Lane Diamond

Author, Editor, Publisher, Coach

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 3)

Forgive Me, Alex – A New Look

Forgive Me, Alex has undergone a couple of face lifts, and it’s kind of interesting to see the past (old), present (soone to be new past), and future (soon to be new present).

This was the original version back in 2011, which I really liked, but various feedback and analysis suggested that it just wasn’t performing.

Every genre has its tropes, of course, and for the thriller genre, this one might have been just fine in the early days (December 2011, when it first launched). Maybe.

The marketplace changed, though, as it is wont to do, and eventually this one fell a bit outside the norm, and we just needed to replace it.

Up next would be what’s live now (as of 4 February 2019) at a few sites and in a few versions, but I’ve already started uploading changes.

And then came version two (with blood spatter in the background), which morphed into the version three you see here. The blood spatter had to go because Amazon Ads wouldn’t run it. Seriously.

As you can see, we kept some of the thematic elements (from version one) for the imagery, but we really changed up the textual elements. However, once again, we know from some testing that the cover is under-performing.

And now, as of this writing (4 February 2019), the process has begun to once again update the cover. The new eBook cover will appear first, then the paperback, and finally the audiobook.

NEXT UP: Fourth Editon (and I really hope this is the last time this cover will change. That’s the plan, at least.)

Once again, genre tropes and expectations have caused me to move this in a whole new direction. With the invaluable help of Dale Pease, the cover artist, we’ve brought this in line with current THRILLER genre covers.

It was also important to get this done before the launch — or even the pre-launch activities — of the second book in the “Tony Hooper” series, The Devil’s Bane.

I have ZERO plans to EVER change the cover again, so this one better accomplish all I hope it will.

Early feedback from some targeted groups has been quite positive, so I’m excited to see what happens. Of course, I’d love to have YOUR feedback! 🙂

The Two Hats Worn by Lane Diamond

Some of you may have come to me through my book, FORGIVE ME, ALEX, or one of my short stories. That would make you a reader.

Some of you may have come to me through ny work as an editor and/or writing coach. That would make you a writer.

For these are the two hats I wear as Lane Diamond: Author; Editor/Writing Coach. I might mention that I wear a third hat (as Dave Lane): Founder, CEO, and Managing Publisher/Editor at Evolved Publishing. But that’s for other posts….

Because I wear these two hats, I often post material geared toward two different audiences, and now that I’m starting a newsletter — err… well… actually… I’m starting two newsletters, one for READERS, and one for WRITERS.

Whichever of these categories applies to you, you’ll find a newsletter subscription form in the right-hand column for signing up. I hope you’ll do so. And fear not being spammed (you won’t), or having your information shared out with others (you won’t), as I will likely not send out newsletters terribly often, and I always safeguard your privacy.

So what will you get when you subscribe? As of this date (2 February 2019), nothing. Well, you’ll get a promise of sorts. I plan to offer something useful, informative, entertaining, or fun — always — in my newsletters, but I also plan to offer at least a little something of modest value to my subscribers from time to time, such as free stories, free sample edits, or… something. This is all new, and first I need to build some kind of subscription base. Once I get there, then I’ll figure out the best ways to engage with and reward my subscribers, but…

To start, I think you’ll aprreciate that I won’t be hitting you with a BARRAGE of newsletters. They’ll be coming rather sparingly.

Under Construction

This site is currently undergoing significant changes, so please bear with me. I’m excited to be improving this at last, but it’s a ton of work. Thanks.

Changes Coming at LaneDiamond.com

Now that I have my website back after being hacked, it’s clear I need to make lots of changes — cleaning up old posts that are no longer relevant, updating expired links, updating current info regarding the many projects I’ve been a part of, deleting posts that hackers converted into ads for… well, we’ll not talk about what the ads are for.

As part of this, I do believe it’s time to consider a whole new template and website design, something more modern and appropriate for authors. I fear I’m setting a pretty bad example for other authors here. This will be on my to-do list for January/February 2019.

In the meantime, I shall beg yur indulgence and patience as I once again, at long last, re-engage on my own website. If you’ve stuck with me here, then thank you. You’re amazing! 🙂

I’m Back! A Progress Report on THE DEVIL’S BANE.

I had lost my site for a few weeks, hacked by… someone. Now it’s back, so I guess I’m back. I’ll be posting new content soon, including some more discussions about some recent releases I had the pleasure of editing. In fact, you can drop over to my Facebook fan page at LaneDiamondAuthor and see some of those discussions there. Naturally, I hope you’ll LIKE my page while you’re there.

In other news, I’ve made some additional progress on my second “Tony Hooper” novel, THE DEVIL’S BANE, since last I posted here.

Completed and HIGHLY polished: Prologue-Chapter 10 (27,000 words).
Completed and final polishing pass pending: Chapters 11-16 (11,000 words).
Best guess at final length? 85,000-90,000 words.

It’s a slow go, but I made the decision not to postpone its completion any longer, regardless of my current workloads as publisher and editor. I’m working on it at least 3 days per week, 2 hours per day. So even at just 6 hours/week, I’ll finish it up and have it ready for launch come the spring.

FINALLY! Yeesh… only been 8 years in the waiting room.

NOTE: The cover pictured will NOT be the final cover, but I’ll use it for various marketing efforts.

So all in all, it’s good to be back. I’ll make a reasonable attempt to be a bit more active here at my site. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Still Here

Yep… I’m still here. I was away from this site for so long, and hadn’t updated the site, that someone snuck in and hacked me… in a friendly kind of way, but still….

Anyway, I have a long TO-DO list, and I include on that re-engaging on this,
my author’s website. Yeesh! I really have let it go too long.

Watch for my first new “real” post in a long time to appear next week. It’s on my calendar. 😉

What’s in a Pen Name?

THIS POST IS FOR READERS and WRITERS:

You know me here as Lane Diamond, but my real name is Dave Lane. So why did I decide to write (and edit and publish) under a pen name?

When I first prepared to shop my first book around to literary agents back in 2008, I did what every author in that situation should do: I searched the internet for anyone else who’d published with the same name as mine. Why? Because every author should be unique. Many actors use screen names for precisely the same reason: you don’t want to be confused with another actor, or in my case, with another author. When people search on my “name” as an author, I want them to find my work, not someone else’s.

In my case, there were a few too many Dave Lanes out there in the internet world and publishing world. One of them was some knucklehead aryan race white supremacist out of the UK who’d published several books. Yeah, just what I needed: to be confused with that guy.

So it was settled: I needed a pen name. Now, what should I use? Well, I’d long been known by my nickname of Diamond, which went back to my old band and karaoke days (shortened from Diamond Dave), so it made sense to me to incorporate that. Dave Diamond? Taken. Diamond Dave? Taken rather aggressively by David Lee Roth, formerly of Van Halen. Diamond Lane? Nah, that just sounds off, since Diamond is more of a last name and… wait a second…. Lane Diamond?

And there you have it. You won’t find any others, unless you happen to be looking at an engagement ring, in which case you might purchase a [Neil] Lane diamond. As far as individuals go, I think I cornered the market. That means if you search my pen name in some combination with literary, book, author, writer, editor, publisher, etc, you’re going to find me. Perfect.

Are you an aspiring author? Is your name John Smith, or Jane Doe, or… eek!… Stephen King or Kathy Reichs? Yeah, then you need a pen name. The most important consideration in picking one is NOT some hidden, special meaning to you. It is uniqueness. Period. If you happen to be able to get both, as I did, then good for you.

Oh, and as far as using as a title for your book the same one that’s been used a dozen times by others? …well, that’s for another discussion.

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It’s Time To Pay More Attention To Me

Well, I have been woefully neglectful of this, my blog and website, for the past few months. In the grand scheme of priorities, it somehow found its way to the bottom of the list. I decided late last night – or perhaps I should say early this morning – that this must change.

One of things I needed to do first was ramp up my motivation, my drive, my sheer enthusiasm for my own work. So I decided to visit my Goodreads page for Forgive Me, Alex and read all those reviews. Yep, that got me pretty well fired up.

Life in general has offered a few distractions as of late, and my work at Evolved Publishing has swallowed up the rest of my time, but I’ve resolved that it’s okay to say to folks, on occasion, “Sorry, I can’t do that.” Scheduling work a little further in advance has become not just okay, it’s become a necessity if ever I’m to write my own books.

Of course, some pretty great things have happened at Evolved Publishing, including an ever-expanding team of talented individuals, a constantly-growing catalog of fine books, a Facebook Street Team that’s both supportive and great fun, and even that terrific new website we have.

Still, my second novel, The Devil’s Bane, simply refuses to write itself. The nerve! And this blog? Fuggedaboutit!

Well… until now. Yep, I’m back, and I mean to stay back if it kills me. It won’t, of course.

We Must Strike a Balance between Writing and Everything Else

If I may resort to a tired old cliché, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for some time now. As an author, I’m always desperate to find time to write, of course. Most of us, as authors, have one big problem to deal with in that regard: the day job. In my case, the day job is Publisher & Executive Editor at Evolved Publishing.

I have it easier than many, however, not having the added responsibility of a spouse and kids, as many of you do. My disadvantage is the sheer number of hours required each week by my day job, which is getting a wee bit nutso.

I scramble every day and every night to find time to get it all done. Yet despite this constant pressure—actually, because of it—I must break away on occasion to refresh. I do that in a couple different ways. I ride a bicycle to get some exercise, and to enjoy the outdoors. (Man! I really must get out of the cave once in a while.) My 20- to 30-mile rides through hilly terrain are always a physical grind, because I’m not just out cruising around—I push it hard. At other times, I just turn on the TV for an hour or two while I take a meal break, or kick on the stereo, crank up the volume, and sing along. Maybe I’ll just step outside and take a walk downtown, stop in at the local eatery, and enjoy some lunch and a beer (uh… that’s one beer).

The point is that I de-stress. Every time I do, I feel better, more energetic, and that makes me more productive. I get more work done as a result, more than I would if I took no breaks at all. That may seem counterintuitive, but I believe it to be true. Burnout is a dangerous thing in our business. It’s so easy to let the time commitment required to become a successful author overwhelm us. The process takes years, so when we grind away, trying to find a few hours here and a couple hours there to pursue those goals, we often become disheartened.

The first thing to do, I believe, is to accept our career goals for what they are. We can’t take shortcuts, which means compromising on quality of work, because that will kill our career before it even begins. Settle in. Accept that you’ve made a long-term commitment. The future will be bright.

The second thing to do is to treat your self to an occasional “mini-vacation” – two or three hours to refresh yourself. I recommend exercise first, as nothing will boost your energy quite that way. But whatever method you choose, don’t feel so pressured to complete that piece right this minute, that you burn yourself out in a devastating crash. Even if you can only eek out a half hour to exercise, do it! You’ll be a better, more productive writer for it.

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Idle Ramblings of a Bad Boy

Why am I a bad boy? Err… well… I haven’t blogged in over two weeks. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?

I know. Sorry. (Hangs head in shame.)

One of the things that happens when you wear so many hats – publisher, editor, editor, editor, editor, editor, author/writer 

– is that the last item on the list tends to go begging. That’s okay; we all have our responsibilities to juggle, and I don’t mean to complain about mine (well, maybe just a little), I just want to explain why I’ve been such a bad boy.

Is this the part where I get spanked? Is it?

In other news (actually, it’s kind of the same news), we’ve added 3 more authors to the Evolved Publishing team in the past week, and I’ve taken on even more… wait for it… editing! And publishing! I know, I know. Now where did I put that cognac?

Truly, though, it’s an exciting time, one that we’ve worked hard to reach. While I struggle to find the time to work on my own next novel, and even though something as seemingly simple as keeping up with this blog and the one at Evolved Publishing has become a strain, I remain optimistic and just plain stoked about the future.

That light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter and bigger, so bear with me. I’ll offer up a little more content here at Lane Diamond Central one of these days.

No… seriously. I WILL TOO!

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