Anyone use Canva?

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  • But you can find yourself there even if you use stock imagery, as some recent candidates have illustrated.

    Indeed. In away it's flattering that someone bothered to search out some of my covers to place on to there (and I think I know who it was.)

    Well, it wasn’t me, at any rate!

     One comment I found odd was that the main character has butterfly wings "ripped off from Botticelli". Huh? No they are 'ripped off' from butterflies, which are famous for having wings. (I cannot find anything by the old master that had such wings.)

    Ditto.

    One strange thing I found  with many Lousy Covers comments is they don't seem to realise that the covers are scenes from the stories, just as a cover should be.

    Well, not in every case. Sometimes a literal depiction isn’t the most effective way to go.

     There are all sorts of ways one can still go wrong, from terrible typography to haphazard cut and paste...to mystifying choices of images.

    Indeed. And one needs to be doubly careful that a cover looks the same in print as it does on one's PC. Often they do not. Black on red does not work well via POD! And the covers are not printed at a very high res, whereas the original image may be high.

    You’ve nailed a couple of good points there. In addition, a cover should look good in B&W as well as color.


    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • There are millions upon millions of photos on stock photography sites.

    And there's billions copying them.

    The photographers have as much difficulty selling their photographs as we do books.

    Many images on line that can be purchased or even free, often have a Not For Commercial Use clause, and using them for a book cover is commercial.

     The chances of using the same photograph as someone else are pretty slim.

    But even if the same image is only used on two covers, it's still a duplication when book covers should be individual.

    Exactly! And since those books would likely be in the same genre they will wind up sitting side by side. And I recall someone once finding something like half a dozen books using some variation of the same artwork.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    Well, it wasn’t me, at any rate!
    That’s good to know Ron, I read your comment in “Cover Critics.com,” about the "Griffin Saga" and you were being helpful. I remember being quite angry by your critique of my book ”The Pig Child.”  However your comment did lead to my asking my husband to be my editor. This wasn’t easy for him, especially with such books as “Fairy Stories,” or “Billy on the Beach.” He too pointed out that there is no capital letter for “He” after the question, “How much is it? he asked." Burt also laughed when I told him that Sam inseminated his wife with a pig's sperm. As you pointed out that cannot happen in order to produce a pig child. I have to tell you I blame my programme “Dragon,” for many of the punctuation errors.  I use it instead of typing my story. "Dragon" automatically capitalizes words after question marks. I definitely needed an editor!!!




  • Larika said:
    Well, it wasn’t me, at any rate!
    That’s good to know Ron, I read your comment in “Cover Critics.com,” about the "Griffin Saga" and you were being helpful. I remember being quite angry by your critique of my book ”The Pig Child.”  However your comment did lead to my asking my husband to be my editor. This wasn’t easy for him, especially with such books as “Fairy Stories,” or “Billy on the Beach.” He too pointed out that there is no capital letter for “He” after the question, “How much is it? he asked." Burt also laughed when I told him that the protagonist inseminated his wife with a pig's sperm. As you pointed out that cannot happen in order to produce a pig child. I have to tell you I blame my programme “Dragon,” for many of the punctuation errors.  I use it instead of typing my story. "Dragon" automatically capitalizes words after question marks. I definitely needed an editor!!!




    Well, I am glad that you ultimately took my critique in the spirit in which it was intended! I do hope, though, that I was at least courteous when I made my suggestions. If not, I apologize!

    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  •  Not rich, just your average, middle-class  barrister turned computer expert, Kevin! He gave me my first computer.

    Without doubt comparatively rich then, and upper-class. :)

  • They were mean about your first cover of fairy Lillum.

    That and part two I think.

     You seem to have an enemy Kevin. A luluer?

    Around that time there were quite a few trolls on Lulu, you mentioned one.

     Mind you I'm glad that none of my sweet, gentle fairies ever met Cherry Blossom. In my fairy world ALL the fairies are good. There are villains there, yes, but they are not fairies!.

    Disney has ruined the legend of fairies. In many other stories they are far from sweet. But also, the term Fairy Tale seems to mean any story of that type, even Little Red Riding Hood. I think that's because people use the term when accusing someone of telling a 'story' but mostly a lie.

    I have spoken to people who have not bought that series of books of mine, and they say it's because it must be for children, because it has a Fairy (with a capital F, note :) ) in it. (even though at least two are marked 18+! (With the big lock on them on Lulu when not logged in).) But, I have taken an opinion of some that creatures such as pixies, etc., are alien beings visiting the Earth. Only around half of book One has anything to do with Earth! The problem is, in the blurb I don't want to give away that L. S. D. (genuinely accidental name!) is an ET, more than that even.

    Anyway, while publishing further books in the series, I have given the older ones more 'dramatic' covers.

    http://www.lulu.com/shop/kevin-lomas/lilium-saffron-dewbell-part-one/paperback/product-23672188.html

    No one can accuse that as being for children or mistaking it for a Romance!


  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    I knew what trolls were and I guessed that "internet trolls" were rather nasty. Anyway I decided to check the latter in the urban dictionary.  Apparently an "internet troll" is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, messages to provoke readers into displaying emotional responses whether for the troll's amusement or a specific gain.   Not nice people!!!    

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    Talking about mistaking an adult  book for a novel for  children. I sent a copy of my book, "The Pig Child," to my niece in Australia. This is where my cover really was misleading. She thought it was for her 9 year old daughter. She phoned me up to thank me and said her daughter was delighted to receive the book and was looking forward to reading it!!! "Goodness gracious me!"   "It's a book for adults," I gulped. I think I may change the cover!
  • Pink may not be the ideal colour for a cover, it is often associated with 6 year old girls :) But if your blurb was also on the back cover, people may get the message.

    "This is a tale about a man's dream to create a hybrid, half human and half pig. He persuades his wife to be the mother and inseminates her with a boar's sperm. This is the pig- child's story. (An adult short novel)"

    Gosh!

    BTW, does Samuel Jackson realise he is in it?

    PS: scientists have discovered how to fertilise the egg of one species with the sperm from another (shudder.)

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    I've made another cover but it makes Patsy (the pig child) look like a monster. Yes, maybe if I put the blurb on the back of the original and change the background colour people will realise it is a book for adults. Thanks Kevin I'll try that.
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    Samuel Jackson, Unfortunate name ha ha. I got the idea for the book when I heard someone say "He was such a dirty pig." and "Filthy pig." etc.etc.  Why do pigs get dirty? Their skin doesn't contain sweat glands, so in order to stay cool they roll in mud. The mud also acts as a skin protectant and soother, and is a great sunblock. The environment  they're in may stink, but a pig in good surroundings has a very pleasant clean smell. (On many, many farms the pigsties are washed out once a week, employees wear face masks because the smell is really awful.) Pigs are genetically very close to humans and are intelligent creatures. I wanted to show in my novel this positive picture of our near relatives.
  • Larika said:
    I've made another cover but it makes Patsy (the pig child) look like a monster. Yes, maybe if I put the blurb on the back of the original and change the background colour people will realise it is a book for adults. Thanks Kevin I'll try that.
    Well, the image is certainly striking, I will give it that! However, the first thing that came to my mind was: why the border? It adds nothing to the cover. Instead, make the image fill the cover edge to edge.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    OK Ron without the border and "In the spotlight"
     Which cover? Thanks

  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    I've got rid of the border and I'll redraw the image bigger. It is better without the border. However the pig child doesn't actually look like that. She looks like the original image. She has the feet of a pig and a tail and also certain characteristics of a pig, such as no sweat glands. 
  • I would like to see these larger if possible. It’s very hard to get an accurate impression from these small thumbnails. Though that by itself says something since many times that will be the size a potential reader sees.

    Nevertheless, I can make a comment or two about these.

    On the first cover, it does look better without the border, but the second part of my advice was to make the artwork larger. It should not be floating in a sea of green. Make it large enough so that the cut-off line you have at the bottom sits on the lower edge of the cover.

    The second cover looks very dramatic and uses the space much better than the first one. But the little figure (whatever it is) could be significantly larger.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    Thanks Ron, I will work on the covers. I take your point about making both images bigger, however on a print book I use the old cover design and I have to be careful to leave a space around the edges. The figure in the spotlight is the pig baby with her tail and pig feet, also I might add the sharp teeth that pig babies are born with. Patsy had them and they were filed down by Sam.
  • I think that if you were to enlarge the baby pig in the second cover just enough so that is clear as to what it is you will have a pretty striking cover. 

    If you need to reuse a cover that was originally created for use in a different format, it's probably best to create a new cover so that you don't wind up with things like those borders. For instance, an author I have done numerous covers for requires each cover to be in two slightly different sizes. Although the results look similar, I do adjustments to type placement, image size, etc. so that each version looks as good as it can. 
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • Even in using one's own photographs, one runs the risk of not expressing exactly what one wishes to express. I have run into this -- sometimes what others see in my photos are not what I meant to say. I re-photographed the cover for A Trufflesome Murder at least fifty times with different lighting, different props, different focus, &c.
  • I've made another cover but it makes Patsy (the pig child) look like a monster.

    Ermm, with a human and a pig's head, indeed she does! But what should she look like?

     Yes, maybe if I put the blurb on the back of the original and change the background colour people will realise it is a book for adults.

    It can help.

    Thanks Kevin I'll try that.

    Okay!

  • Samuel Jackson, Unfortunate name ha ha. I got the idea for the book when I heard someone say "He was such a dirty pig." and "Filthy pig." etc.etc.  Why do pigs get dirty? Their skin doesn't contain sweat glands, so in order to stay cool they roll in mud. The mud also acts as a skin protectant and soother, and is a great sunblock. The environment  they're in may stink, but a pig in good surroundings has a very pleasant clean smell. (On many, many farms the pigsties are washed out once a week, employees wear face masks because the smell is really awful.) Pigs are genetically very close to humans and are intelligent creatures. I wanted to show in my novel this positive picture of our near relatives.

    Pigs are known to eat anything, even humans, so before the advent of flushing toilets and sewers it was common practice for toilets to run right in to pigsties. Hence the stink and they would have rolled in the crap, too.

  • Well, the image is certainly striking, I will give it that! However, the first thing that came to my mind was: why the border? It adds nothing to the cover. Instead, make the image fill the cover edge to edge.

    I often use a border to allow for trimming. Granted I don't always use a 'hard' border, but I do keep the text and image well away from the edges. It's also an easy way to make sure the spine matches the front and back.

  • I've got rid of the border and I'll redraw the image bigger. It is better without the border. However the pig child doesn't actually look like that. She looks like the original image.

    It would  be better larger. Currently I looks like a jellybaby.

    She has the feet of a pig and a tail and also certain characteristics of a pig,

    More of that needs to be obvious.

    such as no sweat glands. 

    They do have sweat glands, they are just not very efficient, but would they not work better if crossed with human glands?

    I assume from the blurb the cross was just pot luck? No gene splicing or editing involved as they do nowadays?

    As such >>   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-16554357/the-goats-with-spider-genes-and-silk-in-their-milk

  • Even in using one's own photographs, one runs the risk of not expressing exactly what one wishes to express. I have run into this -- sometimes what others see in my photos are not what I meant to say.

    I almost always use a scene from the story.

     I re-photographed the cover for A Trufflesome Murder at least fifty times with different lighting, different props, different focus, &c.

    You set up and used only single photos though. Why not photograph the elements (on a white background) and play with them in photoshop or something?

  • You set up and used only single photos though. Why not photograph the elements (on a white background) and play with them in photoshop or something?

    That’s what I do, though it makes even more imperative to keep a close eye on keeping lighting consistent.
    __________________________________________
    Black Cat Studios http://www.black-cat-studios.com/
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    Thank you Ron and Kevin I will go with the spotlight cover and draw the figure bigger, showing clearly the tail and feet and possibly the teeth. Now hopefully no one will think it's a book for children.  We humans made pigs pink Kevin. "Stereotypes (of pigs) are best explained by poor husbandry. In the wild, boars don't sleep and root in poo, they eat plants. They do wallow in mud but only because it's a good way to keep cool. Domesticated pigs are often pink, but only because we made them that way." BBC
  • LarikaLarika Bibliophile
    edited November 2018
    I love challenging stereotypes. I did it in my books for children-- "Dr Wolf" and  "Maggie the Witch," and of course in my adult novel, "The Pig Child."  
  • We humans made pigs pink Kevin.

    I do not think that is totally true. A very common pig in the UK, the Tamworth, is actually brown and furry, and there are many many other types of pigs common in the UK. I think the pink ones originated in Sweden or Denmark.

     "Stereotypes (of pigs) are best explained by poor husbandry.

    Not as such. They will eat anything (but unlike goats, they will not eat tins!) so they were given anything. It was common sense to turn all types of waste in to meat, although it could be why some religions class them as dirty, because people even fed dead humans to them. But don't forget I said before flush toilets and sewers were commonplace. But it was only relatively recently that it became illegal to feed dead pigs to them because it spreads swine fever. 

     In the wild, boars don't sleep and root in poo, they eat plants.

    That's because they are wild, they don't live in sties but in large forests. But unless some kind farmer cleans out the mud that even freerange pigs wallow in, then they are playing in poo and wee.

     They do wallow in mud but only because it's a good way to keep cool.

    Indeed, but they do have sweat glands, just not very good ones, but you have a human/pig cross in your story.

     Domesticated pigs are often pink, but only because we made them that way." BBC

    The pink ones are ... they are not all pink. :) I think the ones my uncle had were grey.

  • Thank you Ron and Kevin I will go with the spotlight cover and draw the figure bigger, showing clearly the tail and feet and possibly the teeth.

    It depends on how much is human and how much is pig. Baby pigs look  a bit like human babies. I would have been tempted to start with a baby pig and make that semi-human for the cover. Perhaps even give her patterned skin or even fur.

    See the source image

  • I love challenging stereotypes.

    Indeed, but don't ignore the fact that they are often right. But, then again, having a pink pigchild is stereotyping pigs.

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