Jun 01

Seeing Things, Part 8: First cover mockups

Dear Blog Friends:

As you can see, I’ve been hard at work on the cover design. This isn’t going to be the final cover.  I went to WisCon last weekend, hoping that I would be able to learn something about cover art creation. I met a lot of great people, and got some good information, but I didn’t really learn anything about cover design that I didn’t already know, alas.

My intent is to have the title in white across the top third of the cover, and my name in smaller letters along the bottom.  I have yet to decide what kind of font I’m going to use, but I’m toying with the idea of drawing the letters in ink on white paper and inverting the colors.

I hope that in a few days, I’ll have several other cover mock-ups for y’all to vote on. In the mean time, does anyone have any feedback on this?  I’ve only had two opinions so far, my own (positive) and my brother’s (negative) which is hardly a decent sized sample. There are things I like and dislike about all three of these.

Option b is to use an image that is iconic rather than figurative, but I will need another photo session for that.

If you saw this book, sans title, what would you think it was about?  Please comment.



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    • Charity Grant on June 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Addressing the issues you mention in order:
    Was WisCon here in Wisconsin? Please call me next time so I can at least drop off some fresh fruit for your visit.
    I like the idea of employing your own handwriting for the cover title.
    I like the first image.
    Judging by these images I would take it that this book is semi-autobiographical prose.
    What do you mean by iconic versus figurative?
    What is the writing in the background and what is the object you’re holding in the foreground?
    I like the idea of settling on an image… judging the worthiness of your cover choices by the image and not by the subject matter or writing style of the book. At least to those of us who arent you who might be assisting in the image judging. This is the worst paragraph I’ve written since 8th grade.

    • Ashley and Kolby on June 1, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    These look nice. Kolby and I both agree that the first is our favorite.

  1. I think she’s reading tea leaves. And it reads more urban fantasy than chick lit, but nothing about it screams ‘fantasy’ at me.

    The first one is my least favorite. Because of the painting style (don’t know the name? watercolor?) that’s been applied to it. My favorite is the last one. I think because it’s less about the arms. And the darker bands may be helping my impression of it be positive.

    The last one is also that one that reads closest to ‘urban fantasy’ to me.

    • Amy on June 2, 2011 at 7:08 am

    I like the last one (but you already know that). I think part of my problem with the first two is that just the apron, without seeing the sports bra, make it too soft/feminine. They’re pretty, but too domestic. I like that there’s no hint of a smile on the last one, too.

    • Kater on June 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

    WisCon is the feminist sci fi con that takes place every Memorial day in Madison.

    The other comment I got was that this (the first one) looked like “the story of a girl who works in a coffee shop” which is sort of true, but not really.

    Figurative has a person. Iconic just has a thing.

    It’s a coffee cup/tea cup.

    Thanks for commenting.

    • Laurel Amberdine on June 2, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I like the first one best. For the second it looks like she’s farsighted, and I don’t like the bars on the third.

    I wouldn’t have any idea what the novel was about from the image, but I’d assume literary-ish (by which I mean not a heavy-action plot, and pretty writing) , oriented toward adults, possible light speculative element. Melancholy tone — neither dismal nor perky. No particular focus on romance.

    The font choice and title could shift this impression some.

    • Jessica on June 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I’m with Amy — the last one is my favorite.

  2. I like the last best, too, although I would raise the bottom band or move the image down some so there isn’t the bit of flesh underneath her sports bra in the middle area. It just draws too much attention to itself.

    • Justin on June 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Interesting how the difference in perspective affects the viewer’s experience. The first two hide the contents of the cup but show us a bit of the woman. She’s still obscured, making her somewhat mysterious. And the turned cup makes it even more mysterious. The first picture is subtle, the second one dramatic due to the exaggerated posture. The third picture actually reveals the cup, but also gives us the sports bra (is that staying in?). The third is by far my least favorite – not a good angle for the model, I don’t like seeing her back, I don’t like the sports bra, and her staring at an obviously empty cup seems to suggest she’s wondering where all her tea went. The first is definitely my favorite – mysterious but subtle.

    • keyan on June 15, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Having actually read the book, I don’t feel any of these really represent what it is: Urban fantasy adventure with danger.

    My own preference would be something that indicates combat/ conflict, and something that indicates the supernatural. Maybe woman in karate gear in combat with a vampire or something like that…

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