Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cover Art Conundrum Contest!

I am crazy about cover art.

I used to be a graphic designer (I suppose I still am, but I digress). I'm also incredibly anal (HA!) retentive. Everything must be just so in order for me to call something a success or move on to the next task.

And so, as I begin to describe in detail both the lingerie and the protagonist from my newest work, The Haunted Lingerie, I find myself in the middle of a nervous breakdown over my choice of cover art.

I have found two great pictures (at least I narrowed it down to two, right?) which would both work extraordinarily well as cover art. Both are very different in both composition and subject, and they set very different tones for the novella.

Follow me after the jump, where I provide an in-depth analysis of each photo's pros and cons, and also give you the opportunity to vote on which one you like best!

EDIT: The contest is officially closed! Thank you for all your votes. I will post the winner as well as the prevailing image by 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, September 16th, 2013.

The first photo is this one.


This image is actually the one I chose originally. I love it for a variety of reasons, detailed below:

PROS:
  • Huge expanse of space to the left would be great for cover text without compromising the model.
  • The tone is perfectly paranormal - the lighting is great, casting the model in just enough shadow to be mysterious, and the background makes me feel uneasy just looking at it. Very Victorian-horror feel (and I am such a fan of that).
  • She's wearing actual lingerie. It looks like a camisole and boy shorts. If I cut off above the butt cheek peek, then it'll look like a teddy. Even better!
What makes me hesitate:

CONS:
  • The lingerie isn't the focus. In fact, it's a little hard to see. For a story called The Haunted Lingerie, I wonder if there should be more focus on it.
  • The model is a brunette. I've imagined the protagonist as a blonde. Obviously this isn't the most major determining factor, but I can't deny that it gives me pause. 

Now, here's the second photo.


PROS:
  • The model is fantastic. She's sexy, with the blonde hair I imagine my protagonist to have. In fact, she looks precisely like I imagine her.
  • The lingerie is pretty well in focus. It's a bright color and not bathed in shadows.
CONS:
  • The tone of this is so... different. It leans heavily toward erotica/erotic romance rather than the paranormal aspect of the story. I worry that people would look at it and think it didn't have an important story line.
  • It's not really lingerie, is it? Pretty much a bra-and-panties set with garter and stockings. I mean, that's still lingerie, I guess... but what woman buys a used set of panties (okay, I realize there's a kink for that, but you get my drift).
Now, here's where you come in.

I want your opinion! I am driving myself up a wall with this decision and can't continue writing until I've made one! Cast your vote in the comments (along with your reasoning - be as brief or detailed as you want) and I'll make the reveal as soon as a decision has been made. One lucky commenter will also be revealed as the winner of a FREE COPY of The Haunted Lingerie when it is released.

So, if you're interested in helping me make a big decision as well as possibly receiving a free copy of a paranormal erotic romance novella in the process, leave your comments below. Don't forget to tell your friends about the contest, too! Deadline for entry is midnight tonight, September 15th, 2013, EST. Winner will be announced by 5:00 p.m. Monday, September 16th, 2013 EST.

Hope to hear from you soon!

UPDATE: New options are below, courtesy of commenter Tabatha Austin's suggestions.



12 comments:

  1. I love both, but I'm predisposed toward anything purple...

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    1. I know. Purple is *fabulous.* I love that her lipstick matches.

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  2. I like the first one. The wall paper reminds me of the stamp in the Haunted Mansion.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=haunted+mantion+wallpaper

    I wonder if there's a way to make brunette hair blond with Photoshop. That would allow you to make her more to your vision.

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    1. I LOVE the Haunted Mansion! And you're so right. It does look like that wallpaper.

      I've found tutorials like this http://luxa.org/tutorial_quick_brunette_to_blonde.php but there are a LOT of shadows in that picture, so I don't know how well it would turn out. I could certainly try, though!

      Another alternative is to buy both images and put the blonde model on the Haunted Mansion background (that's exactly what I'm going to call it now, thanks to you) and then try to blend it.

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    2. Actually, let me go ahead and update the post with those two options. I did them real fast in Photoshop.

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  3. I prefer the first. I love the model and the visual.

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    1. I have to say, the atmosphere in it is just perfect. Like Tabath Austin said above, it's very "Haunted Mansion" (but not the awful Eddie Murphy movie - the real deal).

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  4. The first one. It shouldn't be too hard to make her blonde. The mood is way sexier and "hauntier?"

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    1. Seeing a lot of pull for that first one so far, for exactly the reasons I chose it in the first place. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it! Also, you're a great cover artist (and author) - thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  5. I might go with the blonde simply because you've done the composition yourself. The other one, because it is premade that way, it's easy for someone else to grab it and slap some text on it. Then your cover is duplicated, which isn't ideal.

    Yeah, I'm not sure this model/image go blonde well. Light to dark is easy! Dark to light only works if there's a lot of texture to work with in the hair (like individual strands) and this one isn't a good candidate.

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    1. That's true, too. I really do like the blonde girl quite a bit, and I think with some more advanced tweaking she could look like she fits in that setting.

      You've given me something to think about. Thanks!

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