Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Messing Around with Titles and Covers

A terrible first attempt

So I was reading this +Wattpad book the other day called "Cracking the Wattpad Code." I've been following its progress since I am very interested in the way that Wattpad ticks. No secret here: I do want RoboNomics in particular to be successful on Wattpad, and I'm not willing to let it go on chance. I'm wiling to use any trick I can, and stock my literary granary with any resource I can. (awkward metaphor? I thought of arsenal and weaponry first, but war comparisons are extremely overused).

Anyways. It was the latest chapter that has my attraction. "Tiny tweaks that yield BIG results" is a chapter about how book covers, description, and one's profile can help or hurt number of reads.

But I am very attached to RoboNomics' covers. They could use some tweaking in terms of having the aspect ratios match better, but other than that, they are good. I've received compliments on them, even. The descriptions of book books could perhaps use some tweaking to make it more obvious what the books are actually about, but the covers are just dandy.

My Tales of Omorbia book, on the other hand, needs some help. Still limping along, I figure maybe messing around with the cover and description wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Original title and cover
So I've tried to make everything about the cover and title, as well as the description, a bit more transparent from a reader's perspective. The original title is unique, but vague. And the original book cover makes it look more like a horror story than the beginning of an epic fantasy.

But what does the cover of an epic fantasy series look like? That really depends: on the story, on the audience I'd like to capture. The fact that I've made up languages for Omorbia and been snarled into the tangled world of constructed languages might appeal to Tolkien fans, which would mean I should put runes or some such on the cover. But making up a language for a high fantasy series is hardly original, and is a little beside the point.

I could focus on the fact that it is a long series in the high fantasy genre, and make my covers resemble the cheesy, cartoonish depictions found on covers of books in that genre. By besides hating those covers, my story doesn't really follow along the same formula as most high fantasy series (the Monomyth). Or I could follow in the footsteps of one of Young Adult literature's most famous fantasy series, and submit to the cartoonish illustrations.

New title and cover
Perhaps something iconic. Maybe I should go with just one single central logo that represents the story, like A Song of Fire and Ice books. That might be best. But then what would I settle on as the icon that represents this story? What do you think I should do?

While I've been debating these nuances, I've at least come up with a new title. "The Mage's Apprentice", as I've argued before, is completely and utterly unoriginal. But it has the advantage of being simple. It states exactly who the story revolves around, and hints at what it is about.

And so settled on a name, I've also made a mock-up of a new cover. It's terrible. It looks like a cook book. Sure, it is representative of a major element of the story; i.e. Vadier's magical practice, but it's just not a fantasy book cover, is it?

The thing is, I do love the colours and the elements. I think it's original and what's move, it can be used as a series.

Nanowrimo is nearly here and I've been thinking about the cover for the book I'll write in November, the second in the Omorbia series. And wouldn't it be nice to have matching covers?

The title for Book II is again, super simple states exactly who the book is about and what you can expect from the story. But now I've got a "how-to build furniture the amish way" book cover. It matches, but it's not fantasy.

So I've obviously got some more work to do. I'll keep you updated about how it goes. And let me know if you have any ideas for me! I am stuck on this one aspect of marketing. I've got to stop shaking my head around and think of some icon from Book I that I can use on the cover. And then I've got to produce a cover! Oh boy, back to the drawing board...