Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Weds check in . . . for Mermaid Covers

This week balanced moments of euphoria with dark thoughts. Well, maybe not that dark. I used i-stock as recommended by a writer from the helpful Internet Writing Workshop to find the perfect cover, only to discover that photograph I fell in love with would cost about $278. Not this time.

So my challenge to you, dear readers, is to give me some feedback. Which of these two covers do you prefer? 

The book is a collection of ten short stories (and a like number of poems) about mermaids -- historical, cross-cultural, gothic, and a tad of magical realism. 

Which cover grabs you, invites you in, makes you want to pick up this soon-to-be e-book?

The photos come from a summer trip to southern Mexico. I can't use a picture of my mermaid quilt without violating copyright, and truthfully, I have lost confidence in my drawing abilities, even if I can still paint large cartoons on walls to the delight of small children.

Now for this week's ROW80 Weds check-in, just 12 hours late.  

I can report steady progress. The edits are done entirely for Years of Stone. Gasp! Next week, I'll be reworking the synopsis and query and sending it out. Just two stories remain to edit for The Mermaid Quilt, the sequence of stories/poems is set, and I'm chopping out two stories that don't quite feel finished. Then I tackle Amazon's amazing guidelines for e-pubbing (yes, I'm using their template). 

Finally, I've had the chance to read other participants on ROW80. Not quite all of them, but enough to feel these are serious writers who, like me, are writing between other commitments. Yahoo! Unfinished work? A story to send out by Sunday.

Meanwhile, I shall hold my breath and hope for your reaction to these covers.
Just in case you wish to see what other ROW80 writers are doing, click here.


  1. Honestly, neither cover draws me to the book. They both look like what they are: photos of statues in someone's living room.

    I think you need something for thematic or something more enticing. I can't draw worth a lick, but I'm imaging a wrap-around pic for your paperback, where only the tail is on the front cover and the rest of a real-life mermaid wraps around to the back of the book. Yeah the front would only show on the e-book, but it might be intriguing enough. Google mermaid.

  2. Hi Beth. I'm glad to hear that you are making steady progress!

    The first cover jumps out at me. This mermaid feels alive - she is more like a piece of sculpture, but I can see her slithering away and sliding back into the ocean. The second cover is busier, yet the mermaid is more static...Just my thoughts. Hope they are helpful to you.

  3. I like number one. It's fascinating and draws me in. Number two could be Indian in theme with its garish colors. Go, Beth, go!

  4. I like both of them, but think they could both be improved by making the image larger. Too much white space above the first one, and the entire oval of the second one could be bigger--moving the title up into the white space above.

  5. Umm... both could be improved on, IMHO. (I have a similar problem with my covers.)
    Try WikiMedia Commons - there's this amazing Thai mural photo at here. Imagine that flipped horizontally and wrapped around your cover so the tail is on the back like Rick suggests above.
    Check out Dean Wesley Smith's advice where he describes what makes a good/bad cover. I'm off to rethink my own covers after reading that one! Good luck!

  6. I definitely prefer the first over the second. In the second one, something about the bright colors reminds me of something you'd buy in a tourist trap.

    I LOVE Rick's idea of the mermaid wrapping around the back of the cover.

  7. Anonymous11:32 PM

    I like the first cover. Only nit - perhaps the font could be darker?

  8. I like the clean look of the first cover but I honestly do not know anything about e-books and their covers, meaning what sells.

    I will say that any e-book I purchase is because I like what I have read in the opening pages. I don't think I am drawn to a book because of its cover but I probably am somewhat drawn to a title. Then, I look inside. Best of luck with this and do keep us posted.


  9. Thank you all for commenting here (and by e-mail). I've learned so much from this whole process AND from putting the issue out on my blog. Because of this posting here and on Internet Writing Workshop, a writer who also designs covers has offered to design my cover! And it's stunning! So much better than what I would have done. What a great community of writers we build. So, stay tuned. I'll post the cover here as as soon as I can. And may your own writing go well.