10.05.2011

Blasian Lit Thread #10

Back to regular threads, most of these books have poorly edited covers, they seem to get some nice reviews but I cannot personally vouch for them;

Naughty Nanny Series - Accidentally in Love by RaeLynn Blue
Charlotte Neal's day can't get any worse. Recently let laid off and suddenly unemployed, a casual drive home turns into a rear end disaster. Disoriented and hurt, she struggles to gain her bearings when a handsome paramedic arrives to save her. When Ichigo asks Charlotte to be his nanny, she thinks he's joking; but she needs the money. She accepts. Charlotte's physical scars aren't her only injuries; she has emotional ones as well.

Ichigo can't get the sexy woman from the car accident out of his head. Between thoughts of her and worries about finding a new nanny for his daughter, he can barely concentrate. He solves one problem by hiring her as his nanny. But can he keep his heart and his hands to himself or will he and Charlotte fall accidentally in love?

 For the Love of Rei by by Tigra Luna LeMar
Rochelle Hayes is the proud owner of Hayes Graphics and Animations. It is a company that is growing wonderfully and when she gets a chance to establish her company in the international marketplace, she reluctantly takes it. She now has to host a Japanese Animator in her company while sending her best animator to Japan. When she meets Raiden Rei, she knows for sure she's in trouble because Raiden is unlike any Japanese man she'd ever met.

Raiden Rei reluctantly leaves Japan for Canada to take on an employee exchange program. All he wants to do is go, do his job and return to Japan without having anything amputated due to frost bite. When he turns around and sees the sexy Rochelle Hayes, his plans change. But no matter how much he tries, Rochelle is fighting him with every thing she can. How much will he be able to take before dropping everything and returning home?
Cherry Crush by Stephanie Burke
"I want you to take my virginity..."

Those were the last words that Swordmaster Chan expected to hear from his best friend and tenant. And it was the question awakened desires he had carefully hidden from Marlena.

But the fates conspired to bring them together and they will have their way amidst an explosion of terror that could not be believed, and passion only imagined.

In the face of danger, angst, and a paranormal passion, Chan will prove himself to be the perfect man (kind of) her dark defender, and the only male to ensure that her cherry is well and truly crushed.

Midnight Sun by Renee Gipson
1850 Saginaw, Michigan Sahara Redding, a newly freed slave, works to establish a home for herself on land inherited from her white grandfather.

Two things stand in her way: the squatters living in her home and the nearby Chippewa village whose chief Midnight Sun could be either her enemy or her future. As the danger escalates,

Sahara reaches out for love and finds it in the arms of Midnight Sun, the one man she should fear at all costs.

Midnight Sun is sworn to protect his people. When Sahara Redding takes control of her home, she also takes control of his heart putting him in a danger that will forever change his way of life and the love he holds for her.

23 comments:

  1. Renee Gipson is back???? Oh this does not bode well.

    And when will some of these authors learn that if the book cover is a complete and utter eyesore, the audience is less likely to bother reading the blurb?

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  2. To quote Ankhesen, "Fashion tip from moi." Contrary to popular belief, people DO judge a book by its cover.

    There are art students who can do work 1000x better for $20-$50. Seek them out. They are worth the investment.

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  3. You weren't lying about those covers. O_O Sweet Jesus H. *blesses self*

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  4. There is vomit in my throat!!! Dear Gods!!! Oooohhhh...a "white" grandfather and now a Chippewa chief? This woman... someone stop her, please!!!

    Ichigo? Raiden? Somebody shoot me.

    Thank you so much EccentricYoruba for bringing laughter to my day. I needed it.

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  5. I admit to not being much into romance novels,but I agree. If I was a fan of romance novels it would be hard for me to get into it because of the covers. First impressions..to some people, means everything. Judging by some of these books like the one being shown, I don't feel romantic disconnect with it. I just don't don't understand why they will not connect the characters if it's supposed to be a romance novel?

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  6. Wow. I mean...

    Believe me, I took the time a found a professional artist to do my book cover. I'm gonna need for authors to quit being cheap and invest more than just time into their books. Every last one of those covers look a hot fire mess, and one might deduce that the content of the book may be the same, and therefore not bother reading.

    I'm always a bit fearful of this, but I'll be damned if I produce a novel that I've put my soul into without it being properly represented by a good cover.

    You can have a fantastic, expensive outfit, but a cheap pair of shoes will kill it. Same principle applies.

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  7. LOL dang y'all going hard on these books covers. As a graphic designer I have to say that these aren't the best covers, but I tend to hate romance novel book covers in general for various reasons. Methinks some authors probably push and shove to get things done quickly without letting designers research other covers, determine the cost of getting photos/fonts, or put their own in put into the design. What bothers me most is terrible fonts on these books.

    On a random note, the premise of For the Love of Rei sounds like a Mary Sue story but it's hard for me to explain why...

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  8. This is inspiring a post on things NOT TO DO when making a book cover. I'm about to put on my college professor hat again. Since we've got some authors here, if anyone's interested in a few tips, let me know.

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  9. Neo...shoot! As far as advice is concerned, you don't need to preface it with a prompt. Let's hear it...I'm sure all of us will appreciate what you have to say, and some of us will take it under serious consideration.

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  10. Few Rules For Design:

    1) KISS: KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. One mistake too many novice designers make is that they try to break out all the bells and whistles Photoshop has to offer. The result: a hot mess. Keep it simple until you know what you're doing. A nice simple font, a unique ambient background, maybe one visual element.

    2) If it looks Photoshopped, you've already failed. You can't simply cut, copy and pace visual elements (models, backgrounds) etc on top of each other and have a successful design. The visual elements need to look uniform as if it's all one design. This means the pictures, the fonts, the layers, everything, it all needs to look like one picture. If two pictures have different lighting and tones, fix it or dump it. If it doesn't look uniform or looks super imposed or photoshopped, dead on arrival.

    3) The fonts, the pics, the book cover should be working together. And they should match the tone of the story. IE, if your story is dark, gothic and paranormal, comic sans probably won't work.

    4) Never under-estimate the power of black & white. Another mistake I find is people splash the worst color scheme possible together. No......just no. Black & white book covers and pics are powerful and timeless. Don't rule it out.

    5) You don't always have to have people on your book cover. In fact, sometimes it works better if you don't. As we've seen with some of these designs, two models were super-imposed together and the design was ruined. Whereas if they had simply had a stronger design with one model, it might've been a successful cover. In some cases, an ambient background or design scheme with a strong font would've done a lot better.

    6) Make your own elements. If you can't find the model or the background you want online. Grab that digital camera, get off your butt and go take the pics your damn self.

    7) If you're planning to compete on the market with "professional" books then it needs to look the part. That means researching book covers and see why they look professional.

    8) Art students: HIRE THEM! They don't charge much and many need freelance gigs for their portfolio. They can knock out a book cover design in 20 minutes. I've seen it happen. Hell I've done it myself. I taught my students to do so.

    9) Your design is only as strong as it's weakest element. So if anything is not on point: font, the pic, the placement, etc. either fix it or get rid of it. Remember, consumers and critics aren't looking at what you did right, they're looking at what you did wrong.

    10) Research, plan, do sketches and have more than one design in mind. Sometimes that awesome idea won't translate. Be flexible and willing to change if something doesn't work. Have a backup design. That way if something works in two designs. You can always merge them. But plan before execute and that'll save you 75 percent of the heartache right there.

    Here endeth the lesson. For now!

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  11. I'd also like to add that just because it's an ethnic-themed story, you do NOT need to used ethnic-themed fonts. In fact, it's probably better that you don't use them at all - unless you're going for the 'cheap fast food take-out' look.

    For a project, I had to design a logo for a local Japanese restaurant. For my typeface, I selected a font that emulated the qualities of bamboo in its design in a subtle yet elegant way. I didn't go to dafont.com, and slap on an actual bamboo font. I believe the same principles carry over into designing book covers, and Neo pretty much nailed the how and the way where that's concerned.

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  12. @ShaSha LaPerf,

    It's great to know that you're an artist. In a few months, I'll be reaching out to you and Kio. After a book, a manga is on my agenda and I'll need an artist or two. Like Beyonce, I'm going with the "all-girl band." **starts saving money to hire brilliant graphic artists***

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  13. @leoprincess: That's what bugged me about the Cherry Crush book. I don't think the picture and the colors are bad, but that font is horribly cliche and damn near offensive.

    @Neo: Great advice! I'd also like to add that illustration is really underrated and can be as equally effective as using photos.

    @ Hateya: I'm open to new things. I've been trying to get off my butt and do some work. :)

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  14. @Sha Sha,

    Perhaps one day soon, we can chat about this in detail. Like you, I need to get off my butt creatively. I'm considering a manga because I know I'm not destined to be a novelist. My strengths lie in the area of screenwriting. Creating a manga though is one of the ways I'd like to introduce the Black female experience to the Japanese. ***dreams, dreams... without'em, we're dead***

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  15. @Everyone

    A quick question. Don't authors need permission to use the image of a talent/actor as a model for their poorly photoshopped covers? Some people like eerily familiar on the blasian covers.

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  16. @ShaSha & LeoPrincess: Excellent points and consider them #s 11 & 12.

    @Hateya: Unless it's a royalty free stock photo, it's ill advised to use images downloaded from the web. Now granted with smaller indy presses it might not fall on certain people's radar, all the same, I wouldn't risk it.

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  17. I can only vouch for 2 of the books here, after looking passed their bad covers all I can say is they aren't good books. The Naughty Nanny Series was ok in the beginning but missed it's mark. Cherry Crush on the other hand was just bad all around, from the cover to the print.

    I am a fan and avid reader of romance novels but when books like these come to print it makes me quit romance for a while.

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  18. Um, Ichigo and Raiden? Seriously? Could they find no better names? I'm quite sure there is a baby name site that has something better than those. I saw Ichigo and the first thing I thought of was "Bleach". And Raiden is a throw back to "Mortal Kombat". Man.....

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  19. When I first saw "Ichigo," I thought of strawberries. I don't understand why these people don't ask real people about names. The horrible designations truly turn me off.

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  20. Everyone's a critic. Do you know how hard it is to make a cover? I know the author of one of these books and I know it is a best seller on all the distributors authorized to carry the book. The cover has nothing to do with the story. You guys really should learn that you shouldn't be putting something down unless you can do better.

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  21. Yes, everyone's a critic. That's the point.

    Criticism may be tough to swallow, but authors have to have thick skins and open minds. That's how we all learn.

    Lord knows, I've had my share of fails. The other authors who come here and who comment have had their fair share of fails. It's hard, it's sometimes painful, but it's all part of the process.

    Getting criticism sucks, but it makes getting praise 1000x better.

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  22. @Kato:

    The point is for authors who are serious about the craft to get better and that is what criticism is supposed to do--make them better authors.

    If an author is sensitive about this sort of thing, then they should not put their work out there for others to review. And while the story itself may be good, a lot of people will never know it because they do judge a book by its cover.

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  23. @Kato:

    While I agree that some of these book covers are not my absolute favorites, the main problem I had were the characters named Ichigo and Raiden. That's just not right to me. Anyone who watches even the smallest amount of anime would know that Ichigo was from "Bleach". I mean I, myself, hardly watch or read Bleach, and I knew that. Raiden is from "Mortal Kombat". Again, hardly played the game and knew it. What those writers would be similar to me writing a BW/AM romance where one of the male characters is named after a popular K-Pop star, provided said character is South Korean; it's just not a wise thing to do really, at least in my opinion.

    As far as what they write, I can't say anything. I'm in the same genre (romance/erotica). However, the WAY they write it or the quality of the work, I think I can say something about. Then again, not everyone is going to like the same things so, my opinion (good, bad, or indifferent) could easily be taken with a grain of salt.

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