Tag Archives: contest

Vote for Winning Book Cover: Narrowed Down to Two

“Naked Alliances” is softcore crime NOT hardcore crime. I recently went through the process of narrowing down covers.

When I first sent out the brief requesting cover designers, I gave the Title of the contest:

Florida Regional Crime Fiction With Humorous Undertones

I was immediately slammed with hardcore, gritty covers. Dozens of them. And designers had a hard time wrapping their heads around “crime with subtle humor”. It was the hint of humor they all missed the point on.

After the first elimination round, I finally got designers focused on humor, but most went overboard into what appeared more like cartoonish children’s books. It is strictly an adult themed book, with violence and nudity. The subtle humor, even some of the silliness, is aimed at adults.

Background:

Before you choose a cover between the first poll winner and the runner up, I will tell a little about the story so you have some context. One of the protagonists is an exotic dancer who used to be an E.O.D. Specialist in the Army (explosive ordinance disposal). The story involves the other protagonist, the private investigator becoming foster dad to a young girl on the run, recruiting the exotic dancer as babysitter and hiding them in a nudist resort.

Now that you have a little background, pick a cover that you feel best offers hints at subtle humor and will catch your eye in a thumbnail on Amazon or draw you to read the blurb.

I need your vote! Make sure to star both covers, so your vote counts as like and disliked.

These are the winner and the runner up of the fist poll.

Thank you all for your participation!

Please vote again, even if you already voted in the larger poll.

Here’s the LInk!  https://99designs.com/book-cover-design/vote-bmffnd

Progress and a Clever Crime Writer: Tim Baker

I have been working on writing this crime novel steady since May 4th, even though I had the first three chapters, which I rewrote, done back in November. The ideas for this novel have been in my head for about ten years. I trashed all that—the three chapters not part of the current novel—keeping an old file of those first person chapters. The original was in the murder victim’s husband’s POV…which made no sense. But I knew that character and the plan was to have a murder mystery, not a crime novel. I pull little details from that file from time to time.

After I decided on a crime novel (NOT police procedural) and put the novel in the private investigator’s POV along with Brandi’s, the sidekick he doesn’t want to have, she also needed a POV.  I don’t stick exactly to an alternating POV, but their chapters, thus far, have been clearly and specifically their chapters.

They haven’t been together much for the first half of the novel. Now it is coming upon a part where they will need to be. I am hoping their voices are well developed enough by this point not to be too confusing. The narration is third person, so I’m feeling pretty comfortable.

I now stand at 26,439 words, and I am about half way through the story I am telling. My husband is over eager. He has helped me along, when asked for details, but only read the first chapter, so far. He is an avid crime novel /murder mystery reader and loved the last one, but likes this rewrite much better.

My word count comes to about 2644 per day, over ten working days, but I am writing on weekends too, so it’s really not that many in a day. Add five more weekend days and you get more like 1767 words per day. I know some days it is only 300-500, and others are well over 3000, so who is to say what a word count is worth?

I do try to keep chapters to around 1500 words for short ones and around 3000 for a few longer ones. That has more to do with the rhythm of the read and the pace than anything else. So far, I am up to Chapter Thirteen and about in the middle of that. I am guessing less than thirty chapters.

An author my husband, the rocket scientist, has been reading is Tim Baker. His work is similar to Tim Dorsey and Carl Hiaasen. Both authors I love. In many ways, I think Tim Baker’s work shows more cleverness. The rocket scientist reads me chapters out loud from time to time, and I am anxious to read his work myself. I’ll be reading and reviewing later.

One thing he did, and I plan to communicate with him about this, is published a short story written by another author at the end of one of his books. The story was the result of a contest he held. I am supposing he already had a fan base built up, and beta readers, or other bloggers who were interested enough to participate.

The story was knee slapping hilarious and was like a piece of fan fiction relative to his characters, but using a topic he selected.  The topic was “death”. The writer who won the contest and was published in his work made fun of what might have been a plot hole, his use of commas (or improper use), and other such sillies. It involved a dead body left to rot in a character’s house. How much fun is that!?

I don’t know how he would feel if I stole his idea. I would like to mull over the details on how he set that up with him and see if he would mind if I tried something like that in the future. I would need a fan base first. So I am talking way along in the series.  It really shows the camaraderie of self-published authors to promote and exchange ideas like that. I love it. It’s exciting to see that sort of mutual support. The story was great and I can’t wait to download his stuff on my iPad. I’ll never get my husband’s away from him.

Here are some of his titles if you want to check him out. We found that we have to put both his author name and the title into Amazon to pull up some of his older works. There are a few authors by that name so make certain you have the correct Tim Baker. I really don’t know if he’s still writing. I think his last novel was published in 2011. Of course, he could just be serving time somewhere. Ha!

CreateSpace and Me: New Developments

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This is where I get to suck it up and eat crow.  This is my new paperback proof!  It is finally here!

All hope is not lost after all.  CreateSpace, after my Customer Service call to them, fast-forwarded their process to get my proof to me ASAP.  While they had a slight oversight and failed to note that I had requested four extra proofs be sent, they are sending those overnight delivery today.  They should be here by October 1st.

What’s that you say?  You thought I had an October 1st deadline with the contest?  You are right.  And Charles Yallowitz, I owe you one…you were right too.  There WAS a way to work it out.

I called the prize contest coordinators in NYC, and they tell me to go ahead and send overnight to them, as they have items trickling in all week d/t mail and such, so they are not excruciatingly strict.

I do not expect to win the contest, but at least it is a way to get the book read, perhaps by some who could be influential in promotions.  An honorable mention would be delightful, but it isn’t an expected outcome.  Being able to follow through on my reader’s groups’ expectations of me, and get this book entered at all is the accomplishment.  I am very happy today.

CreateSpace and Me: Bummed

race-horse-accident

I am suffering the complete loss or absence of hope.  I have already made a post about my anguish with CreateSpace.  This is another rant but it will be brief.

There was a rather prestigious contest that a reader’s group paid an entry fee for to nominate my book, “Red Clay and Roses”.  My only responsibility was to get four proof copies of the paperback to the contest judges by October 1st, and that won’t be possible.  Today, CreateSpace informed me that my proof copy will be shipped in five days.  Count the days.  Not going to be a possibility to get the proofs and get them FedEx’d to the judges by October 1st.   Needless to say, I am more than sorely disappointed.  I have failed.

I first started with CreateSpace on June 6th.  This process has taken entirely too long.  I wouldn’t be so upset if it had not taken three weeks for CreateSpace to get around to giving my book ANY attention.  I know my revisions were part of the problem, but again, if they did not make their process so very time consuming…well, enough.  I am happy that there is a service that provides POD to self-published authors.  Who’s to say my book would have won the contest anyway?  I am just nettled that my horse broke his leg coming out of the starting gate.