Critique Corner: Author, Linda Lofts-Wiles

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ERTEISIA Ultimate-Sacrifice Synopsis

Massive upheavals in the universe caused by Orion’s domination over humanity, result in eons of bloody and brutal warfare between Orion’s Ch’hogs and the vulnerable yet determined humans. His second in command, the ruthless henchman Xag, along with his army of Ch’hogs, have ravaged planet Earth to the brink of destruction. He’ll not rest until he achieves complete annihilation of the human race.

Far from Earth in deep space, Sianna’Q and the inhabitants of planet Utopia have observed this conflict unfold throughout time. Finally, the moment arrives for intervention and the newly initiated warrior departs and spirals through the time-line into the mists of history.

Isolated from the Souls of Utopia by the ravine of time Sianna’Q must defeat Orion and the bloodthirsty Xag. Her journey takes her throughout the universe, bringing her into contact with amazing and unique creatures and places, including the Time Maestro, the creator of all in existence within the planet of holograms. Yet Sianna’Q is never alone in her struggle, connected to her home, future Earth, Utopia in ways yet unfathomed by even her advanced kin.
It will be a formidable challenge that has the ability to push her to the brink of irresponsibility.

Genre: Science fiction/fantasy

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For more information about Linda visit her web site at www.lindaloftswiles.com or, to purchase Erteisia, visit Amazon

ProfileCritique Corner courtesy of Tamian Wood:

Thanks for participating Linda. Sounds like a fascinating story!

If you've looked around my web site at all, you'll know I'm a BIG fan of the space background. And since this is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy, it's a great place to start Linda. Good instincts. It has a fairly strong asymmetrical focal point in the star flair... I might have tried a balancing focal point, like a star ship or... something, but that might start to get a smidge cliché. When in doubt, keep it simple and clean. Again, good instincts.

My biggest concern about this particular image is that it looks like it might not be up to par for a print application. It looks a little low resolution and pixelated. Of course, that could be because what I have is only the screen shot, or it's only meant for an e-book/screen rez venue, and that's fine.

I would just caution you, for any future covers, to make sure you get a high resolution version of the image (300dpi at actual size) so that, should you ever decide you want to go to a print version, you have all the quality you need to make the move up.

Let's move on to the titling. (Note: I'm not sure which version came first, but I'm guessing, just based on the file name, that the darker lettering is the later version.)

First and foremost, it's especially important to make sure that your title stands out. And on this busy background, you've no doubt already found, that can be a tricky thing to do. You can see with the darker version, especially at thumbnail size, the words almost completely disappear. This thumbnail is what browsers will see when scrolling through to find what they are looking for. As it is, unfortunately, there's nothing to see. The white text works slightly better, but it too is plagued with the swashed capitals that make the text hard to read.

Font selection is probably the most difficult part for authors to get right, so don't feel like the Lone Ranger.

Here's just one example of how this could be a little better:

CC-Wiles-ERTEISIAaltered

This is more of a fantasy font, which gives it a slightly feminine feel. Since your protagonist is female, this could be a good choice. But if you wanted to "warrior" it up some, you could go more "space" font to make it slightly more masculine. (Caution: Be very careful not to go too "kitchy")

But notice how it's now readable, even at thumbnail size? Don't be afraid to use the space. Do be sure to leave at least 1/4" margin from any edge (1/2" is better if you can, but 1/4" minimum)

I see that you changed your author name to a more readable font. Another good instinct. But again, don't be afraid to use the space.

Finally, it's best to use only one decorative font so they don't fight each other for attention. If you keep your font choices to a maximum of two (three if they compliment REALLY well), with one decorative and one/two classic, you're cover will look more professional.

Just making some minor changes could make a difference in your sales!

I hope these comments are helpful, and thanks again for participating.  🙂 If you belong to any writing groups, please tell them about this blog.
Kindly,
Tamian

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Tamian Wood
Graphic Designer
Beyond Design International
designer.tamian@gmail.com
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Can't afford a designer? Consider a cover critique...

Many new authors think they can't afford to hire an accomplished, trained designer for their books cover. Fair enough. If you want a professional cover, created by a designer with education, skill, experience, and a good reputation, that doesn't come free. (Money well spent though, and worth every penny!)

My advice to new authors is to start saving the day you start writing. Because, after all, you know it's going to need a cover…

But let's say you didn't happen to run into me last year when you started. And now, you are ready to let your baby out into the world, for all the universe to love and adore! YIKES! You can't let that baby go out there NAKED!

But you haven't saved, so you feel you have to do the work yourself. Maybe not the best idea, because let's face it, you're a writer, not a designer. Right!? But, it's got to have a cover so, you give it a go.This is where I come in. I'd like to help you, free of charge, by offering a cover critique on my new blog. Show me what you have and I promise an honest, kind and constructive insight into how you might make the cover better before you display it to the world.

My goal is to help YOU, the self published author trying to create their own cover, with advice and helpful tips that can make your efforts shine just a little bit better. In the meantime, my readers and followers will get the advantage of the advice too.

If you'd like some honest, kind and constructive insight, contact me and let's collaborate.