After posting the umpteenth tiny tweak to my cover on Createspace for the upcoming / potential Stealth Books edition of A Sword Into Darkness (assuming Baen does not buy it), I checked in at Lousy Book Covers for my daily dose of schadenfreude.
I was unprepared for the magnificence I would behold.
Gird yourself for the boldest artistic and authorial vision that has ever been put in print.
How loooow can you goooo? Or, in this case, how long can you go?
So, I heard back from the Baen Books Slushmaster. He’s finishing up a very good manuscript (not mine) and he’s farmed out the other three manuscripts ahead of mine, so mine is the next in the hopper after he returns from DragonCon in Atlanta next Tuesday. Then he’ll reread ASID and get back with either a final rejection or a push to the bosses upstairs. As he is a copious note-taker, he expects it’ll take him a few weeks to finish the book.
So, as I figure it, I’m looking at either good news about a traditional publisher in late September / early October, or I’m looking at an Octoberish launch of ASID under the Stealth Books imprint with my buddy Jeff. Either way, I consider thus to be all-around good news.
So, stupid man that I am, I’ve sent a query to Baen Books regarding the current status of my on-hold manuscript for A Sword Into Darkness. In the last two years (first submitted it in August 2011) it has gone from submitted to the Baen Slushpile, pulled out of the Baen Slush into a group of 40 books requiring further consideration, then to a group of 15 books, then 9 books, and now who knows. Baen has a lot of stuff on their plate and I have nothing but respect for them and the situation they are in, working through whether or not to take a gamble on an unknown author or not.
But on a personal level, it’s maddening. The manuscript is not accepted or rejected — just in Limbo — and like the souls stuck in Limbo, it’s not Heaven nor Hell, it’s just . . . blah. Kinda there, not sucking, but not great either. Indeterminate. Frustrating. Lame.
The work over the last couple of weeks on the self-publishing / Stealth Books imprint route has been exciting and productive, however. I’ve got a proof-ready copy of the physical novel ready to ship, with a kick-ass cover and a professionally formatted interior (all thanks to the guidance and ministrations of Jeff Edwards). It’s been awesome working on it with Jeff, but he fully knows and understands that I would throw a 100% of it aside if Baen or another traditional house only would say “yes.”
I should have an answer or more questions soon. I’m quite nervous right now.
Happy Friday and hoping you’re all going in to a wonderful weekend.
That being said, you’ve got some work to do first, so no shirking your responsibilities, Mister/Miss! I’m proceeding on the depressed assumption that my standing queries with Baen and Ace are not going anywhere fast, so it behooves me to move forward with the Stealth Books e-publishing option. This is much more of a do-it-yourself affair, so I have done the cover myself, but I can’t decide on exactly which one to choose. This is where y’all come in!
Please peruse the following covers and pick which one you like best (i.e. which one is most enticing/professional and would instantly make you WANT this book). I eagerly await the judgement of the internets.
Cover 1, centered title. This one is standard, but the title might be more difficult to read in a thumbnail on Amazon.
Cover 2, the “Z” layout. This one makes more effective use of open space and pushes the Sword of Liberty further back. Oh, and if you noted it’s not as bright as the other pic, that’s easily fixable. Specifically, which layout is best?
Cover 3, the “S” layout. This one uses the pic from the first post, but maximizes title size for thumbnails.
And that’s it. If none of these appeal, or one appeals particularly, or you think a particular tweak is needed, please leave a comment below. Otherwise, absolutely please vote in the following poll. Multiple visits and votes are allowed. May the best cover win!