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dkchristi
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dkchristi

Number of posts : 8594
Registration date : 2008-12-29
Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySat Dec 25, 2010 2:40 pm

You are absolutely right about a publisher. They have their own cover ideas if they want the book to sell. Sometimes they do ask for the author's input - and sometimes not. I made some suggestions, but the publisher went in their own direction with which I was pleased. I have heard some authors really disappointed in their book covers, but the proof is in the sales. If the the book sells, the cover becomes insignificant.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
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Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySat Jan 22, 2011 6:05 pm

This is the latest. Click it for a big picture. Next I'll go looking for some better (more realistic) clouds.

Cover Design - Page 2 Covera11
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySat Jan 22, 2011 7:09 pm

Progress. Better clouds and a real airplane. The white title lettering was getting lost in the clouds, so I promoted it to yellow.

Cover Design - Page 2 Covera12
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

Number of posts : 10720
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Age : 80
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySat Jan 22, 2011 10:19 pm

Looks good to me, Al. Of course I'm just one in several hundred million. I like the idea of having your name prominently displayed.
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alj
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alj

Number of posts : 9633
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Age : 76
Location : San Antonio

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 3:52 am

It's fascinating to see a concept progressing and coming into being. The changes have a significant impact.

Ann
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 8:20 am

Thanks all for the comments. I got the clouds, skyline and airplane from the site that LC told us about that offers royalty-free snapshots.

http://www.sxc.hu/

Photoshop's layers and masking features did the rest. When I look back at my original cover and compare it to the latest, I realize that without the critiques and suggestions in this thread from the membership, it would have remained the lame graphic piece of crap that it was. Not that I'll get to use it. If, and I do mean if, I get a publisher, they'll probably toss it. If I don't, next stop, the Louvre.
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LC
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LC

Number of posts : 5044
Registration date : 2009-03-28

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 9:41 am

It looks a lot better than your first one. A few comments:

You've used two (or three?) different fonts. I think designers use one for consistency. There are ways to make the same font look different, such as size, compression, shadowing, etc.

Isn't a knoll a slight hill? The lawn in your photo is flat. If you're going to reference a knoll, the grass should be on a hill.

The trees are lame, sorry. Smile

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Shelagh
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Shelagh

Number of posts : 12624
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Location : UK

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 2:18 pm

The background is a composite of two photos from sxc:

Cover Design - Page 2 Al_ste11 Cover Design - Page 2 Covera12

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Cover Design - Page 2 81KU-cLOw3L._SX110_ Cover Design - Page 2 41C9GeFDNWL._SX110_ Cover Design - Page 2 41%2BmGkZJdOL._SX110_ Cover Design - Page 2 51eDGllZXhL._SX115_ Cover Design - Page 2 41y7VHKoszL._SX115_ Cover Design - Page 2 51Zs4N4T4eL._SX115_
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

Number of posts : 1727
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Location : Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 6:50 pm

Fonts: My wife reads mysteries and has piles of paperbacks. I just grabbed a huge stack and checked the fonts. When you select one per author, you find a mixture of font varieties. Some use the same font for title author but with others for the other text. "a thriller by..." "gripping..." "Peoria Herald Best Seller!" and so on.

Others use different fonts for title and author.

It seems evenly distributed across cover designs.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 6:55 pm

A knoll is a small, rounded hill. The one at Dealey is flat and slanted, so whoever coined "grassy knoll" got it wrong. But we're stuck with it. Mine is flat like Dealey's and the only reference to whether it slopes is seen in the shadows of the guy's legs. Perhaps I can do something with that, make them slant downwards.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 6:58 pm

Shelagh, I looked for the pictures you used on the site and might have found one of them. What search criteria did you use? And did you airbrush away the watermarks (naughty girl) or buy the pictures?

I can't even buy them. The site won't recognize my login when I get to that page.

I'd like to play around with that concept. Thanks.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 6:58 pm

Lame trees? Have you been to Texas? Razz
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptySun Jan 23, 2011 8:33 pm

Pick one?
Cover Design - Page 2 Bluesk11Cover Design - Page 2 Sunris12
I slanted the shadows and changed the author font. Then tried a more sunrise kind of background.

I might lose the crosshairs.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 3:15 am

Al,

For accuracy, you will have to re-think the cover. I found a panoramic view of Dealey Plaza here:

http://www.panoramatrip.com/panoramas/dealey_plaza_site_of_the_kennedy_assassination.jpg

You can zoom in to a bigger picture. I downloaded the full file and cropped down to this picture;

Cover Design - Page 2 Dallas10

The gunman stood behind the fence and was unseen by the crowds of people standing on the grassy knoll (it does slope and there are steps up to the top of the knoll). The area behind the fence would be fairly flat. The fence goes around the top of the knoll and you would not get an open view of anyone standing behind the fence (as shown in your cover).

You need a photo taken from behind the fence to get the exact view of someone's shadow on the other side of the fence.

This is the view as seen by the gunman:

Cover Design - Page 2 FENCE

http://presidentialassassination.blogspot.com/search/label/The%20Grassy%20Knoll

Behind the fence:

http://news.webshots.com/photo/1496684249059636935RPJkre

http://news.webshots.com/photo/1496684032059636935wxveWj

This photo shows that there was no grass on the other side of the fence (car park):

http://news.webshots.com/photo/1496684017059636935sAXCbc

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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 7:36 am

Thanks for all those pictures. I hadn't seen some of them. I have visited the site, although it was years ago.

My assassin isn't behind the fence. (It would have been too crowded, with all those other assassins that theorists claim were there. Very Happy )

The picture I designed is kind of symbolic intended to suggest as many elements of the event as possible. Nothing is where it's supposed to be.

For example, that skyline is not visible from the plaza, and the shadow would not have been cast from that direction.
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 8:06 am

But shouldn't these things be accurate? The composition can have some poetic (literary?) licence but if you twist reality on the cover, then readers will assume you twisted reality in the plot. The factual evidence should be clear even in a fictional story. If a shadow was cast on the fence, it should be cast at the same angle as the sun would cast a shadow at the time of the shooting (my mother hates it when seasonal flowers are in full bloom out of season!).

This photo shows a man standing in front of the fence that shows the direction of the shadow (as thrown by the short-sided wall and the tree trunk from right to left diagonally across the photo):

http://news.webshots.com/photo/1496684239059636935QBgHcU

There are some book covers on this page:

http://www.jfkmurder.com/books.html

I like this one best:

Cover Design - Page 2 Jfk_book

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lyntx
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Number of posts : 141
Registration date : 2010-10-27

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 8:57 am

Shelagh wrote:
Al,


Cover Design - Page 2 Dallas10

s

I think this pic is great, shows exactly what it is. It all happened before I was born, but I can tell what the books about from seeing the pic.

What if you cropped it even more, say about a third of the steps, erase the woman on the right, erased or raise the leafs on the right and drew in a shadow there?

On your first choice, the shadow on the fence, I like that to, but maybe not the plane. Makes the pic to cluttered, like my sisters living room full of stuff, to much to look at. Maybe erase the plane and put the book building where the city buildings are. And if you make it all darker and not so bright, it might look creepier.
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Al Stevens
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Al Stevens

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 9:57 am

Shelagh wrote:
But shouldn't these things be accurate? The composition can have some poetic (literary?) licence but if you twist reality on the cover, then readers will assume you twisted reality in the plot.
I did, but not about where things were.
Shelagh wrote:
The factual evidence should be clear even in a fictional story. If a shadow was cast on the fence, it should be cast at the same angle as the sun would cast a shadow at the time of the shooting
You're assuming the cover picture reflects the time of the shooting. That's not necessarily so. The shadow itself is symbolic in ways that the plot reveals. I'm thinking about putting him there in the moonlight to make things darker and eerier. Do I need to look up the phase of the moon on 11/22/63 in the name of accuracy? sunny

(The shooting occurred at 12:30 pm when the moon isn't out and shadows are not cast very far at all.)

Shelagh wrote:
(my mother hates it when seasonal flowers are in full bloom out of season!).
It grates on me when they show people holding musical instruments backwards or when they reverse the image so the instrument itself is backwards.

Shelagh wrote:
This photo shows a man standing in front of the fence
Sometime in the early morning based on the shadows.

Thanks for the book covers.

Which of the two cloud backgrounds do you prefer?


Last edited by Al Stevens on Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 10:03 am

lyntx wrote:
Maybe erase the plane...
The plane is not negotiable.
lyntx wrote:
And if you make it all darker and not so bright, it might look creepier.
See my earlier post about moonlight.

Also: There may be no photo rights issues.

Of the two cloud backgrounds, which do you prefer?
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lyntx
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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 10:17 am

The darker one.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 10:49 am

Me, too. How about this one?

Cover Design - Page 2 Moonli10
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Shelagh
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Shelagh

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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 10:56 am

I like that! Just make the plane smaller and paste in a real bush at the end of the fence and it's a winner!

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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins


Last edited by Shelagh on Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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LC
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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 10:59 am

Nice, but the trees need even more work now. They'd be darker and more shadowed at night. These trees are the same ones from the daytime pictures. You also have daytime grass.

Maybe a lamp post behind the fence instead of a tree (or nestled in the tree), which would make the shadow outline and cast shadow make more sense, too. The short concrete wall would also cast a shadow, as would the tree next to it.
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lyntx
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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 12:41 pm

I really like that one, Al! And LCs idea about the lampost, just not another shadow.
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Al Stevens
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PostSubject: Re: Cover Design   Cover Design - Page 2 EmptyMon Jan 24, 2011 1:20 pm

I haven't found a nice lamppost yet, but I darkened the foliage and added some clouds. And shrunk the airplane some.

Cover Design - Page 2 Moonli11
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