsaken Sons, #1), David’s famed Mighty Men begin with a rag-tag band of teenaged mongrels (half-angels) sent by God to establish an eternal throne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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