Cover Workshop

General discussion on illustration, art, and the business of same.
Fobok1
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Fobok1 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:18 pm

Ok, thanks! :) I'll either try to add some desperation to this image, in his face and hands, or start something from scratch if I can't manage that.
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soulmirror
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:32 pm

I agree I don't see anything that conveys desperation or fear or peril etc. If you told me it's someone floating tranquilly thru a dreamworld, I'd say "that's a tranquil dream, yeah"

This isn't one of mine, but I googled images for "desperation" and something like this screams desperation to me:

Image

Image

... and even those border upon being "portraits" and would benefit from a desperate context, something that hints at WHY it's a desperate upload (a threatening monster or situation etc)

Just imo though ....
Image
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:32 pm

Fobok1 wrote:Ok, thanks! :) I'll either try to add some desperation to this image, in his face and hands, or start something from scratch if I can't manage that.


Oh, this is an image you made? Very cool.

I think Soul Mirror pointed out before that the character is looking off screen. What about a screen shot from a different angle, so that the character is looking at us? I know when my spouse makes 3D images he often cheats on setting up just enough of the background for the shot he wants, so I'm not sure if you can rotate with the background you have, just a suggestion.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Fobok1 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:52 am

Strycher wrote:Oh, this is an image you made? Very cool.


Thanks!

I think Soul Mirror pointed out before that the character is looking off screen. What about a screen shot from a different angle, so that the character is looking at us?


Tried that, but don't really like the result:

Image

It just doesn't look right. (That's also the most desperate expression I could find.)

So, I took a stab at a new image, showing a threat:

Image

And, finally, I did an alternate version with a different colour to his armour:

Image

My only other idea is a space scene, (the story does mostly take place on board a ship), but I'd need to buy some more content for that, so it'll have to wait until I'm paid again.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:56 am

Comparing the images side-by-side at thumbnail size, I think the white armor stands out more than the red.

Image

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Fobok1 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:56 pm

Strycher wrote:Comparing the images side-by-side at thumbnail size, I think the white armor stands out more than the red.


Thanks! I hadn't even thought to do a thumbnail comparison. So yeah, looks like the white is the best choice.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:59 pm

No question that the white version stands out better, so my preference for the red is utterly a personal taste thing. (Me, I gotta "go" with what I feel for, heart before head. If I had a surefire solution, I'd go with that, but knowing it's usually a toss of the dice anyway, if I fall short I don't wanna second-doubt myself! "Heck -- I never liked that anyway" leaves a worse disappointment than "Well ... *I* luv'd it." wotf005

But objectively, yes, the white grabs my eye too, I just liked the red. I liked BOTH the new scary war guys far more than the sedate-boy.

You might even have the boy standing behind the war guy, cringing against the wall to the right, and then there's drama because we're waiting for the war guy to turn around and imperil the kid?

But both the war guys make a cool cover!
Image
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby BeauWright » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:53 pm

Image

My first commission! I just wanted to know if anyone felt it was too noisey.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:27 pm

That's pretty awesome! I don't think it's too busy. When I shrink it down to thumbnail size a lot of the ancillary details sort of fade out. I think it looks good. Remember that some platforms will only accept black and white interiors, so it may end up looking like this on someone's eReader:

Image

Which is still pretty badass, though I might suggest increasing the contrast between the figure and the background.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:14 pm

Not "too noisy" at all, imo, just very lovely and cool illustration! Luving the variation and visual energy of the fire/sparks/pizzazz dancing around the sword blade!!! wotf007
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby BeauWright » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:38 pm

Thank you guys. I did up thecontrast a bit and sent it off for approval. Just constantly looking for the next job!

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Patrick S. McGinnity
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Patrick S. McGinnity » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:29 pm

Hello all you fine WOTFers! I was wondering if I could solicit some input on a mock-up of the cover for my first ever short story in ebook format. I did this in Gimp, using a free stock photo (all I did to it was crop it rather severely).

Image

Is it just too boring? I feel like the description on the cover may be a tad excessive, but something is probably necessary to make sure people don't assume this is a Nicholas Sparks sort of story. I'm not in love with the font, either, and I think the black and white text might be a bit boring. But at the same time, I am going for a somewhat understated feel too (to match the tone, which is pretty deadpan, even when narrating mass casualties). Any thoughts?
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby MJNL » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:28 pm

It's striking, and the image sticks out well when reduced to thumbnail size--but what genre is it? As is, it screams 'literary' to me.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby austinDm » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:32 pm

I got the same impression re literary. The cover image definitely evokes the title.

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Patrick S. McGinnity
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Patrick S. McGinnity » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:18 pm

I guess it looking literary isn't deceptive, as far as the plot goes, though it is far closer to Vonnegut than Hemingway. It was sort of inspired by this Donald Barthelme story, "The School" where a class adopts one thing after another (each a progressively more serious commitment), only to have each die from neglect. In the end, they adopt a kid and it gets sort of weird after that. Anyway, "Hard Winter" is not SF in that there is no real speculative element, other than a sort of apocalyptic feeling and an impossible string of disasters. So yeah, it is unrealistic, but also not quite speculative. Thanks for the input, both of you!
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Very dramatic image visually, but i agree it says little about the genre (though the caption does promise comedy).

Have you considered using some sort of "abused" or broken / corroded font for the title? Or breaking the lower caption lines up so it reads differently?
A black comedy about an island the world forgot
and the winter the survivors never will

maybe? "and the winter its survivors never will" ?

But I'm just throwing snowballs of ideas there.
I agree with others it's a cool image. Something "genre" could be hanging from the tree?
Image
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:39 am

Patrick S. McGinnity wrote:So yeah, it is unrealistic, but also not quite speculative.


Then I think it looks pretty good. Professional even. And shows up well as a thumbnail. wotf008

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Patrick S. McGinnity » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:43 am

Thanks for the feedback, Soulmirror. I'll have to look into a more distressed font for the title, and I like the idea of breaking the description in a different place--I teach poetry sometimes, so I should have thought of that!

Thanks to Strycher and as well AustinDM as well.
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soulmirror
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:28 pm

Yeah, 'distressed' was the word I was groping for. wotf001

Image
Image
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby DavidK » Thu May 23, 2013 1:58 am

So I've got a couple of covers I've done and was wondering what people thought?

Here is (hopefully) a link to a small version of both (but I've included a link to a large version at the end too)

Here it is ... Cover #1:

Image

And here is ... Cover #2:

Image


Big link to cover 1: http://www.davidkernot.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/beam-ridersa2.jpg

Big link to cover 2: http://www.davidkernot.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/the-early-years.jpg

For more information on these, see my blog post at: http://www.davidkernot.com/?page_id=958
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soulmirror
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Mon May 27, 2013 3:46 pm

Well, I luv the second one! wotf007 Makes me want to know what it's all about: a "buy this book" cover for sure imo!

The first (and it's just my two cents and in hopes of helping a fellow forumite etc) I think doesn't quite gel? The woman is too much a snapshot of an individual (rather than a "character" in a story, and she's too static) and the photorealism there doesn't quite mesh with the more sci-fi fx feel of the background?

But that'd be just my personal taste: I'm sold by #2 and not grabbed by #1 ... and cover art on any book is there to sell the book, period imo.
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Strycher
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Mon May 27, 2013 6:28 pm

David, when I looked at the first cover I wondered why it says "a story" instead of "a novel" or "a short story"?

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Tue May 28, 2013 11:54 am

Okay guys, whatcha think?:

Image

This is a premade cover, but I can ask for adjustments. I think it looks pretty nifty, but I'm bias and I wonder what others think. (As an aside, it's really hard to find premade covers that might be appropriate for superhero stories.) Thanks in advance!

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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue May 28, 2013 3:50 pm

Strycher,

I think that cover proves how difficult it is. Until I read "A Superhero Story", the mask only confused me. I didn't realize it was a mask, and I wondered what sort of barrier she was looking through.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Tue May 28, 2013 4:53 pm

Yeah. wotf005 That's actually face paint on the model as far as I can tell. It's hard. I browsed for months looking for a cover or even stock art that I thought would work. There isn't really a market for superheroes in prose ( the Amazon sub genre has just over 1000 entries for superhero) and so I don't think artists/cover designers really work in that area. I don't want to commission original artwork for a short story. (Really I shouldnt be paying for a short story cover at all, but that's a different conversation).

Any way, long-winded way of saying that that's why I asked for the superhero tag right on the cover. I hope if I file it right when I upload it to retailers that all will be clear.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby gower21 » Wed May 29, 2013 1:44 pm

I actually love it. It's very dramatic and has a lot of emotion. I think I knew "superhero" because I totally remember the story. And what? Superheros can't wear face paint?

As far as proportions I think your name can be a smidgen bigger.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Thu May 30, 2013 4:23 am

gower21 wrote:I actually love it. It's very dramatic and has a lot of emotion. I think I knew "superhero" because I totally remember the story. And what? Superheros can't wear face paint?

As far as proportions I think your name can be a smidgen bigger.


Thanks, Tina. wotf008

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby morshana » Thu May 30, 2013 9:53 am

I'm with Tina on the cover, Krystal. wotf007
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soulmirror
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Fri May 31, 2013 1:14 pm

I like it alot! But I actually didn't "see" it as a mask at all, I can see it as "facepaint" ... but really I just thought it was the flame light spot-illuminating the eye.

Even by that interpretation, it's a killer cover imo. But if you want to emphasize the "superhero" aspect, I'd agree that saying it on the cover is best since I myself didn't visually "see" it as a mask etc?
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Rebecca Birch
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:09 pm

Looking for any feedback on this cover below. The swirlies are because the image is not yet licensed. They would go away.

What sort of story vibe does this give you?

Thank you!

Image
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