Cover and front matter, for your critique

Never mind.

Comments

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    For some reason firefox would not post actual text above, but let me make attachments...

     

    Anyway, this is a mock-up of my proposed cover for my upcoming novel, "A Stout Draft." The working title, "Not Stout" is shown in the mockup, but "A Title: Not Stout" will be replaced by "A Stout Draft" in the final version.

     

    The title can mean a Draft (document) that is allegedly by (Rex) Stout, or a strong beer drawn from a keg. Yes, I realize that both uses of "Draft" would be spelled "Draught" in the UK.

     

    The orchid theme will immediately say "Nero Wolfe" to anyone who is familiar with the stories, especially in association with the word "Stout."

     

    I also attached the front matter. In the front matter, I mention having permission to use the characters from the Wolfe Stories. I do not yet have that permission, and mention it here in anticipation.

     

    My novel hinges upon a pair of newly discovered mss., one allegedly a new Wolfe story by Stout, and the other allegedly connected to the Sherlock Holmes canon. The manuscripts are both faked, of course, but both are cited in order to prove that they are false.

     

    I invite comment and discussion.

  • Hi Skoob,

     

    I think you need fewer boxes, better quality pictures and the words "a novel" somewhere on the cover. I wasn't sure what I was looking at before I read your explanatory quote. Also, are the words "A title" part of the actual title? If not, I would remove them.

     

  • The cover illustration of orchids would make sense only to a diehard Nero Wolfe fan. Anyone else wouldn't have a clue as to what the book is about. 

     

    Even at that, the orchids would seem to have little or nothing to do directly with the story you are telling. I would replace the image entirely with something more relevant to your novel specifically and the action and plot you describe on the back of the book.

     

    Make sure your back cover blurb is proofread.

     

    So far as the front matter is concerned you really cannot have a "first printing" with a POD book.

     

    You should eliminate page numbers from all but the main text pages.

  • I agree with Ron about the cover. There's no need for me to pick fault with the design because it's just entirely the wrong one.

     

    The gist is that the story is about a manuscript? have that on the cover.

     

    galileo_manuscript.png (569×813)

  • Why a mock-up cover? Just post the real one.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Maggie wrote:

    Hi Skoob,

     

    I think you need fewer boxes, better quality pictures and the words "a novel" somewhere on the cover. I wasn't sure what I was looking at before I read your explanatory quote. Also, are the words "A title" part of the actual title? If not, I would remove them.

     


    Okay, good points.

     

    The boxes were to provide consistent background for the printed title and other text, But I can do that another way. I did debate on having the words "A Novel" on the cover. The pictures could be much higher quality... I'll take some better orchid photos...

     

    A Title: Not Stout was merely a placeholder -- "Title goes here" sort of a thing. I've only just decided on the proposed title, "A Stout Draft."

     

    I'll rework this cover and see what I can do...

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    potetjp wrote:

    Why a mock-up cover? Just post the real one.


    Well, I wanted to see how it looked before I committed to it. A trial run, so to speak.

     

    Also, I hadn't picked the title yet...

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    kevinlomas wrote:

    I agree with Ron about the cover. There's no need for me to pick fault with the design because it's just entirely the wrong one.

     

    The gist is that the story is about a manuscript? have that on the cover.

     

    galileo_manuscript.png (569×813)


    I realize that manuscript means handwritten, but in this case the term would be figurative, and these mss. would be hand-typed.

    Also, getting permission from Gallileo Gallilei to cite him on the cover would be a difficult process.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Ron Miller wrote:

    The cover illustration of orchids would make sense only to a diehard Nero Wolfe fan. Anyone else wouldn't have a clue as to what the book is about. 

     

    Even at that, the orchids would seem to have little or nothing to do directly with the story you are telling. I would replace the image entirely with something more relevant to your novel specifically and the action and plot you describe on the back of the book.

     

    Make sure your back cover blurb is proofread.

     

    So far as the front matter is concerned you really cannot have a "first printing" with a POD book.

     

    You should eliminate page numbers from all but the main text pages.


    Point taken. The books in the Canon usually have an orchid but include other elements.

    The blurb did have a couple of typos, as I noticed only after fixing it as a JPG.

     

    I have usually used printing designations to denote minor changes or revisions, such as a the post-publication correction of a typo, and have used Edition designations to denote major changes, such as a reordering of chapters or the addition and removal of material.

     

    I hear what you are saying about it being POD, and thus irrelevant. I did let page numbers slip into the front matter. They should not have been there.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay, back from the drawing board.

     

    Front covers only this time: Once I've nailed down a style, then I'll go for the one-piece.

     

    Some different styles, using fewer boxes, one better photo, and a substantially reduced orchid theme, in favor of a manuscript theme:

     

     

    Or we have this one:

     

     

     And finally there's this one:

     

     

     

    I invite all thoughts and comments.  The prior comments about the first cover were all things that I had been concerned about, so it was very helpful to see that you had collectively spotted the same things.

     

    On bated breath...

  • I think you are too fixed on the idea of including an orchid on the cover. Variations on the that same theme aren't really solving the basic problem (the orchid not "reduced" when it is still the dominant visual element). You need to rethink the entire cover from scratch.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay, no orchids.

     

    Manuscript background, tools and shell casings; or manuscript background, shell casings?

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    I can lighten the paper, of course.

  • I realize that manuscript means handwritten, but in this case the term would be figurative, and these mss. would be hand-typed.

     

    Also, getting permission from Gallileo Gallilei to cite him on the cover would be a difficult process.

     

    Indeed, it was just a quick example.

  • Yes, I like that one better.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    kevinlomas wrote:

    Yes, I like that one better.


    which one? With the shell casings on top of a typed manuscript? Or shell casings and tools?

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    ms. with brass is growing on me.

  • This one is going in the right direction.

     

    Try the central letters red - no box. Bigger. Maybe uppercase to differentiate the words from the background text. Maybe overlap and slanted like a stamp or seal of approval. You're getting there.

     

    shells1.jpg

  • The shell casings on the book page is very much an improvement!

     

    I think it still may lack a little punch, though, since it's both a little monochromatic and a little static. A bullet hole through the paper or even a drop or two of blood may sound a little melodramatic, but the idea of a cover is to A. draw attention to a book and B. get across an immediate idea of what the book is about or what sort of book it is.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay...

     

    Title, "A Novel," and byline in ALL CAPITALS...

     

    Red Letters to pop it off the background... possibly a stamp over the text...

     

    Lighten background / white balance

     

    Bullet-holes (Memo to self, Schedule a trip to the shooting range)

     

    Blood or colorful suggestion of violence...

     

    I'm printing the background paper and then photographing the props on top of it, so I'll need to find a blood-analog that won't either soak into the paper and make a mess, or be too obviously not blood... I'm thinking of either ketchup or red candlewax.

     

    What about a red-ink fingerprint?

     

    Any thoughts on a blood-analog?

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Back cover...

     

    I'm thinking of overlapping mss. pages, askew, with my blurb in red ink over the top of it;

     

    A shell casing or similar sign of violence,

     

    A sticky note that says "E.B, destroy this when you have read it, I.C" (this sticky note appears in the story),

     

    and possibly a postage stamp inset photo of an orchid. Okay, okay, no orchid. Sheesh.

     

    I'll do some more photos in a few days...

     

    Still waiting on the permission process -- story is out among my beta-readers for comments...

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the help, Folks. I really appreciate it.

  • Skoob,

     

    Why real ketchup? Look for a font that is striking and can have the same effect at 10001free fonts.

     

    As for your orchid, turn it into a stamp and use it as your logo.

     

     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Ron had suggested blood drops on the paper, for color and for effect. That's where the ketchup came in. But red wax would work.

     

    Good idea on the orchid stamp...

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