Tag Archives: cover design

Almost there…grrrr!

I have hit “Publish”! Slightly anti-climatic, because now I have to WAIT FOR 12 HOURS!!!

I think I’ve read about it before, but chose to forget that the title does not appear in Amazon instantly. They’re probably checking it for profanities (check!), drug use (check!), and smut (not really, but certainly sex references). Not sure why, considering the stuff that gets published these days. I would probably give it a PG-13 rating.

At least I get to show you my slightly improved (I think) cover:

FINAL COVER September 5

I have given up on adding color to my name – every single one I’ve tried made my last name completely disappear from the thumbnail. Finally I decided to go with “simpler is better” and made it all white. I’ve played with the whole thing for a couple of hours, but the only other change that’s happened is the title font. I’ve ended up printing the cover, and then tracing the name with a flat-tip marker, hopefully giving it a bit more “handwritten” look. Then it was a matter of scanning it in and changing color to white, and bam! My own font 🙂

Ok, so it’s once again “T-minus 12 hours and counting.” Damn it!

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I need a deadline

Otherwise there will be a hundred cover versions! Good news is that I will have the final draft from the proofreader in just a few days, so the torture is almost over. For now, please join me in nitpicking on these:

FINAL COVER 4
FINAL COVER 3
FINAL COVER 2

I have decided to move away from the double-rip, the last version of which looked like this:

FINAL COVER rip version 1

Once again, I’d love your comments. If you’ve had enough, I completely understand and promise that this one will be the very last post about cover design. Ever. Probably.

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The never ending cover story

Ok, I know you’re sick of this by now, but…Just. One. More. Time.

At least I’ve managed to pick one of the two concepts. I went with the more literal one, which also happens to use a face. The research shows that people respond to faces, and it also shows that I respond to research findings. So there you go, one decision made.

I’ve also spent hours searching Shutterstock for better images. Here are the previous version (on the left) and the new one (on the right):
Version 3 vs version 4
I’m practically in love with this new model. Not only her facial expression is spot-on, she’s also not stick-thin, like most of the pretty blond girls on Shuttersock. At one point, desperate, I was going to hire a model and a photographer, but I don’t think I could wish for a better girl.

I’m also happy with the background, which (when I pay and download a proper photo) shows a view of a downtown city. The colour is also fitting.

The man’s arms read better, but some people were confused and thought Isa just has “man hands”. May have to look more.

Not at all happy with lettering, but being an optimist, I’m sure a solution will come to me, maybe in a dream or in the middle of a meeting.

So there you go. One baby step closer to the finish. Brilliant ideas and suggestions would be much appreciated!

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Do you prefer the apple or the orange?

Well, now that I’ve decided not to use the pro to design my book cover, its time to put my Photoshop skills to where my mouth is…You may recall my frustration at the designer’s attempts to create a cover for Shizzle, Inc. Some of you have actually really liked his first concept. Choosing one is so hard!

I finally got a chance to spend a few solid hours on the concept development today and would love your input on my top two so far. These are just concepts, so please ignore the sloppiness of execution, resolution, and watermarks (I just need to sign up and pay for the images). Once I get my head around which way to go, I will further develop that one. Or start from scratch…
Cover mock up bubble girl and man arms2 Cover mock up 6

I know, they couldn’t be more different…so which one do you like? The apple or the orange?

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When does it pay to pay a pro?

I got some good news and some bad ones. The bad news is that the cover designer completely ignored my specific directions and came up with this revised version:
ShizzleInc_cover3

I hated it on first sight, but just had to check on Twitter. Overwhelmingly, everyone else hated it too. Someone even said the lips and bubble gum look pornographic. Great. I’ve pulled the plug and asked for my money back under the designer’s 100% satisfaction guarantee. Not looking forward to their reply. Not sure yet if I’m gonna get anyone else or do it myself. One thing for sure, if I hire another designer, he or she will need to be local and willing to meet with me to discuss ideas before photoshopping bejeezuz out of stock images.

On other hand, I could not be happier with the copyeditor! I will post a more comprehensive review after I’m done going through literally thousands of her tweaks. Truly a value for the money and a must do exercise.

Next week is all about revisions and setting up a Kindle account. Should be a piece of cake, compared to the cover saga…

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I need your help!

I finally got my draft cover from the designer! Maybe because the buildup to this day was so intense, I can’t help but be a little disappointed. I know it’s just the concept, and it looks professional, but at the first look neither one of the two versions grabbed me:
ShizzleInc_cover1 small ShizzleInc_cover2 small

After a few hours of staring, however, it occurred to me that it’s not about whether I like it, it’s all about whether you do. Do you? Please let me know what you think. I’ve decided to wait a couple of days before I get back to the designer, but here are my thoughts so far:

What I DO like about this concept:

1. It looks like a “chicklit” cover, which is helpful for potential buyers.
2. It’s simple, with bold lettering.
3. Cute treatment of the “S” in my last name.

What I DON’T like:

1. It’s not funny or original and does not let the reader know that it’s a bizzare comedy.
2. It’s static and the girl has no emotion. None of the adorable innocence and bewildered ignorance of Isa.
3. The lift does not say “corporate offices of a billionaire”. It looks like she’s just going to work in any office.
4. The title and author name are competing in size.

This was my mockup, provided to the designer:
Cover mock up bubble girl and man arms

I wanted a juxtaposition of a bubbly girl and a cutthroat corporate world. The torn paper represents the chaos Isa brings to the empire of Shizzle, Inc. Once again, though, it’s my opinion. What do you think?

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Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta…

Well, not a gangsta, but in charge. I got my peeps working on the copy edit and cover, you dig? Got myself a project plan and deadlines, targets and KPIs. (Do gangstas have KPIs? Or target revenue?) In any case, I will be published on Kindle in early August, and after a year of waiting by the inbox it feels damn good.

I also want to give a shout out to my mama, who didn’t buy the whole electronic thing and insisted that I print at lest one book for her to hold and proudly put on the shelf. Turns out you should listen to yo mama, cause this POD (print on demand) thing is bitchin’! I’ve compared a few major ones, like Lulu and Create a Space, and decided to go with Create a Space for now. Please do your own research, there are plenty of bloggers out there with much better attention span, who have posted proper comparisons. For me, the deciding factor was ease, as Create a Space is the affiliate of Amazon. The good news is, you don’t have to pay anything upfront. Personally, I will splurge on the cover design ($150 upgrade from ebook to paper cover) and probably a professional layout. To be honest, I can’t wait to hold my baby myself. I keep having visions of giggling hysterically on the bed, hugging the first edition to my chest. T-minus couple of months for that dream to come true.

Another exciting news is that after two years with Twitter, I have finally discovered Twitter Analytics. Literally, hours of entertainment. For example, it turns out that over the last week I’ve had about a thousand “impressions” per day. (I’ve been very unproductive in my “real” life). That means a thousand people per day have seen my tweets, and the average conversion rate of 11% means just over a hundred people per day clicked on, favourited, or retweeted my Tweets. (Warning: Twitter Analytics is more addictive than Clash of Clans).

Damn, it feels good to be in charge…Can’t wait to see what the draft of the cover looks like or what magic the editor does to my final draft.

T-minus a couple of weeks!

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