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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: Keith McArdle on October 01, 2012, 05:15:22 PM

Title: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle on October 01, 2012, 05:15:22 PM

Hi all,

I just wanted to mention an extremely frustrating experience I've just had with a certain cover designer by the name of Ronnell D. Porter.

I do this not as any kind of smear campaign, but in the hope that any authors or publishers that intend to use a cover designer, think twice about their options before employing the skills of this particular gentleman.

I will say that Ronnell is a skilled cover designer, I will not take that away from him. However, as for his business and communication 'skills', I have never experienced such a lack of professionalism and communication in my entire life.

So, if you want a cover designed, this is just a friendly reminder that you should think twice before using Mr. Porter.

Here is a brief breakdown of my experience:

17th July - $250.00 paid upfront (paying in full was a mistake).

17th July - Ronnell immediately replies thanking me for payment and saying he'll have something to show me very soon. Things are looking good!

20th July - I'm very keen and excited. I ask Ronnell how the brain storming is coming along. - No reply.

6th August - Sometime between the 20th of July and the 6th of August, I send a message to Ronnell via his website (to which he does not reply). This message sent on the 6th was to explain that to him and to ask whether he received the message.

8th August - Ronnell replies and says I should have something by the next evening.

9th August - As promised, Ronnell delivers a proof of the cover. It looks great! However, there is one problem with it. The character in the foreground is holding the incorrect weapon (for any weapon guys out there, the character was holding an MP-10, not an M-4).

10th August - I thank Ronnell for the proof, and ask him to change the weapon. - No reply.

22nd August - I ask Ronnell if he received my last email.

23rd August - Ronnell replies asking me to forward him the email as he does not remember seeing it. I oblige.

31st August - I ask Ronnell if he has received the email. - No reply.

7th September - I ask Ronnell if he has received the email. - No reply.

13th September - I ask Ronnell if he has received the email. - No reply.

22nd September - I ask Ronnell if he has received the email. - No reply.

24th September - I write to Ronnell explaining that he has 1 week to deliver the completed cover. - He does not reply.

2nd October - Here in Australia it is a Tuesday. The 1st of October (the cut off date) was yesterday, however we are ahead of the USA, so I wanted to give him a fair chance to respond. So far Ronnell has not replied. Nor do I expect him to.

I have asked for a full refund of my money, which I do not expect to receive, as I do not feel Ronnell D. Porter is a particularly honourable or trustworthy character.

So, please think twice before you engage with Mr. Porter. I do not want any of you to experience what I have been through over a period of close to three months.

That said, however, if I receive the completed product, or a full refund, then this post will be deleted from this forum (and the other forums to which it has been posted).

Thank you.

Regards,

Keith McArdle
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MonkishScribe on October 01, 2012, 05:24:56 PM
Sorry to hear this sort of thing yet again.   :(
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Monique on October 01, 2012, 05:25:12 PM
I wish I could say I was surprised.

I'm sorry you had to learn about his shenanigans the hard way.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Victorine on October 01, 2012, 05:31:29 PM
I'm so sorry that happened to you. :( I have heard others say the same thing. Even publishers who hired him.

I do hope your post here helps to warn others.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: PeanutButterCracker on October 01, 2012, 05:36:31 PM
So wait, this is in addition to the last thread about this guy?  Wow...that's not good.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Ann in Arlington on October 01, 2012, 05:37:05 PM
Just a bit of a reminder by way of fair warning:  it is completely appropriate to give honest, objective feedback, whether positive or negative, about your experience with a vendor you discover through KindleBoards.  Please be careful in discussing things, however, to refrain from any personal attacks; and you may NOT re-post any private communications.

In general, agreements between members are at their own risk. . . .as always, we strongly encourage due diligence before selecting a vendor.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: BrianKittrell on October 01, 2012, 05:39:42 PM
That's precisely why I started not charging people until I was sure that their project was deep into the in-progress list when I got backed up in September. The process can take long enough in revisions that it is a burden to have money tied up in it for a while.

Of course, I've never been one to do full cover work to spec. The author must provide the artwork and a general idea of the layout. It's a lot easier to get it right quicker and get everyone happy. I don't see how full-blown cover artists do it.

On topic, never seen the man's work or heard about him, but he could have at least acknowledged receipt of the email.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Maria Hooley on October 01, 2012, 05:52:06 PM
Because of the first thread which detailed the problems I had with Ronnell, I have had at least a handful of people emailing me with such complaints.  I am truly sorry for your frustrations.  I do hope you are able to get your money back.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: lewaters on October 01, 2012, 05:59:05 PM
So sorry to hear about this. That must be so frustrating. Not only to lose the money but the time you've been waiting. If you've paid via paypal you can file a claim with them. They have a resolution center and might be able to help you.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Steve Silkin on October 01, 2012, 06:03:47 PM
Keith, how did you find him? Was he listed on KB? If so, you might ask the moderators to remove the listing.

This is not the first complaint thread about this person.

(The last person who posted here about him had to pose as a "new customer" in order to get a response from the artist.)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MonkishScribe on October 01, 2012, 06:11:33 PM
Just a bit of a reminder by way of fair warning:  it is completely appropriate to give honest, objective feedback, whether positive or negative, about your experience with a vendor you discover through KindleBoards.  Please be careful in discussing things, however, to refrain from any personal attacks; and you may NOT re-post any private communications.

In general, agreements between members are at their own risk. . . .as always, we strongly encourage due diligence before selecting a vendor.

Ann, that's exactly what this is. Putting information out there so people can see that there's a habitual scammer at work, burning author after author. No way for the next writer to see what's going on if she can't Google and find stuff like this.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Ian Fraser on October 01, 2012, 06:37:10 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Ann in Arlington on October 01, 2012, 06:38:51 PM
Keith, how did you find him? Was he listed on KB? If so, you might ask the moderators to remove the listing.

This is not the first complaint thread about this person.

(The last person who posted here about him had to pose as a "new customer" in order to get a response from the artist.)

For the record, Ronnell is a member here, though I don't believe he's posted in some time.  He is NOT listed in the Yellow Pages maintained by our Librarian.

Ann, that's exactly what this is. Putting information out there so people can see that there's a habitual scammer at work, burning author after author. No way for the next writer to see what's going on if she can't Google and find stuff like this.

I never said it was anything else. . . .just reminding people to keep it civil.  If it gets nasty the thread will be locked.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Jan Strnad on October 01, 2012, 06:43:03 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your experience with your cover designer!

By way of counterpoint, the "unknown" designer I hired, Shayne Hellerman, has been an absolute joy to work with. Responsive and accommodating, actually delivering more than was promised. I lucked out.

Communication is key. Problems appear out of the mist but they can be addressed if there's communication between designer and client. Compromise is always possible. With communication, you might have found it acceptable to change the gun in your story to an M-10 if the designer couldn't obtain an M-4, but you'd never know without the communication. On the other hand, if it had to be an M-4 and the designer couldn't provide it, that could be a deal breaker and you should learn that up front. If you didn't specify an M-4 in your initial proposal, and that developed as a problem later, a "kill fee" (partial reimbursement) might have been appropriate if this only surfaced as a problem part way through the design process. You might have been able to live with the inconsistency, but your designer wouldn't know that if you couldn't communicate.

Professionalism is called for on both fronts. Ignoring emails is just not acceptable.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Shane Murray on October 01, 2012, 06:51:27 PM
Sorry to hear about your experiences.

Sometimes I wish the internet had the ability to punch people in the face.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: SunHi Mistwalker on October 01, 2012, 06:59:30 PM
I am so sorry to hear about this. If you're still looking for a designer I highly recommend Keri Knutson http://alchemybookcover.blogspot.com/ (http://alchemybookcover.blogspot.com/). She designed my ebook cover for New Hope City http://sunhimistwalker.com/books/new-hope-city/ (http://sunhimistwalker.com/books/new-hope-city/) in only a few days. She was very responsive to my emails and my feedback. I will definitely work with her again.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: T.L. Haddix on October 01, 2012, 07:01:13 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.

Two points - a proof is not a useable copy of the cover. The artist didn't provide the client the services the client wanted. The artist has apparently dropped off the face of the earth. (So, three points.)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: NoahMullette-Gillman on October 01, 2012, 07:02:22 PM


Sometimes I wish the internet had the ability to punch people in the face.

LOL! ROTFL!!!
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Ann in Arlington on October 01, 2012, 07:14:44 PM
Sorry to hear about your experiences.

Sometimes I wish the internet had the ability to punch people in the face.

See, this would be an example of the sort of posts we don't want. :-\
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: AshMP on October 01, 2012, 07:22:22 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.

Truly, truly one of the most unkind things I've seen in a while. 

Scam: defined as a dishonest scheme, fraud.

So, I ask you ... how this is a 'scam' and not a scam.  Because, from where I'm sitting ... I see no miscommunication in the fact that the OP was swindled out of money a la scammed.  However, feel free to disagree, I'm just wondering on what grounds you'd see fit to do so ...

I'd hope you'd remember what a BIG deal our covers are, I'm sure you've felt much the same about your own ... how much time, thought, consideration, imagination and the like goes into those images that grace the front of our books.  They mean a lot ... many of us authors spend months picturing what our covers will look like, I am SHOCKED you would attempt to minimize this experience of shoddy customer service and half-baked work with your callous comments and mockery.   

There is a big enough difference (as a non-gun-girl) between the two guns that, because it was wrong, it should be fixed ... no questions asked.  Period.  End of story. 

Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Error404 on October 01, 2012, 07:24:58 PM
Sorry to hear about your experiences.

Sometimes I wish the internet had the ability to punch people in the face.

Or at least the ability to filter out the bad apples from the good.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: ChrisWard on October 01, 2012, 07:39:35 PM
I think this is a situation where personal recommendations are very important.  I was recently trying to hunt down a cover artist who ignored numerous emails I sent.  I was recommended a different person by a writer friend and not only did I get a reply within the same day I had a finished cover in a week.  She listened to everything I had to say, offered suggestions and when I asked for something to be changed it was done without complaint.  The final cover looks great, and for the price was a bargain.  That was a company called www.novelprevue.com, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them or work with them again.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Victorine on October 01, 2012, 07:47:53 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.

He did not get his finished cover. He paid for a finished cover. He has the right to warn others. This is not an isolated incident. Ronnell has done this many times.

This is not spamming. This is warning others.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle on October 01, 2012, 07:52:49 PM
Hi all,

Thanks for the replies, I only wish I had searched the internet more thoroughly before paying the designer.

Ian,

"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."

There is a vast difference between the M-4 (NOT an MP-4 as you stated) and the MP-10. Size, weight, calibre, M-203 attachment to name but a few. Currently, soldiers in Afghanistan (and at the beginning of the Iraq war) are being engaged by the enemy at up to distances of 1, 000 metres. If you have any idea about weapons, you'll know that even an M-4 is struggling at these distances, never mind an MP-10.

I pay just as much attention to my line edits as I do to the fact the character on the front cover carries the correct weapon.

Thanks again everyone.

Regards,

Keith
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Howietzer on October 01, 2012, 09:13:17 PM
Sorry to hear about your experiences.

Sometimes I wish the internet had the ability to punch people in the face.
See, this would be an example of the sort of posts we don't want. :-\

I think you're barking up the wrong tree on this one Ann. I find the post below much more offensive.

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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Not Here on October 01, 2012, 09:47:25 PM
I just want to say that I hope this doesn't sour you on other artist on KB. I've worked with tons of authors who have had lots of luck with a variety of artists. Sorry to hear about your loss in money though. Maybe he will decide to pop in and set things right.  :-\ Although it's been quite a while since he's been a regular on here.

Best of luck to you. Oh and btw- my husband is a veteran and agreed about the guns. I wouldn't have had any idea but then, I'm not your target audience.  ;)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: DarkScribe on October 01, 2012, 10:55:17 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 GREAT deal of difference between the two weapons. If the correct weapon was clearly described in the initial brief then this is a major and unacceptable problem. If you wanted a Ferrari on the cover as it was related to the story-line, but you got a Lotus - would that be acceptable to you? The issue however seems to be lack of interest/communication on the part of the designer.

Would you like to roll your eyes again? You are so impressive when you do that.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Shane Murray on October 01, 2012, 11:02:10 PM
I think you're barking up the wrong tree on this one Ann. I find the post below much more offensive.


Agreed.

Also, I don't think I made my point very well. What I should have said was that with the internet you won't need to be face to face with a person, so they can pull this sort of stuff a lot easier. In face to face dealings there are more consequences (i.e. a punch to the face :P). The internet can be a dangerous place to do business.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Revolution on October 02, 2012, 04:48:04 AM
The very section of kindleboards is for the writers.

And I am grateful any warning concerning dodgy cover artists, editors or anyone of the sort.


I will avoid him like the plague.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on October 02, 2012, 04:59:38 AM
Just to clarify, as there seems to be some misunderstanding of Ann's original post here:  it's entirely appropriate to post negative experiences with people who provide author services, just as it is appropriate to post positive ones.  We just ask that people do so and discuss the issue in as reasoned and rational a way as possible, given the highly charged nature of the subject mattter.  Suggesting physical attacks, even in a humorous manner, is not something we like to see. 

As for Ian's post, which occured while Ann was composing one of hers--discussion of whether the kind of weapon was sufficient to reject the artwork is a valid discussion point; the manner in which the comment was made was probably over the line; I'm going to review the post and subsequent discussion.  The post has been well responded to at this point, including by Keith.  Let's not derail the original purpose of the thread by focussing too much on one response.

Continued discussion of Keith's original issue and posts about other people's experiences, good or bad, with Ronnell are entirely appropriate here as long as done civilly.

Thank you.

Betsy
KB Moderator
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Lynn McNamee on October 02, 2012, 05:19:52 AM
I don't think the reason for the author's problem with the artwork is really the issue.

No matter what problem the author had with the service, the artist should at least communicate and discuss. A compromise could have been reached. Sure, to some the type of weapon may seem frivolous, but in certain genres, it's a bigger deal. The artist could even have offered to do a different style cover where a weapon doesn't appear.

This complaint is not about the work done. It's about the lack of communication. And the OP has a valid complaint in my opinion.

As far as I am aware, the only times I have failed to respond to a client were when either his or her message or my response went to spam.

So the only thing I will ask the OP is if he has been checking his spam/junk folders in case a response went there.



Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Decon on October 02, 2012, 07:12:36 AM
It would seem that images descriptions do matter to some readers. I can can recall a discussion post (not on here) where a number of posts discussed and complained of covers, particularly from indie authors, where say the picture of a woman or man had no resemblance to the characters as described in the book. As an example one cited something similar to --- a blond on the cover, but the character in the book had black hair.

I am a war book/soldier's story book fan and the wrong gun on in the hands of someone on the cover would matter to me. It would signal that maybe the book was by someone who didn't know what they were writing about with any degree of authenticity.

Provided the OP specified the requirement for a specific rifle, then his complaint about the image is justified. There is no excuse, other than illness or vacations for a lack of communication. Clearly now this thread has been posted, then the situation is obviously at the point of no return. I don't know which country in which the designer resides, but if he was in the UK, I would take him to the small claims court if it was not possible to resolve. If you paid by credit card, or by paypal, then I would make a claim to them for repayment if your card laws are the same as in the UK.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Hudson Owen on October 02, 2012, 07:23:40 AM
I'll put in a good word for Ronnell based on my one cover with him.  I contacted him in late May or early June for a cover for my long story The Fight of the Century.  I paid $150 up front, which I did not like.  I had read no negative press about him, liked his imagination and decided to take a chance.  I outlined some ideas for the cover and put it on hold for an unexpected rewrite.  I let Ronnell know so that he could focus on other projects.

I turned the project back on and the artist, came up with a design in a reasonable period of time.  It wasn't exactly what I had imagined; but I liked it immediately, accepted it, and conveyed my happiness to the artist.  He included my cover in his portfolio (see signature).  I did ask for two minor edits: to increase the point size of my name, and to brighten the image overall.  The first edit he did immediately, the second he apparently balked at.  I waited a week and politely asked again, explaining that while the image was fine in full, it looked a bit dark in the thumbnail.  About a week after that he complied.

So, I have no beef with Ronnell D. Porter.  However, if he has upped his fee to $250, I might explore alternatives.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: T.L. Haddix on October 02, 2012, 07:27:46 AM
It would seem that images descriptions do matter to some readers. I can can recall a discussion post (not on here) where a number of posts discussed and complained of covers, particularly from indie authors, where say the picture of a woman or man had no resemblance to the characters as described in the book. As an example one cited something similar to --- a blond on the cover, but the character in the book had black hair.

I am a war book/soldier's story book fan and the wrong gun on in the hands of someone on the cover would matter to me. It would signal that maybe the book was by someone who didn't know what they were writing about with any degree of authenticity.

Provided the OP specified the requirement for a specific rifle, then his complaint about the image is justified. There is no excuse, other than illness or vacations for a lack of communication. Clearly now this thread has been posted, then the situation is obviously at the point of no return. I don't know which country in which the designer resides, but if he was in the UK, I would take him to the small claims court if it was not possible to resolve. If you paid by credit card, or by paypal, then I would make a claim to them for repayment if your card laws are the same as in the UK.

Bolded - Readers, especially readers in certain genres like romance, pay closer attention than you might think to cover accuracy. There have been a lot of blog posts where covers have been discussed because they're so far off from being accurate. Most of those discussions end up revolving around traditionally published books, though. That's one of the advantages self-published authors have over traditionally published folks, that we can be as accurate as possible on our covers. That's probably part of what is stinging the OP so badly.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare on October 02, 2012, 07:41:43 AM
I have no idea what's going on with Ronnell, but I can say that I would be shocked to find he was deliberately taking money from people and not producing a cover.

Ronnell has done several covers for me without issue (though none recently). The one time I didn't like the concept he came up with, I offered to pay him 1/2 of his fee for his time and he refused it saying he hadn't done his job.

I do know, that he has very poor internet access, maybe, just maybe that's what's causing these issues. I know, given the time frame involved it seems like he could have made it to a library or something. Still, I just wanted to offer my experience with Ronnell as a counterpoint.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: 4eyesbooks on October 02, 2012, 07:46:26 AM
Jan,

I just hired Shayne Hellerman for my latest cover so glad to hear you were satisfied.  I also had Ronnell Porter on my possible cover artist list so I'll be removing that listing for future reference.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Jan Hurst-Nicholson on October 02, 2012, 08:10:30 AM
I don't know whether the OP did this, but it is advisable to keep checking the junk mail folder. I was waiting for a cover and discovered it had been in my junk mail for about 4 days  :P. There was also a time when a friend's email simply did not reach me and we couldn't figure out why. Despite re-uploading everything nothing came through. For a time we had to route our emails through another friend. However, if other people have also had a problem with this person it would appear that the junk mail folder is probably not the problem  ::)

Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Amanda Brice on October 02, 2012, 08:21:59 AM
I do know, that he has very poor internet access, maybe, just maybe that's what's causing these issues.

I'm sorry, but that's really not an excuse. If he's going to be doing business on the internet -- which he obviously is -- then he has a responsibility to ensure he has proper internet access, whether at home or by going to the library/cafe with wireless/whatever.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Jeff Shelby on October 02, 2012, 08:24:43 AM
Bolded - Readers, especially readers in certain genres like romance, pay closer attention than you might think to cover accuracy.

Absolutely agree. Gun enthusiasts are notorious for pointing out to authors when they have made even the most minor mistakes regarding weapons. I don't mean notorious in a negative way - they just pay attention to the most minute details related to weapons. It matters to them as readers. A mistake like that on a cover would absolutely matter to the OP's intended audience.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare on October 02, 2012, 08:28:24 AM
I'm sorry, but that's really not an excuse. If he's going to be doing business on the internet -- which he obviously is -- then he has a responsibility to ensure he has proper internet access, whether at home or by going to the library/cafe with wireless/whatever.
Which is the reason for my next two sentences which you didn't quote: "I know, given the time frame involved it seems like he could have made it to a library or something. Still, I just wanted to offer my experience with Ronnell as a counterpoint."

I didn't see the other threads about Ronnell, so I really have no idea what's going on-- and I agree that it does seem very egregious, at least on the surface. I'm not defending him, just offering my experience--and frankly I wouldn't use him again myself until these outstanding complaints were resolved.

But we'd certainly feel bad if we learned that he was hit by a bus or something (except maybe the OP, who is out $250-j/k).
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Steve Silkin on October 02, 2012, 08:48:51 AM
I have no idea what's going on with Ronnell, but I can say that I would be shocked to find he was deliberately taking money from people and not producing a cover.

I do know, that he has very poor internet access, maybe, just maybe that's what's causing these issues. I know, given the time frame involved it seems like he could have made it to a library or something. Still, I just wanted to offer my experience with Ronnell as a counterpoint.

In the previous case posted on KB, he did not return e-mail messages. Access or illness could have been the cause. Then the client used a different e-mail address and posed as someone placing an order. The e-mail was returned immediately.

Keith's case is not an isolated incident that can be written off to misunderstandings or other contretemps. It has several precedents.

Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MeiLinMiranda on October 02, 2012, 08:51:46 AM
I'm married to a fan of military fiction; unsurprisingly, he's also a gun aficionado. Not a gun super freak, just someone who knows this stuff and finds accuracy important (not unusual among firearms people). He's fond of freeze framing movies and tv shows to see what the props department is up to, especially in SF films where they've altered stock guns. Would he notice the wrong gun on a book cover? In a heartbeat, and it would reflect quite poorly on the book inside, however unfairly. The OP is well within bounds to complain.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: jackz4000 on October 02, 2012, 11:19:29 AM
One does not need to be a gun expert in telling apart the MP10 to the M4, they are totally different guns. Readers are usually quite knowledgeable about things that interest them and those who know guns can be especially brutal, just as Regency Romance readers can be. Don't know if the OP included his gun preference for the cover--but for $250 he got slip-shod service.

It's really important for the author to have good communication with the designer throughout the process. I don't think this is RP's first disappearing act.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Victorine on October 02, 2012, 11:39:31 AM
Which is the reason for my next two sentences which you didn't quote: "I know, given the time frame involved it seems like he could have made it to a library or something. Still, I just wanted to offer my experience with Ronnell as a counterpoint."

I didn't see the other threads about Ronnell, so I really have no idea what's going on-- and I agree that it does seem very egregious, at least on the surface. I'm not defending him, just offering my experience--and frankly I wouldn't use him again myself until these outstanding complaints were resolved.

But we'd certainly feel bad if we learned that he was hit by a bus or something (except maybe the OP, who is out $250-j/k).

I totally understand what you're saying, MJ, and I am definitely the kind of person to give someone the benefit of the doubt. The only problem is with Ronnell, I've heard numerous stories all pretty much saying the same thing. He took money, either produced a cover that needed some tweaks and then never did them, or didn't ever produce covers and stopped emailing the people. The last time this happened, after many emails went unanswered, the guy emailed from a different account and pretended to be a new customer. He got an email in ten minutes.

This is not a random bus hitting incident. This is a pattern, and I do think it's okay to talk about it.

And I do think if someone wants to work with Ronnell, they should get their proof done first and then give him the money. An artist can put a watermark on a proof so they are sure to get paid for their work. There's nothing wrong with that.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MaryMcDonald on October 02, 2012, 11:57:26 AM
Sorry to hear you have had such a hard time. How frustrating! A couple of years ago, when Ronnell was just starting out, he offered to do some sample covers for some of us as a way for him to get his name out there. Things didn't work out for me when I took him up on the offer and he wasn't happy with me. (It was not a big involved cover. It was more like a stock photo he put some text on and the stock photo wasn't at all what I wanted.)

Anyway, I had the very opposite experience with Victorine.  ;D I bought one of her pre-made covers a few months back for a book I'm releasing this month. I asked for a few things tweaked and she not only did them, she literally did them in like, 15 minutes! And she was trying to go on vacation. I tried telling her there wasn't a rush (although, I admit, I was really excited to see the final cover--I would have waited.)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare on October 02, 2012, 12:10:40 PM
I totally understand what you're saying, MJ, and I am definitely the kind of person to give someone the benefit of the doubt. The only problem is with Ronnell, I've heard numerous stories all pretty much saying the same thing. He took money, either produced a cover that needed some tweaks and then never did them, or didn't ever produce covers and stopped emailing the people. The last time this happened, after many emails went unanswered, the guy emailed from a different account and pretended to be a new customer. He got an email in ten minutes.

This is not a random bus hitting incident. This is a pattern, and I do think it's okay to talk about it.
Yes, I agree it's fine to talk about. Frankly, I think Keith did the right thing by letting everyone know.

I also think it's fine to post my experiences, as long as I preface then by letting members know it's been a while.

At this point, I couldn't recommend him either and really hope no one got burned based on my past recommendation.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: JRTomlin on October 02, 2012, 12:28:38 PM
It would seem that images descriptions do matter to some readers. I can can recall a discussion post (not on here) where a number of posts discussed and complained of covers, particularly from indie authors, where say the picture of a woman or man had no resemblance to the characters as described in the book. As an example one cited something similar to --- a blond on the cover, but the character in the book had black hair.

I am a war book/soldier's story book fan and the wrong gun on in the hands of someone on the cover would matter to me. It would signal that maybe the book was by someone who didn't know what they were writing about with any degree of authenticity.

Provided the OP specified the requirement for a specific rifle, then his complaint about the image is justified. There is no excuse, other than illness or vacations for a lack of communication. Clearly now this thread has been posted, then the situation is obviously at the point of no return. I don't know which country in which the designer resides, but if he was in the UK, I would take him to the small claims court if it was not possible to resolve. If you paid by credit card, or by paypal, then I would make a claim to them for repayment if your card laws are the same as in the UK.
These things do matter. Those of us who write war fiction go to some lengths to try to make our stories reflect the weapons used and many of us are very particular about covers. On my own cover of Countenance of War, the weapons and armorials were extensively researched by the artist.

I have exchanged at least a dozen emails with the artist working on the cover for my next novel. (For example, his concept art showed arrows and I immediately told him that archers didn't take part in that particular battle so they won't be in the final painting) Most of the emails were from him asking for my input and information. This is how it should be.

Except for emails going to spam, there is no excuse in my opinion for the lack of communication in this case. Even if the artist were going on vacation, he would have a responsibility to let his client know that he would not be available.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: swolf on October 02, 2012, 12:31:53 PM
The last time this happened, after many emails went unanswered, the guy emailed from a different account and pretended to be a new customer. He got an email in ten minutes.

If that's true, and I have no reason to doubt it, then it speaks volumes.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: CaedemMarquez on October 02, 2012, 12:42:14 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare on October 02, 2012, 12:57:07 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!
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Not Here 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Monique 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare 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).
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Not Here on October 02, 2012, 01:43:48 PM
Not that I had heard but I certain hope so. :)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Griffin Hayes 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!
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Nell Gavin 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: CaedemMarquez 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!

(http://www.kboards.com/avs/avatar_13393.png)

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
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: emilyward 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle 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). 
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Maria Hooley 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: William Stacey 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: JessicaMeigs 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
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare 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]
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: ProKindler 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: youmademeloveyou 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Shane Murray 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?
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Rex Jameson 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: marshacanham 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: T. B. Crattie 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Chris Northern 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/ (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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Nell Gavin 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: NoahMullette-Gillman 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.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Craig Halloran on October 07, 2012, 04:38:50 PM
I've used Ronnell on my Zombie series (see below) and he's delivered. I plan on using him to finish this series.

It took some time to get in sync and there was some frustration, but he followed up with me, even though there were some delays.

I don't think he's running a scam.  I find that hard to believe.  There will be times when you will have creative differences on these things
and communication will fall through.  Paying up front is a risk you take.  I've paid up front for many services, and if you don't have a contract,
watch out.  I've been lucky that I haven't got burned, but I haven't always gotten what I thought I paid for either. 

This thread is one thing I like (love) about Kindle boards.  People who provide services on this site know that if they don't follow up everyone will hear
about it.  I've been blessed with all the people I am working with from these boards.  I believe you'll find the best talent here for the best price
compared to anywhere else.  I've saved alot of money by working with all of these entrepeneurs here.

Just my two cents.   8)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle on October 07, 2012, 11:26:51 PM
Chris,

Good idea on keeping it positive. I've recently started working with a designer by the name of Najla Qamber. Not only is she extremely professional, she is VERY fast. It's been less than 1 week so far and I have my first proof copy. Absolutely brilliant!


Craig,

I'm glad you had a good experience and that you received what you wanted. There's certainly no doubting that Ronnell's skill is certainly not the problem. Good luck working with him again.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Bleekness on October 08, 2012, 02:38:51 AM
Quote
I've recently started working with a designer by the name of Najla Qamber.

I can vouch for Naj--she's everything you say. She's done a couple of covers for me and I'm more than happy with her work.

Recent cover:

(http://keithcblackmore.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Ye-Olde-Fishing-Hole.v5-Final-Small-200x300.jpg)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Chris Northern on October 08, 2012, 01:40:12 PM
Chris,

Good idea on keeping it positive. I've recently started working with a designer by the name of Najla Qamber. Not only is she extremely professional, she is VERY fast. It's been less than 1 week so far and I have my first proof copy. Absolutely brilliant!

I also happily check to see what Karri Klawiter can offer; she can be found here: http://artbykarri.com/
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Judi Coltman on October 08, 2012, 02:52:55 PM
Since we are all chiming in here-- Victorine did my newest cover (see avatar).  She was quick, patient and "Got" what I was looking for.  Her rates are rock bottom and she doesn't ask for payment until the customer is happy.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: T.L. Haddix on October 08, 2012, 06:25:34 PM
Just for the record - finding an image of an M4 is not hard. I just spent 30 seconds on our preferred stock image site and found a good number of them that could probably easily be manipulated to the specs needed for the cover. So that cup doesn't hold water.

You make a number of excellent points, Humblenation. The thing I think cover artists need to recognize and remember is that if they're serious about doing this as a business, they either need to learn to manage said business, or find someone who can do that for them. On the business side, there's no room for the artist's ego. Authors don't care if you're a special snowflake or not. They just want you to do a good job for them, deliver on time, and not break the bank doing it.

As to the contention that putting a gun on an action cover is a trope? Yeah, it is. There's a reason for that - it cues the reader in to what type of book they're picking up. Just like romance has people on the cover with some sort of relationship implied, and fantasy has... um, my mind blanked. Fantastical stuff - fairy dust if the book has fairies, I guess. Going out on a limb artistically speaking is great, but not if you're trying to sell a product. You want that product to look new, fresh, innovative - and blend in as much as possible with your biggest competitors, while still standing out enough to grab readers' attention. It's a fine line to walk.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Tiziano on October 09, 2012, 07:42:32 AM
One element that may create problems, in my opinion and from experience on several art forums  is the ' artiste maudit' mentality, the idea that artists are somehow 'superior' and detached from 'mere' commercial considerations and that 'art for art's sake' trumps everything else including deadlines and client's requests.

People wanting to work in the book cover businness ought, IMO, keep in mind that a cover is a cooperation between client (art director or writer) and visual artist and the aim is, as it has been said, to make the intended audience pick up the book.

Revisions come with the job, the visual artist should definitely bring his/ her expertise into play ('I see what you are trying to do, I think this could work better because...') but the last words are always the client's, and deadlines are there for a reason and should never be blown ever, that is the kiss of death for a visual artist  in the industry (unless there has been an unforeseen disaster and the artist has warned the client ASAP), and should be the same in the indie market as well.

Most of us are free-lancers, our reputation is what brings in work and unreliable collegues damage everybody.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: George Berger on October 09, 2012, 08:01:31 AM
Provenance and availability, hell. Not to start up the idiotic "illustrated covers are for kid's books" debate again, but a lot of things, especially if you have a very specific vision, are more easily produced as illustrations than as photomanipulations. Possibly cheaper, too, given the prices some of the top photomanipulators charge.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: T.L. Haddix on October 09, 2012, 09:14:11 AM
One element that may create problems, in my opinion and from experience on several art forums  is the ' artiste maudit' mentality, the idea that artists are somehow 'superior' and detached from 'mere' commercial considerations and that 'art for art's sake' trumps everything else including deadlines and client's requests.

People wanting to work in the book cover businness ought, IMO, keep in mind that a cover is a cooperation between client (art director or writer) and visual artist and the aim is, as it has been said, to make the intended audience pick up the book.

Revisions come with the job, the visual artist should definitely bring his/ her expertise into play ('I see what you are trying to do, I think this could work better because...') but the last words are always the client's, and deadlines are there for a reason and should never be blown ever, that is the kiss of death for a visual artist  in the industry (unless there has been an unforeseen disaster and the artist has warned the client ASAP), and should be the same in the indie market as well.

Most of us are free-lancers, our reputation is what brings in work and unreliable collegues damage everybody.

THIS! Oh, this. We were part of a group a few years back where this argument came up on a very regular basis, got quite heated, and got us all absolutely nowhere. Coming from the perspective of art being important, sure - the integrity of the art is number one. But from a business perspective? If the client can't use the work they've paid for, screw the art and the artists' integrity. The finished product (and that is what it is, a product) does no one any good except the artist and his/her ego. Continuing to operate in that mentality does not bring you clients, it does gain you a reputation as a diva, and pretty soon, the quality of your art is a moot point. That's something we could never convince certain members of this group, and we moved on. It was a bit more complicated than that, but it was a small deciding factor.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Greer on October 09, 2012, 09:34:17 AM
One element that may create problems, in my opinion and from experience on several art forums  is the ' artiste maudit' mentality, the idea that artists are somehow 'superior' and detached from 'mere' commercial considerations and that 'art for art's sake' trumps everything else including deadlines and client's requests.

People wanting to work in the book cover businness ought, IMO, keep in mind that a cover is a cooperation between client (art director or writer) and visual artist and the aim is, as it has been said, to make the intended audience pick up the book.

Revisions come with the job, the visual artist should definitely bring his/ her expertise into play ('I see what you are trying to do, I think this could work better because...') but the last words are always the client's, and deadlines are there for a reason and should never be blown ever, that is the kiss of death for a visual artist  in the industry (unless there has been an unforeseen disaster and the artist has warned the client ASAP), and should be the same in the indie market as well.

Most of us are free-lancers, our reputation is what brings in work and unreliable collegues damage everybody.

THIS! Oh, this. We were part of a group a few years back where this argument came up on a very regular basis, got quite heated, and got us all absolutely nowhere. Coming from the perspective of art being important, sure - the integrity of the art is number one. But from a business perspective? If the client can't use the work they've paid for, screw the art and the artists' integrity. The finished product (and that is what it is, a product) does no one any good except the artist and his/her ego. Continuing to operate in that mentality does not bring you clients, it does gain you a reputation as a diva, and pretty soon, the quality of your art is a moot point. That's something we could never convince certain members of this group, and we moved on. It was a bit more complicated than that, but it was a small deciding factor.

This is so very true. It doesn't matter how beautiful the artwork, or how great the artist - if a customer can't use, or never gets, the art that they paid for, it doesn't do them any good at all.

And every time an artist pulls the diva act, or another artist defends diva behavior as being okay because artists are special, it tends to tar all artists with the same brush, and make us look like unreliable flakes who can't be counted on to deliver the product we promised.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle on October 13, 2012, 05:34:04 PM
Well, it turns out that Paypal can't and won't do anything, as the dispute I tried to raise is outside the 45 day deadline. The reason I waited so long (with my persistent e-mails being ignored, I might add) was to give Ronnell D. Porter the benefit of the doubt. So I try to do the right thing, and I get punished for it. I have no protection whatsoever and Porter is running to the bank laughing. I am mightily p*ssed off and am seriously considering boycotting Pay Pal altogether.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: balaspa on October 13, 2012, 05:36:29 PM
Sheesh...I will be sure to avoid him like the plague.  What a nightmare.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle on October 13, 2012, 06:06:25 PM
Humblenations,

Thank you very much for that bit of information, I hadn't considered that, and will certainly look into it.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Becca Mills on October 13, 2012, 07:08:19 PM
Humblenations,

Thank you very much for that bit of information, I hadn't considered that, and will certainly look into it.

I tried this once with American Express when stiffed on an online purchase (though not one using PayPal). AmEx was very willing to refund the charge to me and go after the vendor instead. It was quite satisfying.

Hope it works for you!
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: EthanRussellErway on October 13, 2012, 10:48:55 PM
Something like this would frustrate the heck out of me.  I want people to be at my immediate beck and call when I commission their services, having to send 15 emails to even get a reply would drive me nuts.  Thanks for taking the time to put this kind of warning out there.  It's a shame that it has to be done.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: trublue on October 17, 2012, 03:15:50 AM
Wow! Glad I found this thread. It's so sad because I LOVE his sample covers.
I won't use him because money is tight. So when I pay for something I can't afford
To give it to anyone even half way unprofessional. Anyone know someone in Ronnell
Rank who doesn't have a whole thread of not so happy writers? Inbox me:)
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Keith McArdle on January 26, 2013, 01:51:59 AM
Humblenations,

To be honest, I had forgotten about this thread, so just a quick update. After your suggestion, I did contact Pay Pal and attempted to claim my money back without success.

Just clarify to every person who reads this, unless the item purchased is physical and tangible, Pay Pal will NOT cover it, not even within the 45 day time limit.

I contacted my bank and attempted to claim my money back that way, but again, was unsuccessful.

A friendly warning. If you decide to use Ronnell D. Porter to design your cover, be VERY careful.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: HAGrant on January 26, 2013, 03:49:21 AM
Google says Ronnell Porter lives in Colorado.

The government office in the link below is set up to help Colorado consumers. However, you could ask if they could suggest anything you can do as a resident in another area to get your money back from someone doing business in Colorado. I once contacted the branch of that office in my state and they solved my problem.

http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/departments/consumer_protection

This link has their email and phone:

https://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/consumer_questions/2



ETA one more place that deals with fraud:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber/cyber

Complaint form for fraud:

http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

They deal with all types of internet crime, including fraud. They have a complaint form that asks what you paid, etc. Again, they might not be able to get your money back, but contacting them is free. The complaint forms says:

The IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant. We can best process your complaint if we receive accurate and complete information from you. Therefore, we request that you provide the following information when filing a complaint:
Your name
Your mailing address
Your telephone number
The name, address, telephone number, and Web address, if available, of the individual or organization you believe defrauded you.
Specific details on how, why, and when you believe you were defrauded.
Any other relevant information you believe is necessary to support your complaint.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: matthewturner on January 26, 2013, 04:11:13 AM
This is really bad. You've done well being so patient. I'd have been fuming long before now
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on January 26, 2013, 08:06:13 AM
Folks, there are two separate conversations going on in the recent posts to this thread, and one is only peripherally related to the thread subject.  I'm going to split off the pricing discussion that Ven started...

Thanks,  Locking while I do so....back in a sec.


OK, if you want to continue the pricing discussion that Ven started, that is here:
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,140460.0.html

Otherwise, this thread is for members handling issues with Ronnel Porter.  (Sorry to hear that this is ongoing...)

Betsy
KB Moderator
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Maud Muller on January 29, 2013, 05:28:06 PM
Of course, I can't address the experiences of other authors, but I have absolutely no complaint with Ronnell Porter. He designed the cover for my new novel A Monster's Game. If there was a problem during the process it was me and not him. I just couldn't make up my mind what image I wanted to convey. After he designed the first cover and made several changes that I requested, he offered to start over with a completely new design if I wasn't satisfied. Throughout the process he was polite, professional, creative and responsive. Thus I will probably have him design my next cover as well.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: bluewaterk on February 20, 2015, 05:51:09 PM
I can't speak for others, but my experience with Ronnel has been pleasant. He has delivered three book covers, all but one in a timely fashion. I am very pleased with his imagination and with his work.
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Mike_Author on February 20, 2015, 06:27:35 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.

These are the kinds of posts that make me wish this forum had a "disagree" button like some of the other ones I visit...

1. The cover artist could have delivered the Mona Lisa, however if it is not accurate considering the story line, it is unusable, irrespective of the quality

2. The "scamminess" is not particularly linked to the artwork, but the communication.  Providing a product that is not what was asked for and then going to ground, not answering email, is the very definition of scammy.  Not answering emails from aggrieved customers is the very thing that gets scammers out of bed each morning.

The only possible way this episode changes flavour is if there was no specific instruction around the type of gun to be depicted.  If a client said "she needs to be holding a semi-automatic" and I experienced the above episode, I would have grounds to tell the client where to go. 
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Mike_Author on February 20, 2015, 06:38:11 PM
I can't speak for others, but my experience with Ronnel has been pleasant. He has delivered three book covers, all but one in a timely fashion. I am very pleased with his imagination and with his work.

Hang on...I just realised this is a 2 year old thread.

You registered with Kboards to revive a 2 year old thread?

Hmmm...ok
Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: Betsy the Quilter on February 20, 2015, 06:55:22 PM
Well, actually, the last post was about a year ago.  Folks, I recommend anyone interested in having Ronnell Porter do artwork read through the entire thread before deciding.  And do an internet search before considering any cover artist or other service provider.

Betsy
KB Mod

Title: Re: Do NOT use Ronnell D. Porter to design your book cover!
Post by: MJWare on February 21, 2015, 12:28:10 PM
Well, actually, the last post was about a year ago.  Folks, I recommend anyone interested in having Ronnell Porter do artwork read through the entire thread before deciding.  And do an internet search before considering any cover artist or other service provider.

Betsy
KB Mod

Great advice, I'd add to do a Kboards search for his name. There's lots of posts about people's experiences with Ronnell.