Saturday, April 11, 2009

Artist for Warrior's Duty Cover Art

More news from the novel front -- the one being published, not the one I'm working on.

The publisher is actually allowing me (Swimming Kangroo Books are super-nice people to work with) to pick the artist and forwarded me links to four artist's galleries. Very exciting! This is at least close to the last step.

I picked out an artist named Jeff Ward who does some very nice work. I'm assuming the publisher will agree since they asked.

Woohoo! I will finally have cover art to post!

I'm going to post a longer portion of the first chapter as a sample so you can get a better idea of what Warrior's Duty is about.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting Out of the Slush Pile - Part 2

I apologize for a rather extended absence. I haven't felt well for the past month of flu season and my attention – what there was of it – went to my novel. All over a very nasty flu bug and attendant bout of bronchitis now though.

I'm back with more discussion of Mike Resnick's article on Jim Baen's Universe on how one may (or may not) get out of the slush pile. Here is a link to the entire article which I strongly recommend reading.

Mr. Resnick says:

Second, check your spelling and punctuation. Again, that seems awfully basic, and in truth no good story ever failed to sell because of a couple of typos . . . but a sloppy manuscript implies that the author had no respect for his work and his craft, and if he didn’t then why should the reader (and in this case, the slush reader)?

Now, I have to say that's harsh. Maybe I react that way because it's someplace that I fall down, but when I do fall down there it's definitely not because I don't care. However, I have no doubt if Mr. Resnick says that's how slush readers react, then he's right. He has the experience to know.

But what does that leave the rest of us who in our fallibility may have trouble with proofreading. And here I'm talking about myself. I have a very hard time finding all the nit-pick errors in my manuscripts and believe me, I look.

I have improved by doing this and like most of us I do my stories using MS Word: I select the whole thing, change the font to something I don't usually use (Arial for me) and to a larger size, print it out, sit myself down and read it out loud with pen in hand.

It was actually an editor over at Baen's Universe (thanks, Paula) who suggested changing the fonts. I was surprised that that does help me look at it with fresh eyes. I can't say it makes my proofreading perfect, but it's better. And I never want to hear from an editor (as I must admit I did once) "If you don't care, why should I?"

If you have problems with proofreading, you might try that method. If you have a better method, please let all of us know because I'm more than open to new methods.