Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Doing the Happy Dance!

We writers spend most of our time in the 'writing cave', head down living in our imaginary worlds. We send out the stories we've slaved our, poured our hearts and souls into, never knowing if they will be accepted by a publisher.

And, even if they are published, there is so much that is beyond our control. We don't know if the cover will do the book justice, if it will say 'Pick me up, I'm fantasy and you love fantasy!'. We have no control over things like bookstore chains going bankrupt and leaving our book sitting in a warehouse somewhere, not that this has happened so me, as far as I know. But I once heard of a romance writer whose books were sent via train and the train was derailed.

So when we get a good cover we do the happy dance! Here is it The Outcast Chronicles book one cover. (Yes, I know there is a typo in the title. I didn't see it. I think the publishers and I were so preoccupied by the design, we didn't see the misspelling).

Your publishers will ask you for cover suggestions. Don't expect the artist to read your book. Have a file prepared. I have a Resonance file with pictures of what the city/country is like, how the people dress etc. I also write up a description of the main characters so that the artist can capture their personality. And I surf the internet to see what kind of covers are currently out there and collect covers that I admire to show the kind of look I'd like.

What had you done to prepare a Resonance file on your current manuscript?

My computer has been playing up so my DH is going to reformat it. I may be out of contact for 24 hours. (Hopefully, it will be less than that as I have deadlines).

19 comments:

Dave Freer said...

Gorgeous Cover, Rowena. What have i done?... A lot of panicking when asked. I have a talent for that! Seriously, I write scenes intended for cover art. When asked I produce those. This works well if you are asked (for example Dragon's Ring I was asked.)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Daryl has finished revamping my computer. All my programs look different and I still have to navigate my way around them. But I did managed to find the mad genius blog.

So here I am.

Anonymous said...

That's beautiful, Rowena. Yummy, in fact.

Linda

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Thanks, Linda.

Chris L said...

Hey Rowena,

Is it a photo-blend, or painted? It's ard to tell.

Looks good though.

Kate Paulk said...

It's certainly very striking.

One thing that's become obvious to me since moving to the US is that the taste in covers here is very different than the UK/Australian market. UK/Oz seems to be more interested in the striking/stylized imagery by comparison with the US.

Chris McMahon said...

The resonance file is a great idea, Rowena. I more think in terms of who would play my characters in a movie. Unfortunately the Calvanni has been on the drawing board so long the original actors I picked are now way too old!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

It is based on a photo, Chris.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Kate, you have opened a whole new discussion. What are the covers like in the US?

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Chris MC,

I think choosing actors is a great idea. There are a couple of actos in specific roles, who spring to mind for me.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Of course, it would help if I stopped and proof read before I hit publish. Sigh.

Synova said...

I'd like to know who you sold your soul to to get the cover art you get.

Awesome cover. (And so not a partial profile tramp-stamp shot.)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Synova, you have me intrigued.

What's a '(And so not a partial profile tramp-stamp shot.)'

Please tell?

Dave Freer said...

Gah. I got ASKED by Pyr what actors I saw as playing my heroes in movies. At which point I retrained myself from a dummy-spit. I watch a movie once a year whether I need to or not. Sometimes I even watch the whole movie. I would be hard pressed to name 5 actors, (um, John Wayne. Schwartzegger... Goldie Hawn... really scrabbling now, Mel Brooks? was an actor or producer?... aha! that silly bint who said it wasn't rape-rape... Woopie Cushion or something) let alone cast the right one for a YA novel. Woopie Cushion for the bad blond dutchman, a choice of John Wayne or Schwartzenegger for my 15 year old heroine...

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Dave, not only do you have to write fantastic books, but you have to be up with all the new social media, know all the songs and bands and all the movies, TV shows and actors.

if you don't you really aren't cool!

Luckily, I can bluff!

Synova said...

The cover art I'm talking about seems popular these days, particularly in the paranormal genre. It's not that they're bad, either, just that there seems to be so many of them.

So... vampire hunter/shape changer/enforcer lady in tight leather pants holding a suitable weapon/blaster/stake in one hand. She's looking back over her shoulder because her back is to you and partially bare so that you can see her tattoos.

They really are NICE covers, visually. I'm not saying they're not. It's just that when someone does get a nice cover that seems to be what it is.

And even without the half-profile and tramp-stamp tatoo there are a lot of backs on book covers these days. At least it seems like it to me.

I really like how your new one has the person facing aggressively forward. It's almost shocking.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Thanks for the explanation, Synova. I know exactlyw hat you mean now.

Yes, they are great covers and yes they are recognisable as a style.

Wait till you see the cover of book two. My eldest daughter posed for book one. My son and his girlfriend posed for book two.

Mike said...

Just a note -- Howard Tayler promised his fans that if he achieved a milestone, he would do a happy dance. And over here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO2bEvB5doI he put up the video just to show that he did do a happy dance. So... where's your video?

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Mike I would not dare try to out do his happy dance!