Cover Workshop

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

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:47 am

And that shows what a professional cover designer brings to the table, I guess.

Nobody -- not here, and not anyone I've asked in person -- chose B. Their reasons have differed, but every single one of them chose A.

B was my design. A was designed by my nephew, who's a cover designer for a local publisher and went to school for this for a lot of years. It looks so simple; but clearly he knows something I don't, because his design is more effective in the eyes of the audience.

For further reference, he made a new version. This is the one I went with.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:24 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:And that shows what a professional cover designer brings to the table, I guess.

Nobody -- not here, and not anyone I've asked in person -- chose B. Their reasons have differed, but every single one of them chose A.

B was my design. A was designed by my nephew, who's a cover designer for a local publisher and went to school for this for a lot of years. It looks so simple; but clearly he knows something I don't, because his design is more effective in the eyes of the audience.

For further reference, he made a new version. This is the one I went with.

Image


FWIW: I greatly prefer this third option!

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby dantzel » Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:30 pm

Agreed!
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby AndreaGS » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:54 pm

I like the third one quite a bit! Picked up the e-copy and really enjoying it so far. wotf010

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:16 pm

AndreaGS wrote:I like the third one quite a bit! Picked up the e-copy and really enjoying it so far. wotf010


Thank you, Andrea! Now I know who my one sale is!

Slow but steady, slow but steady...
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby bobsandiego » Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:10 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:And that shows what a professional cover designer brings to the table, I guess.

Nobody -- not here, and not anyone I've asked in person -- chose B. Their reasons have differed, but every single one of them chose A.

B was my design. A was designed by my nephew, who's a cover designer for a local publisher and went to school for this for a lot of years. It looks so simple; but clearly he knows something I don't, because his design is more effective in the eyes of the audience.

For further reference, he made a new version. This is the one I went with.

Image

Yes, this is best one.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:37 am

I've been playing at cover-making. Here is the first serious attempt! The story meant to go inside it isn't very good wotf019 , it was my first HM, and at only 3200 words it's a bit short. But let me know what you think of the cover, including "A Tragedy from Mercury" which I'm not sure about as a tag line.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:50 pm

E.CaimanSands wrote:I've been playing at cover-making. Here is the first serious attempt! The story meant to go inside it isn't very good wotf019 , it was my first HM, and at only 3200 words it's a bit short. But let me know what you think of the cover, including "A Tragedy from Mercury" which I'm not sure about as a tag line.

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Think the title at the bottom looks really good. But the stars are so dense that it's hard on the eyes to read the byline/tagline.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:59 pm

I agree with Strycher. It's also a little confusing in that the second tag line looks like a title, and then there's another title below. Love the art, and the title and both taglines catch my interest.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:14 pm

Agreed, yes. And this is better than it was. I went and darkened the background a little to try to make it easier to read. But I might be able to darken it some more. And I was thinking that too, Martin, that the tagline is probably too big--it looks like the title. Or maybe the wrong wording (too titleish -- ok that isn't a word I know!)

Thanks, I shall tinker a bit more and see what I come up with. It's quite fun tinkering. wotf004
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby morshana » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:58 pm

I agree with Krystal and Martin.

And I wasn't sure which one was the title.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:13 pm

Latest version. And yes, I know there's a line on the right, I'll fix that, but I'm going to bed now. wotf007

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Rebecca Birch » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:26 pm

In the tagline, some of the stars look like periods. I was a little confused.

I like the general idea, though, and the image is neat.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Strycher » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:30 pm

I think the byline stands out a lot better now, but I don't think you need a tagline for epub and the latest one is super-duper generic sounding to me.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:18 pm

Advice is all over the map regarding taglines for epub. I like 'em, but this one seems a little long and detailed.

I love that it's Planets and Moons No. 1. Makes me eager for more.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:50 am

Ok, thanks guys.

I see what you mean about the stars looking like full stops, Rebecca. I can fix that.

As for the tagline itself the whole story is a bit generic probably, lol, so I think I'll leave it as it is. I think it fills the space quite nicely.

As for Planets and Moons, I'm probably going to lose the #1 at least as that makes no sense right now. My solar system stories aren't *really* a series and I don't know if/when the rest will appear! wotf019
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:11 am

E.CaimanSands wrote:Ok, thanks guys.

I see what you mean about the stars looking like full stops, Rebecca. I can fix that.

As for the tagline itself the whole story is a bit generic probably, lol, so I think I'll leave it as it is. I think it fills the space quite nicely.

As for Planets and Moons, I'm probably going to lose the #1 at least as that makes no sense right now. My solar system stories aren't *really* a series and I don't know if/when the rest will appear! wotf019


Teaser... wotf013
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WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
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REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby dantzel » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:13 am

So is Dimensions of Day and Night the title, or A Tragedy from Mercury?
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:48 am

dantzel wrote:So is Dimensions of Day and Night the title, or A Tragedy from Mercury?


Uh oh. wotf019

Maybe I should dump a Tragedy to Mercury. I just wanted to show readers my story was set on Mercury. wotf007 Alternatively I could change the title. wotf012 Dimensions of Mercury? wotf021 Mercury something. I shall think.

Don't strain yourself there, dimwitted one.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby dantzel » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:03 am

Ah. Well if you reduced the font size of A Tragedy from Mercury and incorporated it into the other tagline, it'll be lovely.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:08 am

I shall do something... something...

Thanks for the feedback anyway chaps! wotf007
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby gower21 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:29 pm

Elinor,

I love the color you've chosen. I'm a huge fan of gold and blues used and just the color alone sparks my interest and catches my eye. The Dimensions of Night and Day stands out the most to me and from a glance I assume it's the title. The outline of the words work, even with the busier background with the starscape it stands out to me. The other topography however could use a tad something to help it stand out. I'm thinking since it is up against black anyway, you can't do a drop shadow, nor do I think you should outline it like you've done the title, but maybe a slight bevel effect? If you did this in power point it is really easy to do (and then take away if you don't like it). I do like the slight fade in color across the words on your name and tales from Mercury part, so don't change that. I think the bevel will also clear up the problem of your name fading into the shiny stars behind it, too.

I see why you want to drop #1 it does seem not needed, but the idea of a series gets me excited (I'm a sucker for series). I know a series can be a huge selling point. For *now* you can leave it off and later (maybe when you have more to the series) go back in and add it in. I just feel it is important for people to know it's part of a series so they can buy them all up.

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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:39 am

gower21 wrote:Elinor,

I love the color you've chosen. I'm a huge fan of gold and blues used and just the color alone sparks my interest and catches my eye. The Dimensions of Night and Day stands out the most to me and from a glance I assume it's the title. The outline of the words work, even with the busier background with the starscape it stands out to me. The other topography however could use a tad something to help it stand out. I'm thinking since it is up against black anyway, you can't do a drop shadow, nor do I think you should outline it like you've done the title, but maybe a slight bevel effect? If you did this in power point it is really easy to do (and then take away if you don't like it). I do like the slight fade in color across the words on your name and tales from Mercury part, so don't change that. I think the bevel will also clear up the problem of your name fading into the shiny stars behind it, too.

I see why you want to drop #1 it does seem not needed, but the idea of a series gets me excited (I'm a sucker for series). I know a series can be a huge selling point. For *now* you can leave it off and later (maybe when you have more to the series) go back in and add it in. I just feel it is important for people to know it's part of a series so they can buy them all up.


Thanks, Tina. I'm using GIMP so I'm not too sure how I'd change the fonts in that. The title font is just how it comes but I'll have another look at it.

I've changed the title now to "Mercury is the Coldest Planet" and scrapped the Tragedy subtitle. Not a very exciting title perhaps but I think it describes the story better.

I really just want to see how this whole self publishing thing works. I'm rather expecting to take the story down eventually, when I have better stories to put up, so I'm not too worried if it's not perfect. So it will be fairly expensive also for such a short story as I don't really want anyone to read this one. wotf019
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:23 pm

OK, I'm not too worried about the typography on this one, just the concept. (Please ignore the Dreamstime watermarks.)

Image

What genre does this imply? I want to be sure I catch the right sort of readers.
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WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby bobsandiego » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:12 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:OK, I'm not too worried about the typography on this one, just the concept. (Please ignore the Dreamstime watermarks.)

Image

What genre does this imply? I want to be sure I catch the right sort of readers.

SF or Medical Thriller I'd say....
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby E.CaimanSands » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:54 am

I see no image. wotf017
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:24 am

E.CaimanSands wrote:I see no image. wotf017


Grrrrrr... My site has been flaky lately, but I thought that was my internet connection. I hope my server isn't having trouble serving up the image.
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WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!
SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT!
REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT!
Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby morshana » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:42 am

I've read it. Trying to put it out of my mind to see what the text and image invoke... I'd agree with Bob.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby soulmirror » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:37 pm

I see an image.

I'd say the cover art is definitely sci-fi or medical (obviously) but then the TITLE would cause me some genre confusion. "Angel" ??? I get that kids are their mothers' little angel, but I'm reading it as a title, which suggests a genre-twist, which says "fantasy" to me (is it Orson Scott Card who writes/warns that in Fantasy, we have to be careful about word-pictures being taken TOO literally ... BECAUSE it's Fantasy and the reader might accept anything etc?)

------> So it's more the TITLE might cause genre-confusion, at least for me, imo.

And it's, y'know ... orange. wotf013 Cool art though. It's just my personal prejudice against orange, from too many "yer white balance was off, so everything's orange" photo heartbreaks. If I were a sailor with scurvy, I'd luv me some orange! If i were a lover walking down the sunset beach, i'd luv me some orange. If i were a poet desperate to finish my Paradise Lost by finding a rhyme for "orange" ... well, we know how that one ends. Only in heartbreak, only in soul-ache ...

But I'm slightly colour-blind, too, so who really trusts my sense of what's orange or isn't? Not me.
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Re: Cover Workshop

Postby Jess » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:02 pm

Yeah, I'll add to the "pic feels medical" votes. If you don't want that, you're best off changing it.

Regardless, I really like how you have the blurb in that black bar. It breaks up the orange nicely.
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