Lessons Learned; Cover Art!

Because I like to do things backwards, let’s start this two-topic post by covering the second topic first. Logical, right?

I received the preliminary work from my cover artist yesterday, and even though it’s “just a few placeholders cobbled together,” I’m blown away. Part of that, of course, is just seeing cover art for your own story. That’s a feeling that’s difficult to describe, but I’ll try: it’s awesome. Oh, that wasn’t so difficult after all.

I only had a couple of suggestions for him in regards to changes for the art, and I can’t wait to see how he incorporates those changes, and even more so, where it goes from there. Once he massages it all together, colors it, and puts the finishing touches on it, I think I’m going to have a piece that really stands out from some of the other books out there. Even though it’s only the first draft of the cover, he’s already managed to nail a few of the things I wanted.

I’m not going to pretend that people buy books strictly based on the cover (I’m sure there’s some small percentage that does, but they’re just that: a small percentage), but the cover should tell the reader a few things about the story. It should give them an idea of what’s happening in the story, perhaps introduce them to the setting and some characters, and most importantly, impart a feel that the book strives for. It’s the latter that I think has really been nailed, even though it’s the first draft. That’s a great feeling to see that.

Although I’m excited by the cover art, all is not perfect as my original deadline has been moved back. I was hoping to have this novel published in August, and even though I was originally aiming for the end of August and there’s still a possibility that I could hit that, I’m aiming for a more realistic launch in September. Ideally, I want it to be ready on September 1st at the absolute latest, but I’ve made a few mistakes along the way so I’m not holding my breath.

That’s the joy of doing something new: making mistakes. At least I’m learning from them, so it’s not a complete waste. As it happens, I spent some time a few days ago devising an ambitious publishing plan that encompasses the remainder of this year as well as the entirety of next year, and with some new lessons learned, I’m feeling a little better about my chances.

I’m not saying it’s going to happen for certain, but there’s definitely an outside possibility. There’s a certain sequence of steps that one should take when they’re publishing, and doing them out of order can impact your product in ways that it’s likely impossible to predict because of the nature of creation and revision.

Without going into the specifics, let’s just say that I understand where I went wrong and won’t be making that mistake when I sit down to revise another book next month.

Yeah, that’s right: I have another book that’s ready for revision and editing (and cover art and a map) and then it’ll be time to publish. Assuming I can stick with plan, it’ll be available in October.

October may be wishful thinking, but as Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

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