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Dec 22, 2010

Behold the New Cover Art

Here it is! The new cover art for the first Dindi book, now known as Initiate: The Unfinished Song, Book One. The model is Jessica Trescott, of Faestock on deviantART. The pixie is my very first artwork done in Poser. I'm still not good enough make realistic looking people in Poser, and I don't want androids on my cover, since this isn't science fiction. But I think it works well enough for a pixie. What do you think?

Here's the back copy:


A Bumbling Girl
Dindi can't do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi's clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying.

An Exiled Warrior
Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn't commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don't kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father's wars and his mother's curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her... assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

A Riddle and a Doll
Dindi discovers a strange corncob doll that could hold the secret to the riddle her grandmother couldn't answer...or could doom Dindi, Kavio and all of Faearth.

Is it clear? Enticing? Let me know if there are sentences that scan awkwardly or something that could be improved!

An earlier version was much shorter, but it was too short, and also, I feared it made the book sound like it was Middle Grade fiction:

The Tavaedies, powerful warrior-dancers, guard the secret magics of Faearth.

Dindi wants to be a Tavaedi. No one in her clan has ever passed the test. Her grandmother died trying.

But Dindi has a plan.

I'm still looking for taglines. For the print version, I'm thinking of using just, "No one in her clan has ever passed the Test. But she has a plan."

Suggestions are very, very welcome....


C. N. Nevets said...

The cover is definitely catching. I think for me the first paragraph is plenty for the back cover and the rest feels a bit like piling on, but that may just be a matter of personal taste.

Tara Maya said...

@ Nevets. I worried it might be a bit much. I studied the back of a lot of books. I found they have a surprisingly long backcopy in most cases -- unless the author is famous already, in which case, that space is taken up by a lot of quotes from reviewers.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Tara, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your cover. It's beautiful, and it captures the feel of the book perfectly - at least from what I have read so far.

I like what you have the cover copy, and I do think the first paragraph would be enough, but I also think that breaking it up the way you have works really well. I would leave it as is.

I'm sending you an email.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Oh, and I think your pixie looks great! I love how much personality she has. :)

Tara Maya said...

@ Michelle. Thank you! I'm submitting the ebook to Amazon right now. I hope it's available by Christmas day. Due to the holiday rush, I'm afraid it might take longer than usual, and I promised some family members it would be there....

Derek J. Canyon said...

Tara, that is a great cover! The large size of Dindi will make her recognizable even in the small images on the Amazon search pages. Good work! Mind if I ask how much such a cover costs?

David Ebright said...

The cover is terrific.

I think I'd eliminate the last part about the riddle or maybe fold it into the opening.

A Bumbling Girl doesn't grab. Is there a more attention-getting trait? The headings are useful, but your exiled warrior sounds like he may steal lots of scenes.

It's all good, really. Just went through this a few weeks ago & version 14 on the cover art - which ain't quite there yet, struggling with realistic.

I like to start out with one line, separate from the story's description. A statement. (That's a style preference on my part, not a suggestion. I write for kids, so the first 6 to 8 words on the back cover are hayooge.

Good luck, looks like a cool project. Dave

Tara Maya said...

@ Derek. The price is a bit tricky to calculate, since I made it myself. I have an agreement to pay the model, but not just for this cover. She will be featured on future covers too.

Poser Pro is about $400 but my husband bought it on some deal on Black Friday. Since it was officially my Christmas present (which he decided to give me early since he knew I would want to use it right away) I don't know exactly how much he paid. But again, it's not like I will use the cover for only this cover.

Then there is my time. I did a number of dummy covers before I settled on this one. The work just on this one was about twelve hours (three days work). So I'd say altogether, it was worth at least $500 to me.

Now, if one were to ask, how much would I *chaarge* someone else for a cover, I charge $99 for a cover using only stock photography, and $399 for anything with original art, whether digital or acrylic/oil. Doing original art adds a huge number of hours to the project, so that's why I needed to charge more for that. (I am also open to barter suggestions in lieu of cash.)

Right now, I have two covers lined to do, and a possible third.

Tara Maya said...

@ JaxPro.

Thanks! And thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

TheSFReader said...

Hi Tara, Great Cover, Great potential tagline...

I saw Derek posting here, (Hi Derek) so I know he will see that one coming :
Do you plan to sell an "epub" version of the book ? (B&N, Smashwords etc...). While I KNOW I could buy from Amazon and manage to read the book on my Nook (epub), I refuse to do so, which IS a problem when I want to buy someting that is only there ...

Tara Maya said...

SFReader, my husband is a Nook reader and prefers B&N to Amazon, so believe me, I will have a B&N version up soon. I'm still learning how to do all of this, so I took it one at a time, but that's my next priority.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Tara, the B&N (Pubit!) one is pretty easy, especially if you've put it up on Smashwords and already have an epub file. If you need help getting an epub file, let me know. :)