Hmmm … Your thoughts?

I submitted fellow blogger disperser tracks‘ idea for the remake of my Stanley Pearl cover – “…how about a woman helping a guy with a briefcase (accountant) out of a giant shell. Half of him could be dressed in a suit, and the other half (out of his shell) with more casual attire.”

My description to the design company read: A woman helping a guy with a briefcase (Stanley) out of a giant clam shell. The same type of shell a pearl would be in. Half of him could be dressed in a suit, and the other half (the part out of the shell) with more casual attire. Or show the suit faintly slipping away as he comes out in casual jeans, gray t-shirt, possibly a sweater tied around his neck. The girl should have brown hair reaching just below her shoulders, wearing a skirt and possibly even a cute apron as she is a waitress. No glasses. Stanley also has brown hair, no glasses.

Below are the two rough drafts sent to me. Any details could be changed. The artist is asking me to approve one of the designs.

I’d like some input from you. Do you like one over the other? Do you dislike either/both? What changes or additions would you make? Are you disappointed there is no shell? Would this style be cohesive with my other titles?


Design 1:

Design 2:

Thanks for your thoughts!

16 thoughts on “Hmmm … Your thoughts?

  1. Hmm . . . I don’t think they heard what you asked. However, of the two, if those are the only and final choices, I prefer the first (it looks closer and more like your previous covers . . . except the waitress looks a bit frumpy).

    On the second cover, the guy in his underwear screams that he forgot to wear his pants, and it looks more like that’s his wife telling him he also forgot his briefcase.

    However, even on the first cover, he still looks like an accountant; an accountant rushing to his corporate job.

    There’s no indication of a change from who he is; a suit-wearing accountant (presuming he changes).

    I’m still reading the book, so I don’t know what else I could suggest (I’m about 30% in — I had to take a break for ‘stuff’, but I should finish it in a day or two).

    Still, from what I have read so far, I think both covers kind of miss the mark. At this point, I have no suggestions.

    One other note: the drawing styles look very different. I prefer the style of the second cover, but the first cover comes closer to your other books (more angular, but still not quite there). Also, in the first cover, there’s no clear association between the (somewhat frumpy) waitress and the accountant running to his accounting job. On the second cover, they both look much younger than the characters, like someone in their early twenties.

    Hmm . . . I’m giving nothing but negative stuff here because I don’t think either cover works. I also think the shell idea (while mine, and hence clever) might be too complicated for the cover.

    Let me end on a positive. You could take the first cover and changed it to where the waitress is holding his hand, leading him away from his briefcase stuffed in a garbage bin as he tosses his tie over his shoulder.

    But, ultimately, it’s not my choice to make. I know that when I ask readers for opinions — like when choosing a title for the current challenge — they seldom (never) pick what I would have picked, and it’s usually not even close.

    • You and I are on the same page. I may have misunderstood, and I was only being asked to choose a style; however, if that were the case, I would think the illustrations would be closer to what was asked for.

      Of the two, I agree the first is more acceptable but still does not reflect the nature of the story. I also agree that both covers miss the mark. I don’t believe the shell idea is too complicated. My long-time cover artist (my niece) would be able to deliver the cover we specified. This company I’m working with is a new company who has offered to do a cover for me for free in exchange for a testimonial.

      I’m not sure what I’ll do going forward. I will give the designer my feedback and see if he can come closer to what I’ve requested.

      Thank you for your input!

    • Clinton, you are a peach to stop by and weigh in. Thank you.

      I agree. Number one works best. If I can get him to tweak it … possibly the briefcase falling behind, the jacket and tie falling behind, and the girl looking less frumpy with coffee shop drinks … well maybe they can come up with something I would accept.

      Thanks again!

  2. A good friend dropped an email to me with their thoughts. I thought I’d share snippets and keep all the suggestions together:

    “I don’t like either one. I don’t feel like they suit the book. I really like your idea of Stanley coming out of a shell with part of his suit and then casual clothes. These two designs fail to capture what you want/need for the book cover. Yes, they are in the ‘cartoon’ style that your other books use, but that’s about it. … The bottom cover – (the man) – the expression is weird, and it looks like he is standing in his underwear. Also, you can’t tell it’s a waitress, looks more like his wife.”

    I agree with all these thoughts. Thank you to my friend for their honesty as well.

    • Now that is a good friend! Honest, thoughtful, they must be the best! 😉 You are so lucky to have such a wonderful friend! Of course, they have you as a friend also, so both are lucky!

  3. I’m so disappointed for you Maddie. Neither of those conveys your idea. The first rather than out of his shell he just looks like he’s in a big rush. The second looks like teenagers and I have no clue what the link to the story is!

    • I agree, Annie! But don’t be too disappointed for me. I’ll get the cover I want eventually. This company is new, and they offered to do a free cover for me in exchange for a testimonial. They might get it right in the end – or at least something I can consider. Both of the covers above would be good for someone else, but not for my book. I like the fellow I’m working with, so we’ll see how it all shakes out. 🙂

  4. Hi Maddie..just popped in having not read your books(s) I don’t like either cover however I think they have been guided by your first cover… which doesn’t have a shell either although the tagline infers a shell..not sure if I’m making sense…I do think in the second one that he looks as if he’s running hell for leather away from something or is late for something..coming out of his shell he should be pondering or showing amazement plus in keeping with the original design do you need a shell?

    • Thank you for your thoughts, Carol. I’ve been wanting to change this cover as it isn’t cohesive with all my other books, and I think a new cover could better convey the storyline. A new design company has offered to do a cover for free in exchange for a testimonial, so I pitched Stanley Pearl with the idea of the shell. It appears they couldn’t do it. I’ve given them some more feedback, so we shall see what their final design will be. Eventually, I’ll get this cover changed to something I like. 🙂

    • My present cover artist uses quite a few photos when she designs my covers, but she then uses a professional drawing program to “draw over” them to create that hand-drawn look. I asked her once to draw over the Stanley Pearl cover, but we both got busy and never went back to it. I agree with you. The original cover might work with some brighter colors and that hand-drawn look. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll talk to her about it. 🙂

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