Drawing Vs Cover

The-Halley-Branch-Front-600

I received a proof of The Halley Branch.  It is a good thing, because I made a few changes.  So I received a second proof.  I make another tweak.  Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show a picture of the cover against the original pencil drawing.  First, the cover image is at the top of the page.  Here is the drawing:

Halley Pencil Skull

Now here are the two together.  the cover looks very dark.  It is.  But I like it. :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

19 thoughts on “Drawing Vs Cover

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is 18″ x 24″, so pretty big. The middle picture is pretty close to how it looks, though I did touch that up in PS. I purposefully made it darker, as the top picture of the cover shows, but was a little surprised how much darker it looked when printed than it does on screen. Still, after that first surprise, I think it works. I contemplated lightening it, but I’ll leave it.

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      1. Miriam Hurdle

        Is it color pencil drawing? I did some pencil drawing and watercolor. I have a couple sets of color pencil so I must have thought of doing color pencil drawing at one point. I used PS pretty successfully some years ago. Now I have two new laptop with Window 10, the old version wouldn’t load, I new to get a new version. It’s fun to play with PS, I like the fonts of the title and author name.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          Yes, color pencil. I did this drawing quite a few years ago and used the picture of the drawing when I serialized the first draft of the book on my blog. It was a lot of fun playing with the original image and turning it into a cover. Thanks :)

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      After spending all of the time looking at how bright the cover looked on my screen, I was surprised at how dark it was. But I think you are right, it does fit the mood of the book.

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      1. Sandra Conner

        I’m not sure if you used the Create Space program or the KDP Beta Paperback program, but I know for sure with the KDP (and probably with Create Space) you can go back into the system and replace the cover image if you should decide later that you’re unhappy with it after all. Putting the picture into a photo program and simply brightening it a bit should make enough difference. But as long as your text is easily readable, you’ll probably be happy with the dark version in the long run.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          I used KDP. I had to tweak a few things, so did a new cover, lightening it a little. I changed it again last night because I discovered my name on the spine was off center, so I played with the colors again and put it about half way between the two versions (the second ended up looking washed out, even though it was dark…)

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          1. Sandra Conner

            Well, at least with that program, you can keep working with it until it’s what you want. If you’d gone with a more conventional publisher, they would have made all the decisions about the cover, and you’d be stuck with a few thousand books of whatever they ended up with. It’s definitely a new day in publishing and I’m super glad.

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            1. trentpmcd Post author

              There are good and bad with self publishing. I discovered a lot of typos in The Fireborn and was able to quickly correct them. Of course, it is possible they wouldn’t have made to the publish version in the first place, so… Good I could make changes so easily, bad that if I want more than a few beta readers to help me catch all of the mistakes it will cost thirty times more than I will ever make on the book…

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              1. Sandra Conner

                I’ve been watching what’s coming out of the mainstream publishing houses for the past few years, and their editorial work is a shambles. There are multiple mistakes in every book I pick up — most of them basic typos — some of them grammar mistakes — and many that are truly serious grammar problems. And many of the houses have now stopped using past perfect verb tense altogether in several of their genres. It’s a horrendous form of publishing. The text is confusing, but they don’t care.

                I’m amazed at the number and caliber of mistakes in the things published by the people who are supposed to be the mainstream of professional publishing. But, personally, I think it’s a combination of two things. All the houses have consolidated so much now and have likely had to cut back on editors. The editors have now had to become agents because there aren’t enough editorial positions open, and now the publishers won’t work with authors unless they have an agent. Which means basically that the houses are using agents to do what their editors used to do — without having to pay them.

                The other aspect is that so many of the people in the editing jobs evidently don’t even know good grammar to start with. It’s a mess, and I doubt that you’d get much better quality text from one of those mainstream houses than you’ll end up with after your own corrections.

                On another note, have you thought about using college students who are English majors to edit your manuscript before you do the final version? I often suggest that to students in my creative writing classes. English majors love the language, and it comes so naturally to them that they automatically spot problems — especially in someone else’s work. And they are usually looking for some extra income, but won’t charge what a professional editor charges. Just a thought …..

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                1. trentpmcd Post author

                  I have not used college students, but it is a good option. A friend of a friend does proofing mostly for professionals and research papers. I have thought about using her and might. The two people I use the most have some background in it, but obviously dropped the ball on The Fireborn. (My mom was an English teacher and my sister did some freelance work as a proofreader/copy editor for a “vanity press” company back in the late 80s/early 90s.)

                  On a personal side, what I discovered when I cleaned up the mistakes in The Fireborn is that If I read it out loud from a printed copy, using a pencil to mark the word that I am speaking, I catch a lot more mistakes! After I got the feedback back from my two “proofreaders”, I read The Halley Branch out loud twice and discovered maybe 30 or 40 typos that they missed.

                  From what I’ve read, you are right. The agents are more than just the new gatekeepers, they are responsible for getting the book into publish shape even before they shop the book around.

                  I recently read a blog post that pretty much said never use the past perfect tense. It said you need to search for “had” and delete every instance. I did not follow that advice…

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                  1. Sandra Conner

                    Yes, there’s a move on to get rid of past perfect, and good for you that you didn’t fall into that trap. I read stuff all the time that doesn’t use it, and the text is confusing. The characters are doing things in two different time frames, and the reader can’t get it all straight. The stupidity of eliminating it boggles the mind.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks, Corina! The actual book looked so much darker than the image on the screen that it threw me for a loop, but after a minute or two with it, I can see it another way.

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