Trying to revive long dormant skills

General discussion on illustration, art, and the business of same.
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Ishmael
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Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:14 am

I should appreciate some commments from the illustrators on the forum.

Basically I haven't done any serious graphic design since I gave up as a web designer. There may not be as much carry over from these skills to cover design for indie publishing as I had hoped. This is my shot before I bite the bullet and hand over to a proper graphic designer.

The novel is about a private eye who becomes involved with seriously upmarket witches.

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Please say what you REALLY think. I can take it.
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:20 am

I'm not an illustrator, but I like everything - but the yellow.
Would love something more muted. But then again, it will stand out on Amazon. (or wherever.)
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:52 pm

Seems like a lot of artifacts and pixelation around the glasses. Could you do without them?

Also some blurriness around the fonts. But that may be because the yellow is so bold, it makes the font edges more noticeable.
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby bobsandiego » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:01 pm

I dislike the yellow also...beyond that seems serviceable but it doesn't sing.
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Ishmael
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:16 am

Thanks to all. I am inclined to agree with you, Bob. It doesn't really demand to be bought, does it?

What if I try a photograph instead?

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby bobsandiego » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:07 am

Honestly
'meh'
Sadly I don;t have the skill set to give a proper critique.
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:37 am

Once more, with feeling. Did I mention these witches are supposed to be very good at being birds and that a seagull causes all sorts of mayhem (allegedly)?

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby bobsandiego » Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:05 pm

The font and font colors work for me, but the image of the seagull doesn't tell me anything. Perhaps something abstract rather than concrete...
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:07 am

How about abstract and concrete? Does this make the bird any more mysterious?

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby MontyApollo » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:52 am

I like this last one the best so far, but I think it could maybe use a more decorative pentagram. This one seems kind of plain and benign, and it made me look twice to make sure it wasn't a star of David.

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby bobsandiego » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:12 pm

better, but not quite there.
I think MontyApollo might be onto something though
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:25 am

Thank you both. I have tried to suggest that the pentagram (which appears several times in the book) is also a gateway to The Void (which also appears several times in the book.)

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby bobsandiego » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:45 am

I like the actual pentagram shape vs the simple star. Is there any way to darken the bird and make it appear to be exiting the symbol instead of simply overlaid on it?
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:41 am

Like so?

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby bobsandiego » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:14 pm

you know using a brown seagull may work better than the startling white.
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:39 am

This is about the best I can do without going out to photograph another one. But you know what? I think you're right. To be true to the story, the bird in question should be a great black back. This one is a yellow leg that I happened to photograph off Malaga or Cartagena or some such place. Most of the brown flecked ones around here are immature birds, which would not really be right if any ornithologists saw the book!

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby soulmirror » Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:57 pm

Sorry not to give my two cents sooner (since with politics in DC, my two cents may soon fall in value to one cent etc) ... Definitely the bright yellow struck me wrong as others suggested ... I'd say I liked the Dagon fish one most, the seagull ones just not so much. Are witches' pentagrams upside down (or maybe that's only a devil-worshiper schtick, I dunno.) If they're 'up-market' witches maybe it's "profits of baal" too, depending on how it works with your story?

Evil Wall Strret, profits of ba'al, what profiteth a man etc ...

On the other hand, seagulls on the cover worked wonders for the 1970's mega-bestseller JOHNATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL, so ...
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:47 am

Would you believe that 'Profits of Baal' was the title before I changed it? I had the feeling that editors to whom I submitted would not see the pun but just decide that I couldn't spell. Actually either would fit the story, since there is a lot of money to be made (and lost) here.

I did like the dragon, which is why I photographed it. It is actually the outflow of a drainpipe somewhere up a tower in the Chateau de Chambord, Loire.

Was it not Bach of Seagull fame who said something like 'A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit' ? Maybe that's a line for the inspirational quotes thread.

Anyway I'm not ready to publish until I negotiate the hazards of payment accounts and tax withholding exemptions so there's time for more inspiration yet. Thanks for the 1.5 cents' worth!
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:54 am

This is in response to Soulmirror's suggestion. (Well, in a way.) By the time I'd finished trying to fit it in, I'm not sure how scary it is, though in my story Baal is a rather Poseidonesque figure.

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:15 am

So here is the version that I finally went with. I took the photograph of the sailboat earlier this year and it looked suitably romantic by the time I'd finished converting it from what it was to what it needed to be. (Well that's my opinion.)

Image

I am very grateful for all the helpful comments. The book goes on sale on 25 November and a 20% preview can be downloaded free as of a few days ago.

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/366676

So here's hoping! wotf007 wotf007
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:46 am

I can't say that the book has been a rip roaring success so far. I wonder if the cover is less inspiring than I thought. As a preparation for maybe publishing on Amazon / Create Space as well as Smashwords, I've been experimenting with a new cover. Now I did borrow this lady from Word, and whilst I flipped her around and added lots more hair I'm not entirely sure whether I'm allowed to do that. However, for now its just a concept.

Image

Any thoughts?
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:11 am

And this time slightly more carefully. I would appreciate comments if anyone has the time.

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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby storysinger » Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:59 am

I hope I don't offend you in any way, but you are seeking comments so here is mine.
When I read your title the picture that comes to mind is more of a robed individual, male or female facing a crowd of people who are captured by your aura, as you have a glow about you. They are listening to your every word, as you are a prophet.
Until you try to convince them to eat more brussel sprouts. wotf019
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Rebecca Birch
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Rebecca Birch » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:04 am

Ishmael wrote:And this time slightly more carefully. I would appreciate comments if anyone has the time.

Image


My first comment on this would be, what is the genre? My expectation, because I am familiar with the author, is that it is somehow speculative, but I'm afraid I get absolutely no feeling of that from the cover. A reader should be able to identify the genre fairly closely from the cover, and what I get from this is possibly a travel book. I don't speak Latin, so I'm afraid if the words on the book the woman is holding are supposed to get this information across, it does not work for me.

The other gut reaction I have is that the large woman's head looming over the ocean might be symbolic of a godlike being that can influence what's happening in the world (Greek god-like.) She also looks very serene, which may or may not be accurate to the book, but the serenity again speaks to me of a fairly mellow sort of book. Is this the case?

Sorry to come across as overall negative on this, but those are my immediate reactions, just glancing at it. If I were looking at books, this is one I would not pick up, because it does not look like the genre or pacing of a book that I would generally choose to read.

Others may have different reactions.
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Ishmael
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Re: Trying to revive long dormant skills

Postby Ishmael » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:48 am

Thank you both. This is why I needed comments. The idea I sought to convey is that a red-haired witch with power over the sea is checking out what spells are best for sinking the hero's yacht and consigning him to Davy Jones. Back to the drawing board, I fear.

If I hadn't got an ISBN for the current title I might be tempted to revert to THE PROFITS OF BAAL, which is what the story is really about, viz., a detective stumbles into the midst of a bunch of spell-toting witch-crooks who are able to channel the power of Baal into making pots of money as well as running rings round tyro Private Eyes. There is of course a romantic interest provided by another witch (blonde) as well as the aforementioned redhead who is something of a cougar.

My efforts at cover design are persuading me that I should perhaps try investing in one!
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