Bad Covers

Discussion in 'Writing' started by kmtolan, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Laer Carroll

    Laer Carroll LaerCarroll.com

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    NicoleDreadful, interesting résumé you have at LikedIn. Including marine conservationist.

    My Sea Monster's Revenge you might find fun, with that background. Send me a PM with an address where you can get mail and I'll send you a printed copy. Or look on Amazon or B&N under my name and get an ebook or pbook.

    My main character is a were-seamonster, a sort of feminine version of Creature From the Black Lagoon. Undersea scenes play a big part in the story. So do dolphins and dolphin society. Who call her (their version of) Shark Killer, because she is the most fearsome creature in the sea and has a taste for raw shark.

    My Sylvia Canaro is a marine biologist, who in her sea monster form can talk to dolphins. At one point (with the help of an engineer friend) she creates a dolphin translator so that ordinary humans can converse with them.

    Which brings us back to covers. I spent an enormous time trying to craft her sea monster form true to its description in the book. In the end I gave up and used a human form with green hair and red claws. And facing away so that readers could not see her eyes and fangs, thus avoiding drawing them.

    This image below is a movie poster image. It has the same need to be intriguing from a distance and close up.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. NicoleDreadful

    NicoleDreadful learning as fast as I can

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    Hi Laer,

    Thanks for the offer. I'm trying to cut down on physical books, but I will put yours on my to-eread list.

    Although I work in the field of marine conservation, I've always been a translator, rather than a scientific researcher. I do the social media, write and design brochures and tell restoration biologists that we're not going to use phrases like "a high volume of gravel sediment aggraded the stream". I also tell the policy wonks that a powerpoint presentation cannot have a full paragraph of text on a slide, not can it be only graphs. A lot of (science) communication ends up being visual - we can use the graph if it's easily interpretable - which leads to my interest in this thread and the ways that book covers communicate, or don't.

    Another place I've found that looks specifically at covers that do not work, and provides some discussion of why, is the blog "Why Isn't My Book Selling".
     
  3. Yjar

    Yjar Has a custom user title!

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    They say never to judge a book by its cover. While true, I can't help but think the author was lazy when I see one of the many horrible book covers.

    And I don't like corny images of the characters, it's pretty much just saying not to take that book out in public. Also it takes away from imagining what they look like through the descriptions given. Many books I've read and thought of such inspiration characters, but when I see the book printed with another cover, that consists of the characters drawn poorly, it's kind of uninspiring and hard to shake out of your head.
     
  4. A. Lynn

    A. Lynn Was: "Virangelus"

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    Lol, I'm glad to see this thread is still alive.

    A good example of what you are talking about, Yjar, can be seen in Roger Zelazny's "Chronicles of Amber," which has multiple renditions of the series' protagonist Corwin
    http://julianperezconquerstheuniverse.blogspot.com/2008/07/roger-zelaznys-greatest-hits-nine.html

    Two of the official artworks I cannot seem to take seriously. The smaller cover, with the red letters, came to define what I thought Corwin should look like and he's been that way in my mind ever since.

    Unlike others, I really like to know what my characters look like. That is the one thing I dislike about Piers' Anthony's work, I wish he'd describe his characters. But then again, I'm obsessed with characters.