The First Reader hates the term, because it has negative connotations. Competence does not mean perfect. We should all like competent heroes. Take Miles Vorkosigan for instance. He was competent, but far from perfect.
Last week, I was in Texas (this weekend, I’m in Kentucky. I really need to settle down and spend some time at home one of these days…). I was there for other reasons, but while I was there I had the amazing pleasure of meeting up with most of the North Texas Writers and Shooters Association. It was a bracing experience for the writer in me, since I realized I’d missed the company of writers badly. The chance to talk about all the little details we get into here on the blog, but accompanied by very good food, and stories told by some extremely competent people. Read more
I haven’t gone off the deep end, really. And yes, that’s a date in the headline, but I pulled it out of thin air. Reality is that what I’m speculating about in this post could be possible in, say 2080. If not sooner. Cutting-edge science and the garment industry aren’t exactly strangers, and the idea of being able to… I’m getting ahead of myself. Read more
I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, not really. Instead, I’m trying to refocus on writing and remake daily habits around writing. It’s a good thing I’m not doing NaNo, because yesterday I was nibbled to death by ducks.
I actually like ducks. Both in real life, and the end result of my fate yesterday, which did not actually involve feathered friends, or terminal anything. Ducks aren’t as savage as geese, nor as disconcertingly dinosaurian as chickens are. They are, however, very messy. And baby ducks poop, a lot. Like – how the heck did that squishy downy adorable body fit all that inside of it? Baby ducks poop, and eat, and poop more. Also, they play in their water, which is their nature, but you can imagine the mess it makes of their brooder. Anyway… I really am going somewhere with this, and it’s not just a nostalgic look back at the barn yard. Read more
So last week we talked about book cover rules, and I briefly touched on fonts, among other things. I didn’t want to dive into any of the rules, since that post could easily have become a book (a short book, but still) and that’s not the point. Today, I’m going to dig into fonts, at least enough to get the interested started. A good font choice can make a book cover sing to the potential reader like a siren to the sailors. A bad font can repulse them like the sleaze in front of a dive bar. Since we want to seduce the reader and that process begins from their first glimpse of a book, we want to put some time and energy into selecting the right elements for the cover. Read more
I feel like I harp on this topic. Covers, cover art, cover design… if it’s ever too much, tell me. Here’s the thing, though. It’s not just that I’m an artist and designer and I enjoy the process of book creation. It’s that even though people will say they don’t care about a book cover, they actually do. They will totally judge your book by it’s cover. And your book cover signals a lot about your book, whether you are conscious of it, or not. Every little choice, from font to color focus, says something about the book. I think by now everyone reading this knows the cardinal rule of a book cover: cover art is a marketing tool, not a scene from the book. Sure, there are rare exceptions where a scene depiction works as cover art. But it’s not common, and besides that, the second rule of book cover design is: it absolutely must be legible at thumbnail sizes. Read more