In Fairness

In fairness, after having critiqued several book covers on these forums, I thought I should put mine up for critique.  

 

The attached files are of the layout I am sending to the graphic artists that will be making the design for the finalized cover for publication.  I am handing off the wheel to them as profesionals in the very specific book cover artistry field. Personally I think they would stand up as cover art but I would prefer, for these first books at least, to get the advice of a professional in the field. Just as I am using a professional editor.  Once I have these three out and understand the things to watch for, I may try to completely self publish should I be unable to find a respectable agent or traditional publisher.  

 

FYI I don't feel any loss of creativity from this. I am hoping to become an author, not an editor, a proofreader or a cover artist though I will learn these side skills as best I can to reach the goal I strive for. 

Comments

  • One thing to note: there is no need to put ...written by...on the cover of a book.

    Just the title and the name of the author is all you need.

     

    Book 3 is not as visually appealing as Books 1 and 2 but I certainly wish

    that I could do stuff like that.

  • Of the three covers, I like the first one very much because of the beauty of its design and colours. It conveys the image of a powerful being in the presence of which one is paralyzed with a mixture of fear and admiration.

    The two others are good, too, and very impressive in terms of technical achievement. There must be some reason why they contrast deeply with the first one, and why the ash-like sands of the last one is somehow very pessimistic.

     

    P.S. Is "here be ..." a sort of stage direction? cf. "enter Hamlet".

     

  • DanielBlue is right: there is no need to put "Written by" on the cover.

     

    The third cover is probably the least successful. The problem is largely the colors chosen. There is virtually no contrast between the background, the symbol and the type. At thumbnail size I am afraid everything will tend to blend together.

     

    While you have tried to "brand" your books with a consistent treatment, I wish the art were handled the same throughout. A mixture of graphics and realistic imagery isn't a very consistent look. I would suggest going with entirely realistic elements, as in weapons on the second book, or entirely with graphic elements, as in the first and third book.

  • Thanks all for your excellent comments.

     

    Book 1: Here be Dragons - If properly written wil bring about the magic of a fantasy world as attached to a sci fi world

     

    Book 2: Here Be Heroes - If properly written will bring forth the heroism of people of all types battling for their right to exist

     

    Book 3: Here be Evil - If properly written will bring the face of evil to be overcome

     

    Let's hope I wrote them properly Smiley Happy 

  • I like the first one, although the large image slightly overlaps the title and there's a flood-fill with image background join near the top. 

     

    The second one suffers from obvious cut and paste marks around the weapon, and they are also ragged. The sword also looks like a lo-res image expanded far too much. There's also some strange white marks around the background. Also use a solid Dropshadow because at times a blurred one can look, well, not deliberately blurred. Same applies to a transparent one. They can be too transparent to the degree they look like a smudge.

     

    The third one I don't like at all. It may look better without adding a Speckle to the background, but maybe not!

     

    With any I would stay away from the edges with anything important because the printers may trim them off during binding. To be on the safe side I allow around 0.50".

     

    I have to admit to being in the habit of putting By on my covers. It's a habit I am growing out of. But I do not also put Written.

     

     

  • P.S. Is "here be ..." a sort of stage direction? cf. "enter Hamlet".

     

    It's what was often written on old maps over unknown areas, or perhaps to keep competing ships out of them! The 'edge of the world'.  Here Be Dragons. Or even Here Be Serpents, with an image of one.

     

    Here_Be_Dragons_Map.JPG (783×470)

     

    There's also a book of that name   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Be_Dragons

  • P.S. Is "here be ..." a sort of stage direction? cf. "enter Hamlet".

     

    It's what was often written on old maps over unknown areas, or perhaps to keep competing ships out of them! The 'edge of the world'.  Here Be Dragons. Or even Here Be Serpents, with an image of one.

     

    There's also a book of that name   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here_Be_Dragons

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Not bad covers, imho, though, as others have said, "Written By" is unnecessary.

     

    Also, I would increase the size of the Author's Name with proportion to the title.

     

    You certainly want to be branded as the "Here Be... " trilogy, but you also want to be branded as the "W.W. Dowd" trilogy.

     

     

  • Thanks a lot Kevin for the "old map" explanation, although the "here be dragons" thing is obviously a recent pasting on a genuine background.

    I still don't see how "here be dragons" fits into standard Old English grammar. "Be" here is the subjunctive real present/. Such forms are generally used in if-clauses and fronted when "if" is erased:

    If it be love > be it love

    If he pay well > Pay he well

    The same can be observed in existence clauses:

    There are dragons. > If there be dragons > Be there dragons

    Here are dragons > If here be dragons > be here dragons

  • I understood what the author meant by the "Here be..." phrase!  Largely because I have always associated it with antique maps, where "Here be monsters" or "Here be dragons" were supposed to have been attached to unknown regions. I have even used this on maps I've created myself, when trying to give them a period flavor.

     

    Interestingly, however, the phrase is more or less literally legendary....

     

    http://www.maphist.nl/extra/herebedragons.html

     

    But I would not let that keep you from using it.

  • Potetjp

     

    English is complicated and it often seems that for every rule there is an exception. Native speakers of the language will immediately accept the correctness (whether grammatically correct or not) of the phrase 'here be this or that' and it often conjures up images of the unknown and adventure.

     

    On the other hand 'your so sweet' instead of 'you're so sweet' will only be accepted as correct by those who don't know the difference.


  • Ron Miller a écrit :

     

    http://www.maphist.nl/extra/herebedragons.html

     

     


    Oh I see, it's a calque of Latin hic sunt X (plural) / hic est X (singular), and the  subjunctive real present is used instead of the indicative present to make it fancy. It doesn't belong to English grammar. Thanks a lot.

     


  • danielblue a écrit :

    Potetjp

     

    English is complicated and it often seems that for every rule there is an exception. Native speakers of the language will immediately accept the correctness (whether grammatically correct or not) of the phrase 'here be this or that' and it often conjures up images of the unknown and adventure.

     


    Indeed, but, as proved by the Dutch site, in this case the structure is Latin, not English. Very interesting. Thanks.

  • The bottom line is that I think the author is justified in phrasing the titles as he has done. I think the reference will be clear to most readers. If I were to do anything, it would be to alter "Here be..." to "Here there be..." if for no other reason than that it A. sounds a litle more medieval and B. reads a little better.


  • Ron Miller a écrit :

    The bottom line is that I think the author is justified in phrasing the titles as he has done. I think the reference will be clear to most readers. If I were to do anything, it would be to alter "Here be..." to "Here there be..." if for no other reason than that it A. sounds a litle more medieval and B. reads a little better.


    Yes, it's a stock phrase I didn't know. There is no reason not to keep it. It gives an immediate medieval flavour to the series.

  • Just a few notes for understanding:

     

    The first book left my hands to go the designers and editors of Lulu when I joined this forum.  The second will probably be going to them as soon as they are done with editing the first (I am told by the end of the week) At that time they will be designing a cover based on the image style I sent them which is here on this thread.  They may or may not use these styles, they have been designed differ mostly for possibilities, Yes, the first is my fave and I am asking that they keep a central style for all three books.  Yes Kevin they are rough drafts because it didn't make sense to me to spend a lot of time on covers just to show an artist what I like.

     

    Is this expensive?  I suppose it is from a perspective of return on investment.  For me this is an investment in knowledge and process.  The first books carry my name so I would like for them to not be embarrasing and would like to see the process unfold before I try it on my own.  After these three I will decide the future of WW Dowd III the author Smiley Happy 

     

    I edited the first book to the best of my ability and will do another edit on the second as soon as I see my mistakes from the first The third is in rough edit right now so It can be ready when the second is complete in process.

     

    For me this path is a lot cheaper and more satisying that going to college for another degree, Nothing teaches like going through the actions with someone who knows what they are doing.

  • Thanks a lot Kevin for the "old map" explanation, although the "here be dragons" thing is obviously a recent pasting on a genuine background.

     

    You are right about that, but the problem with old maps is they are often written in old languages.

     

    I still don't see how "here be dragons" fits into standard Old English grammar. "Be" here is the subjunctive real present/. Such forms are generally used in if-clauses and fronted when "if" is erased:

    If it be love > be it love

    If he pay well > Pay he well

    The same can be observed in existence clauses:

    There are dragons. > If there be dragons > Be there dragons

    Here are dragons > If here be dragons > be here dragons

     

    You are over thinking it. Very old maps are often pre the standardisation of languages. A lot of writing was often done in Latin too. But often people would point at an image of one on a map and just say "here be dragons," it sounds perfectly sensible. A lot of people today have trouble with Shakespeare, as one example, because it's not written in any English methodology used today.

  • The bottom line is that I think the author is justified in phrasing the titles as he has done. I think the reference will be clear to most readers. If I were to do anything, it would be to alter "Here be..." to "Here there be..." if for no other reason than that it A. sounds a litle more medieval and B. reads a little better

     

    Indeed and it's far from unusual for titles to not use 'correct' wordage, in the same way that adverts often use strange and often annoying phrasing to make them stick in people's minds.

  • On the other hand 'your so sweet' instead of 'you're so sweet' will only be accepted as correct by those who don't know the difference.

     

    Those who do not know will not notice if either are correct or not.


  • kevinlomas a écrit :

     

    You are over thinking it. Very old maps are often pre the standardisation of languages. A lot of writing was often done in Latin too. But often people would point at an image of one on a map and just say "here be dragons," it sounds perfectly sensible. A lot of people today have trouble with Shakespeare, as one example, because it's not written in any English methodology used today.

    _____________________________

    Elizabethan English is well-know; we have very good grammars of it; and it is simply richer than today's English, but not that different. For instance, "Thereby hangs a tale" is certainly an obsolete construction, but still perfectly understandable; even its pun (tale/tail) still works.
    I didn't know "here be dragons" was a stock phrase that doesn't go by the rules, hence my irrelevant question. Thanks for the sources.

     

     


  • potetjp wrote:

    kevinlomas a écrit :

    You are over thinking it. Very old maps are often pre the standardisation of languages. A lot of writing was often done in Latin too. But often people would point at an image of one on a map and just say "here be dragons," it sounds perfectly sensible. A lot of people today have trouble with Shakespeare, as one example, because it's not written in any English methodology used today.

    _____________________________

    Elizabethan English is well-know; we have very good grammars of it; and it is simply richer than today's English,
    Is it? It's just different.  
    but not that different. For instance, "Thereby hangs a tale" is certainly an obsolete construction, but still perfectly understandable; even its pun (tale/tail) still works.
    You are seeing it translated. The OED credit him with first putting in to print around 1,600 new words. No one is sure if he made them up, but it is when they were first written down apparently. So it was very different at the time.
    The OED credit that gent with first putting in to print around 1, 600 new words. No one is sure if 't be true that gent madeth those words up, but tis at which hour those words wast fiirst writ down. So twas very diffent at the time. 
    It's to be seen in the original though, to see how different it is.
    http://blog.europeana.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Shakespeare.jpeg
    I didn't know "here be dragons" was a stock phrase that doesn't go by the rules, hence my irrelevant question. Thanks for the sources.
    Well they fpeakef notteff af fpeakeff we today.  Smiley Happy

     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    It is said of Shakespeare that if Will had wanted a dictionary, he'd have had to make it himself.

     

    The first near-dictionary is Cockeram's 1623 Difficult English Words Expounded, and it is arguable that many of his words were actually Latin, such as Sauuiolocous, "Hee which speakes rhetorically."

     

    But here there be Kevin, and thereby hangs a tale.

  • New words are and grammar usage are integrated by Merriam Webster from published materials gathered each year. Ergo writers in the field are using words that do not technically exist. Ergo WE as authors make the language and decide on meaning and usage! Bwahahahaha! Smiley Happy

     

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/help/faq-words-into-dictionary

     

  • Like Humpty Dumpty said to Alice...

     

    “When I use a word...it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”

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