Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Gimp and the Trouble with Cover Art: Or How I Became a Massage Whore

I'm going to be straight up with you here. This isn't an article about S&M. Sorry to disappoint, but the Gimp earlier referred to in the title is the name of an art program like MS Paint or Photoshop. I recently downloaded it onto my computer so that I might fix the cover art for the train wreck of a novel I published on Kindle KDP. There were actually one or two people who said they liked it-might have been trying to spare my feelings but I'm going to pretend otherwise. Denial is a beautiful thing when your a hack writer.

I'm planning on publishing it on Smashwords so that it might be available for Nook, but before I do that, I need to fix the cover art, of which I have never really been happy with. I scraped up enough money to buy an image I liked on istockphoto, but it still needs tweaking. Unfortunately, I have even less talent in art than I do in writing, which is to say I have none at all. I've resorted to becoming a massage whore. Not a "suki-suki, happy ending" massage whore, gutter brain. A "I'll give you two free 60 minute massages if you just fix this for me, pretty please!" type of massage whore. I feel just as dirty, but when you're broke you've got to swallow your pride, get out on that street corner, and show a little effleurage.

Meanwhile, I've been playing around with this new Gimp program, trying to give the Johns-ahem, I mean artists-in question an idea of what I want. This is the original artwork:

The teddy bear was supposed to be smaller and the binds around the woman's wrists were supposed to be string (relevant to the novel, trust me). This was the best I could get for $100, and to be honest, I don't blame the artist for not being able to offer me the moon.

This is the image I bought on Istock:

I've decided to make things simple. I just want the title at the top, the author name at the bottom, and the background to be colorized either a blue or reddish hue like this:

This was the best I could do with Gimp. I'm hoping either my sister's friend at work or my coworker's friend's husband or whatever can do better. If anyone else out there has any suggestions, any input would be appreciated. Leave a comment on this blog or on one of my facebook pages (my personal page or my novel page), letting me know what you think. No, I will not give you a free massage for your pontifications, but I'll still love you all the same.

Author's Note to the Artists: if you're reading this, yes, you will both get your massages regardless of whose artwork I choose. Stop bitchin' pimp daddy Picasso!

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