A- MUSE-in Cover Revolt

A- MUSE-in Cover Revolt
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Monday, May 20, 2013




Three plus

years and counting...does that mean Kat and I now have an insider's understanding of this BIG OCEAN we swim in?

March 29th was the actual THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of my

first book contract. (Kat started with another publisher a year and a half before that.)

I've learned a LOT about the process since my Over-The-Moon...Dancing On The Ceiling and Swinging-From-The-Rafters first days..Some of it EXCEPTIONALLY BRILLIANT...

Some of it...


One of the things I've learned is

cover art is not necessarily UNIQUE any longer.

I can show this by comparing some of my book covers with book covers for other authors also here at Muse It Up Publishing, Inc. and express why some of their covers rock my world better than mine and/or vice versa.

I begin with my all time favorite cover for my new release ECHOES FROM THE PAST done by the billiant Suzannah Safi and showcase it with another Suzannah Safi cover for SLOANE WOLFE

What do you think?

I admit to LOVING the color of blue...but the richer, autumn colors of my cover...they seem warmer to me...still two pretty spectacular representations using the same heroine by Suzannah Safi in a way that allows BOTH covers to shine. 

I would be LYING if I didn't say I LOVE the cover Suzannah created for ECHOES more, but I'm pretty gape-jawed over the feeling of chilling power she also captured in the Sloane Wolf cover for Margay Leah Justice.

Just goes to show if the people who work with Graphics know their stuff they can beautifully create many sides at the altar of their Cover table.

BUT GUESS WHAT...I found ANOTHER Muse It Up Cover by another CA using the same heroine image...this one was done early in the parade of Muse It Up Covers...

...fashioned by Delilah K. Stephens for HIMEROS PRINCESS. I found this cover intriguing, but more about it on something I will elaborate on further into this blog posting.

This heroine seems more coolly calculating in the way she looks out of the cover at us. She seems less likly to burn and sizzle....and the images seem...ghostly...or muted somehow. Am I right?

Still the coloring of MY heroine, in the hues Suzannah gave me show Kira Firebird MY heroine, is a woman of intense emotions with heat radiating out of her dark eyes and a haunted future staring back at her.

Dana Littlejohn, though I must acknowledge yours is the first of our MIU covers I saw my heroine captured on, it is impressive. From the positive feedback I've been getting for my Suzannah Safi Cover and complimenting Book Trailer though, I hope your cover made just as deep an impact on the visual world.

Moving On...Everyone told me what a lucky duck I was to get a Jimmy Thomas cover. I hate to admit this, since I've learned much since then, I had no idea if Jimmy Thomas was a person or a Garbonza bean when everyone was praising me for my coup.

Now I know...but I also know two of our CA's used the same image to create covers and I'm still not sure WHAT-THE-HEY!

My cover, by Delilah K. Stephens is for my story that takes place in the moutains...snow blizzard and all...Maxine's, done by Winterheart Design, I assume takes place in a more HOT and watery climate.

My Jimmy and his lady are muted...but not enough for them to actually be dressed as they seem to be to comfortably be playing in what I know and the reader WILL know is an approaching blizzard...also...for being all excited about having a JT cover...why should I be thrilled about a MUTED Cover God? (I doubt Jimmy spends time asking how he can MUTE his gorgeousness.) 

Maxine's cover leaves JT and his blonde at/near/IN the water and dressed approrpiately.

Another thing...is the white banner across the bottom of my cover supposed to hint at SNOW? To me it seems more like a white veil to hide that JT and the heroine are not really getting it on in the moutains.

Of these two covers, I like the one for RINGS OF PARADISE best. It RINGS true! Am I wrong?

A mountain blizzard...that's where my book's story takes place,. not hugging theocean's crests.

Now the final curiosity connected with Delilah K. Stephens' cover of HIMEROS PRINCESS and the cover she did for Book Two in my Christmas Miracles Series.

I guess I should start with Book One in this series...a BRILLIANT first cover I will always love...


The images and blending and yes, even the font Delilah K. Stephens put together for my very first published MIU book spoiled me...can you tell why?

Book Two in this series,

THE CHRISTMAS WAR...Not so good...

and let me explain why...

the hero of MY story has served several terms in Iraq...he's got a PhD. in Law and Theology...he's not a kid any more. He's a black man...and yes, he's a hero type.

Beck, the heroine is rapidly approaching her 35th birthday. She's the owner of her own confection's store, and the best friend of the heroine in SANTA IS A LADY...she's white and has many notches of life on her soul.

In HIMEROS PRINCESS...the hero is black and he's more mature than the image I ended up with for THE CHRISTMAS WAR.

I was told it's difficult to find black heroes...so this is the cover I HAD to accept since I'd gone and made my hero black.

Notice the hero AND the heroine are both little more than KIDS!

If the hero for Himeros Princess was already in Delilah's repertoire, why did she "urge" me to accept an inferior cover based on inablity to find black heroes? Doesn't the Himeros hero look closer to the age of my hero than what my cover ended up with?

And again..this series takes place in
SNOW COUNTRY...does either the hero or heroine look like they're ready for arctic temps?

Most of today's CA do not stand at
easel creating original works of genius. They trawl the graphics sites for the images they paste and blend into genius.

I know once a CA buys an image (s)he has the right to use it over and over for thousands and thousands of times...SO if you want to show yourself as exceptional at what your blending you have to remember what you've done, keep an eye on other covers fashioned by other artists and go for the gold.

No one is going to hit the mark 100% of the time, but the finished cover is not just ONE example of your genuis....it's a conglomerate of your skills...blending color, offering shadow, morphing design, arranging font size, color, etc., etc., etc....In OTHER words...the TECHNICAL as well as the creative makes the difference between a GREAT cover...

And one that

falls short of the mark.

Now that we've come full circle

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