I’m good at writing. I practice a lot. I don’t feel that I’m great at summarizing my writing, whether with teasers or blurbs or even a face-to-face description. I don’t feel that I’m great at designing covers, either, and although I know there are other people willing to do both those things for me (in exchange for compensation, as is appropriate for any art/work), I have a strong inclination to equate greatness with practice.
A few years ago, I went bowling with a group of friends from work. Some of them are great bowlers; others, like me, hadn’t bowled since the candlepin birthday parties we’d attended as children. When someone asked me, “Are you any good at bowling?” I said, “No, but I will be by the end of the night.” I joined a team and bowled for hours, and by the time we left my friend said, “Wow, you weren’t kidding.”
I didn’t leave with mad bowling skills, but I’d improved from “unable to get the ball all the way down the lane” to “looks like someone who has practiced bowling for hours.” I feel pretty confident that if I’d continued to bowl, weekly or even monthly, I would now be significantly better at it than I was then.
I have the same expectation when it comes to the parts of self-publishing I’m not great at yet. I’m good at writing. I’m probably great at writing. With practice, I expect to become good at blurbs and cover art too.
Which leads me to my next project: in an effort to increase the amount of practice I get with all aspects of self-publishing, I’m publishing my next story in serial format. It will be five episodes long, with the “season” collected into a single book once the story concludes. This will require me to make at least five covers and write at least five descriptions over the course of the story.
I’ll let you know how it goes.