Sunday, February 1, 2015

Book Covers

You've written a great novel which is exciting and vibrant.  In fact, you've even had the book professionally edited.  Good for you.

Now is the time for the book cover.

Slap up a plain cover with the title.  Sure, that'll grab readers.

Use a generic one from CreateSpace.  Be still my heart.

Create your own.  Are you a professional graphics designer?

Have it done by a friend.  Hmm?

Did you catch that 2nd sentence just two up from this one?  Professional.

I've done several of my own book covers.  I painted for years and even sold some of them when I was younger.  One I sold was donated to a church in California.  The person who bought it, took me to view it in the lobby.  It was somewhere south of San Francisco and was called "Brotherhood of ...."  No, I don't remember the exact name, it was 50+ years ago.

I was informed that with the release of my latest book (hopefully by late February) that I should have a professional graphics artist do the cover.  I checked into it and the cost was prohibitive but his work was absolutely fantastic and IF the chance came up for me to hire him, he is first on my list.  I found others who were less expensive and seemed to do great work.

In an email to a friend, I mentioned I was looking for somebody and she recommended Tim, a local artist who wants to get into more computer graphics.  He had done a couple of book covers.  I decided to give him a try and connected with him.  At first, I started to think I was dealing with a young man, perhaps a college student, or worse yet, a high school kid.  He assured me he wasn't and told me his age was "39" and yes, he quoted the age.  I think he might know Jack Benny.

Anyway, he has worked with me and we are very close to finalizing the cover. I think it looks professional now that I'm seeing more of the final product.  The mockups seemed very amateurish.

What do you think?  My story takes place in 1961 and is about a young Amish boy who wants to attend high school. He meets the newly hired black chorus teacher in a rural all-white NW Ohio school.  The story is about him learning to sing and also deals with Civil Rights, Vietnam, death and bigotry as the two of them, outcasts in the school, move through two high school years.

This is the cover he has offered.  I know I want a tweak since I don't care for those little things between the book title and my name. I just don't know what I do want. lol.



And this is the full book cover... He says the open space on the left could be used for the back of the book blurbage.  I hope there is enough room. lol.  I like the 'whole' image thing.



I'm also considering a title change from "An Amish Voice" to "The Amish Voice" which seems stronger.

Please weigh in with your thoughts, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Resolution Update: This will be book 1 of the 3 I hope to release this year.  We won't discuss the weight since it is a battle.  At least I haven't gained weight.

Until next I ramble on...



15 comments:

  1. I think it really comes down to how you feel and if you like it and it resonates with you.

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  2. Hi Bob: First impression is captivating and intriguing. Keeping that may be simplify and render it to be less busy (blowing up more with fewer elements in it). Great cover.

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    1. Thanks for the input. A new cover is being designed with a slightly less busy cover.

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  3. I think it's too obvious, myself. I also don't like the typeface. The symbolism - well, it's not symbolic, it's actually music. If the story is about racism and outcasts finding their place or creating their own place, I think you need images that resonate with those ideas.

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    1. There are a lot of issues within the book but the main theme I try to have is that of my Amish boy learning to sing light opera, something Amish don't do. I have the cover artist reconsidering a new cover.

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  4. I agree with Elyse. I think you need to love it. You know the heart of the story. Does is captivate and portray it accurately? If you love it, you're readers will too.

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  5. The cover needs to be something you love, it needs to fit with the book, and it needs to be professional. Get those right, and it will work.

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  6. I like the background of the cover with the notes and the young man, but not the title board so much. I think you need to find a way to work your title and name into the artwork.

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    1. I have the artist reworking the cover. Thanks for the input.

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  7. I like it, but I think the typeface may be too hard to read, especially in a thumbnail size.

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    1. Never considered that and also having that addressed in the new cover.

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  8. Nice cover. I would get rid of the title on the music sheet as it's distracting but otherwise I like it. I also prefer An Amish Voice over The Amish Voice. Congrats!

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    1. Very valid point and will definitely be addressed.

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  9. I agree with Scott... how does this relate to the actual story? And I also agree with Elyse... It's really more about how it resonates with you... for some reason you wanted to put music on the cover... so, regardless of what others say, it's got to make sense to you...

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    1. The major theme of the book is about the Amish boy learning to sing light opera music. Amish do not sing 4 part harmony, they sing slow and in unison, and in church, it is almost a chant, at times. Hearing a group of Amish youth gather together for a Saturday night sing at a bridge years ago was quite interesting. New cover coming.

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