Monday, October 26, 2009

What's in a Cover?

What I'm reading: Knock Off, by Rhonda Pollero.

Where do those covers come from? People ask if authors design their own, or hire artists to create them. No, the publisher has an art department, and someone there is responsible for the cover. So far, all my publishers provide a questionnaire, and we fill in things like locale, time period, tone, theme, any special symbols, and character descriptions. The artists don't read the book. They are also much closer to the marketing side of things, and will make decisions based on what they think will sell the book. All that stuff about not judging a book by its cover? Well, the cover is the first thing you see, and the idea is to entice a reader to take a closer look at what's inside.

My cover for NOWHERE TO HIDE. This arrived while I was in Quebec, but I wanted to make sure everything was approved before I unveiled it here. It came with a note from the artist, who said finding images that would 'match' my heroine would be almost impossible, so she opted to create a "good looking cover." It's definitely HOT, don't you think?



Here's a bit more about the book:
Keep Reading...

The trouble with running away is that you take yourself with you. After a case goes south, Colleen McDonald leaves her police job in Oregon for a fresh start as a civilian in Orlando. The last thing she needs is some cop with killer blue eyes coming around, looking for her missing landlord. The quickest way to get Deputy Graham Harrigan out of her life is to beat him at his own game.

Finding Jeffrey Walters might be Graham's ticket to a slot in the Criminal Investigations Division. Determined to prove he's the man for the job despite the stain of an unsavory reputation passed down by his training partner, he can't afford to be distracted by the pretty tenant in Walters' guest house. A tenant who seems to know more about the case than he does. A tenant with her own demons.

Will Colleen's secrets destroy Graham's chances for a promotion, or will love make theirs a permanent partnership?

I don't have a release date yet, other than 2010.

And, believe it or not, I spent the weekend doing … edits. But I've cross-checked the manuscript against the editorial fixes based on the corrections I've turned in. Something I learned:

Even the best editing can still need to be tweaked for wonkiness. The formatting for many e-books tends to rely on Word's rules of spacing. That can be problematical if the house style doesn't like hyphenating words (the splitting of a word based on syllabification at the end of a line, not the kind where hyphens are used to connect words. And yes, I'm sure there's a term for that.).

What often happens is that you get lines where the words are spread out to fill the space, leaving bigger than normal gaps. Word simply looks for spaces between words, and when the last complete word approaches the end of the line, it moves on to the next. If the margins are set to full justification (meaning they're lined up on both the right and left sides), Word evenly spaces all the ones to that point. If there are no hyphens to help make the words more equal in size, you get what looks like the example below:
Sometimes, a simple word change can fix the appearance. Sometimes, it's a matter of hoping a reader's eye will glide over the page and not notice the hop.

Tomorrow, my guest is author Jeff Markowitz. who will take us on a tour of the New Jersey Pine Barrens and introduce us to one of the Pine Barrens’ most famous citizens.

30 comments:

Paris said...

Congratulations on the wonderful cover. That pose definitely intrigues me, so you have my attention. After reading the blurb I'm convinced this is a story I'd definitely enjoy!

Autumn Jordon said...

Love the cover, Terry.

I know what you mean about tweaking. I wanted to rewrite my galleys after I hit the sent button. Sigh. But at some point we have to send our babies out into the world and just hope they make it.

AJ
www.autumnjordon.com
2009 Golden Heart Finalist

Terry Odell said...

Paris - thanks. I hope you'll like the book. I'll be sure to announce the release date as soon as I have it.

Autumn - I still wish I could tweak books I've already published. They're never "perfect." Just like our babies. But we do our best and are proud of them nevertheless.

P.L. Parker said...

Love the cover. As another "older rose," I enjoyed you reintroducing yourself. Think more of us should do that from time to time.

Terry Odell said...

PL - Thanks. You think WRP should start a new group: "Wilted Roses"

Wynter Daniels said...

Great cover! Love the colors. Can't wait to read it.

Terry Odell said...

Hi Wynter (any Springs or Summers out there - we can have an entire year of commenters!). Thanks.

GunDiva said...

Love the new cover! The art department did a great job!

Crystal Clear Proofing said...

First - the cover is good! I'd definitely pick this up and read the back synopsis!

What I really found interesting was HOW a book gets its cover!

I never realized how that was done, actually never thought about it. I do know a couple of authors who have provided their own, but didn't realize publishers had an art department that created them.

My part in the book world happens before publishing, before covers...this is an excellent example of why I enjoy author blogs. I learn so much about the entire process.

Terry Odell said...

Crystal - I'm always learning, and I love sharing what I find out. Some publishers let you have input, some say, "Here's your cover." I just wonder what the men and women of the local Sheriff's Office will think - they're the background against which this book is set.

Linda Swift said...

Terry, I really like your cover and for some reason, Google wouldn't let me access your excerpt or blurb or whatever. Tried several times and now I have to run. I wish you much succes with the book. Linda

Terry Odell said...

Linda, sometimes the blog page is slow to load all the elements, and the "keep reading" link is the LAST to show up. Hope you'll try again -- or you can check the Coming Soon link on my website for more information

Melinda said...

Terry,

Love your cover. Your books just went on my must read lists.

I would love to interview you for my blog, check it out www.melinda.essentialwriters.com

If you are interested please email me navajotrust@yahoo.com

Walk in peace and harmony,

Melinda

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Awesome cover Terry. They did a great job.

Elizabeth

Sheila Deeth said...

Great cover. Great blurb. And fascinating about the word spacing. I knew to worry about it in the kids' homework; I hadn't realized it could be a problem in real publishing. Better polish up those skills I worked on with the kids if I ever get published.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. They definitely went for HOT.

Sheila -- don't say "if". Say "WHEN." It's about persistence. And you already know a lot about the other side of the business. I'm still learning.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Terry,
Wonderful cover and blurb. No wonder you are so pleased with it.I am one of the older roses too,still blooming if a little on the droopy side.
Regards
Margaret

Terry Odell said...

Margaret - and everyone. The real credit for the cover belongs to Rae Monet, the artist.

Karla Brandenburg said...

great cover :-)

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Karla. As I said, credit goes to the artist.

KELLY FITZPATRICK said...

It's sexy and tender at the same time.

Marie said...

Wonderful cover, Terry. It really his a hot one. Looking forward to seeing your book come out.

www.marietuhart.com

Terry Odell said...

Kelly & Marie - thanks. I'm looking forward to the book too! But it'll be a while.

Kathy said...

Terry great cover definitely makes one want to pick it up and see what is inside. Congrats :-)

Drue Allen said...

I love the word WONKINESS, and I know exactly what you mean. Your cover is beautiful, Terry.

I just received my first-ever ARCs, so I know what you mean as far as authorial angst. Amazing that it manages to work out. Best of luck with this one.

Terry Odell said...

Congrats on getting your ARCs. Now -- find someone with fresh eyes to read it! This is your LAST CHANCE to catch glitches. And they do pop out from nowhere. :-)

You can read it again too, of course. Try reading it backward, though. Helps catch errors because you won't see the story.

Dawn Chartier said...

Ah!! I like it!!! I hope mine comes out as nice as yours....

Dawn Chartier
www.dawnchartier.com

CJ Lyons said...

Congrats, Terry! Looks great!!!
CJ

Nancy J. Cohen said...

That's a hot cover, Terry!

Kimberly said...

Terry, that is a very good looking cover. Congrats to you!
Kimberly Hayes
w/a Kimberly Keys
www.kimberlykeys.net