Answering your questions about writing, publishing, and marketing books
Writing duo Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke are dropping by to talk book covers, chick lit and favorite spots in San Diego. Although Steinke currently resides in Chicago both authors are San Diego natives. The writers have been best friends for decades and have some advice for people thinking of writing with someone else. Their published works include The Year We Turned Forty, The Status of All Things, and Your Perfect Life.
They say, "Don't judge a book by its cover" but with today's market, how important are book covers to overall exposure and success, and by extension, does the same theory also apply to e-books as well? - Sahar Abdulaziz, author of Secrets That Find Us
L&L: Book covers can be everything! Whether e-book or paperback, a book cover that catches the reader's eye, one that conveys a feeling or theme will make readers push the purchase button or pick it up at their local book store.
SJ: Book covers can make or break a book. I don't think a great cover will sell a poorly written book, but a poorly designed cover could keep a great book from being discovered. Hire a professional and take the time to think about what emotion you want to elicit from potential readers. Where are your favorite spots to read or write in San Diego?
L&L: Liz lives in San Diego and loves to write anywhere in La Jolla Cove or at her local coffee shop in Vista, Lush. It's got a great atmosphere! Lisa lives in Chicago but is native to San Diego. When she visits, she loves to sit in her parents’ patio. (She loves Chicago, but misses the ability to sit outside year-round!)
SJ: You had a website called Chick Lit is Not Dead that you changed to LizandLisa.com in 2014. Does this mean Chick Lit is Not Dead is dead? What are your current thoughts on the genre?
L&L: We decided to change the site name to increase our online presence. Great fiction that deals with strong women and the issues they face will never die! However, the term chick lit no longer seemed to represent the real and important things authors were writing about, and started to phase out because of that several years ago.
SJ: You've been best friends forever and writing together for a decade. Have you ever had a major disagreement about your work and how did you resolve it?
L&L: We've disagreed over just about everything at some point--edits, queries and storylines! The key is to cool off and try to see things from the other person's point of view. And always put things behind you and move on once it's resolved.
SJ: What are you ladies working on now?
L&L: We just finished a women's suspense novel that will be out next year, about a wife who treks to Maui after her husband is killed in a fiery crash there with another woman. We're very excited about it!
SJ: Do you have any upcoming appearances in Southern California?
L&L: Liz will be at the El Segundo author fair on June 12th!
SJ: What is the best piece of writing advice you have received?
L&L: Never become too emotionally attached to your writing--when you do it becomes very difficult to edit objectively.
About Sarka-Jonae Miller
SJ is a local author, book marketing manager, publicist and columnist who writes chick lit and steamy romance based in San Diego and Los Angeles. Her novels include the Between Boyfriends series and the All for You series. SJ also writes health and fitness articles for Align Life and Natural News. Check out her Between Boyfriends blog for book reviews, author interviews, TV episode synopses, and giveaways. Follow @sarkajonae and @sjpublicity9 on Twitter for more writing tips, book recommendations, and industry news. Get health and exercise articles from @sjnews9.