Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Saturday

Well, I've completed a full edit and reduction of my manuscript, dropping from 98,500 words to 95,300. It was actually a great exercise to cut words and tighten up sentences. I could be onto something to use in future. I thought I was a concise writer, but this proved there is always room for additional brevity.

I was also asked to submit cover ideas. What do you look for in a cover? What attracts you to pick up one book over another? If you notice, the bigger the author, the bigger their name on the cover. Some authors' names take up most of the space with a small title. So far, I have not reached this marker of success. At a recent talk by local author Linda Wiken, she reported that her publisher's research showed that outdoor scenes sell better than indoor for adult mysteries. There's also debate over photography vs drawings - my publisher goes for photography, which I prefer. I looked at some covers by bigger-selling mystery authors and noted that few have people in them, and if they do, the people are outlines or darkened figures. Kids' book covers are another matter - lots of colour and cartoony kind of art for the younger set.

I've heard of authors being mortified by the cover design. There again, some publishers involve their authors in the decisions while others do not. Dundurn is open to author input, another good thing, in my opinion. A cover can make or break sales, we all know that, just as a title can fizzle or detract. And if you read the cover blurb, know that the author probably wrote it unless the publishing house has an in-house marketing group that handles it. I've written every cover description so far for my books.

Easter long weekend - like you, I've been running around getting food, wine, napkins, chocolate for the family get-together, which will be tonight. So, speaking of being brief, I'm about to get at some of the preparations. I wish each of you a wonderful Easter as we hop into spring.

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