Update: TANO moves into the proofing stage.

So, I finished the basic revision to TANO on Saturday.

I immediately put it into the correct template for a paperback and ordered a proofing copy. Well, two, so that my mother and I can read it at the same time. I may well do some revision still, but probably not anything huge. I sure hope nothing huge! When I read the paper version, I’ll be reading it not only for proofing, but for purposes of smoothing it out. I hope there’s not much to do there, but I’ve only read it through from the top once and then still added one conversation in the middle.

Even though I’m pushing to get everything done faster than usual, honestly, I’m super happy with how TANO is coming. I really didn’t dream it’d be practically finished a week before February! I really am thinking early March, not late March, for the release date. I’ll decide that as soon as I have a finished cover, because that’s when I’ll be able to put the ebook up for preorder.

This is definitely not a novella, by the way. I just want to make that clear. It’s 5×8, sure, not 6×9 like the main trilogy, but it’s 115,000 words and will be well over 400 pages, something like 450, I think. And yes, I’ll do a 6×9 hardcover version as well.

Anyway, to fill out the “Details” page at KDP, I had to do back cover copy. Rather than just putting in “Back Cover Copy Here,” which I sometimes do when all I want is a proof copy, I actually took a stab at writing back cover description because I’m going to need to do that in a couple weeks anyway, so why not now.

Here it is, and please tear into this. Does it look like a good beginning, or should I start over? Those of you who have read it are particularly likely to have suggestions, but remember, total accuracy is not the goal. The goal is to look enticing, particularly to people already familiar with the series, though without being terribly misleading. Also, I’m adamantly against important spoilers in cover description.

I think this book sort of stands alone kind of okay, but I expect 99% of all readers will pick it up in order, not in isolation. Nevertheless, I’m trying not to throw too many names into this description because I don’t think name-heavy description appeals to people. Also, lots of readers are bad at remembering names. (I mean, I’m terrible at remembering names). But I did put in “inTasiyo.” It could be “the enemy tribe” again, or something like that.

So, what do you think?

*** *** ***

Tano may be inGara now, but he’s not at all sure how long that’s going to last.

Already suspect because he was born to an enemy tribe, already distrusted because of his role in destroying that tribe, now that he belongs to the inGara, Tano fears that his next misstep could be his last, causing him to be cast out of his new people, maybe even worse. 

Then another young man who used to be inTasiyo brings Tano a serious problem, asking for his help. Tano owes him too great a debt to refuse … even if trying to help costs him everything.

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9 thoughts on “Update: TANO moves into the proofing stage.”

  1. For the second paragraph, I would cut “maybe even worse” and divide this long sentence in some way.
    I can’t wait to read it!

  2. I’d cut the “now that he belongs” clause of that sentence, which means Kathryn and I have the same issue with the sentence: too long. Otherwise, though, it looks good to me. I’d be a prompt purchaser!

  3. Same issue with first sentence – it’s not the length so much as too many clauses and commas. Maybe:

    He is already suspect because he was born to an enemy tribe, already distrusted because of his role in destroying that tribe. Now that he belongs to the inGara, Tano fears that his next misstep could be his last, causing him to be cast out by his new people — or even worse.

    Is there some way to indicate just how bad being cast out would be for him, how much he desperately wants to belong? From this description it doesn’t sound like he’d be losing much.

  4. Following on Kristi’s comment, maybe something about being cast out of the new people he wants desperately to be worthy of.

    Agree on breaking up the first sentence.

    I will be happy to preorder this asap and am glad it looks like it will be ready on the early side.

  5. Maybe, Tano fears that ‘any’ misstep, not ‘his next misstep’. Maybe, instead of ‘not at all sure how long…’ you write, ‘he’s not sure that will last.’
    I agree the second paragraph needs to be split up in some way, and not be one long construct of clauses.

    Nonetheless, you draw us all in with the young man coming to Tano for help. Can’t wait to read the finished version!

  6. I think the content of the back cover copy is good! It captures the basics of the set up without assuming you remember too many details from other books.

    I think it’s clear who the inTasiyo are from context, and I would even say that it’s clearer than “the enemy tribe”, because I don’t think we leave Tarashana thinking the inTasiyo are THE enemy, if that makes sense? The earlier spot with “*an* enemy tribe” makes sense in context, but when I’m thinking about this series at large, “*the* enemy” is going to confuse me a little, because it’s not a series with a single overarching enemy. I know that’s not what the “the” would be doing there, but I would be briefly confused. If you do want to remove “inTasiyo”, I’d replace it with something more like “his old tribe”.

    I agree with everyone else that the sentence starting “Already suspect…” can and should be broken up.

  7. Actually, I hit the “post” button too soon, because I have another thought – re: Kristi’s comment that it’s not clear enough why being cast out would be so bad – maybe add something about how Tano is trying to rebuild his honor / become someone trustworthy? I think that sort of explains why he *needs* to figure out how to succeed at being inGara, it’s the only path he can see to being a good person.

  8. Tano may be safe with inGara now, but for how long?

    Distrusted for his actions against his former tribe, Tano fears that any misstep will get him kicked out of inGara—and with how much he has to learn about honor and honesty, that could happen at any time!

    Then another young man from his former tribe brings Tano a serious problem and asks for his help. Tano owes him too great a debt to refuse … even if trying to help costs him everything.

  9. Everyone else has already noted my thoughts about the second paragraph, so I’ll chime in on the third.

    1. From context it sort of works, but the mention of inTasiyo in the third paragraph when it’s only referred to as “the enemy tribe” in the second is a bit confusing, especially for someone who hasn’t read the previous books in a while. If you start para 2 with “Already suspect because he was born to the inTasiyo…,” then you can start para 3 with “Then (name) inTasiyo brings Tano…,” neatly tightening up the phrase “another young man who used to be inTasiyo”, which is a bit clunky.

    2. I also think it needs at least a hint of the relationship between Tano and the other young man–why would Tano risk everything for him?

    3. I think it could be tightened up overall a little.

    What about something like:

    “Then one of Tano’s oldest friends/erstwhile kin/etc. comes asking for help with a serious problem. [XYZ] inTasiyo [reason for the debt–helped Tano when he needed it most? was devastated by Tano’s actions?] and now Tano can’t refuse him…even if trying to help costs him everything.”

    (I’m actually not sure you need the phrase “with a serious problem” here–if it wasn’t a serious problem it wouldn’t merit the high stakes)

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