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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

This is one of my Father's Day themed books: Father, Rebel, and Dreamer

All I had was a basic photograph of childhood, two children along with their father.

I know it can be much better than this--for now, it is me with Photoshop. I would appreciate a few suggestions that I might be able to implement myself until I can employ a professional?



Oh, by the way, what do you think of the title? Would it make you buy? And would "The Other Side of Fatherhood" be a better title?

thank you,
Richard Crasta
 

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From looking at the cover, and reading the title...I can't really tell what the book is about. Other than that it's about a father, but that's pretty broad.
 

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The theme I get from the cover is a memoir, local historical piece (only viable on a very local market, i.e. a single city) or autobiography. I don't know if that was your intention, but that's the vibe I get from it.

On top of that, the font needs a bit of work. It looks like some of the font didn't come through on one of the "a"s or something.

I would suggest that you spend the $25-100 on a grad student, or ask around KB for references to a cover artist. I did my covers myself, but I know there are some talented people here that don't charge an arm and a leg.
 

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"The Other Side of Fatherhood" sounds too generic, but I think it's better than "Father, Rebel, and Dreamer" - it's just too clunky for me. As for the cover, you have so many great ones in your arsenal that this would just feel out of place. I feel the orange on the picture is awkward. I don't like the 'Popeye The Sailor Man' reminiscent font.
I don't have any suggestions on how to improve it because I don't know what it is; memoir, novel, etc. Each has its own remedy. So... Sorry that I can't offer much help  :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all, all good points, and I knew I hated the font . . .

But for those who asked what the book was about (a good question), it has four long essays on fatherhood, two medium-sized essays on my home town, and one fictional piece on a Terrorist Mother-in-Law. Here is the blurb:

Passionate, full of love and longing, and eclectic, this is an unusual book of essays on fatherhood and of moments in the life of a son and of a father—including a few letters to his children just after he leaves home.
The book begins with the author’s own rediscovery of his father and his learning to love himr. He then writes about his sons, and about the experience of losing children. The book asks and tries to answer questions such as:
How might you always have a child to love?
What happens when your son can no longer play with you or be with you?
Who or what is the Terrorist Mother-in-Law?
Why does the author suggest a Tomb of the Unknown Foreskin, and where does he plan on building it?

This is a book to read slowly and deeply and between the lines. In “How to Face the Execution or Stealing of Your Children,” perhaps the most powerful essay here, Richard Crasta confesses that his “unreasonable and passionate” love for his flesh-and-blood children is inseparable from his similar love for his books, because “a book is an author’s child.”

This e-book contains Richard Crasta's contributions to the printed 2005 three-author book, Fathers, Rebels and Dreamers, which is not easily available except from the author’s web site.

Richard Crasta is the author of the widely praised and published novel  The Revised Kama Sutra.
 

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I agree with the above I couldn't have said what this was about until I read your longer description. I am also not crazy about the boxes around the words. My thoughts for the cover based on your description is something like the top of a desk with papers laying on it, the picture, a coffee stain, and some object like car keys to really show the sort of busy chaotic life of fathers. A title suggestion "It's Not Easy Being Dad" or something shorter and more descriptive. But that is just my opinion. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LizSchulte79 said:
I agree with the above I couldn't have said what this was about until I read your longer description. I am also not crazy about the boxes around the words. My thoughts for the cover based on your description is something like the top of a desk with papers laying on it, the picture, a coffee stain, and some object like car keys to really show the sort of busy chaotic life of fathers. A title suggestion "It's Not Easy Being Dad" or something shorter and more descriptive. But that is just my opinion. Best of luck!
Thanks Liz. Right, I realized the title wasn't selling, certainly didn't say much and wasn't attractive. I've temporarily changed the title to: The Other Side of Fatherhood and Pulping



a bit quirky, and may want people to ask what is this about . . .
well, there is an author (me) who is told by his publisher that they are going to pulp his books, and the author, who has just "lost" his real children, hangs on to these books, tries to protect them, because they are in a sense, now, his surrogate children.
 

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Hi Richard! Your second try at the title and cover is much better. Maybe adjusting the contrast of the image a little and moving the text a little below and centered would make the cover better. As for the title. It fits better but I'd prefer just the title "The Other Side of Fatherhood" It leaves a kind of haunting tone on what is to come next. Plus, It makes you curious about the contents of the book.
 

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Keep the photo and the text as they are, because they look genuinely old-fashioned. The first title is best because it's informative. You could easily change the photo for something more colourful, but it would be far less authentic.
 

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The fonts you're selecting are very generic-looking. I'm not sure that'll help you.

Also, there's something vaguely creepy about the cover with the new title... something about a man with two young boys, and the word "pulping" makes me think serial killer or something like that.... Esp. because of the blood-red font.
 

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Has me wondering what "pulping" is. I don't know if that's good or bad. The pic is a little off as well. Guess they aren't supposed to be the happy family type though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to those of you who gave me some constructive feedback.

The photograph is of me (8 years) on the left of the photograph, along with my brother (10 yrs) and my uncle (possibly 32 then). It happens to be one of the only 3 childhood photos I have in my possession, and perhaps one of only 10 in existence, but which are scattered, as I am, all over the universe.

Perhaps there's not much happiness in the faces of the children because I was an undernourished child, far away from my parents, under the care of guardians who often beat me, in a world in which any adult wearing a robe (priest, nun), or an older relative, or a teacher, had the right to beat you; while I was not starving, I was occasionally starved as punishment.

My mother had not seen me for 2 years at that point, and may have asked my uncle to get the two of us to pose for a photograph so she could at least see what we looked like after 2 years had passed.

My uncle beat me rarely, and when he did, he probably thought it for my own good; he was a good, generous, kind man on the whole.

So perhaps the "creepiness" that Craig in Twin Cities sees has to do with the unfamiliarity he may have with the lives of Third World children, and of acquaintance with a far more privileged life.  Though it is no more acceptable to beat children in middle-class families, it still happens among lower-middle class children and the poor, in India.

As for the reason why I choose this photograph: scarce resources, for now. I thought the photograph had a faraway, contemplative quality to it, and no one except I and my close relatives would know that the man in the photograph is not my father, but my uncle.

(Pulping? I explained it in an earlier post: it is books being destroyed, reduced to pulp. There is an essay in which an author is told that his book, which was censored and prevented from reaching its audience, will now be pulped--and he expresses his feeling that this is the same as being told that his children will be executed.)
 

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I actually like the picture.  And the original title is also ok with me, but I would remove the "and" to just have "Father, Rebel, Dreamer" as the title.  My problem is the font and color--a bit jarring.  I would liek to see more antiquity in the letters...something that looks like old typeface or stamping.  And the tone should be washed out...not such a bright white.  Hope this helps!
 

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I like the photo too. I think CA Deyton has a great suggestion for a title tweak. But I do agree, the typography could use some work. I'm not sure what to suggest here. The photo doesn't lend itself well to title placement, which means you're having to lay the title and author name over the photo. I think you're on the right track with placing it over the white area created by the shirts. But I'm not a fan of the font you're using. Maybe you can play around with it a little and see if you can find something that fits better.
 

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I don't like the second cover at all. "Pulping" sounds like a father who wants to mash up his children.

I do like the title suggestion, "Father, Rebel, Dreamer"

I don't like the picture at all.  I know the mood you're attempting to express, but you're more likely to have people flick past it rather than stop to read the blurb to find out what it's about.

The font screams: Boring.  Sorry.  But you asked.
 

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marshacanham said:
I don't like the second cover at all. "Pulping" sounds like a father who wants to mash up his children.
Good point... Especially if you don't know the context of the story...
 
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