7 Questions With Author Fin C. Gray
Fin C. Gray is a graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University, where he attained a Master of Arts with Merit in Creative Writing. His first novel, Duplicity was written as part of that degree. He also holds an MA in English Language and Philosophy from the University of Glasgow.
Fin C. Gray is a native of Scotland but currently lives in London. He has two adult sons and three grandchildren.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther Rabbit, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For writing and marketing tips consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
Without a doubt, the best advice I have received is to read my writing out loud at the point where I feel I have a publishable version of it. This method is by far the best way to discover errors. It can highlight discrepancies that you missed in the fog of writing.
It can show you passages that don’t flow in the way you imagined that they might. Dialogue problems become abundantly clear using this method also. I see it as a way to hear your novel in the way a reader will listen to it in their head.
Do you have any tips for authors who are looking into getting more reviews for their novels?
Seek out avid reviewers on Twitter, Goodreads and Instagram. Offer them a free copy of your book and encourage them to give you a useful, honest review. Paid reviews stick out like sore thumbs. Don’t waste money on buying reviews.
How long do you self-edit your manuscript before sending it to a proofreader/ beta reader/editor?
I never send my work to a proofreader until I am sure that I have checked the manuscript as thoroughly as I can myself.
Typically, I run a spellchecker as a first pass to check for inconsistencies and inappropriate auto-corrects. There are also some useful apps to help with checks. I use Grammarly to check for grammar inconsistencies. Another convenient add-on application for Microsoft Word is ‘Perfectit.’
This app works well on large documents and highlights inconsistencies in formatting, spelling and usage. It’s always better to send a manuscript in the best shape possible. This approach makes it easier for the proofreader to find harder to track errors as they won’t be wasting their time on obvious stuff.
Authors vs. Social Media. How do you approach the tools you have at your disposal?
Never underestimate Social media. Facebook has many writing groups catering for promoting your novel or getting help with your work in progress. Instagram has many targeted hashtags that are ideal for getting your writing noticed by people interested in your genre or field. Twitter, likewise, has many hashtags and accounts that will help you get seen by a wider public.
Indie Publishers, such as the one who published my first novel, don’t have a lot of resources for promotion, so my advice is that you be proactive and use social media to publicise your work as much as possible.
Encourage people to review your novels on Goodreads and Amazon and tweet, Facebook and Instagram the good reviews, targeting appropriate hashtags.
My advice to budding authors is to set up a Facebook author page and promote your works there. If possible, also set up an author website and advertise this on the leading social media platforms making sure that there are links to all your social media presence as well as links to where your book can be purchased.
What’s an approximate price an author would pay to get their precious work out there into the world of eager readers?
My feeling is that your work should be worthy enough so as not to cost you anything to get it to readers. Logically, you’ve done the job producing this intellectual copyright, so readers should be happy to pay to read your work. That said, you should set a small budget for promotions on Instagram and Facebook etc. as this can generate more sales for you.
Is there anything you learned from reader reviews?
It is important to remember that it is impossible to please every type of reader out there. Strangers are not inclined to be kind if they object to any part of your writing. Take all reader reviews for what they are: purely subjective responses to your story.
My advice is to read them all and try to take something positive from every one, even the negative ones. Never take a negative review as being personal. It is purely a response to your work and again I say, you will never be able to please or impress every single reader out there. And there will always be people out there who simply want to disapprove and go against the trend. That’s the shape of humanity. You don’t know them, and they have no idea about you, so it can never be personal.
What should readers expect from your next novel?
I’m a late bloomer and, now that I have my first novel out there in the real world, I want to try my hand at something completely different. My first book is dark and current and deals with the darker side of relationships. The second novel that I am currently working on is a science fantasy work aimed at the Young Adult audience.
This area of writing is the first idea I ever had for a novel, and I’m interested to see if I can make a success of it. I hope to have it ready for proofreading by the middle of 2020.
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