• Talk Amongst Yourself (with me!)

    Posted on May 14, 2012 by in Art, Marketing

    Derek Murphy, the designer behind Creativindie Covers, is a saint.  When we first started working together on the cover for Out of the Ashes, he asked me what I was thinking in terms of concept.  I told him and he provided with several possible comps.

    Then I promptly doubled back around again and went another direction.

    I didn’t mean to be the client from hell.  But when you’re working with stock photography, you’re limited sometimes as to what you can do.  I’d told him I didn’t want to use images of models where you could clearly see their faces, that I felt such an approach was too limiting, as it encouraged readers to think, ‘That’s exactly how the author envisions that character.’

    But I realized there are a preponderance of covers right now in the m/m romance space featuring headless, shirtless guys (please see where Redemption ranks on this list), and I’d already gone that route once.  Add to that the fact that the  Texas motif images Derek and I had talked about using made me (and two of my editors who’d viewed the original comps) think the story was a true Western a la Brokeback Mountain (which it’s not).  So I came to the conclusion we needed to change things up.  After spending a couple evenings searching through various stock photo archives, I found some model pics I thought we might be able to work with, and Derek returned to his computer.

    Last night, he sent the latest round of comps back.  I asked him if he’d mind me posting a few of them here to get feedback.  He graciously agreed.  Some of these are a little more further along in the process than others.  But I’d love to hear your thoughts as to what works and what doesn’t in terms of appeal.  So please comment below and let me know what you think.  I’m really curious.

    Cover 1

    Cover 2

    Cover 3

    Cover 4

    As you can see, I favor a certain model (mostly because his hair is longer and the character he represents is described as in need of a haircut).  But I could probably be convinced of the error of my ways.


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6 Responsesso far.

  1. Josie says:

    I like the bottom cover the most. I like the contrast between the blue and the pink, and with the sideways glance and dark hair it looks quite striking.

    The darkness of the shapes along the bottom works very well with your name as we. All in its a lovely cover, I’m now intrigued, do you have a blurb yet?

    • OliviaDCraig says:

      I like the bottom one best too. Only I don’t like the picture of the blond. I like the pose, but I don’t like the model. I looked for a replacement picture but couldn’t find anything that worked. That’s why we went with the single model.

      Thanks for commenting! I do have a blurb. I’ll see if I can’t get that posted in the next day or two. I hope it sounds like something you’d enjoy. I appreciate your stopping by.

  2. CarrieVS says:

    Probably the bottom one: I agree with Josie. And definitely not the second one. I think it looks much better without the twiddly bit.

    • OliviaDCraig says:

      That 4th one was the version I’d preferred from the second batch of comps. I didn’t like the blond model. Though I liked the pose. I couldn’t find anything that worked, so we went with Plan B–having just a single guy on the cover. But now you guys are making me think I need to look again. Do you have any suggestions for stock photo sites?

      Thanks for stopping by to leave your feedback. I really, really appreciate it.

  3. Hambel says:

    I like the guy in the first one and if you’re aiming for a look of innocence, he’s definitely the one you want. However, I’d go for the last cover because having two men makes it stand out as an m/m story, and if there’s someone who doesn’t recognise your name (I know, heresy!) they’ll be drawn to it anyway.

    Mind you, I don’t dislike no. 3 either, so I’m probably not being much help :-D

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