Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Cover Help

UPDATE: Thanks guys for all your support!  It was nice to hear so many writers outraged on my behalf.  :)  Amazon has moved very quickly on this issue and the book will be down in a day or two.  I could not be happier!  Yay Amazon!

In other news.  I am going to self-pub my book Tough Girl.  If you'd like to find out more about the main character, please click here.  Basic synopsis:
Daily life is pretty dreary for eleven year old Reggie.  She's already mastered the art of dumpster diving and raising herself.  Her mother, dangerously close to a full break with sanity, is of little help.  Reggie has invented a dream world where she and her best friend, Tough Girl, battle aliens for glory.  Life is manageable until new neighbors move in and Reggie's dream world begins to unravel.

I was going to hire someone to do the cover.  I may still, there's a lot to convey in an image and I've seen some pretty killer covers out there.  I wouldn't mind having one myself.  But I couldn't resist trying to make my own.  I used to do some graphic work but I would never claim to be good at it. 

I bought a few images from Dreamstime.  I recommend Dreamstime, their prices and licensees are pretty fair.  I found an awesome image of a girl that looked like Reggie.  In the picture, her hair was wet and she was screaming.  You can barely tell her hair is wet in the covers, but that's not very important.  I then bought a background and a picture of octopus tentacles (which you can barely notice in any of the covers).  I'm going to throw a few versions up here.  If you have time and the inclination: Which do you like?  Which do you hate?  What color schemes work for you?  I'll tell you my favorite at the end.  Also, these still need some work, some smoothing out and cropping.  The numbers for the covers are found in the captions. 
Tough Girl Cover 1
Tough Girl Cover 2


Tough Girl Cover 3

Tough Girl Cover 4

Tough Girl Cover 5

Tough Girl Cover 6

So, not to sway you, but five and six are my favorites.  There's something comic-bookish about Reggie's dream world, so the image fits the tone.  I also feel like there's something dream-like or blurred between dream and reality, which is where Reggie spends most of her time.  I'm a sucker for purple so of course I'm drawn to this.  Also, the story has some dark qualities.  What do you think, or do you hate them all?

Thanks guys!!!  I'd die without feedback.  :)

38 comments:

  1. I like #6 the best -- isn't assembling cover art fun? =]

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  2. How fun. I like the partial image in 5 but I really like the double images in 6.

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  3. Beautiful pictures, my favorite is the second.

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  4. Still such a crazy Amazon story.

    I vote for the first image. It just seems...real.

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  5. Ooh, think they're all pretty awesome, Lib. :) Like six the best though. Would consider centering your name on the bottom and moving the title over a smidge to the middle. Maybe make the L in girl touch her eyebrow (or close to it)?

    Also like 3, visually speaking. I think the words are throwing that one off for me. On that one, I might move your name to the top portion (centered) and leave the title in the same basic area it is in and use the font from 6.

    Sorry, don't know if you have this much control over any of it. :) My design eye is having a blast, though! Thanks for including us in your thought process.

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  6. On second thought, maybe just move your name (on 6) far enough over to the right to align the first letter of your name with the first letters (T & G) of the title. ;)

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  7. I like the image in 3 a lot, but would use the title more like you have in 6. I like 6 a lot, too, but agree with EJ about your name. Maybe #6 with more of a partial face like in 3. It's very powerful with the girl screaming.

    I love making my own covers, but will one day hire somebody ... when I can afford it.

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  8. Thanks so much guys! Any more observations/suggestions - keep them coming!

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  9. I think the third one is my favorite. I like seeing a photo image of the girl up front with the more "comic book" effect one, or the fantasy one, in the background. It really conveys Reggie's double world to me. And like Mary said, I like the letting in #6 too.

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  10. I like the first and second one the best. I find the additional face in the other covers distracting.

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  11. Glad to hear Amazon is moving quickly! I totally love Dreamstime! They are pretty reasonable. I love #s 4 and 5 the best!

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  12. For some reason, the partial face in the foreground doesn't work for me. I keep wanting to see more of her face! So that rules out covers 1, 2, 3, and 5.

    Cover 4 would make me think this belongs in the Horror section of the bookstore. Reminds me of the original The Omen movie.

    Cover 6 is perfect. I love the duality of the two faces, one the real Reggie and the other . . . dream Reggie? And the coloring seems very appropriate.

    Really, I'm totally into Cover 6. It totally speaks to me.

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  13. Oh boy - I just caught up with the Amazon saga. Poor you :-( But I'm glad it got sorted out. You know? I like 3 and 6!

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  14. I like #6. #5 has kind of an empty spot there on the left. I also like the cartoonish look to 5 and 6. Nice job!

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  15. I like #4 the best, but I think it's more suited for a horror novel, and it doesn't sound like that is the book's genre. I too like #6, with maybe different font. Something that says edgy cartoon—with maybe shadowing. I wonder if you could pixilate the images more so that it looks like it was printed as a comic book. You know how when you look really closely at color comics, you can see the individual colors, cyan, yellow, and magenta, that make up every other color? It would be cool if the background image started to deteriorate that way. NO CLUE how you would do this, though :)

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  16. I like 1 and 6 the most. 1 is clean, and I like the lighter colors. On the other side, the "drama" (for lack of better word) of #6 was nice. The others were too dark or too cluttered, for me.

    Just a thought, #1 felt more like a any-girl book, #6 felt like the story would be a little dark. If the tone of the book fits into either of those, go with that. :)

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  17. I agree with David on the partial face, not being able to see more of her face throws me off. Perhaps just sliding it over a tad would help. I like the color contrast in 2, her face just pops off the page. But it feels to airy for how you've described the mood of the book. I think the dual face is good, symbolizing her two worlds. For that reason I kind of like 3 and 6. From 3, I like seeing her face in full color, and from 6 I like seeing her face. I'm kind of partial to the Chunk5 font though.

    Have fun with this!

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  18. Whoot whoot! Thanks guys. You have no idea how much this helps. :)

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  19. I'm going to suggest 3 old friend because it conveys the duality of Reggie's life. She, the real girl, the purple phantom the Tough Girl, her imaginary friend. Good luck!

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  20. I think 5 and 6 are the best. If I had to choose between those, then 6. I like the simple font and color scheme.

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  21. I like the third one. You see the real her and a shadowy her.

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  22. Excellent feedback. Thanks everyone!

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  23. The face lurking in the background of 3 provides an awesome/haunting image. And the foreground image of the face in 6 is the best foreground shot. So, suggest a combo of 3 & 6.

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  24. Great covers! I really like number three! :)

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  25. Before I saw your opinion I was thinking #6 as well!

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  26. I like #6 the best. Like you said, very comic book like. I love that.

    #4, meanwhile, looks like a horror movie. :)

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  27. I like #2 but if you could lighten up the color scheme then #6 would be really good as well. It's hard to make at the images when they're that dark, but the concept is great. Just the girl screaming on the cover with that title is so engaging. You've really got something going there. Best of luck to you!

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  28. It's Wendra! I am torn between 3 and 6: The "other" face, implying her imaginary friend, comes through more clearly on #3, but I like the artistic touch (don't know the technical term) of #6. Hope that helps - is there a version where the "other" face is more clear yet looks like #6?

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    1. Wendra! Thanks for stopping by and voting!

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  29. #3 and #6 because of the dual images and the connection it brings to my mind of Reggie's real life and dream life.

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  30. I like 6 best! Congrats! Sorry I'm so late getting by. So what happened on Amazon? I'm off to check it out on your previous posts....

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  31. I think I like 6 best. I definitely feel that her face not being centered is best. I like the way the coloring in 6 was done, too.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, road tripping through the #atozchallenge participants!

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