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Messages - scott.marmorstein

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I usually get to the 75k mark and start panicking...dang it, I'm only half way through!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover feedback on a humorous thriller please
« on: April 10, 2018, 09:07:22 AM »
For my money, I'm thinking it would be funnier to replace 'idiots' and 'morons' with


Writers' Cafe / Re: How would you write it?
« on: April 10, 2018, 05:14:47 AM »
I dunno why but I'm sure it would have ended up like this for me:

Stanley rolled his eyes and said, "Goat poop stinks."
I rolled my own eyes, agreeing silently.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does a career as a writer lead to divorce?
« on: March 28, 2018, 09:55:10 AM »
I've been so many things over the years, but among all the things I've done to earn money, my wife has constantly and tirelessly supported my writing and publishing habit. That said, I am working a full-time day job for benefits and steady income until I can get this crazy idea of actual revenue streams coming in lifted off the proverbial ground. She's even (brutally) helped edit my books.

I just look at all the cross-outs (sometimes entire pages) and nod my head. Yep, she's right. I may shed a tear or two, but she tells me when she does or doesn't believe a character, asks why the mc sucks, or tells me I need to eliminate an entire chapter and start over. I know she's right because she always follows up with: "I know when you write really well. Your best writing is the stuff I leave alone and wish there was more of. When it's crap I'll tell you because I know you can write much better."

I've threatened to quit many times, and she either ignores that idea or tells me I'm delusional. Between all of us and the nearest thousand or so forum lurkers, she's a genius renaissance woman.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Your personal experience with cover redesigns
« on: March 28, 2018, 02:38:11 AM »
You can see in my thumbnails in my sig below the books Pursuit and Plight. These are brand new covers I made myself. They look pretty darn good, aren't cartoony, and don't rely on people (except the silhouette of a man running away on Pursuit).

I've had no uptick in sales on them in years. I redid them for my own delight at this point while I toil away at getting new content produced. THe third book in the series for example. And a new wizard book I'm 70% of the way through writing. Got great feedback on the wizard cover from kboards (I made it myself, and it's here at the top of the page if you wanna see: )

In no way have my efforts of making better book covers converted to sales. I need to attack blurbs--and they've been written and rewritten numerous times. No change. And I'm not worried because my books are just another statistic. I'm hoping to break through the stats with the wizard book. But you still have to write the best darn book you can.

Also I don't write to market. I write what I got in me at the time. And that's all I got.  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Too much dialogue, not enough description
« on: March 26, 2018, 03:30:34 AM »
I often find that setting can actually be a character that influences the MC, or SC's--sometimes positively, but often adversely in some way. The setting creates a mood for the reader. If done effectively, these 'scenes' can be done in one or two sentences.

The sky was full of looming dark clouds threatening to burst rain. The wind picked up dead leaves and tossed aluminum cans across the parking lot. Despite the warm day, the breeze sent chills into Roy's spine.

Now you know it's a setup. This description above (not great, but not bad either, as an example) sets up the tension for the reader. The scene just became a character of dread and in only a couple of sentences. Now you can put in a great deal of dialogue and action sequences all exciting the reader and driving your story towards the punch of the plot (so to speak).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Have You Posted to Your Blog Recently?
« on: March 25, 2018, 07:20:08 AM »
In which I write about and show some updated book covers for my backlist.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Konrath signs with Kensington
« on: March 25, 2018, 07:16:05 AM »
He helped me get into the self-pub game. I say good for him. Not a hypocrite, a savvy businessman is all.

Chronicles of Ionar... even better! Now you can stop futzing with the cover and finish the book!  :P


Ok, we all know making covers is the writer's best procrastination tool...(Hangs head and shuffles back to open document.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Youtube version of audiobook
« on: March 18, 2018, 05:55:53 AM »
All the sudden I don't feel so bad about not having audio versions of my books. On the other hand, it wouldn't exactly be easy to listen to anyway. Man, I have a long way to go.

That's a serious transformation from the beginning of the thread. Colour, layout, typography, even the title, all a million times better.

Good work!

Thank you very much!

Scott, the blue looks so much better. I saw your cover a couple of months back, and this is a huge improvement. :) ;D

Thank you!

Can you spot the new difference? I had to rename it a little...

Ok, where's the buy button?  ;D
Me like.  8)

Thanks! Still gotta finish writing and editing it down. It will show up in my list of books in my signature when it's available.

Just to get a sense of the full wrap around cover...

Holy hot dangums! That's an amazing transformation from what it used to be.

It looks a bit wide which may be an issue if you do a paperback version with this cover image.

But do you like it?  ;D

It's not wide. The dimensions are correct. I cropped it a little wide on purpose so it doesn't look too weird. It's actually set to the specs of a 5x8 paperback cover.

Going off the suggestion to move away from a red background and enter more of a blue color (for magic purposes), here's the latest. Sorry it takes me so long,

Writers' Cafe / Re: One Line From Your Current WIP
« on: March 14, 2018, 09:38:40 AM »
From my WIP: Morwen - The Wizard & The Jewel

The man on the couch in front of me picked his nose.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« on: March 13, 2018, 02:19:36 AM »
It's a striking cover, and well put together. It's also a little difficult to read the title at thumb-nail level. I picked 'Dark Fantasy', but, like Evanstar, it's difficult to tell what genre it actually is.

Maybe you're over thinking the whole thing. I do that with my book covers too.

You could always use 'The Wizard and the Jewel' writ large, and 'A Morwen Novel' as the subtitle.

Good idea! Thanks!

Here are some random comments.

I like they way the figure has his/her head bowed. This is intriguing.

Morwen, as you're probably aware, is a famous name in fantasy circles. I'm not sure if it's a great choice for a book title because of that. At any rate, just pointing it out on the off chance that you didn't know.

I like the typography for the author name (although it's not centered) and the Morwen part. But what does "The Wizard & the Jewel" signify? I'm assuming it's the series name. It could just as easily be the book title though, given it's size and placing. This may cause confusion with prospective buyers...Also, it makes the cover look cluttered and unprofessional (to my eye). What's wrong with the standard practice of keeping the series name small and fitting it into an unobtrusive single line at the top/bottom of the page?

The figure is well highlighted by the background orange circle of fire in the portal. This also effectively suggests magic. is the least liked color on the spectrum and will probably reduce click throughs because of this. I would be experimenting with different colors there to find the right balance between contrast to the figure and aesthetic appeal.

Hope that helps!

Hi Jack, thanks for pointing these things out.

There's been some debate in my house about the title. First, I wasn't aware that 'Morwen' is a popular name in fantasy. I'm not an avid reader that way, so I'm glad you told me! :)

Second, Morwen is the name of the wizard who writes the books. Like Sherlock Holmes isn't the name of the series, neither is Morwen. It's not a series in a chronological fashion. The Wizard and the Jewel is the theme of the book. Think: Hounds of the Baskerville.

If I'm doing this wrong (and I admit I may be) I'd love more input. My wife believes that the books are about Morwen and so the title should always be 'Morwen' and then whatever it is he's writing about. So it's confusing.

Thanks again for bringing it to my attention. I'll have to do more research.

This is a much better cover than the others.

Morwen needs to be spaced away from the book's top edge in the same manner as your author name is spaced up from the bottom edge.

I don't like the & on it's own line. It leaves too big a gap between the two lines. I would shrink the subtitle and not use all caps on it. So your book would be more like this:

The Wizard & the Jewel

Is this a book in a series?

It's good to know the subtitle doesn't need to be read in a thumbnail.
It's ok for subtitles to be too small to read in thumbnails. You know how Sherlock Holmes is a series, but each book is a stand-alone? That's what this will be like. It's first-person narrative--from the Wizard's POV.

Oh, much better :) The only thing that's still kind of standing out to me is that the title and sub-title are a little cramped. I'd put "& THE JEWEL" on the same line to free up some room, then move the title down a little and the sub-title down a little more (center it vertically between the title and the top of the guy's head maybe). A drop shadow on "MORWEN" might not hurt either.

Thanks. I've heard from people that drop shadows don't look good. I'll look into it.

I love the shattered moon in the sky imagery, very evocative; but the girl is a bit wishy washy, especially compared to the girl on the right.

If it were me I'd find a way to get the girl on the right to work with the background of the left cover.


Okay, I think this might be a winner...

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