Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Let's Talk About Covers

One of the things some people insist on is that, if you are self-published, you must at least spend some money on a good cover.  I won't.  I bought a Getty Image early on and it pixelated.  I spend a lot of time talking to customer service about it and discussing it with various other humans.  Everyone had a reason, but then I see that very picture I used in some blog or Pin or something I wrote and there it is HUGE.  Huge and unpixelated.  So now, I do screen shots, copy image, mess around with that photo manipulation program that I bought (which is not PhotoShop but has a smudging tool, which is really all you need), incorporate, and yeah, steal.  I DO, honestly, make every attempt possible to attribute.  That is just the way I am.  And the one picture I out and outright snitched is not in use by me any more.  So you can unknot your skivvies.  There are two covers on Barnes and Noble for my work that SUCK.  This is because of size requirements and impatience.  I shall, when I am in the right mood, put beautiful corrected covers up, but it apparently doesn't make much difference since I sell more on Barnes and Noble than anywhere else.  (Which really doesn't say much.)

So, first of all, the size requirement thing is so much baloney since I have seen with my own eyes that anything can be manipulated into any other thing.  How many times have you looked at a pin on Pinterest that was all blurry, and you wait a few seconds for it to resolve, and it doesn't?  Me -- more than once.  And another time there will be a long list of tiny photos that someone pinned, like the cats at war, and you enlarge one of those tiny thumbnail photos and you can read the number on the cat's rabies tag.

And secondly, there is a thing about originality.  Despite the fact that some big selling authors leave all the cover design and stuff like that to the publisher, probably thinking  the publisher should do that since he gets $7.00 for every book sold and the author gets $1.17, still, you will find an amusing and well-written piece on that delightful site Smart Bitches, showing that several different, very big selling romance novels have exactly the same cover illustration only it is reversed on one or the dress is a different color on another, or a desert is placed in the background where another has an ocean, or a forest, or a frozen expanse of tundra.  This goes on ALL the time.  And nobody does anything about it, and the huge selling author says, "Sigh."

This got me going tonight because I noticed the cover on Steven King's Joyland and I was pretty sure it is a copy of a vintage pulp fiction work with a title concerning something about red heads being sinners.  I thought I had it posted on my beautiful, extensive, entertaining Redheads board on Pinterest, but I could not find it, so I am not able to provide evidence that the picture was cribbed.  Besides, if Mr. King wanted to use someone else's photo, he sure would pony up whatever it cost cuz that is just the way he is.  And he was going for that Noir effect and he captured it perfectly.  So, that was just a blip on my horizon, a horizon filled with blips I must explore in order to keep my self from actually typing out the last two chapters of my sensational new novel that is bouncing around, fully developed inside my head.

Thirdly, but not finally there is this:

And this:




The final point I was going to make was about people who paint their own covers or have Auntie Elsie paint an appropriate one for them, but I want them to keep on doing that cuz I am very familiar with self-delusion and am not about to call anyone else out on it.

So when you want to talk about covers, I don't listen.  If you don't like my cover and don't pick up my book to read, well, that's okay.  They were fun to write.  


Thanks for stopping by.  Yeah.  I am still here. 

2 comments:

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  2. Covers are so subjective. You can't please everyone, so I think the author just needs to please him/herself.

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