Friday, 2 July 2010

Forward Movement

OK, yeah, it was pretty predictable that I would fall behind schedule... but I am making progress. The edit will be finished SOON. Honest. Although it might be finished quicker if I didn't keep getting distracted by faffing about with cover designs.

This is ridiculous because I am NOT A DESIGNER and the only tools I have at my disposal are Microsoft Paint and, er, Microsoft Paint. But my excuse du jour today was that I will have finished review copies to print next week (as long as I stop faffing) and they will need a cover. And the finished design-done-by-an-actual-designer probably won't be ready by then.

So. Now I feel the need to share.


Edit: Sorry, but I realised it was utterly pointless of me to post it here like that. It was just me playing around with images, and was hopeless as an actual design for a book cover. I liked the way it looked, because I liked the colours and stuff, but it would never pass muster as a book cover so there was no way anyone could truly say "Wow, that's amazing" without having to lie through their teeth. So I've removed it. It was done by me, using Microsoft Paint, whereas the actual thing will be done by professional deigners using professional software, so will / should look completely different.

In other news, I am starting a New Job in my New Career soon, and had my first day there yesterday, and have spent all day today doing that cringey thing when you remember something you did or said and go "Ouch, no, I didn't really, did I?" followed by a wince and then fingers in the ears and shouting "Lalala, I'm not listening" to myself when I try and replay nasty memory recordings to myself. I'm looking forward to being an established member of staff and not having to the newbie-making-an-impression thing any more. Still, the good news is that I hunted the Big Boss down and made him sit down with me and negotiate a better starting salary, and he didn't throw me out on my ear. He did make me put it in writing though.

"Dear Big Boss,

I am ace. Obviously this means I need a shedload more money than those other sad plebs. Gimme gimme gimme.

Beleaguered Squirrel.

That should work, no?


Diana Parkhouse said...

You could try the James Corden way - Tell them what you want, slap the table and then laugh and clap relentlessly until they join in and ultimately agree with you!

Megan said...

I could do a better 'wow you're amazing' if I knew what part of the mock-up was your bit and why and so forth? Are comments directed towards palette? Layout? Fascination with how sex can be psychic and whether that's better than the physical, hot and sweaty stuff?

Re raise memo: Simple, elegant and direct. Remember to submit in proper memo form and nick some firm stationary to do it up right. That always goes over well - particularly if it's the Very Special Executive stationary which you could only obtain through nefarious means (or possibly psychic sex).

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Ah well, I realise it was daft of me to put it up in this way really, cos like I say I'm not a designer and it's really not up to proper publishing quality. I just like it!

So what I wanted feedback on was the whole thing: ie, do you like the way this looks? If there were any bits you particularly did or didn't like, then they would be the bits you would give specific feedback on. But critical feedback would be a bit pointless, as it won't actually be me who is doing the final design, and I know it's a bit pants in several ways: For instance, I did the whole thing in Microsoft Paint, and as I wasn't prepared to spend several hours painting out pixels one at a time, there is a ghost outline around the image and the letters.

As to what I was responsible for, an illustrator painted the picture using watercolours, then scanned it in and sent it to me as jpeg, and I did everything else. Using Paint. Hence roughness.

Re memo, he wanted it in electronic form, so sadly no stationery options available. It's done now anyway, so too late to amend. I reckon it'll go fine though - he's already agreed it in principle, he just needed documenttary backup for higher powers... and if there's one thing I can do, it's write an official-looking letter with info presented in concise and informative way.

It looked slightly different to the version posted above though. ;)

Megan said...

It IS good fun to play around with isn't it? I do love the illustration and I think the hand-drawn font is spot on (oooh! Cross-marketing thingy - with every book purchase receive a bundled version of the cover font... brilliant!) Colour is v hard to comment on for digital stuff as everyone's monitor is a bit different so what you're seeing isn't what I am (was) seeing unless we both happen to be design geeks and thus beeyewtifully calibrated. As a very, very general rule blue tends to recede a bit so is less in-your-face for a cover while reds shout a lot more. For sex I would usually go more with the warm tones, but given the palette of your illustration (as I remember it) the blues aren't a bad choice although you might want to swing them towards purple just to get that passion-thing happening.

None of which helps as, of course, you're going to have someone else do it! So, actually what I REALLY am saying is I think it's going to be v nice indeed and I would be more than happy to have it sitting suggestively on my table where the odd guest could be intrigued by it and my mother could be further convinced of my slide into degradation and moral turpitude.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Aw fankoo, I'm glad you like the look of it.

Bundled version of cover font not a goer I'm afraid (partly cos it was hand-drawn as a favour by the illustrator and I only have the letters which appear in the title / author name, partly cos it really ain't mine to give, partly cos it would take time to sort - and I ain't got none), but nice idea.

It's simultaneously exciting and terrifying - I really haven't a clue how many will sell, and am currently finding it a real struggle to find time to do the basics, never mind anything fancy. But it is slowly coming together. The design should be sorted soon, and there's a good chance I'll finally get the review copies to print tomorrow.

You speak very authoritatively on the subject of design... what is your background?

PS I like the idea of facilitating your slide into moral turpitude!

Megan said...

I'm a digital designer - sort of a multi-media-fac-totum. I started in web design which is still a bit part of my job but I branched quickly into graphic design (so I could play with the pretty, pretty pictures - is v nice!) and then into digital marketing. Much of what I do now is marketing in emerging technologies - consulting and lecturing on social network marketing and things like that. What it MEANS is I spend all day playing about on the internets and using lots of acronyms that don't mean anything at all but make people go 'gosh!' a lot.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...


Beleaguered Squirrel said...



Well, all I'm saying is that next week I shall be designing a (small) website. Any input will be gratefully received. :O)