Judge Not, Lest Your Cover Be Judged
I’m getting a little closer to turning Shop and Let Die into a real novel. I just made a revision to the first chapter that I think finally gets that chapter into shape (thanks to Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story). I’m hoping to get the full draft to my critique group next week.
This weekend, I was discussing the mockup cover designs my designer sent me. There will be some tweaks, but just to give you an idea of how things start, these are the three designs on the discussion block:
I think I know which one I’m going to choose, and the tweaks I’m going to ask for. But don’t think for a second it was an easy decision. My cover designer listens when I tell her what I’m looking for (which starts with, “I have no idea what it should look like, but…”). I’m basing the book titles on James Bond movies because Molly, my mystery shopping protagonist, once dreamed of being a spy before she took the wife and mother detour.
Saw this great TED talk yesterday that reminded me why it is so important to have a cover that speaks to you — and why a good cover artist is a genius!
Doing all of the work myself reminds me just how important it is to have a team I trust. When your publisher takes the book out of your sweaty, slightly clenched fingers, you know that it is not likely to go out with the novel equivalent of toilet paper dragging from one heel. The editor, copy editor, proofreader, cover artist — and even the editorial assistant(s) all act as a safety net. When you are the one to determine the novel is ready for release…you need just as good a team in place.
My Writing Support Team
- a great critique group
- a fabulous cover artist
- a go to copy editor
Team Member Recruitment Open Season
However, what I’d like to add to the team is a score of beta readers. A score is twenty (I looked it up because I always forget). If you’re interested, either sign up for my newsletter, where I’ll put out the call when I’m ready, or Follow me on Twitter, or Like me on Facebook. Beta readers read the book before it is made all pretty and perfect by the copy editor (however, I am able to format in epub or mobi, so it won’t be hard to stick into an ereader). They aren’t responsible for finding typos or suggesting fixes. Instead, a beta reader makes note of where she got bored, lost, frustrated, or felt like the author was coasting a little more than a reader likes. Sometimes a beta reader will have a little inside knowledge (for example, my mystery experts might be moms or mystery shoppers) and help an author avoid making a major boo-boo that the experts know would never happen in a million years).
I also have ten shiny new Apple codes for The Ex Files (which is on sale for 99 cents through February to celebrate Valentine’s Day for people who are on the fence about love. Interested bloggers who review books and who want to check out the iBooks version for potential review should drop me a comment. Fair warning, I’m trying Apple free ebook codes for the first time, so I can see how it works for the launch of Shop and Let Die.