Good Intentions

Six chapters of Camp Expendable read yesterday, eleven more to go. This was supposed to be a straight readthrough in one day, but I hardly ever manage that. Just gotta edit when I see something that needs to be changed. But I’ve been managing a little self-control, and highlighting some of the areas that I want to go back to after this round.

The cover is sort of done, after having to drop two different ideas. It still needs work. My second idea was a sign post with the camp name stenciled on. It looked terrible, so that was out, but I kept the stencil font. That will have to change. And I should probably delete the question mark. So this is a semi-final version. Comments are welcome.Camp Expendable-blog



9 thoughts on “Good Intentions

  1. Sorry, but even at about 2 x 3 inches, I can’t read the title OR your name. You need to do something so those stand out – or you’ll get killed on the thumbnail size.

    Is it supposed to be SF? I don’t know why that is in my head, but if it is, the photo says Western to me. What genre are we aiming for here?

    You asked – those were my first thoughts.

    1. Hm. I can read it, even much smaller than that, but of course I know what it says. And the title font isn’t really a very readable font. Another reason to change it.

      I decided not worry about what genre the cover implies. The book takes place in a desert that has a big influence on events. Like most of what I write, it’s very difficult to give a sense of the novel and still conform to genre expectations.

      You’ve given me an idea for something else I might try, though. The cover I whipped up for NaNo had a guard tower in it. It doesn’t really work for the story, but maybe I can find another guard tower that will. Or I’ll work on the tagline. Or both.

      I have a tendency to settle for the first solution, even if it isn’t entirely satisfactory, so it’s good to have a different set of eyes take a look. Much thanks.

      1. You don’t have to change fonts – there are ways to make something stand out: a subtle edge, a partly-transparent rounded-corner rectangle behind the lettering, a different color, a shadow. Tweaks, rather than radical changes. Decide what you want to keep exactly as it is (there’s usually a reason – that font reminds me of the letters stenciled on the side of my husband’s dufflebag from the Army).

        Some parts are more essential than others – don’t give up if you like something.

  2. I thought the title should be in the blue sky and the other text below, but I’m notorious for getting covers wrong, so it’s probably wise not to take any notice of me.
    I think, now that you’ve abandoned the idea of the signpost, that the stencilled print is a mistake. No one else but you will get the subtle connection.
    I like the guard tower idea. At present, the cover doesn’t convey much except wide, open spaces.

    1. What I’m seeing now is that you need a carefully placed focal point – and the design stuff I read for my cover talked about making the gaze go from upper left to lower right as one possible pattern.

      Any human figures you can think of adding that would go with the story? Even a camp set in the desert would have buildings or tents, and humans. Maybe adding something to your photo would keep it as a background, but also give you something to focus the eye. Just an idea.

      Bookbub’s blog has a bunch of stuff on doing tests of two different covers, often the same basic cover with a comparison of click-through rates when changing a particular feature. JM Ney-Grimm’s site has a bunch of information, too. I like her covers.

      1. I have a ton of resources about design, but they don’t do much good if you can’t find the right image. I only use public domain because it isn’t financially worth it to pay for cover images. But I did just find one that I think will work. Only took looking through about 500 images.

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