by Joshua Palmatier
Hi Joshua: Glad it's not just me being picky : )
Jon Knight: Yeah, someone else pointed that out by email (rather than in the comments). The possible fix is to stack "clockwork" and "universe" on top of each other and make them bigger, so that at least the main title is legible when it's shrunk down to thumbnail size. Joshua
Victoria Shade: The reason the other authors aren't listed is because we don't know who they are yet. So we went with those we have already and will update that part in the finalized version. And you're right, we need to eliminate the double mention of the authors in both paragraphs. The "tea and spectacles" thing was to try to capture the steampunk vibe, and we've decided that "getting your gaskets blown" is probably too close to innuendo (it was intended as just another steampunk reference). We can probably make the white letters more readable by darkening the background shade of black a little more. As for marketing . . . I'm thinking that the author names will do more to draw in readers than snippets of story ideas, but we'll have to see. Right now we can't include the story snippets, because we don't know what the stories are yet! *grin* But thanks for all of the good thoughts. Most of what people have pointed out are things that we've already considered ourselves, but having someone else point out these things just emphasizes that we're on the right track in what we're already thinking. Joshua
Sorry, I didn't "proof" my message before sending. Got distracted in the middle and the last paragraph is in the wrong position and has lots of typos. (embarrassed grimace) My apologies.
I appreciate you guys do this for a living, but have you tried shrinking the front cover down to thumbnail size (120x80)? I suspect the title will be completely unreadable, awesome though the font is...
Dang, I'm coming up dry...I think the Zombies already ate my brain, since I have a lot of "Plants vs Zombies" puzzle levels to go. (grin) Stayed up too late last night for an "old lady".
Anyway, let me mention the back cover text items that caught my attention, and maybe, if you think it worthwhile, someone else who is a writer can figure out a different way to say them.
1. the double mention of authors (in both paragraphs). Seems as if "real estate" there is limited and should get best bang for the buck. Can the same thing be said, without the double author reference?
2. I'm of three minds on listing all the authors. First mind: Personally, I too like the list of authors, as it seems it would draw in more folks who are fans of specific ones, even if they don't happen to know all of them. Also, since this is an alternatively funded project, it seems as if it's only reasonable to give more recognition to those involved. However, mention of 7 for 14 stories raises questions. Is each author writing 2 stories or are are the rest of the authors not "top authors"? (grin) Or do you not know who some of the authors are going to be yet?
Second mind: I don't have any anthologies close to hand to see how the back covers were handled by others. However, (reference back to #1 above) I keep on getting back to the idea of it being valuable "real estate". What is your primary purpose? IF it's marketing, then the question has to be what will attract more readers? Is it the authors or is it, for example, room for additional tantalizing snippets about the stories themselves? I don't know the answer to those questions. You published authors may already know or, if not, perhaps some can poll your current books' editors. Third mind (grin): Maybe the exact text doesn't matter, because the back cover won't be serving as it's traditional role of grabbing attention and making someone want to buy the book, because your marketing plan doesn't include the book sitting on a physical "bricks and mortar" shelf anywhere.
3. The all caps font: It's cool, and maybe you justifiably are trying to "make a statement", but it's a bit harder to read than a mixed upper and lower case serif. I'm sure you used the white because the background art is relatively dark. Black would have been awful. However, between the two, at least in this image's view, it's slightly hard to read. Would that discourage any buyers? Perhaps only some of those who might see it only on a store shelf, reference ("Third Mind" above) - say at some specialty store like Uncle Hugo's Sci Fi store. Are any going to be sold that way or is it all going to be electronic marketing?
4. The final statement. Back to thinking about marketing, I guess. As a 60-something female who is primarily a book reader, I can totally relate to the "tea and sit back" line and I do know some older men and other younger folks who drink tea. However, I know many more others who wouldn't know what to do with a mug/cup of tea as they've never had anything besides a cup of coffee, bottle of water, or can of soda/energy drink in their hands. (grin) Can those folks relate to the tea and do you care? Likewise, do younger folks wear glasses ("spectacles") as a fashion statement today? It's my perception that while many folks do wear glasses, many more don't as they don't need them or wear contacts instead or have had Lasix, etc.) Or, do you perceive the "tea and spectacles" as more of a statement relating to the period feel of the Clockwork Universe and appropriate because of that? For whatever it's worth IMHO, everyone shops differently, but little things can be subliminal in terms of catching attention and making "that sale". However, I'm just speaking from my lifelong addiction to reading, NOT from any professional, research-based background. (Also, how would someone planning on buying an ebook for their tablet respond to that copy? Maybe need different copy for those "ads" vs what's on the back cover of the PB version?)
Well, you're surely more than tired of my mutterings by now. I'm just really excited about this project and want you and all your authors to have the best success ever! Even more, I want to have the final version in my hands so I can have that cup of tea and have my gaskets blown! Best wishes!
Finally, I like the dichotomy of the "sit back" and the "gaskets blown". (grin)
I have no idea about the type of copy used for marketing ebooks (I still prefer PBs). Is it more or less than on a back cover? Do you have oodles of room (like Amazon listings)? Or do you need 1 punchy paragraph with a "read more" where you can write what you wish? Obviouslu with plenty of room, once can list all authors there.
Victoria Shade: Yeah, that phrase you mentioned is one of the things that we intend to fix. We also don't think the final sentence is strong enough yet. We're still playing with it. But any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Joshua
The cover is awesome and I'd buy a T-shirt with that artwork! 2XL, please. (GRIN)
However, as someone who does minor editing work, I'd like to suggest slightly revising the back cover text. As it reads now it's from the fund-raising effort talking about what will happen in the future: "authors will bring us tales". Once you're already published and those of us eagerly awaiting the results have the end product(s) in hand, it should be either "authors bring us tales" or "authors have brought us tales". In fact, the two paragraphs seem a little redundant, as both mention the authors. It'll work the way it is, but I think it could be stronger. Rewriting isn't my strength, but let me "cogitate". I'll try and come up with an example of what I'm talking about and then maybe someone else can rewrite in a stronger fashion. Get back to you soon.
Steven Halter: OMG! None of us thought of that! I'll have to play with the idea to see if I like the look. And that would be good for a t-shirt design as well. Joshua
I like that and good philosophy of having everyone on the cover. With your ZNB logo brain, it would look fairly cool if there were a bite taken out of part of it.