Cover Art

 

Of all of the e-mails and comments that come back to me, Cover Art is a favorite topic.

The old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words is germane when it comes to cover art.

In The Saga of the Starduster, I wanted to draw the reader into the book without them turning the cover page.  You will no doubt notice that most cover art tries to capture your attention.

Three nude people headed into a seemingly innocuous body of water with a very interesting sky tells the reader several things.

  • There is nudity involved
  • This is probably not on Earth
  • It looks like a serene place
  • Their views on nudity are not what some might consider normal
  • It is probably a science fiction.

The title “The Saga of the Starduster” of course reaffirms the Science fiction aspect of the novel.

Some fun facts of this particular cover are that I made a trip to the Tetons with the express purpose of taking some pictures that I could use for artistic purposes.  Yes, I could find what I need on line, but that is someone else’s art or photography.  For my covers, it needs to be 100% TWScott.

After I found the photo I wanted from within the thousands of my pictures, it was then sucked into a program for digital editing where I changed the sky, drew the girls and of course made it look science fiction like.

When writing or creating art you want to sell the sizzle and not the steak.  I want to emotionally move you in some small way to want to know more about these nude people skinny dipping in some lake on some other planet.

One must take care regarding the cover art regarding what is on it.  If it is too busy, people will look at it and become exasperated quickly, and move on. Simplicity is key, much like magazine ads.  One should be able to look at the ad or cover and within a few seconds know what they might expect to find within the pages.

The Title is bold and easy to read.

Your brand, in this case, TWScott is easy to see and read.

A small blurb would help, and I am thinking about adding it.

“Skinny dipping on an alien planet was probably not their best idea.”

That blurb tells the reader that yes they are all nude, and swimming in a lake on an alien world and it also alludes that something unexpected is about to transpire.

Conversely, I see covers that are way too busy that confuse me.

I have said this on many different blogs, but it bears repeating.

“Know why you either like or don’t like something, and why.”

As an author, or possibly a cover art creator, or illustrator, this is terribly important.

Please follow me, retweet me and by all means share my blog with the buttons below.  If you are an author, blogger or just a “want to be writer,” I welcome you to visit with me via the comment section below.  Of course, if you as a reader of my work have comments or questions there are multiple ways to connect with me.

  • Here on WordPress.
  • Twitter @authortwscott
  • On the contact page of my website WWW.Authortwscott.com

 

As time permits I will endeavor to respond to you.  With 25 Novels out there selling worldwide, I have learned a thing or two and would be happy to assist if I can.  You might end up with a recipe for Chicken soup.  J

Much Love -TW

Yes, Smashwords does not like crack..Buttcrack…

Yes, they really did object…

Dragon Master and the Witch
Book Cover for Dragon MAster and the Witch By TWScott

If that is not art I will eat it…. Good thing it is digital…

When I posted that blog about my cover art some were amazed that Smashwords would take issue with my witch in the lake.

It is sad that I had to do this to pacify the Puritans …

IMG_4377

No, witches don’t really melt when you get them in water.  Could you imagine if they did, there would be no witches, Well, no witches that you could stand to be around as they would stink the high heavens!

Yes, Witches enjoy a shower like the rest of the world.  Yes, some witches do have nice butts even though I admit that my cover art witch, is my creation…. Lol

My claim is that I was under the spell of the witches to create butt that is perfect from the bottom to the top…

I like Big Butts and I cannot lie… oops I digress 

I was thinking about a story regarding Francisco Goya when I got this from Smashwords.

Modified Goya Nude MAJA
modified by others and eventually me to look more natural.

This painting of his was so risqué that it was not seen in public.  He in fact never got to see his work on public display during his lifetime.

I love this painting, not so much for the Nude Maja but the incredible detail.

I did a study of fabric with my own nude and mine is crap compared to his.

Lady in Blue
Fabric Study 2000

I found Goya’s on line and took the liberty of doing a little touch-up.  Still this is a fabulous painting so much so that I may do one like it just to have it on my wall.  No, can’t sell a copy of someone’s painting but there is nothing wrong with doing it for yourself.

Often times we artist get into trouble when we do such things for pecuniary interests.  (Making money)

Copying his work however to learn, is perfectly acceptable.

I enjoy art immensely.  I could not resist touching up this painting by Goya.  I did it for two reasons really.

The first is the copy I found on the internet has been modified already from the original.  Second I came to know the painting as I can see his brush strokes.  The paint used is nothing like we have today.  Back in the day, they made their own paint and cadmium red or cadmium anything was toxic as hell.

While we think that we are safer today with our modern day paints and chemicals I would tell you that just because it is odorless does not mean that it is not toxic.  I still use very well ventilated areas for painting.  In the cooler months, I might very well go outside to paint.

Today with the IPad Pro and some good software, I can get my art fix with no chemicals.

Take a look at the Goya and then my fabric study and you will see what I mean.

I did this fifteen plus years ago so consider that when judging me … LOL

In other News, Perpetual Palpitation seems to be moving up the charts of books downloaded. 

If you are on this blog, and you are the one of those buying it, Thanks for that!

I look for trends and then try to analyze them.

Marketing 101 ….

For Some of you, it is already Monday Morning…On behalf of us still, on Sunday have a great and Super Week!

Much Love  -TW

Robots are going to rule us all!

Who is your e publishing site?

There are times that I just want to toss in the towel.

Do you ever feel that way?

By all accounts, I am a pretty fair artist.  I could post all kinds of paintings, but that is not my purpose, to boast.  My point in mentioning it is that what I do is really ART!

When I create a cover, it is art, not some thrown together miss mash of stuff.

Dragon Master and the Witch has on the cover a very tasteful nude.  I gave her a butt for our ages but never the less it is a drawing or painting if you will.  Nothing about it is salacious.

She has been swimming in the lake, and the birds are bringing her a towel.  I wanted to give the reader a taste of what is in this novel.

Now on top of this “painting” is a tiny dragon named Rex who is a scamp.  I went out of my way to give him the appearance of being a fun loving scamp.

On the left is the newer Smashwords cover.

On the right is the original “naughty” version FFS!

Published on Amazon, no problems they love it.

Released on Smashwords Holey Hannah, I have PORN on my cover!

I wonder if I should have draped her in all black cloth.   I thought about putting a fig leaf on her butt.

In advertising, the cover art is the sizzle.  You must have good art if you want to attract someone’s attention.  The goal is to entice them to pick up the novel and turn to the cover page.

“There must be No ButtCrack! Or wobbly bits etc .”

“Please re-do your cover and re-submit”  Oh and by the way we are not really fond of your paragraphs.  This is an automated machine telling you this so we cannot be more specific, just keep redoing it until the robot likes it.”

“If you can’t get anywhere with our meat grinder please contact one of our many people who charge very little to format your manuscript so the meat grinder will not eat it. ”

“Hey Smashwords, find some folks who will not only format it but edit it for a reasonable cost and you might have something.”

Ideally, I would like an editor who would work on my manuscripts and his or her remuneration would be so much of the profit into perpetuity.  That would have them put some more skin into the game and oh by the way if they are good, make a ton of bucks on our work.

I think they call that an agent… lol

Is it any wonder why most of my stuff is on Amazon?

What are your experiences?

Do you have an e-pub site that you are happy with?

Oh for the love of an agent or publisher.  “Here, take my latest manuscript and make millions with it!”

I did not have this much trouble getting published in magazines.

Oh well, that is my Friday night rant!

What are you doing this weekend?

If you are an author or writer, what are you working on?

Please think about supporting us, independent authors.

Much Love -TW

Divided America

If you ever took a journalism class, one of the things you learned is, just the facts. The public needs and unbiased media. If you control the narrative, you are in fact disseminating propaganda and are not a journalist.

When the news media, pick one, prints a story that is either based on opinion, innuendo or just made up in its entirety, half the country will not check the sources and swear by the lie. The other half knows that if the story is that far-fetched, something is wrong.

If it is something positive about “our guy” we are more likely to believe it and be happy about it. We may even laud that news in our friend’s faces.
If it is something negative about our guy, we will scorn the purveyors of the fake news, be upset when our friends rub our noses in it; and possibly say things that we should not say.

Today we learned that Trumps Lawyers would hold off on charging Comey with the improper leaking of documents. It is a crime, and he violated the ethics not only of the FBI but his security clearance.

Bloomberg tells the story that Trump’s lawyers are holding off to pacify Special Counsel Robert Mueller, implying that it is some sort of deal made in the dark of night.
Yahoo spins it “Trump’s lawyers FAIL to follow through on threats to file complaints on James Comey. Thus implying that Trump’s lawyers are impotent or that they don’t have a case.
Fox reports that the Trump team had indefinitely postponed filing ethics complaints against Comey.
No spin, just the facts….Why no spin? FOX News doesn’t know why; nobody but Trump and his team knows why.
Yellow Journalism is a term we do not hear much today, but it is alive and well. An example of it might be stated this way.

There was a horrible accident at a train yard. The train failed to stop killing hundreds as it collided with another train on the same track.
When asking the person responsible for warning off the train they asked him. “Did you swing your lamp to warn the engineer?”
“Yes, sir I did.”
The engineer of the train must be at fault.
As the person responsible for the accident walks away from the hearing, he says under his breath, “I am sure glad they did not ask me if my lamp was lit!”

Yellow journalism is a lie. Written to control the narrative with half truths.
Why?
Why is the media so complicit in these fabrications?

If you look at social media, your “friends” may very well be posting things that make their person look beautiful, or your person appear to be corrupt.
Are you at odds with some of your friends?
Do you get on Facebook or social media less, because of this?

If your friends re-post a story with the caption WOW! to grab attention, the story is probably fake or “trumped up.”

The newest WOW story is, “Trump is really Boris Badinoff, and Melania is secretly the infamous Russian spy Natasha!. They have an anonymous source who knows a guy who told him that he had a friend who learned from a man in Russia that, Trump finally admitted to eating Rocky and Bullwinkle with Moose gravy!

Yes, I made it up. I am a writer after all. If it is truly a WOW story, it would be on more things than just Facebook as click bait!

Have you ever read a news story and then read the comments?

Those posting under some pseudonym quickly call someone a name who they disagree with. It is not even mildly ugly; it is usually their entire vocabulary of four letter words, thus proving beyond a shadow of a doubt how intolerant and ignorant that they are. When one cannot defend a position, one resorts to “slang” or the race card, or some other card that is just nonsense.

If they are spewing hate, do not let that poison into your soul. The hate today is so prolific on some of these “news” programs or “talk shows,” I have all but stopped watching tv.
We in this country are not alone. Other countries with overly progressive agendas are feeling the pains of pushing an agenda that cannot be sustained. Progressivism is ideal for those at the top of the heap making all the rules. When the middle class can no longer maintain the burden of supporting everyone else, the country collapses. Greece and Venezuela are two of them that have collapsed recently.
This is nothing new. If we knew history, we would understand that Socialism never works, ever!

It is evident to me that those of us paying for expensive educations are getting screwed. If we were getting our money’s worth, Bernie would never have made the primary’s. Don’t get me wrong; I like him just fine. He is a populist like Trump, but he is so far left, he makes Lenin appear as a moderate.

The problem seems to be that few know history or care to learn it. Those in that camp if in sufficient number will force the country to re-live it, again and again.

Communism does not work. It never has, and it never will. The left push that agenda because it is great for them! Those at the top win!

“Ask Not what your country can do for you but, what you can do for your country!” (Kennedy)

“What happened to those Democrats?”

Hillary Clinton lost to a non-politician, a populist. She lost because she did not speak to the middle class. She referenced them as deplorable’ s which I believe cost her the election. How stupid is that to call all those in the middle class deplorable? If they do not agree with her lock step, they are deplorable, racist, woman haters and the BS list goes on.

The middle class is currently supporting this country! It is not the super-rich! They know how to hide money and not pay taxes. It is not the poor; they don’t have it! It is the middle class and guess what, the middle class is shrinking!
Trump should not have won. I am not arguing the popular vote, I am arguing statistically it should not have happened. That election was hers to lose, and she did it quite nicely.

Russia had nothing to do with it.
All of these conspiracy theories had nothing to do with it.

Until the Democrats re-brand themselves as the party who cares for all Americans, and not just a select few, the ones with deep pockets, the GOP will rule.

Pelosi and Schumer should retire, and the Dems should get some new faces out there that don’t speak easily provable lies. Notice I did not say lies at all because I think to lie and to be a politician go hand in hand, that however is my “opinion.”

When someone will spend millions of their own dollars for a job that pays $150K a year, anyone with a brain should wonder why? I do not believe for a second that their reasons are altruistic. I think it is more than likely a power thing, and power is one hell of an addictive aphrodisiac. They are the ultimate power brokers who write laws that only you and I have to follow. If a politician becomes rich as a politician, the odds are good he or she is a crook. Period end of story. You do not get rich as a public servant unless you are crooked.

Dems currently have a president who they could deal with. Trump is closer to a Democrat than a Republican. Instead of fighting him, and being the party of resist, obstruct and hate…they should change course now!

As for you, my friends, I have some simple advice.

Don’t read the comments on the news pieces. Idiots are everywhere and their vernacular shows it. Opinions are not something you debate; they are opinions.

Emotional topics are not something you debate; you cannot debate a “feeling.” Feelings are real; they are valid, they are just not open for discussion.

You can talk about the three examples of that news article, as those are printed everywhere. They are not open for how you feel, they just are. You might debate the way that they were spun but it is pretty damned clear that the rhetoric was not accidental.

You might have noticed that I did not even reference CNN or MSNBC.

They have lost all credibility as journalists and I “feel” they do you and I a disservice in their hate filled agenda of spreading vitriol and animus through “Yellow Journalism” if not straight out lies!

Der Spiegel and Russia Today are more believable than CNN and MSNBC.

If you are a strong left wing person you may love it because it makes you feel good, but just know, it is fake news created just for you.

The idea is the keep the hate alive for the mid-terms and then 2020! It is a form of “community organizing. They must keep their base energized and then add in the right amount of revenge, to get them out to the polls!

When the time is right they will spin MS13 and ISIS as victims of Trump. Yes if I can make them a victim, I can get the sympathy vote.

If I make an intellectual argument, we can talk about it. If I make an emotional one, I can manipulate the masses into action. Revenge is a powerful motivator. There is an entire art form of manipulating the masses or “useful idiots.” Tell them what is wrong with the world and then place the blame for it on your opponents shoulders. Control the narrative and keep it emotional. Keep your opponent on the defensive, so you control the narrative. That is how you win elections.

Sadly few will see through it and will buy the lies and propagate them on social media.
As long as the lies go unchecked, the country will be divided. Politics as a polite dinnertime conversation will be verboten!

That is a shame really because not only do you and I need to be talking and sharing ideas but, those on the extreme right and left need to get together as well.

I would start by looking for things that we share in common and go from there. You and I must be open to honest, and fact base discussions on issues that we face as a country, and not some made up agenda propagated by the lap dogs of the gods of DC.

The gods are being threatened, and they are fighting back and I “feel” that the media is a complicit tool in their arsenal. The proof is all over the place, but it is still my humble opinion.

We cannot see the forest for the trees, and the marionettes are making sure that the truth stays buried under fake news with a huge helping of hostility thrown in to keep it stirred up.

If this blog interests you, my Book Fractured, might be something that interests you.
-Best