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:
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.