slhuang

06-25-2013, 06:55 AM

I'm not dead! New version at post #37 (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=8466545#post8466545).

(whiting out this post so people don't crit accidentally)

Everyone agreed that the first version didn't match the SFF genre at all (thank you so much for the feedback!) -- new concept sketches in post #16.

(::bites fingernails:: This is just a little bit terrifying . . .)

So, some of you may remember my question about mathematical notation being copyrighted . . . well, here's my first attempt at my cover. I'm still a ways off from releasing but I figure this way I'll have some time to make changes if I get a lot of critique here. :)

[deleted photo so people don't waste their valuable time critiquing accidentally -- click below if you're curious to see the first attempt]

Larger version here (http://www.slhuang.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/casZeroSumGame-progress.jpg)

I'm looking to get to acceptable/good -- basically, I don't want it to jump out as self-published. I'm aiming for something professional-looking, but it doesn't have to be the greatest cover ever known to humankind, either. ;) Nitpicks are certainly appreciated, but I'd be ever so grateful if you give me a gauge as to how nitpicky they are (on a scale of, "Hire a cover artist if you have to!" to, "It's okay as it is, but XYZ would improve it" to, "Nobody but me would notice this" :D).

Some things I'd like feedback on in particular:

* Does it match the genre/description? (Following.)

* My MC is a woman, but is not a "sexy" sort of woman, so I'm afraid the silhouette doesn't read as female. Thoughts? Does it matter?

* Would this cover tempt you to pick it up?

And any other thoughts welcome, of course.

Description of Book

GENRE

Contemporary science fiction (basically our world / near future). I like to call it mathematical fiction, but nobody else thinks that's a genre. ;) Reads a little like urban superhero, a little like urban fantasy (1st person POV, a fair bit of snark and wry humor, will be an ongoing series). Lots of action.

DRAFT OF BLURB (hasn't been run through QLH yet, but it will be!)

Cas Russell isn't your garden-variety mathematician. She can do vector calculus in her head fast enough to win any fight, make the most outrageous escapes, and (almost) dodge bullets -- skills she uses in a seedy career as a retrieval specialist in Los Angeles. But when she rescues a young man from a Colombian drug cartel, she collides with a mystery fraught with arson, conspiracy, and murder -- and an enemy who might be just as superpowered as she is.

Gun fights and game theory go head to head in an action-adventure blend of contemporary scifi, urban superhero, and mathematical fiction. Written by an MIT-educated numbers lover, _Zero Sum Game_ cheerfully thumbs its nose at anyone who's ever dared call math boring.

From reading everyone's helpful advice here, I felt I needed three elements in play here:

(1) an indication of the mathematics (since that's the whole premise),

(2) a depiction of my MC (since it's very "hero"-centered), and

(3) a suggestion that it's speculative fiction (which I tried to do with the font in this version).

So that's how I came up with this cover (plus I am thinking I will do every book in the series with a different silhouette / different color gradient / different background math appropriate to the book). But if you think I should redo it completely, feel free to say so! My limitations: I'm a trained fine artist (somewhat) but not at ALL a graphic artist, nor do I have any experience with typography. Also, I'm reluctant to use stock photography to show my MC, because then I'd have to find a stock photo of the same woman for every other book cover (and she's a POC so it's already hard to find!). Hence the silhouette. I mention all this in case it impacts suggestions if people recommend a redo. :)

Thanks in advance, everyone!

(whiting out this post so people don't crit accidentally)

Everyone agreed that the first version didn't match the SFF genre at all (thank you so much for the feedback!) -- new concept sketches in post #16.

(::bites fingernails:: This is just a little bit terrifying . . .)

So, some of you may remember my question about mathematical notation being copyrighted . . . well, here's my first attempt at my cover. I'm still a ways off from releasing but I figure this way I'll have some time to make changes if I get a lot of critique here. :)

[deleted photo so people don't waste their valuable time critiquing accidentally -- click below if you're curious to see the first attempt]

Larger version here (http://www.slhuang.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/casZeroSumGame-progress.jpg)

I'm looking to get to acceptable/good -- basically, I don't want it to jump out as self-published. I'm aiming for something professional-looking, but it doesn't have to be the greatest cover ever known to humankind, either. ;) Nitpicks are certainly appreciated, but I'd be ever so grateful if you give me a gauge as to how nitpicky they are (on a scale of, "Hire a cover artist if you have to!" to, "It's okay as it is, but XYZ would improve it" to, "Nobody but me would notice this" :D).

Some things I'd like feedback on in particular:

* Does it match the genre/description? (Following.)

* My MC is a woman, but is not a "sexy" sort of woman, so I'm afraid the silhouette doesn't read as female. Thoughts? Does it matter?

* Would this cover tempt you to pick it up?

And any other thoughts welcome, of course.

Description of Book

GENRE

Contemporary science fiction (basically our world / near future). I like to call it mathematical fiction, but nobody else thinks that's a genre. ;) Reads a little like urban superhero, a little like urban fantasy (1st person POV, a fair bit of snark and wry humor, will be an ongoing series). Lots of action.

DRAFT OF BLURB (hasn't been run through QLH yet, but it will be!)

Cas Russell isn't your garden-variety mathematician. She can do vector calculus in her head fast enough to win any fight, make the most outrageous escapes, and (almost) dodge bullets -- skills she uses in a seedy career as a retrieval specialist in Los Angeles. But when she rescues a young man from a Colombian drug cartel, she collides with a mystery fraught with arson, conspiracy, and murder -- and an enemy who might be just as superpowered as she is.

Gun fights and game theory go head to head in an action-adventure blend of contemporary scifi, urban superhero, and mathematical fiction. Written by an MIT-educated numbers lover, _Zero Sum Game_ cheerfully thumbs its nose at anyone who's ever dared call math boring.

From reading everyone's helpful advice here, I felt I needed three elements in play here:

(1) an indication of the mathematics (since that's the whole premise),

(2) a depiction of my MC (since it's very "hero"-centered), and

(3) a suggestion that it's speculative fiction (which I tried to do with the font in this version).

So that's how I came up with this cover (plus I am thinking I will do every book in the series with a different silhouette / different color gradient / different background math appropriate to the book). But if you think I should redo it completely, feel free to say so! My limitations: I'm a trained fine artist (somewhat) but not at ALL a graphic artist, nor do I have any experience with typography. Also, I'm reluctant to use stock photography to show my MC, because then I'd have to find a stock photo of the same woman for every other book cover (and she's a POC so it's already hard to find!). Hence the silhouette. I mention all this in case it impacts suggestions if people recommend a redo. :)

Thanks in advance, everyone!