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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Grab a cheapo pre-made cover from https://goonwrite.com/ any one of them will be infinitely better than your current one. Maybe one of the abstract ones.

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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


freebooter posted:

Cover feedback please - anything I should ask to be tweaked? (Sorry, Imgur sucks these days, you have to click on it to see the whole thing). It's a 1914-set horror/adventure novel which I originally intended to be in the style of an Indiana Jones/Brendan Fraser's The Mummy romp, but which ended up pretty heavily leaning into horror, so the Gothic tone is appropriate.



Seems good! Do you have a version without the blood splatter for comparison? It's not bad or offensive or anything, but I wonder if it just makes the image a little... too busy.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


freebooter posted:

New versions, zoomed in a bit and both with/without the blood splatter overlay. I think I prefer minus the blood.



I also forgot about that other thing that Matters As Much As Your Book and have spent the last few hours tweaking my dozen different blurb drafts and now I don't even know what I'm looking at anymore. How's this:

Yeah, I'd go with the cleaner version. Less busy.

As for the blurb:


quote:

Paris, 1914. American adventurer Sam Carter has deserted the French Foreign Legion and seeks to flee the country.

Well, if I read "protagonist flees after doing something bad" in the blurb I'd like to see whatever extenuating circumstances, if there are any, right there and then. So, not "flees after committing a murder", but "after committing a murder in self-defense". And, at least that's my reaction, FFL of the day is known mainly for taking in murderers and rapists and so forth with no questions asked, so if he does something bad enough that he needs to desert... what the gently caress did he do, slaughter an orphanage?

quote:

Taking passage aboard the luxurious Orient Express, he meets Lucas Avery, a mysterious Englishman who claims to be a banker.

Is this the second protagonist and/or love interest? If no, the hook about the main conflict needs to be introduced before the introduction of some secondary character. If yes, I'd add something to the effect of "and they quickly bond".

[quote]As the luxury train departs Paris for the far snows of Eastern Europe, Carter and Avery are about to discover that another passenger carries a secret even more dangerous than their own. Through fire and darkness, through blood and ice, the Orient Express is bearing an ancient evil across the continent - and not all of her ticket-holders will live to see Constantinople.../quote]

The ancient evil's ticket holders, right? Way to spoil the villain identity in the blurb, son.

I'd change that to "the ticket holders".

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I'd just straight up go with a quote from your mom, citing her as "My mom", over that, tbh.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Well, that's certainly a way to reply to a suggestion of "if you're putting a recommendation from someone who has zero authority for the potential reader, might as well lampshade it in a cheeky manner and make it your immediate family".

Good luck with the book.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I guess I'd try Draft 2 Digital first and see if that doesn't cover all of your needs without needing to pay $199 for Vellum.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


It'd be easier if you put the third cover prototypes in a row with the first two, so we can see how the fit.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


feedmyleg posted:

Well, that's the thing, though: I'm not trying to make money. I'm just trying to get anyone at all to click that Buy button and read it. I'm happy to be in the red on this thing, but my $60 customer yesterday did not instill confidence that I can do that in anything resembling a sustainable way.

If you truly don't care about immediate sales and would prefer to just built your reader base, consider serializing it online on Royalroad and Wattpad etc?

Pull the book out of KU if you do, because having stuff online is against their rules, and leave it for regular purchase, but add some book-only bonus material so that there is incentive for the serial readers to buy it.

It's what I'd do if I was trying to start out on my own.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I think I'd probably just add a thicker outline on the name or more shadows behind instead of making it black. Or just ask her to make it more visible and defer to her judgement as to how exactly to achieve this.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Ccs posted:

Ebooks are easy! The cover artist I used wants me to do a physical version of my book because a lot of people are asking him if they can get his art in print, but messing with the set up of the paperback is super intimidating. Also I only commissioned front cover art so I'd have to make something for the spine and back cover and it would not match his quality, and he's busy with commissions for the next 1.5 years.

:shrug: So ebook only for now.

If he's the one who wants a print edition with a back cover, tell him to make time for it or shut up, lol.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Hugh Howey just launched Self-Published Science Fiction Competition, the scifi counterpart to Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Name dropping Apex Magazine would work, if these stories got actually published there. If not, pick a couple of popular writers to compare yourself to, yeah.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


He'll go Full Marvel, when he starts hiring other writers to write Cosmere novels under his editorial control.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


newts posted:

Guys, I have font problems.

Anyone have any suggestions for better font combos? Current choices are Montserrat (which I love, but maybe not here) and Orator STD (which I hate, but couldnít replace with anything that looked better after a number of tries). Iím basically stuck with choosing whatís available on Google Fonts, so Iím limited. Considering just writing my own letters, for the title at least. Iím truly terrible at graphic design. I just canít do it :smith:

Hereís the cover:



It might be easier for the design-sy people to fiddle around a bit with your cover if you supplied the initial image.

Just based on what you posted, I think Montserrat should work but I'd make it bolder. The letters look a bit underfed right now. The other font isn't great, yeah.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I am not by any means a professional design person, but I hosed around in Canva for a bit for fun. I'm still a bit iffy on the text size and placement in these, but I think Josefin Sans Regular would be a pretty good fit with the Montserrat:



And if you wanted a little extra spice, perhaps something like this would work:



I believe you can fiddle around further with it if you click here:

https://www.canva.com/design/DAE-m3...rce=sharebutton

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Bobby Deluxe posted:

That's almost perfect (I did think it needed more of a margin) but the fact that 'night' and 'people' aren't the same width is very grating.

So like this?

Megazver fucked around with this message at 15:27 on Apr 22, 2022

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I'm just messing around with this to get a little better at it for my own sake; I hope you don't mind newts.

On the right is the new one with the name dropped down a bit:

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I like my last version the most.

One thing that still feels unfinished to me is the name. It's just a bit longer than the text below, but I am having trouble figuring out how to precisely make it the same length in Canva and this isn't actually my cover so I think I'll just let it go.

EDIT: I got curious whether it was actually possible to convert from Canva to .psd, so I managed to figure out how do it for my own future purposes:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/ggz1mo

The .psd version on the right with the name fixed:



Megazver fucked around with this message at 19:24 on Apr 22, 2022

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Leng posted:

I like this one the most, though there's a tiny nitpick in that the T in Night overhangs to the right just a tad. It probably doesn't matter, but it sticks it when everything else is all lined up. Does it look weird if adjusted to line up straight?

From what I've read, balancing letters with bits that stick out is weird like that. Sometimes you gotta let it stick out just a little bit. I'm not experienced enough to know if that was really warranted here, but it felt right to me.

I posted the .psd so anyone can gently caress around in, say, Photopea.

Megazver fucked around with this message at 23:16 on Apr 22, 2022

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


newts posted:

Megazver, Iíve recreated your cover design in PSD and Iím going to use it because itís awesome. How would you like me to give you credit? I donít have pms, unfortunately, but Iíd really like to make sure to include you in the acknowledgments. And thanks again! I love it.

You can just put 'A thanks to megazver for the cover ideas' or something similar on the credits/thanks page, I suppose!

You're welcome. Good luck with the book!

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


newts posted:

Iíve heard a lot of people express the same thing. Maybe the market is oversaturated? It will be a couple years at least before I have enough books to make it worth the cost for me. Who knows what the state of things will be then. Although, I should probably start trying to get a deal now because it could take ten years to get one.

To those who gave me advice and help on my cover, thank you so much! Paperback looks pretty sweet:



Megazver, you got a special dedication. Thanks so much for your helpóI did my best to replicate your cool design. I think I got it mostly right.



Oh man, that looks sweet! And, uh, I am feeling a little tingly inside actually seeing my nickname in a printed book, haha.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


*sends in his Lyttle Lytton submission*

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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Leng posted:

On that subject, for anyone who missed it when I accidentally derailed the SFF book barn thread, an imprint of a Big 5 publisher (Penguin Random House no less) used AI art on a new release for a pretty big fantasy property:
https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/440306/forge-of-the-high-mage-by-esslemont-ian-c/9781787632554

If you don't want to wade through Twitter and Reddit for the general reactions, I have a summary for you here:
https://youtu.be/ACQZvQ_Qwwk

TL;DR: AI covers are here to stay. If you're gonna use one, be prepared for reputational risk you're taking though also know that readers seem to generally cut self pub authors some slack, and most probably won't care (though the vocal minority who will generate visible buzz for you probably will). Decide if you're gonna use it based on your own situation and personal values and if you are gonna use it, disclose it.

What surprised me there was the combination of how poo poo the cover was and how notable a release they slapped it on.

Bobby Deluxe posted:

What would be the thread's opinion on using an AI cover, and then replacing the cover with a proper one once you have the money to pay an artist?

I feel it's fine either way. Just own it and try to actually make a good one.

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