The conversation with Dani ran something like this -
"Would you like to do an updated cover for The Bones of the Sea?"
I looked at the current cover. To be fair, it does look a little...shabby...compared to Keir and Terms & Conditions Apply. "Do you think Bones of the Sea needs a new cover? I know the text isn't great - I did that myself and the image was just a stock photo from Dreamstime." And despite having had GIMP for two years, I still can't figure out how to use it to put decent titles on my own cover art. Plus it is just a single stock image, one anybody can buy and use. But still...
"The text could be better, but I think it's a pretty good cover. I like the image."
I love the image but I would like the text to be better so we go for that. And so begins a day of ranting on Twitter, as not only do I fail to find the stock image on my memory sticks (always back up ALL your stuff, people!), but the DVD disk drive on my computer packs up. Argh!
Then Dani comes to the rescue and sends me this -
I was actually speechless. I LOVED it! Without even a discussion over image ideas, Dani had picked up on the key elements I'd always wanted in the cover but had neither the skills nor resources to achieve myself back when I published it in May 2011. I'd used a bought single stock image, with some text added - a wonderful image that I loved and I felt was evocative - but also easily available to anyone else to buy. This was just a rough draft she'd put together to get my thoughts on. And once I'd seen it, I wanted it.
Anyone who has read the story should be able to immediately identify with the image. Seeing this threw any plans of mine simply to put new text on the old cover. But the amount of bubbles meant that even at this size it was hard to make out the diver. At thumbnail - which is how most people will see it when browsing - it becomes impossible. So, much as I loved it, tweaking was needed. Below are three more versions, each with a tweak.
Dani wasn't prepared to give up tweaking until I was completely happy with the cover, and I have to say she's a joy to work with and one very talented lady. So this is my final new shiny cover for my free scifi short The Bones of the Sea - designed by Danielle Fine. Ta da!
Isn't it purty?! This will be replacing the old cover over the next week - I need to make adjustments to the interior of the book before re-uploading it to Smashwords. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out Dani's website here if you're on the hunt for a cover design. (pssst, she also does editing and book trailers!).
In other news...
It's #pitchwars! This is "an upcoming event where agented authors, industry interns, and editors team up with aspiring writers to shine up their manuscripts and pitches to present to some awesome agents." You can check out all the details here. Currently the submission window is open until the 5th December for you to pick three mentors from the list (check carefully who is accepting what genres, as many are looking for those outside their normal preferred genre to read or write!) and submit your query and the first five pages of your manuscript. I have my mentors chosen and my query all ready to go, I just haven't...submitted yet. >.< This will be my first time pitching so I admit to being nervous. Yes, even with two book contracts under my belt. O.o There's also the #pitchMAS workshop on the 5th December here and you can see which agents and editors are judging the pitches here. The best of luck if you're taking part in either or both of those.
In line with Laurie's post about the latest space news, an article on io9 has shown the possibilities of exploring beyond our own solar system are getting closer to a reality rather than remaining a science fiction idea. Warp drive! Physicist Harold White is convinced he has a theory that will result "in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein's law of relativity." Of course it's all theory at the moment - there's no time scale on when this might happen, but his convictions seems to take it from being more a case of if to when. So, it's unlikely in my lifetime - unless one of those technological leaps occurs - but perhaps our grandchildren will be hopping from one star to another in a matter of weeks. It's a wonderful thing to consider. You can read the entire article here.