Thanks to an old high school friend, Jeff Strauss, and a buddy of his at work, my book cover has been vastly improved. (Go ahead, judge the whole book by it!)
That's the nifty thing about asking for help — sometimes people surprise me by going out of their way to do something nice just because. I'm not crazy about asking for help; in fact, it makes me so uncomfortable I usually just don't. My experience with this book project hasn't done much to change that, mostly because I've gotten responses that run the gamut from people completely ignoring my requests, to those who are downright rude, or barely civil, or kind but too busy, or grudgingly helpful — to that wonderful species who are genuinely pleased to do a favor for someone they don't know or haven't seen in years. It's possible the latter outnumber the former, and I hope I've let them know how much I appreciate their help, support and encouragement, and that I'll have the presence of mind to do the same for others if given the opportunity. (Although, in all honesty, if I ever find great success as an author, I'm pretty sure it won't take long for me to forget the little people. What? I kid.)
I'm pushing for an early February release. I'll keep you posted.