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Flight of the Tarantula Hawk
by Michael Allan Scott

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On the IndieReader Best Book list and featured on NBC's Daytime Show, the second book in the Lance Underphal Mystery series is part of a new breed of supernatural thrillers which can be read and enjoyed in any order. Dark, different, featuring a damaged psychic, this is one of those disturbing novels that keeps you guessing.

Download the sample or use the "Look inside" feature for a FREE E-book offer.

Supernatural Murder Mystery - Realtor Carla Simon has her first showing in nearly eighteen months. Recovering from a nervous breakdown, she arrives at the bank-owned foreclosure well ahead of her prospect. When her buyer pins her against the wall, it turns out to be the last house she'll ever show.

Looking for a new breed of supernatural thrillers? Paranormal mysteries of murder and suspense? Perhaps a psychic detective series which can be read and enjoyed in any order? Or maybe one of t...

Author Topic: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!  (Read 19983 times)  

Offline Not Here

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2012, 01:06:41 PM »
It probably is and it's pretty disheartening. He's an old time KB member--even did some of Amanda's first covers way back when. It's certainly tough to hear!

Last year there was something similar that happened and she publicly denounced him. There was a big thread on here detailing the whole thing (which was quickly locked). I just hope the OP gets his money back. It's a real shame.

Online Monique

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2012, 01:10:35 PM »
I have heard similar and, sadly, far worse stories from other clients over the last year plus.

Monique Martin | author website | facebook | twitter

Offline MJWare

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2012, 01:39:45 PM »
Wow, I missed all of that. I guess it happens when threads get locked--or when one is totally oblivious ;-)

(Actually, I do sort of remember one thread, but I thought everything had been worked out).

Offline Not Here

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2012, 01:43:48 PM »
Not that I had heard but I certain hope so. :)

Offline Griffin Hayes

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2012, 03:17:39 PM »
I originally hired Ronnell to do the cover for my novel Malice last year. Back then at least he was fairly fast and didn't require any fee up front (things have clearly changed). I believe he charged $100. After about a week or two of waiting he produced what to me looked like a mock-up, but to him was a finished product. When I told him the cover wasn't what I was looking for and suggested a fresh start, he seemed to lose interest.

Thank God I didn't pay anything up front. I then found Kit Foster, my current designer, and I couldn't be happier. He's fast, very affordable, polite and always patient with my perfectionist streak. He also only gets paid when the job is done. Mention my name and you might get a deal (no guarantees though). http://www.kitfosterdesign.com

Regarding the OP, I've worked with other designers when Kit was busy and I've been burned several times. Once by waiting for 4 months on a cover that ended up being little more than a bunch of empty promises and another with a designer who used to work for a publisher and brought lots of 'industry knowledge'. I paid $300 (half of an extremely high fee) for that last one by the time I realized we weren't shall we say 'well suited' and once again came out coverless.

That's why posts like this are so important. Buyer beware!

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Offline Nell Gavin

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #55 on: October 02, 2012, 03:22:53 PM »
Imagine what little interest he had in me! I won free cover art from Ronnell in a limerick writing contest. I was out no money - his services were a "prize."

So I tell him what I want. For instance, "I want a girl, and she must be wearing black." His first mockup was of a girl in white. Then I told him I wanted a "musing, retrospective vibe." He gives me this clashing hot pink font, a leaping rock star, and blood splatters.

"I'll take it from here," I told him. And then he went away.

Nell Gavin

Offline CaedemMarquez

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #56 on: October 02, 2012, 03:24:48 PM »
That name sounds so familiar! I know as soon as I find his avatar,  I will recognize him! I hope it isn't who I think it is.

It probably is and it's pretty disheartening. He's an old time KB member--even did some of Amanda's first covers way back when. It's certainly tough to hear!



Looks like it is who I thought it was. That stinks.

I remember reading about some of his successes and was really happy for him. I know there are two sides to every story but this is a bummer. He seemed like someone to grab a beer with and watch a game with as we hammered out a deal (which he would live up to) not someone to avoid doing business with.

I looked at his profile; he hasn't been here since April it seems.

Sorry to the original poster that this happened and to others this has happened too.

Caedem

Offline emilyward

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #57 on: October 02, 2012, 03:31:44 PM »
I worked with Ronnell Porter, but he actually asked me to do a few covers for him. I thought it was kind of odd considering he was a designer, but maybe he wanted a new eye. I ended up doing just the background and he did the font work, but he was courteous and quick in communication. It's too bad reading all of these stories. Kind of baffling, but not an isolated incident, so... My husband or I do my covers, but I'd stay far away from him after hearing all of this.

Offline Keith McArdle

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2012, 04:40:19 PM »
Jan (and another lady whose post seems to have disappeared now),

Thanks for the idea to check the junk mail folder of my email program, I have done so, but unfortunately there are no messages there.


MJ,

That's how I actually found Ronnell to begin with. I saw an Amanda Hocking book on Amazon, thought the cover looked cool, so used the 'Look Inside' feature to see if the designer was mentioned (which he was).


Well I'm now in contact with another cover designer (Najla Qamber). She has been nothing but professional and helpful (and a hell of a lot cheaper). 

Offline Maria Hooley

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #59 on: October 02, 2012, 04:50:50 PM »
Keith,

I'm certain you won't have that problem with Najla.  She designed two covers for me, and both are exceptional.  She is also very professional.

Offline William Stacey

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2012, 04:57:52 PM »
Yeah, let's spam both here and Ammy forums with the same post, and call someone who's apparently delivered the artwork (which you called 'great'), a 'scammer' because there's such a major difference between an MP-4 and an MP-10.
*rolls eyes*
I hope you pay the same sort of attention to line edits.
There is a world of difference between an M-4 (not as you wrote "MP-4") and an MP-10. One is a carbine; the other is a submachine gun.

Sheesh

*rolls eyes even higher than you did*

I'd have been p*ssed, too. Details matter.
Vikings, Demons, Ghosts, oh my!

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Offline JessicaMeigs

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2012, 05:32:14 PM »
Unfortunately, I don't believe I'm allowed to get into details, but my experience with Ronnell was virtually identical to the original poster's: covers that didn't meet my specifications (he used what appeared to be teenagers as the models for characters that are 33 and 40 years old), and when I asked him to redo (especially on the cover with the 40 year old), he refused and told my publisher that I was difficult to work with and that he didn't see anything wrong with the cover art he'd chosen.

It eventually lead to us deciding to not work with Ronnell on the covers and requesting the $300 deposit back, which he refused to provide, saying we should have known what we were getting when we hired a cheap cover artist.

Throughout all of this, he went incommunicado frequently, with long bouts of not replying to emails to either myself or my publisher, including almost three weeks of no communication because he couldn't be bothered to answer an important question I'd asked him, despite the fact he'd been told the job was a priority that needed to be done as soon as possible (which he'd agreed to before requesting the deposit). There are a lot more details than that, but I don't really believe the details are necessary. Just read the original poster's post and you'll get the basics of what happened.

Needless to say, we decided to go with a new cover artist (Stephanie Mooney), and her covers for the series so far are mindblowingly awesome and I can't wait to reveal them to the world. :D

Offline MJWare

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2012, 06:36:38 PM »
Wow, again!

We aren't talking $50 covers here--$250, $300--that's a lot of money.

It almost seems like there are two Ronnell's (doppelganger, maybe). The one I knew seemed like a great guy.

Thanks for everyone coming forward to share their stories! Hopefully, it will get people to do their homework before picking a cover artists.

I've picked an artist just by looking in someone's book myself. and have just gotten lucky.

[corrected typos: 1 comma, one spelling error 2/15/15]
« Last Edit: February 21, 2015, 12:20:23 PM by MJWare »

Offline Keith McArdle

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #63 on: October 02, 2012, 07:46:01 PM »
The Internet is like one massive capital city, and the writing industry, one (fairly close knit) suburb of that city. If someone treats enough people like dirt in that suburb, their business will fail. New business men and women treat their customers like gods, because they want them to come back time and time again (which, if the business person is successful, the customer will).

I don't understand why a businessman would want to sabotage his own business.

Offline ProKindler

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2012, 03:17:08 PM »
I sent him an email that I wanted a design and he emailed me the prices so you're definitely getting ignored. It sucks that there are people in the world like that.

Offline MJWare

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2012, 03:21:53 PM »
I sent him an email that I wanted a design and he emailed me the prices so you're definitely getting ignored. It sucks that there are people in the world like that.
J.C! --I had an old blog post with his name on it--I removed it a few days ago.

Offline youmademeloveyou

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2012, 04:46:44 PM »
I sent him an email that I wanted a design and he emailed me the prices so you're definitely getting ignored. It sucks that there are people in the world like that.

Wow. Just wow. And it is a shame too because he seems talented, aside from the fact that he doesn't seem to like to do revisions. If he were actually professional, he could have a good business.

Offline Shane Murray

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2012, 05:19:27 PM »
Unfortunately, I don't believe I'm allowed to get into details, but my experience with Ronnell was virtually identical to the original poster's: covers that didn't meet my specifications (he used what appeared to be teenagers as the models for characters that are 33 and 40 years old), and when I asked him to redo (especially on the cover with the 40 year old), he refused and told my publisher that I was difficult to work with and that he didn't see anything wrong with the cover art he'd chosen.

It eventually lead to us deciding to not work with Ronnell on the covers and requesting the $300 deposit back, which he refused to provide, saying we should have known what we were getting when we hired a cheap cover artist.

Throughout all of this, he went incommunicado frequently, with long bouts of not replying to emails to either myself or my publisher, including almost three weeks of no communication because he couldn't be bothered to answer an important question I'd asked him, despite the fact he'd been told the job was a priority that needed to be done as soon as possible (which he'd agreed to before requesting the deposit). There are a lot more details than that, but I don't really believe the details are necessary. Just read the original poster's post and you'll get the basics of what happened.

Needless to say, we decided to go with a new cover artist (Stephanie Mooney), and her covers for the series so far are mindblowingly awesome and I can't wait to reveal them to the world. :D

Wow. Can we have a sticky warning thread for authors?

Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2012, 06:43:17 PM »
Very disappointing. I missed the second thread and had no idea more incidents had happened since the first one that Amanda Hocking eventually responded to on her blog. This guy was once highly recommended.

I've been taken for 25 bucks on these forums by a trusted poster. I can't imagine being taken for 300. I hope each of you finds a designer that treats you right.

Offline marshacanham

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2012, 10:24:55 PM »
Umm...I kinda sorta can't believe someone would pay the full price up front before even seeing a proof. I never expect to be paid for any of the covers I do until the clients are happy with them. And if it's something I can't do, I tell them up front.

I do remember seeing Ronnell's name and some of his covers and I thought they were pretty good. Such a waste of talent. Who was it who said your honor is the only thing that can't be taken from you, you have to give it away. I think he's thrown his away.

Offline Keith McArdle

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #70 on: October 05, 2012, 04:35:58 AM »
Prokindler,

Thanks for doing that, although it doesn't surprise me.


Marsha,

On his website, he asks for full payment up front. Lesson definitely learned, however. I won't be paying up front again.

Offline T. B. Crattie

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #71 on: October 05, 2012, 04:54:21 AM »
Ryan Sumo did my cover. He's really talented, very professional, and good to work with. Google him.


A Matter of Britain (http://tbcrattie.blogspot.com/)

Offline Chris Northern

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #72 on: October 05, 2012, 04:58:41 AM »
Ryan Sumo did my cover. He's really talented, very professional, and good to work with. Google him.

Keith (I never did ask what his last name is) recently did a cover for me and the guy pretty much defines professionalism. I' in a rush so won't extract the links from my blog - the cover and links are here: http://www.forwardviewmirror.blogspot.co.uk/

Might be nice if a few other good people were recommended here so we can turn this into something positive? Just a thought.

 
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Offline Nell Gavin

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #73 on: October 05, 2012, 03:52:57 PM »
Umm...I kinda sorta can't believe someone would pay the full price up front before even seeing a proof. I never expect to be paid for any of the covers I do until the clients are happy with them. And if it's something I can't do, I tell them up front.

I do remember seeing Ronnell's name and some of his covers and I thought they were pretty good. Such a waste of talent. Who was it who said your honor is the only thing that can't be taken from you, you have to give it away. I think he's thrown his away.

I know, right? My cover artist sends me a Paypal invoice AFTER he delivers the final. Then I tweak it, because I'm just that way, and he's just that easy going. If I run into problems, he still helps, even though he's gotten the money.

Nell Gavin

Offline NoahMullette-Gillman

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Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
« Reply #74 on: October 07, 2012, 12:12:25 PM »
I do a little bit of freelance editing now and then. I do ask for my money up-front through PayPal, but I generally take two or three weeks to do a job, so the client is protected by PayPal's 45 day window.

I don't understand doing business online outside of that window. Unless there was a compelling reason to go past that, I need my 45 day protection window. Otherwise I/one has very little recourse if something goes wrong.

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