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Art Book 13 by Frohickey Art Book 13 :iconfrohickey:Frohickey 14 15 Circuit board by coldbroken Circuit board :iconcoldbroken:coldbroken 257 125 Sketch for JLA/TREK crossover by Ihlecreations Sketch for JLA/TREK crossover :iconihlecreations:Ihlecreations 5 4 Husband and Wife by mdbruffy Husband and Wife :iconmdbruffy:mdbruffy 6 15 The New Recruit by PDSmith The New Recruit :iconpdsmith:PDSmith 8 12 Tom Kovak by karracaz Tom Kovak :iconkarracaz:karracaz 2 1 Dark Mirror Lt. Valeris Lines by stourangeau Dark Mirror Lt. Valeris Lines :iconstourangeau:stourangeau 20 0
Everything written is unique in some way. A publisher treads a fine line between preserving that unique quality whilst at the same time presenting the publication in such a way as to make it recognisable and attractive to its target audience. For example our Trekzine, Personal Logs, needs to be recognisable as...
  • short stories and art...
  • about Star Trek, any series and era...
  • a wide range of story types from action/adventure to personal relationship dramas...
  • Fan produced...
  • rated PG13 or less...

All of these key points, which by the way would be tags you would need to apply to your work where possible, should be recognisable from the cover either by being spelled out in the promotional blurb or by recognisable memes in the cover art, font, colour scheme or layout of the cover

Does an illustration have to accurately record something that happens in the story? That is a bitterly fought argument! My own thoughts on the matter are: why can't you have both? A cover that sells the story and accurately shows a scene in the story? Given that a cover has a minor difference with the story but really ticks all the boxes to draw the casual browser I would only veto it if the author vehemently disagreed with it – mainly because if they felt that strongly about it then others who read it and liked it might as well.

Marion Gropen puts it this way on the Self-Publishing Yahoo Group, “If you put art that looks like a cozy mystery on an urban fantasy, it doesn't matter that the room depicted actually appears in the book. The reader who buys it will be expecting a cozy, and they'll be annoyed when it's not. And the reader who actually would like your book probably won't buy it, based on that cover image.”

So what do I look for in a cover? Two things. Primarily I'm looking for something that will allow the prospective reader to accurately identify the style, genre and content of the story. This might sound “commercial” to you - a strange thing to say about a fan production! - but there is a language and symbology to covers, just as there is to road signs and food packaging, and it is this that will make the initial connection between your book and the browsing reader.

However whilst showing how this is similar to other stories the prospective reader might have read, it also needs to explain how it is different as well. It needs to show the unique spark that will make the story memorable for the reader. Hopefully so much so that they will go looking for others thing the author has written!

Remember, what TrekUnited publishing is doing and I would suggest all other publishers of fan produced works, is to emulate professional publishers right up to, but not including the vast profit they make! The writer creates the stories, we package it in such a way as to attract an auduence for it and facilitate the distribution of the finished works. This means that at times we need to follow the experience of professionals in the field and then adapt them to our own purposes.

[To Be Continued?]

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jespah2 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012  Student Photographer
DefiantVulcan Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012
I made it!
PDSmith Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
I'm signed up!
as a watcher....
mdbruffy Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
I guess we need to get this place up and running.
Kirok-of-LStok Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
Mwahahaha! I get to be the first to comment on my own Group!...
... that is so sad!
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