The story ran longer than planned—23,929 words rather than 20,000—but I brought the first draft in on deadline.
I had to write 2653 words today to HIT that deadline, but I did it.
So as promised, here is a largish version of the final cover art (clickable to show an even bigger version. Your votes and comments strongly influenced my final design.
Next week I’ll wrap up Module One of the How To Write A Series Expansion while I’m woking on the revision. It’ll take me a couple weeks to get the finished book through final editing, setup, and publication.
But we’re getting closer to Starting Module Two.
This is great, but I think you need to reduce the font size on your name. It dominates the cover and the gradient on the letters looks a bit like something from Microsoft Word. Apart from that, it has been improved vastly, which is no mean feat considering that the previous possible cover was pretty good.
Oh yeah, (at least) one of the comments mentions the change in the portrait you have used: again, I do think this is much better, as the over the shoulder glance is a classic (indicating potential romantic or sexual interest), and the left side is more vulnerable, both of which are highly apropos.
If anybody is thinking about cover art and doesn’t want to spend years studying or loadsamoney on graphic designers, it can be a real help to see a good chunk of the process. I don’t know if you are thinking of distilling any of these comments and your responses into a condensed form, but I would hope nobody on here would object.
I’ll try and shut up now.
Also, I do think the variation in colour (or color) intensity and shading in the lettering does help a little to balance it against a starkly varied background, and wondered if there wasn’t an opportunity for a little subtle semiosis here? Perhaps the pale areas of the lettering could contain fragemts of an enlarged (and largely washed out or faded) image which pertains? A blow-up of Suzee’s face, maybe? or an eye, or her mouth, or some more general image, so that a “ghost” image is assembled by the eye.
I do think it is much better than any of the first three cover ideas, though I am still not too keen on the typefaces, aspecially the random seeming mix of typefaces. Clarity, of course, is the number one requirement for the Author and Title – and it certainly meets those. Is the image going to be posterised in the final version? It looks fine to me, though obviously it is not to everyone’s taste, having glanced at the comments; if so, then perhaps a little solarisation effect would also help to make it a bit more obviously “sci-fi”. Though that might be edging towards caricature. Anyways, good luck with it and have fun.
Beautiful – I love it!
Those eyes and the expression are perfect for the story. I don’t know how you did it, but it’s wonderful. I do have to agree with Zemion though, the shadows on the left jawline are a little distracting.
Bravo! Well stated. I like it. Has a suggestion of sci fi without screaming it. Subtly reminds me of Blade Runner – that’s a good thing. All in all, well balanced and reflects what’s on the inside.
Two nice changes. The face is less defined. This more iconic look can allow viewer to see themselves as the character. Second, the view has changed and we now see the left side of the face. For some reason, this is the side often used in portraits.
This is definitely a lovely cover and the womnan’s face is vulnerable and appealing. In the enlarged size, there’s only one blemishing. The color resolution is low enough that the shadows on the left jaw of her face are distractingly contoured. In the small thumbnail, this is much less obvious. This wouldn’t stop me from buying the book, but it would diminish my pleasure on looking at it. Perhaps this is something outside of your control. You’ve definitely taken previous comments into consideration. Congratulations.
Wonderful finished cover, Holly. This works really well. Congrats, also on your final push through to the end of the story.
Oh, yes, this turned out really well. I see the specific elements that people discussed, and oh, what a difference it made. TOTALLY moves it into SF with the stars in the background; love that.
And I love that the title is so very readable in a tiny thumbnail. (control/minus, control/minus, control minus)
Love that the girl is ‘accessible’ enough that we can engage with her and she can invite us into her world. That’s how it feels, now.
Excellent! It’s nice to hit the self imposed deadlines even when the only one who hears the woosh as they slide by is the writer! 😉
Oh, my! I really love this cover. I didn’t vote because I was a little over-whelmed over what I wanted to see changed. But I love how you took the comments and what you did with them. This is 1000% times better than the prior options.
Wonderful job with final cover Holly. I especially like the HOLLY LISLE part at the top. That is because I am so happy for your continues success. Thanks again for sharing your process with us.
Much improved from the first draft I saw. Looking forward to reading the story, Holly!
Can’t otherwise comment on the overall cover design, other than to ask what program(s) you’re using to develop the cover? I’m curious about your font choices and some of the design decisions you’ve made. Is there an earlier post I missed that discusses how you develop the cover design? Thanks! – t
Hi, Tanja. There hasn’t been a post like that. I discuss cover design in HTTS, and my students and I will be getting into it in the second Module of HTWAS, but it makes pretty dull blogging. 😀
What I do is look at elements of covers I like, distill what I like about them into rules for cover design, and then build my own covers by following those rules and a couple major rules of thumb Jim Baen gave me.
I use ArtText (Mac Software) for my fonts, BigStockPhoto for my images, and combinations of Fireworks, Akvis Artwork, and Akvis Sketch for my image editing.
That cover is sweet. Love it!!
Lovely evocative cover that makes me wanna know Suzee’s story.
By the way, I’m really enjoying reading the Longview tales as we’re all working our way through your Series Expansion course. Seeing how you apply what you teach as we goo really helps me apply what you’re teaching.
Love it! Nicely done.
I’m so happy for you! I hope your book becomes a bestseller. I’m so happy that I had a part in helping you chose the cover.
Oh, that looks very nice. Me likey!