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Friday, January 07, 2011

Your New Year's Gift: Mermaid Story's Cover



Here is your New Year's Gift, the cover I made for the Lulu version of Merm-8 (draft 2)

For a self-published cover, I think it looks pretty good myself. Not to say there aren't some problems, which I will address later. This is obviously not what I first envisioned for the book before I penned it. But that cover doesn't exist. I would have to either draw it myself (and I am not an artist) or commission some DeviantArt person for it.

The two messages I needed to get across were the futuristic waterworld setting and the mermaid. The image above is meant to represent a Seaplex -- a floating Mos Eisley-like docking station filled with Asian commercialism and social stratification. The thing you see isn't *my* vision of the seaplex (mine is more like a floating dyson sphere), but it's the closest I could find.

Finding the bottom image was even more difficult. I wanted to keep the mermaid mysterious, so that it wouldn't influence the reader's preconceptions. Toplessness was out, because if you're going for legitimacy, you can't have full-frontal nudity. There's lots of anime, hand-drawn, and CG pics out there, but A) that wouldn't have fit with the image above and B) it would have taken away from the realism. This is not a graphic novel I'm making. So the answer was a silhouetted picture deep in the ocean. I like that the seaplex is on top, on the surface, and the mermaid lurks down below, shrouded in mystery.

The problem is it's awfully dark. A good cover would have a lot of contrasting colors to make it pop out at the reader, like a Magic: The Gathering card. But when you're gleaning used images, beggars can't be choosers. The font bothers me too. If you look at it too fast, it reminds me of an Eminem CD. And a legitimate book would have some kind have text on the top or bottom, either an author blurb or a tagline. But I didn't feel comfortable faking one, especially for a book that's not even finished.

I'm glad the cover turned out the way it did, but I'm even that gladder that if Merm-8 gets picked up, someone who knows what they're doing is going to be doing the cover.
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