I've received my cover art back from the artist. It's not good. It's unbelievably fantastic! I want to hang it on my wall. I want to put it on a shirt. I want to drape myself in it and snuggle. Ok, it's too hot to snuggle in, because it's 90 degrees outside and the cover art is 1,000 degrees...CELSIUS.
I also have my edits back from the editor. She did a wonderful job. I won't lie -- editing is difficult for me. I thought I'd send her the book, she'd return it and say, "I'm sorry, I can't take your money, because this is too perfect. Please, do not send me any more work in the future, because there is nothing I can do for you." Yeahhh...no. So I'm about 1/4 through the edits. Things are coming along. Once I get the typography done for the cover, I'll probably set up a preorder or preview. Just something with the word "pre" in it. I'm kind of laid back on schedules.
A recent discussion (although this discussion pops up at least once a week) on the Amazon Writer's Cafe is about scammers in the Amazon book store. There are people that either throw together mediocre books, or use programs to create "books", or steal other people's books, then use click farms and other nefarious means to boost their book rankings up into the stratosphere. Then of course there's the issue with the keywords, where people intentionally abuse the keyword system to boost their rankings, but when everyone does it, all it does is make the search function useless. All of this combined results in lower payouts for legitimate Amazon authors.
Now, I'm just breaking into the industry myself right now, so seeing authors complaining that their meager paychecks are dwindling every month and Amazon doesn't seem to care one bit is daunting and demotivating. For whatever reason, it doesn't seem to be a problem Amazon is taking seriously yet, but if enough customers and legitimate authors complain about generic, bad, or fake books that are ranked highly, and a cluttered store where it is impossible to find the product you are searching for, I'm sure they will take action.
Here is an article that explains the issue very well:
The new novel is with the editor right now, and the cover is almost completed. I have to admit, the process is
a lot longer than I expected, by a factor of probably two. Beta readers (btw, if you are interested in being a trusted
beta reader, be sure to sign up for the mailing list and contact me) took a few weeks, round one edits took a few weeks, and now probably a few more weeks for round two editing and the cover. I'm hoping to be able to book some promos next month, and if everything goes well, release in September or October.
Meanwhile, I'm working on a prequel that focuses on one of the characters from this book. Jessica Luvkrafft is a member of The Order of Mankind, a secret organization created hundreds of years ago to battle the evil creatures of darkness. The prequel will focus on her struggle to find her place within the organization while being raised by one of The Order's most famous warriors and scientists (and overprotective father) Jake Luvkrafft.
Things goin' on.