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Messages - FelissaEly

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« on: December 06, 2017, 07:32:24 PM »
Hi Paul!

Pretty sure you know (know of? I think) my husband, Stephan Morse :) His LitRPG series is in my sig.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: December 01, 2017, 09:48:11 PM »

1. Can you suppress the default title page? My cover artist sends me a graphical title page that looks much nicer, and I'd prefer to use that. I could use both, but it would look nicer IMO if I only had the one.

Oh my gosh, I came here wondering this exact same thing for the exact same reason!!! How weird, lol! But I agree, if there's a way to suppress the headings from showing there should be a way to suppress or assign a different page as the title page. Or I *hope* it will be a soon added feature :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: 3 ACX NOOB questions?
« on: November 30, 2017, 07:19:22 PM »
Here's my experience for question #2:

Continue Online started as looking for a R/S (royalty split-I know...!) and while you don't have that listed in your range, I remember we received about 3 auditions, luckily one of them happened to be our narrator we're using for the entire series, we got really lucky. After researching a bit, we decided to do PFH instead of R/S, his rate is/was $185 PFH. You can find a sample of his work if you check the first and second book in my sig for Continue Online.

The best results we had though, hands down, was listing The Fiasco In News in the $200-$400 range. We had well over 20 auditions, though I'd say only half of them should have been in that range (we had a lot of boring reads, straight reads, weird sound But that could just be me being picky, which for $200-$400 PFH I say it's definitely okay to be picky!

The third audiobook audition we did was for his short story, since we didn't want to spend $$$ for a short, we auditioned in the $50-$100 range and had about... 10+ auditions? We happened to get a narrator who usually charges at the $200 range for $100 because there were no titles in his range and he went looking for lower paying jobs he might fit.

You never know, it depends on the timing, and you should go into it with a budget in mind, so if you don't want to spend above X amount just put the range you feel most comfortable at, you could get lucky and find the right voice for your book!

So long story short to your answer (lol sorry!) 'it depends' but of course the higher the range the more auditions you'll likely receive, be picky and don't settle!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Christmas novella cover help
« on: November 29, 2017, 09:12:49 AM »

First, I want to say I appreciate each and everyone of you that took the time to offer your insight. For a complete newbie like me, your thoughts are invaluable. I looked into everything that was mentioned. And ideas that weren't used now will most definitely be implemented in the future.

So I decided not to sleep last night because I couldn't get this cover out of my head. So, I made a completely different style cover. I know the general 'witch style' cover is cartoon style character, and although my novella is light-hearted, it is also (hopefully) a feel-good read. A couple beta readers likened it to a Hallmark Christmas special, with some humor thrown in (That's just to give you an idea on what I'd like the cover to portray.). 

I'm going with Al's title suggestion since that seems to be the most loved. I honestly just want 'witch' and 'christmas' in the title, so I'm open to anything. Was thinking along the lines of 'the crazy witch who stole christmas', but there is a similar title out there.

: There are many things Cinnamon Mercy Claus is struggling with this holiday season: the memories of long forgotten holidays when the Christmas season was about family; that she’s just found out her grandfather is Santa Claus; and that her grandmother is a witch—who is hell bent on destroying Christmas for them all.

(ALSO: How would I best punctuate the tagline? And would it be better in past tense? The story itself is past. I tried writing it in past but I struggled with it making sense then. But I struggle with past tense in general; my story-writing brain thinks in present tense.

Here's a side-by-side of the 'best' one from the original picture, and the completely new one.


I love the new one!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Typography for LitRPG
« on: November 28, 2017, 04:54:34 PM »
Kerry at just recently did the typography/effects/coloring on the illustrations we provided her for my husband's Continue Online LitRPG/GameLit series (see sig)!

We're very pleased with the results, you'll have to email her for her rates. She's awesome to work with! :)

We have 3 audiobooks now and having not been an audiobook 'reader' prior to having them made, I learned a lot about the process and what I like and don't like. Anyone who auditioned and just 'read' the book... I clicked off their audition within seconds. We pay PFH (per finished hour) and we're not going to spend $2000+ for someone who just 'reads.'

Talented narrators will have a good sense of timing and inflection without resorting to 'dramatics' or sound effects (I'm not saying all sound effects are bad at all, but it shouldn't be relied upon), our narrator for Continue Online is Pavi Proczko, he does a great job.

Sample here if you're interested in another good voice ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: We love marketing books!
« on: November 28, 2017, 07:48:46 AM »
I expect a site called "Book Marketing Experts" to actually cite their marketing credentials. Where did you get your marketing degree? What marketing firms have you worked for? I see a meaningless chart that lists percentages...what does "marketing 90% even mean?

You are a "team of young creatives" with "58 years experience" between you. Something does not compute.  :o
Either you aren't all that young and each of you actually has meaningful experience, or you are young and there are so many of you that your one or two years each adds up to 58.  Unless you are an insectoid race with a hive mind, this just feels swarmy and evasive.

I have been in this business too long and I am too old to be fooled by someone blowing smoke. And that is the vibe I get from the website: a lot of smoke and no actual evidence of knowledge in the field. Particularly when I look at the prices. I KNOW actual publicists. I know the work they do and what they charge. Your claims of skill do not match your prices.

Disclosure: My degree is in English with a specialization in marketing. I interned at E.I.R.C. doing public relations. I worked for the City of Bridgeton's public relations department doing event planning and media outreach. I spent years in direct marketing selling Kirby vacuums (yes, I sold $1500 vacuum cleaners. I won five vacations.) I currently work in contract packaging as my day job, but I have been running my micro-press for over a decade. In short, I can document my credentials, and people can them make a decision whether or not to heed what I say. I have a known identity that, if someone was interested, they could identify me and say "Hey, maybe Julie knows what she is talking about" or "Hey, I don't think Julie's experience matches what I need right now" or "Hey, Julie scares the crap out of me with her Sithy ways so I am going to run in the other direction."  ???

All you are offering is a bunch of stock images to fill up white space on your website and an anonymous "trust us, we're awesome."

I am all for new services to help writers, but I expect service providers to provide credentials, samples, and actual facts. If you are a bunch of college kids launching a new business venture and looking to get your feet wet, there is nothing wrong with that. But say it. If your "58 years" of collective experience is really just trial and error (like most people!) there is nothing wrong with that. But say it.

Your site says you offer cover design, but there isn't a single sample cover.
Your site says you offer logo design, but there isn't a single sample logo.
Your site says you offer proofreading and editing, but there isn't a single work cited that you completed.
Your site says you offer formatting, but there isn't a single work cited that you completed.
Your site says to have a network of over 8000 bloggers, but there isn't a single link to a blog tour you have ran.

Your site says a lot, but doesn't actually show anything. And as every writer knows, it is more important to show than tell.

I heart this! Always love reading yours and Patty's responses.


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Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone else get and invite to Google Books?
« on: November 14, 2017, 05:03:01 PM »
Yes! One of the more recent posts someone had suggested to write to Google Play support (thank you! Sorry I forgot your name :( ) we did that and a few weeks later they sent an email inviting my husband to the Google Play Partner program, yay! This was actually the day after the Pronoun announcement that they were closing, so... the timing was great!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Design
« on: November 09, 2017, 07:38:08 AM »
Hi All,

I'm a new member here, apologies if this question gets asked a lot but I would really appreciate some opinions on my specific needs. I'm looking for a cover for a book of erotic short stories. Until this morning my intention was to use 100 Covers, but I emailed them a few days ago to ask a question and received no response, either auto-reply or otherwise. I don't know if I'm being too demanding expecting a response so quickly, but the book is currently out for proof reading and I'd like to ensure I have a cover ready to go as soon as possible so I can get it out there and start trying to sell it.

I suppose my question is also related to feedback on 100 Covers, and whether they would be worth holding on for or whether I could get a similar result from someone here, with the added advantage of good feedback and recommendations form people who know far more about it than I do.

I am completely green at this, so am very open to any guidance. I'm really looking for a custom made cover, ideally photographic in nature, I think, and about the $100 mark would seem about right. The expectation is to only market it on Kindle Store, Kobi etc, as an ebook. It might well be the only book I ever write, so I want to do it some justice at the same time as not throwing money away on something that might not sell many copies.

Thanks for any advice, opinions or recommendations!

Usually most book cover places respond within a day, even if they're busy/full schedule. So unless you're dead set on them, I recommend Her custom covers are $99 for just an ebook cover. We've worked with her several times, she's easy to work with and she makes changes if you're not happy, but you need/should have a clear vision of what you want, or make sure you're clear what genre you want to represent. If you go through her portfolio about midway down she has romance and erotic romance covers so you can get an idea of what to expect.

Congrats on publishing your book, I hope that helps!

Writers' Cafe / Re: What about this cover?
« on: November 07, 2017, 05:30:56 PM »

Apparently I don't even know what my genre is...or most of the books I read either. I would like to make it as good as possible without worrying about it looking like whatever else is in whatever genre. I really dislike a lot of the UF covers if we're being honest. I actually took a bunch of graphic design classes in college and used to work at a printing company but this is really not my style and I was never that good anyway. Plus I was limited on stock photos to the free Adobe trial. I could do a literary-style minimalist illustrated cover (kidding...maybe)? I'd love to be able to pay a bunch for a talented artist and original photos.

I was once like you, and I really feel like it was part of the downfall (I'm sure there was more to it, but this horrifying cover didn't help, see the end of the post lol) of my husband's 'failure to launch' Urban Fantasy series. I get it, I still don't like most Urban Fantasy covers because his is not a typical UF book so it was really hard to get the current version, but the fact of the matter is it's not about what *you* like, it's about conveying your book in the proper light to get it in the right hands. You want to give your book the best shot possible and it starts with the cover.

<--- This was the VERY first cover for his UF that I made  :-\ (see current cover in signature) granted yours is much better lol at least you're in the ballpark, I think you could keep working with what you have and get it to where you need it to be, but try to nail down what genre your book is and that would probably serve you better.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Decline of the Promo Sites
« on: November 05, 2017, 07:34:19 PM »
I recall reading the Build Your Own BookBub plan a year or two ago and bookmarking it. For the life of me, I can't find it now.  8)
Can you post a link? I pinky-promise not to lose it this time.

I bookmarked it too, I love reading them!,246726.0.html

Writers' Cafe / Re: Perils of working with your spouse
« on: November 05, 2017, 07:32:21 PM »
I could probably write a novella about our perils :P he's the author and I'm the 'everything else.' We typically work together well, I run a lot of things by him first but he's so opposite to all the advice I read about that we sometimes clash; he loves to use scenes from his books as the book covers, he writes for himself, and has no idea how to promote himself/his work effectively. Nothing major or earth shattering, we definitely have our moments, but I wouldn't trade it in for anything! ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: For heaven's sake, people, you're authors.
« on: November 05, 2017, 03:47:39 PM »
For all intensive purposes.  :-X

This is hilarious and reminds me of a scene in one of my husband's books (The Fiasco is all kinds of weird/zany but this makes me laugh every time).

"Overall, not bad for a first time. But next time, you should correct him. It's 'for all intents and purposes.'" He said each word with a crisp click. It was hard to picture him as a schoolteacher, but Ted pulled off the image well.
"It isn't 'intensive purposes'?" I asked.
The interviewee had said "intensive purposes" at least three times. Never mind that Ted wanted me to correct a vagabond who had been waxing on about the best places to sleep at night.
"No. Don't be ridiculous. 'Intensive purposes' makes no sense. Very powerful reasons didn't match the rest of his drivel. Didn't school teach you anything?" Ted shook his head.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Let's Write a Novel in a Week Vol. 3
« on: November 05, 2017, 08:47:04 AM »
Yay, I love when you do these! I'm not a writer so I won't be joining in that regard but I'll definitely be cheering you on!

Ok I made YET another update in the original post with a BIG thank you to Patty, you inspired the most recent update, Shayne I will be looking into Fnord, I'm not against paid fonts especially if they give/allow for more options, so thank you again! I need another font for his Continue Online series (LitRPG/Fantasy in sig) since we're getting new illustrations for all 5 books...

ireaderreview -- Thank you for everything you said, you posed a lot of great questions, I 100% love this and agree, it's an art in itself and finding a way to work it with existing illustration is hard but fun. I could maybe do this part-time but I'm going to practice a lot more before I get to that point. So for now, if I can make great typography for my husband's covers then that's what I'm focusing on. I'm getting 5 more illustrations to play with soon so... lots of practice lol.

If the series title really is A Liar Called (which seems incomplete/confusing to me, but whatevs, it's not my series), then I would put A Liar Called and Book 1 (or Book One) on totally separate lines, not next to or above/below each other.  Series title at the top, book number at the bottom.  Someone is likely to be confused no matter what, but having them at opposite ends of the cover would minimize it.

I get it, you're right, it's not my series either but wow you seem really annoyed with it? I got the memo, will be sharing with my husband since he's the creative one.

Anyway, thank you all!

LOL you have to make it worse before you can learn and make it better.

Trajan Pro and Cinzel are perfect free fonts for bevelling. I would advice against using the bold option, but just the regular version in yellow with the bevel as per your original, minus the heavy drop shadow.

One thing you can try is to type the entire title in lowercase, because I think the double capital R messes with the title design. In that case, I would get a free decorations font like Retro Labels or something and add a decorative horizontal line between the words. Or you can make the word "Runed" bigger and capitalise both the R and the D and then fit the second word in the space in between.

Or... there is so much you can do even with titles. One reason why titles are extremely important, and why book titles are rarely long.

As I said, go a "name" designer's website and have a look at their typography and how typography interacts with the image. Try to copy their tricks.

Something like this what you meant for making Runed bigger?

Your first original font was best. It's so easy to go overboard with funky font selection, but understated is always best. Just a simple smallcaps serif maybe with swash initials will do. That script font is much to curly, the gradient renders it illegible and it's a type of font you might see on romance titles.

The funky free fonts are a lot of fun, but in reality you will use very few on book covers, because most are not terribly good or draw too much attention to themselves. Fantasy usually uses a simple allcaps serif. Go to and look at his huge portfolio. You'll see that he doesn't often use funky fonts for covers. Mostly it's simple fonts. A good free font is Trajan Pro. If you get a paid alternative, you often get the pro add-ons like alternate characters and ligatures and special ornaments. Those fonts are worth $15.

The swirly one is a paid one ;< I downloaded the demo to test before buying, glad I didn't buy it!

Trajan is the one on the original but it doesn't seem to have any alternate characters for the paid version? I'm so confused now :(
Woot! You cast a spell and crit for 2 million. Fluorescent light dies a quick death! Of course now it looks like the highlights on his hair and back of the arm are from the title font! :P

That font is pretty but I rarely see script used as titles.

Oh and maybe you could just place the number 1 and some fancy circle around it to indicate book number and avoid the whole liar called book number issue.
Ahhhhhh crap, I may be stuck here :< lol back to the drawing board!

I think putting a hyphen or other kind of swash or ornament should be just fine to separate the series title from the number.

Could you take the wonky gradient off the title? It kind of acts like camouflage - it breaks up the strong lines - and makes the text harder to read. It's hard to tell how legible that script font could be with it on. My instinct is to say a nice serif would be the better choice for legibility, but maybe it would be just great with a more solid silver effect.

You and Patty are both saying a serif so... hmm the original font is Trajan which seems to be a serif? How about Imperator?
Fantasy reader and writer here, I actually liked the first version the best (and the second update with the less-beveled yellow title was also good). They captured the look and feel of a high fantasy the best, which frequently has bevels and golden titles that stand out quite a bit, etc. It's needed, because they're almost always on top of complex artwork like what you've got there.

The latest one with the swirly gray font is not at all what I'd be looking for as a male reader of high fantasy (can't speak for any other demographics). I haven't read any litrpg but from what I've seen on the bestseller lists it's spot on for that too.

Your typography skills are way above average, and I definitely think you can handle that work yourself. Just keep checking in with your reader base as to what they're looking for, either by asking them directly (email list etc.) or by scanning the bestseller lists for that genre and making sure your work fits in well there.

Thank you for your comments, I'm not feeling above average right now! lol I feel like I keep taking steps backward, I'm trying, I promise!

Those fonts are pretty appropriate for Halloween since they are properly scary!  :-X :-\  There are some really cool ones with ligatures and stuff that probably also has a technical name that I don't know the name of. I have seen examples that would probably go well with the awesome background. Some were even free license. Maybe beg Patty for ideas (offer her treats!)

I read the title and immediately thought the liar's name was book 1. Just in case you need backup when you talk to the husband about it. Book 1 of A Liar Called would make more sense, though I'm not keen on having called as the last word since it sounds like a fragment depending on what definition you give to called.

I didn't notice the light in round 1 but it sure did grow obnoxious, especially when trying to cram the font near it after it was lightened.

Looking forward to the next round. :)

lol! I deleted all the extra versions cause.... yuck haha. Yeah when I asked him to remind me what it was from he said it has to do with Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream:

And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

/shrug After sleeping on it I think I'll bring it up since both you and Patty mentioned it, see what he says or what we can figure out.

LOL some people might consider this feedback harsh because the image is awesome and it truly is. But I give it because I can see a lot of potential and want to see it come out. IMO your husband should change the series title. Just read that thing out to him that I said "A liar called book 1". Like the liar's name is book 1. I know that as a writer your mind gets conditioned to seeing things in the syntax you've dreamed up. The series name is A liar called. It's a bit strange but not too weird, but the Book 1 behind it makes it unintentionally funny. You never want unintentionally funny. You can mask it on the cover by using text placement, but "a liar called book 1" is going to show up just like that in your Amazon listing.

Honestly? I don't think it's harsh to be harsh, I genuinely felt you wanting to help me and I'm not discouraged by it, I went and looked for a better font and I *think* I found it, I've updated the original post with a new version of it. I know I added effects to the font, but it wasn't to make it stand out against the background since I also did the copy + blending to the background and I got rid of the pesky light! Thank you for wanting to bring out the best in the cover, cause like you, I think it has a lot of potential and may be too big for me to handle until my skills improve.

I definitely see your point about the series name and also C. Gold mentioned the same, so I will bring it up and see what we can figure out.

One way to fix this problem is to use a hyphen or other doohickey (that's totally a technical term =D) to separate the series title from the book number. Like so: A Liar Called -- Book 1.

Also, if you want to deal with that light, use a dark gradient at the top and drag it down to about the dude's head. That will darken it up a bit.

People would probably still read it aloud as A Liar Called Book 1 right? What do you think if I do series name A Liar Called and then #1? Or would people then read A Liar Called number 1 lol! Oh dear. Thank you for the help and suggestions!

Everyone has been so awesome, thank you! Going to keep updating the post and tweaking the image/font, etc... when I have something new :)

I like the top one best by far. Some of the other fonts are just awful, sorry.

But while you were fiddling with the image, why didn't you blot out that ugly and distracting fluorescent light in the ceiling? It's messing with your typography.

Coupla other random thoughts:

I don't like (like, really dislike) the series title. It's confusing, it's weird. The liar is called book 1? It just trips me up every time I see it. Since it's book 1, change it. We never talk about how important titles are. They're important. Like, really important.

The fonts for the title and author name don't match. Try using the same font (and same hue but slightly darker) for the author name.

While you're doing that, the design is unbalanced. The author name is too far up and so is the title. The title is squished against the top and the author name is weirdly unbalanced by being so far from the bottom edge. It's not good design.

I really like the part where the title is partially behind his head, but man, this feature needs room to breathe.

Try the following:

Put the image on a new layer, copy it. Then reduce the size of the top copy and fill the edges with the darkest colour from the background on a separate layer with a fat, low-opacity brush. Basically, you want the edges of the artwork to blend into darkness. Now you can move your artwork around to fit the text in properly.

TBH if you're looking to do more of this (and you should, the image is great) you should invest in a non-free font that allows you to do awesome stuff with those double-R characters. Nononoplease don't use Cinzel decorative, because it's used to frikken death, but get one of the awesome fonts with pretty glyphs from Creativemarket or something.

Then make the text a feature. Like, give it room to breathe. Make it awesome. Don't just leave it as afterthought.

I don't pretend to understand my husband's thought process on series names or titles haha, I know he explained it to me, but I couldn't explain it here, I can recommend he re-think it! I doubt he will change it though.

I tried to cover the darn light, I agree with you, it's very distracting but even with the darkening/gray layer tip, it still seemed to shine through. I'm going to try fixing it and also copy the illustration to get more room, because you're right, it's cramped up there!

Thank you for the advice about the fonts too, I'd love to get and do something fancy with the Rs so I'll have to look more into that!

Thank you, I always love when you give advice on Kboards in other threads so this made my day because I feel I can only improve from here by getting this feedback.

I love it.  I think it works and looks professional.  I agree with Shayne's tweaks to the typography, but even as is it's pretty awesome.

:D This makes me so happy, I really appreciate your comment, I updated the original post with another version taking Shayne's and Patty's tweaks and tips!

It's a really good effort, I would be proud of it!

Thank you! It took forever to find the right font. I received great feedback and advice!

I think it's great. I too love playing in Photoshop, but I doubt I'll live long enough to understand it all. You've done a great job there.

Awwww, yeah this training course is diving into layers and different ways to move and do things and I'm just like whoa! Thank you!

Nice work, FelissaEly!  The elements fit well for the genre, I think. 

My first impression was that it is a LitRPG cover.  The magic pops of color emanating from the spell book, the sword, tattoos, hooded figure, font, colors, etc. gave me that impression.  Also, the cash decrepit cash register gave me the sense that it is post-apocalyptic.

I agree with Shayne that the 'N' and 'G' should match the font size of the rest of the letters in the title.

I've no problem with the face looking a little less realistic, as it is common for the genre.

Maybe just consider how dark the overall background color is, it may look a smidge dark at thumbnail size.

Good job!

! I'm actually shocked and happy, this is in fact a 'soft' (no stat sheets, etc...) LitRPG! I took the advice given and made some adjustments and put it in the original posting :) Thank you so much for commenting!

I think it looks great.  I am not a reader of fantasy/historical fantasy though - and I imagine the cover is for that genre. But just by using my eyes I think it looks very professional. The text font seems to match the style. That is something I've noticed with many book covers - the text font is totally wrong. But you have done that very well.

I take it you used an existing picture and played around with it?  Because if you created the picture too, HOW MUCH TO HIRE YOU??

Thanks for your input, it's a post-apocalyptic fantasy, I researched post-apoc books and found out this was the font used for I Am Legend (Will Smith version) and it had a fantasy-esque feel (I thought anyway). Haha I WISH I had the talent to draw, this illustration was done for us by someone on Art Station (warning, only go there if you have hours of time to 'waste' scrolling through lol).

Okay, so, first, I don't think you're crazy. I started out five-ish years ago learning photoshop because I wanted to learn to do my own covers. Now I make covers for other people, and get paid well enough that I was able to drop from full-time to part-time at my crappy day job.

So, here are a couple of tips to make what you've got better. 1) Don't get crazy with the bevel. Fantasy is a good genre to use a little bevel, but like a lot of the font FX, a little goes a long way. 2) Unless there's a really good reason for having the N and the G bigger, I'd suggest keeping them the same size as the rest of the small-capped letters. 3) There is a general rule in design that says - I'm paraphrasing, here, mind you - you don't want different lines ending all willy-nilly, so with your series title, I'd recommend not having it stick out any farther than the edge of the E in Rogue, cuz otherwise it's just sort of hanging our there by itself. What you can do, because there's not a lot of room, is you could put Book 1 on one side of the dude's head, and A Liar Called on the other.

Oh, and in general, you might want to check out C.R.A.P. (Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity) which is a set of rules that govern good typography design. And visual hierarchy is also a good thing to look up.

I hope some of that is helpful. :)

Wow, thank you, not only for the tips, but also sharing how you got into the business. I really enjoy playing around with the fonts and positioning, I didn't even think about putting A Liar Called and Book 1 on either side of his head but I think that could work!

The face is a bit unhuman, which may be your intention, but is a bit off-putting.

Also, although there are these tiny bright pops of color, there is an overall gray colorless impression. I think it would be a lot stronger with color as a major part of the background.

A Liar Called is the name of the series? And the 1 at the end is a reference to Book One? It's unclear. As if you would say out loud A Liar Called One.

Perhaps you could provide genre and blurb.

Can't change the illustration, but the disturbing part is intentional and I'm actually pleased (not that it put you off, but that it looks inhuman lol) You made a great point about the A Liar Called, it is indeed the series name and this is book one, I'm going to play with the typography more :) thanks for your input!

"If I'm not crazy what's the next step? What would you recommend as far as courses/learning?"

Youtube has a bajillion videos on how to do various things on Photoshop. Also, if you Google free photoshop plugins (or filters, or brushes, etc.) there is a wealth of stuff to download. There are also many Photoshop forums where people present very nice stuff, and, they will tell you how to do it and help you when you get stuck.

Thank you!

My rule of thumb is if you have to make use of a lot of effects to make the text stand out, you either have the wrong font or too busy a background. IMO the effects are for creating effects within the characters and should only be used for making text stand out if a layperson can't tell it's been done.

So. Nix the ugly black border around the title and nix the bevel. If you then can't see the text very well, choose a different, more chunky font. If you have trouble with that, drop a layer over the image and put a neutral density to transparent gradient on it, starting at the top, so that the layer sits between the image and the text.

I like the image, but it could use a little pop.

When you do this, the image will have lost that "flat" quality, it will have a focus point and you'll have created a darker area to put your text.

I am saving this trick! I will play around with more fonts, since like you said, I used lot of effects on the text to make it 'pop' but I completely understand what you mean now looking at it, thank you very much for the feedback! I can't wait to try out some more versions :)

I wish the forums had more of this stuff.

I've always seen SP more as DIY (I know hardly anyone else thinks that way). I wish we had a DIY thread or Photoshop thread with all these little tricks. Sure, you can dig them up on youtube and what not... but what works for book covers is niche enough that sharing would be good.

I agree with you, a DIY/Photoshop thread would be amazing! Guess we could bookmark this one? :P

I hope I can keep this from digressing, here goes! I love playing in photoshop, I bought a beginner course in Udemy and I've been learning some tips, tricks and things I didn't know just from 'playing' around in the program. I do not have a degree in graphic design but I want to learn/improve-specifically focusing on typography and touch ups to illustrations for covers. It would be incredibly satisfying to be able to do the typography for my husband's books because then I could do all the editions (eBook, Paperback, audio) which saves $ and we wouldn't have to rely on an outside source.

Am I crazy? Should I just give it up and let the professionals do this?

If I'm not crazy what's the next step? What would you recommend as far as courses/learning?

The following image I did the typography and a few lighting changes.


*Updated version - I was inspired by what Patty mocked up for the cover, I know this still needs work but I wanted to share as I think maybe I figured out a place for A Liar Called (as much as everyone hates/doesn't understand it! :P I haven't talked to him about it yet) thanks to a friend of mine who I also bounce ideas off of. I'm still playing with the lighting obviously, I'm not sure how I got the top cover's lighting and it bugs me so I'm gonna keep playing with it.

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