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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,

I am very excited to reveal not one but two final covers for my books, which I've designed...

First up, the 10th Anniversary Edition of my cult classic first novel, Dreams of the Compass Rose, which is going to be reissued in trade hardcover and trade paperback:



And second, here is the final cover for my brand new novel, Cobweb Bride, coming in July 2013 in all formats.



*bouncing like a wabbit*

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, David!

I try not to post these things here in WC, since I am not sure if it's completely allowed, but just had to do it this time, just this once... *grin*
 

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Vera Nazarian said:
Thank you, David!

I try not to post these things here in WC, since I am not sure if it's completely allowed, but just had to do it this time, just this once... *grin*
I wouldn't think it's a problem. I love cover reveals. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Jena! :)

And David, yup, I just wasn't sure before if it was okay for this area of KB, but then saw another person's cover reveal, so yaay!
 

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Vera, they look fantastic. Congrats on the new release and the 10th anniversary for Compass Rose!
 

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The 2nd one is super busy and you can see corners of the images you blended in.. which is not good. If you can go and delete the corners that would look much better. If you have Photoshop take an eraser tool and use Soft Round Brush with low opacity (like 25%) and go deleting the corners. That will help you blend the pictures into background nicely.

Also, look at them at very small size and see how they look. Adjust them if needed then.

Best of luck!
 

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These are beautiful! I agree that there are some hard edges on the second one, but once that is fixed it will be perfect. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RBC said:
The 2nd one is super busy and you can see corners of the images you blended in.. which is not good. If you can go and delete the corners that would look much better. If you have Photoshop take an eraser tool and use Soft Round Brush with low opacity (like 25%) and go deleting the corners. That will help you blend the pictures into background nicely.

Also, look at them at very small size and see how they look. Adjust them if needed then.

Best of luck!
Thanks, RBC, I do appreciate the input, but the mosaic look is in fact intentional, and the hard edges are part of the design. I tried it the smooth standard way first, and prefer this tiled version.

This is pretty much a cover reveal, not a suggestions request. :)
 

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Vera Nazarian said:
Thanks, RBC, I do appreciate the input, but the mosaic look is in fact intentional, and the hard edges are part of the design. I tried it the smooth standard way first, and prefer this tiled version.

This is pretty much a cover reveal, not a suggestions request. :)
Sorry, but it doesn't really look like a mosaic at all. Seems more like pictures placed one onto another.. You could do mosaic with one of Photoshop's Filters and that would make effect you need. Would only take a few minutes. You will have a very nice design then (not that it's ugly now)...

Even more important.. those things should have been pointed out before.. nothing huge but easy to spot..
 

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I'm thinking that we might need a rule that cover designs are not critiqued unless asked for.

After all, we don't critique each other's books when we say, 'Hey I have a new book release!". It would be considered rude if we looked inside someone's book and said what we thought about the story sample.

I know you're just trying to be helpful, RBC and it's not just you who does it. I'm wondering what other KB'ers think on this???

Big congrats on your covers, Vera! :)
 

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Anya said:
I'm thinking that we might need a rule that cover designs are not critiqued unless asked for.

After all, we don't critique each other's books when we say, 'Hey I have a new book release!". It would be considered rude if we looked inside someone's book and said what we thought about the story sample.

I know you're just trying to be helpful, RBC and it's not just you who does it. I'm wondering what other KB'ers think on this???

Big congrats on your covers, Vera! :)
Is this forum meant to be place for enablers only who slap each other on hineys with no constructive criticism encouraged?

I guess it depends on attitude - to me criticism is chance to improve, nothing personal. It might actually be a thing that makes you a lot better. If someone points out what story, or cover or description etc is missing, it's help.. it only seems rude if you can't take criticism..
 

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It's not a question of being able to take criticism, RBC. Would you walk up to a stranger on the street and tell them you hate their outfit? It's a whole different deal than when a friend asks you for clothing advice. I agree with Anya. Offering a critique where none is requested isn't the Kindle boards way. If, on the other hand, someone posts a cover and asks for advice on ways to improve it, have at it.
 

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RBC said:
Is this forum meant to be place for enablers only who slap each other on hineys with no constructive criticism encouraged?

I guess it depends on attitude - to me criticism is chance to improve, nothing personal. It might actually be a thing that makes you a lot better. If someone points out what story, or cover or description etc is missing, it's help.. it only seems rude if you can't take criticism..
I can understand this. But coming from a writing background as well as a design background where critique is something dealt with every day- from my own experience and in my writing groups- there's a general writing guideline if critique isn't asked for then it's not given. Writers can take critique very personal, just like designers can. Just like anyone can. It's not about giving it just because they need it, it's about respecting the work that's been done and recognizing that the author/designer is happy with the final outcome. If you have critique to provide then why not ask first and see if they're up for it? If they're not then move on.

But in my personal opinion there is nothing rude about declining critique when it's given without invitation. To convey authors and designers are only enablers, or can't take criticism or refuse to improve their work, is completely misinterpreting the situation. Writers are probably some of the best prepared critique-handlers out there. They know when and where they can accept it, and put themselves in a safe place to deal with it when it happens.
 

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Technically it is a rule that unless someone is asking for feedback, you don't critique. This is because you run the risk of offending people.

There's plenty of threads where people are asking for assistance.

My only suggestion further is that if you do give advice, be prepared to not have it listened to. Because design is, after all, subjective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
RBC said:
Sorry, but it doesn't really look like a mosaic at all. Seems more like pictures placed one onto another.. You could do mosaic with one of Photoshop's Filters and that would make effect you need. Would only take a few minutes. You will have a very nice design then (not that it's ugly now)...

Even more important.. those things should have been pointed out before.. nothing huge but easy to spot..
Dear RBC,

First of all, let me reiterate that I did appreciate your original comment, and your point has been taken and duly noted.

And now, let me reiterate my point. I like the effect that is produced by the hard edge "layering," or brief instance of mosaic tendency (as opposed to full mosaic effect) that is produced in this specific way.

I like the way the hard lines come together, and the interrupted dream-flow of colors, as the planes of one image imperfectly flows into the others to create a non-blend. If not mosaic, then Escherian, and surreal and cubist -- these are all terms that gently come to mind and are hinted at. It's a non-meeting of many visual worlds, a kind of dissonance.

Having said that, I fully understand that you may not like this cover and the way the blending is handled. I visited your link and understand that you are a designer, so it is only natural if you are trying to peddle your own book cover design services, and offer advice to trump up your business. If not, my sincere apologies. I know I've stuck in my own nose in other people's cover business before too (but at least the person was asking for advice), and I have very strong opinions too, so it was not easy to let it go when the other person was not interested. *grin*

However, let me ask you this: how many hundreds of covers have you designed? Because I've designed over three hundred covers for paper print (hardcover and TPB) and ebooks, for other people (and a few for myself and my own books). My covers have been reprinted by permission in textbooks and trade publications, and have been used by permission by the BBC on a TC show. I am also an award-winning artist whose art has been featured in galleries.

This is just to say that I do know what I'm doing.

Sometimes the seemingly fundamental rules -- such as edge blending to integrate disparate images -- of design are broken, and what you get is not mere design but art.

I am not saying I am perfect or infallible as an artist and designer, heck no, that would be a LOL! And there have been a number of pieces I've created with which I was not at all happy....

However, this is not one of them.

Thanks again. :)
 
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