Friday, 19 September 2014

A Provisional Cover

So...  I couldn't get my head around writing much today - too little sleep; the storm last night woke me up and then I couldn't get back off.  But I did have had enough residual get-up-and-go to have completed a quick and easy item for Roger Benson (just adding a 'think' bubble to one of his sketches - though I had to do a little work on the bubble itself first).  And having booted up my photoshop-style software package I felt sufficiently inspired to have a go at some sort of first-draft book cover.  See what you think?  I'd value your opinion.  It's not even the correct aspect ratio at the moment, so it has a long way to go yet.  I'm thinking at the moment that the lower paragraph ('Money was not sufficient...') may be unnecessary, and may even lessen the impact.  Any opinions / ideas?


saladie said...

Not sure about the cover pic. I totally agree that the lower paragraph is not necessary and can be left out. All in all it looks ok. The model and background need some more work but then this is only a first-draft.

Not knowing the story it's difficult to give some kind of feedback. Perhaps a ransom note with some attached pics (striped bottom) would be better.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Toyntanen said...

Hi there Saldie!

Yes, it does indeed help - quite a lot, as lt happens! The ransom note is a good idea, and not one I had considered either.

I bave been - and am - loath to give too much away as regards the plot because it differs so much from my usual fare. Not that there isn't some sort of institution involved at some point - tbere IS (or there maybe) - but it is how the central character becomes entangled within its grasp wbich is where the plot diverges from my normal output. Also what happens to the charecter, the events which befall her, also fall outside my usual remit.

While still trying to be guarded and not give away too many spoilers I can reveal there is a kidnapping central to the plot - in fact there are two - the second as much about hostage taking as for ransom and with a large political element attached.

So yes, there perhaps should be a ransom note featured on the cover - that would be most apt. I'm immediatly thinking that old cherry, the note made up from cellotaped newsprint.... So, the next step... How to recreate on? Should prove interesting to try.

Vlad said...

From a graphic design viewpoint, I'd say lose the bottom paragraph, reduce the upper text blurb and crop or reshape to more of a "portrait" aspect ratio rather than the "landscape" layout you have now. One generally expects book covers to be vertically oriented, even on ebooks and since many people will be viewing on small screens, simpler graphics would be better so changing the brick wall to breeze block or ashlar would make the cover less busy. On the positive side, the nurse's uniform, mask and cane clearly convey what sort of captivity is in store.
What will happen to your unfinished book with the home based treatment? From the description on your Tumblr, it looks like just the sort of book I want, all uniforms, isolation and humiliating rituals.

Toyntanen said...

Hi Vlad

Thanks for your input and taking the trouble to write. One thing I must ask straight away though: What is ‘ashlar’? Yeah, you’re right about the aspect ratio. The final version will of course be portrait, probably 9 by 6 inches, which is the traditional ‘trade’ publication size used by LULU and others. But you are also right to point out about taking in to account those viewing on a smaller screen. I myself, when away from home, often nowadays view the web from my phone. As to the form of captivity our heroine may or may not find herself held under… Why restrict one’s imagination to considering only one single possibility? Circumstances can change as needs must.

Yes, I agree breeze block would show up better in a smaller format. But as I have already remarked privately in an email to The Non Victorian Chick, who posts here fairly regularly, I’m not sure I want folk to immediately identify the woman as being necessarily a nurse; I think that has been a mistake on my part, the biggest part of that mistake being to add the fob watch.

Without giving too much away (I hope) the plot calls (initially at least) for a fairly conventional kidnapping, with all that entails such as ransom demands and certain ‘evidence’ arriving in the post, and within that framework I wanted to convey a certain element of irony in the way in which one of her captors is dressed – which I imagine as being something akin to a beautician or hairdresser in days gone by, such as the early 1960s. Perhaps the background, or some element of it, might reflect that aspect also… I’ll have to give this some more thought. And as this is going to be a multi-part thing, published in instalments, there is scope for more than one (though related in style) piece of artwork (which I sometimes enjoy more than the writing nowadays to be honest…By the way, anyone want something knocked up specifically for their own tastes please let me know, I’m open to commissions!)

But having said all that, I mustn't let myself get TOO distracted from the writing; money (and thus, time)is running out! Not that these things earn that much cash, but it all helps.

Vlad said...

You know, the idea of a captor wearing a Bri-Nylon work dress over firm foundation garments, and vinyl lined sanitary briefs is even more appealing than an ordinary NHS uniform and fob watch. The interesting question is whether such uncomfortable clothing is a result of self discipline or submission?
To answer your question, ashlar masonry is large stone blocks with a rough surface as used in the more forbidding sorts of Victorian edifice.