Saturday, March 22, 2014

Free book covers?

On Thursday I had my consultation for the free covers we were promised as part of winning this genie's curse.

It was short and she didn't ask many questions; so I put together a synopsis and shared a link to a pinterest board I'm working on for a visual imprint of my book.

I haven't done a lot of book covers (only six, five of which are my own) but I was more than a bit surprised when checking my e-mail while in the middle of Rapture --splicer behind you!--I find an e-mail from the graphic artist we've been given. I figure, oh, must be wanting to ask a few questions, no these are the cover options.

Let me begin by asking which of these three you'd prefer for a YA fantasy novel about a black girl trying to keep the spare to the throne alive while fighting off walking corpses filled with returning magic?

Edited to say I added one more. Because I can't leave well enough alone, I'm trying my last crack at a book cover and then calling it good. Four options is enough.

Have you decided? Good, because while I really do want to hear your thoughts you can't stop me from sharing my first impressions.

This strikes me as both a Game of Thrones knockoff (which my book is nowhere near) and a very droll book about the history of swords.

And this one...oh this one. I don't remember writing a romance novel about a white woman who hangs baroque wallpaper for a strapping but aloof sword-collecting billionaire.
What pisses me off the most about it is that I stressed, three times over, that my main heroine is black. Shit, out of the five in the main group of characters there isn't a single white woman. My witch is asian. After struggling to find a few pictures of any people of color in a renaissance/medieval/fantasy setting, to get this whitewashing book cover drove me to see red. Many splicers met their end.

(And the creator's response to this was "Well, I like to create in my mind the characters as I read them." No, there is no doubt Ciara isn't black. None. You'd have to be working damn hard to miss that)

The last one, if you've been following me at all, is a book cover I threw together for my personal hardcover before I was promised a free book cover from a graphic artist.
Since I did it so quickly, there's a lot I'd still have to fix/mess around with.

I'm still trying to think of an e-mail to send back to the artist that isn't a string of WHAZLEFRARG!!!!!!!

When we were first informed by Lulu that they hired someone's cousin who started a graphic artist job for spare money (or so I tell myself to keep from throwing things) I checked out her site. There was some drab, forgettable stockphoto logos and blog themes and nary a book cover in sight.

Oh boy.

So I suspected what we were getting was, at best, going to be pretty photoshop thrown together but, damn, do those options not look like something you'd get for free from a "Book cover" wizard?

It's funny, I don't remember wishing on a monkey's paw to win this Lulu contest but that must have been what happened.

Please share your impressions, comments, thoughts on these three covers below. I'm still ruminating...


Anonymous said...

Oof. OK, if it has to be one of the two options provided for you I vote for the Game of Thrones knockoff, because the whitewashing stinks and honestly, fluttery eyelashes don't seem to have much to do with your book.

But if they'd give you another round of cover design I think you should go for it. With your cover, you want to know about the character and what she has to do with the King's Blood. The GoT knockoff cover is just ... bland. It basically screams "this book is identical in every way to many other 'high fantasy' novels you already own," which is so not your writing style.

Sabrina Zbasnik said...

At this point I'm planning on using my own and ignoring both of them. I'm the one who uploads the final image. Lulu seems pretty hands off at this point. At this point...ha!

And these were it, two cover designs that maybe took an hour for someone make. I hope they paid her in peanuts and she's not doing it for exposure, because this is the bad kind.

They both scream "SELF PUBLISHED STAY AWAY!" to me.

Anastasia said...

My favorite image is the back cover you designed. My least favorite is the eyelash cover. Nothing about that makes me want to read it.

Velvet Tea said...

I like the fourth one best as it best encompasses the beautiful artwork you did and a slightly more generic cover if that's what they really want.

Otherwise go with the third one and ignore the first two.

Raquel Gabrielle said...

The third one is my favorite I also like the fourth one. I can't believe the two covers they gave you. Not good at all. I am glad you are keeping us informed on how this is all coming together though.

Trippy said...

The last one is best, it look more like a "novel" and less like the GOT knock-off, the romance novel or the bondage looking one.

Kris Silva said...

Either yours, or the sword-only one. And gahh the others suck so much ass you can see them puckering.