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Random Ramblings

I’m making notes here as I look through the current new posts in Reader. So far — 1. An exquisite book cover (Not being sarcastic; it’s really beautiful) with much text that’s going to be invisible at thumbnail sizes wherever it’s for sale. Folks, no matter how beautiful your new cover is, how in love with it you are, look at it at the size potential readers are going to see. Every single day, I’m stunned at the number of book covers that just don’t work at small sizes, even those paid for in the belief that a real artist will do a great job. Ugly fact: lots of artists don’t know crap about design, especially how to use fonts. If you’re a Mac user, open that cover in Preview and hit the minus button until the cover is thumbnail size. What you see is what people browsing Amazon, etc., are going to see.

2. SF book review about people imprisoned in glass viles. Let’s hope this reviewer isn’t also a novelist, because that’s an instant turnoff for any reader who values quality writing. Your blog is the face you present to the world. It isn’t “just a blog, so it doesn’t count.” It counts. If you’re a novelist, sloppy writing on your blog tells me that your novels are probably going to be sloppily written/edited.

6 Comments

  1. I will be adding that “people imprisoned in glass viles” in my Homonyms Gone Bad next blog. Do you think they really didn’t know the difference between vile and vial? And actually I have run into that in several novels recently. I used to lay everything like that at the editors door until the owner of one publishing house told me that quite a few of her authors had a no editing clause in their contracts. That stunned me and made me rethink the cause of so many errors in books.

    • LOL! I also have a list of homonyms gone bad. Don’t know if I’ll ever do anything with it, but it’s fun to collect them. I think a lot of people who make those mistakes really don’t know the difference. They go by what they’ve heard, as a substitute for the vocabulary acquisition that comes from heavy reading over a wide range of genres. In fact, it just occurred to me that the trend away from classic literature may be partly responsible. You can’t read any of the greats without coming across words that current mainstream writing stays away from. Because reading is being dumbed down in the schools, writing is also being dumbed down.

      No editing clause? I wonder if that’s true for other publishers. I’ve read that most publishers no longer pay for highly qualified editors. Instead, they depend on new college grads and/or software.

  2. Catana, I used to use the following example when I taught fiction at Byron College, to bring home to writers in a fun way, that you can’t trust a computer spell checker. I think there re 22 homonyms.

    The site of thee blond girl standing sunder the bow of a tree was to much four me. She was sew beautiful. She was standing on the sight of a demolished building. I boughed two her butt she did knot respond oar acknowledge my presents inn any weigh. Perhaps she wood right about me in her dairy that knight but that had not bean my gaol.

  3. Good advice on the covers. I do mine on Paintnet, and have made changes to them through time. I have been asked why my fonts are so big (I make them big and thick, then put outlining and depth from the program) and the answer is, so you can actually read the title and author name on a thumbnail on Amazon. Plus I really like the depth effect on the fonts I use. And I didn’t realize that glass could be despicable, LOL.

    • I’ve been pretty shy about font size until recently. Without the formal art training, we have to learn from our mistakes. I’ve redone some covers, still not to my satisfaction, but I finally had to say what’s done is done and go on to the next one.

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