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Sorry for the sparse posting here.  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks deep in preparation for a comic con over this last weekend, and then the time since fighting through my stacked-up email, and putting in some extra hours on the day job.  Regular posting will resume soon.

Just a note about the submission contact form…

I know that the contact form has been spitting out occasional errors to the effect that “Cannot modify header information – headers already sent” yada yada yada.  To the best of my knowledge, I have still gotten all of the submissions which return those errors.

I’ve consulted the support forums for the contact form plugin and make a minor php tweak that should solve the problem.  So rest easy.

Input Wanted: After-the-Fact Procedures

Hi y’all,

Wanted your input on this.  A particular author, who has had both an original cover and a resubmit featured on here, now wants me to redact the title from the post so that it won’t interfere with her search engine optimization. (Her original response was that I remove the posts entirely, but I pointed out that part of the purpose of is to allow other indie publishers to learn from the examples and discussion here.)

What do you think?  Should I be open to that kind of after-the-fact revision?

A note about the posting schedule…

There’s been more interest in lately (largely spurred by a presentation I did on indie cover design at LTUE in February), with a corresponding rise in the number of submissions.

However, I don’t want to post more than three covers for critique per week, as I want commenters to have time to give thoughtful critiques without feeling that things are “piling up.”

The upshot is that the submissions themselves are piling up a bit.  There are currently five submissions in the hopper, or almost two weeks’ worth.

If you submitted and have not seen your cover here yet, please be patient.  (If, however, you’ve already submitted and don’t see your cover in two weeks’ time, feel free to drop me a line.  I have to rescue at least half of the submissions I receive from my spam folder.)

This Friday: The Cover Critic, in person!

This Thursday through Saturday (February 11th through 13th), I’ll be participating in Life, the Universe & Everything (aka “LTUE”), a slightly fannish symposium on science fiction and fantasy held in Provo, Utah.  On top of having some items in the art show, participating in discussion panels, and barking sudden nuggets of wisdom to bewildered random passers-by, on Friday at 5pm I’ll be giving a presentation on “Book Cover Design for Self-Publishers.”  If you’re local and you don’t participate in LTUE, you’re missing out on so much I can’t tell you.

A change in policy regarding resubmits.

With the volume of first-time covers submitted currently, I want to decrease the number of resubmit posts to prevent a backlog.  Accordingly, a new policy: unless your resubmitted cover is a completely reworked and re-imagined cover, please post successive “tweaked” version of your cover in the comments to the original post.  I’ve edited the HTML hints below the comment box so that the image tag appears.  To repost your cover, please:

  1. Upload it somewhere on the web (your own website or blog, or a free host like or
  2. Post it using the HTML tag like this:

    <img src="">

Onward and upward!

Mea Culpa: Bounced emails

Lordy, lordy.  I just got a metric crapload of error messages from my host’s email server (why it decided to dump them all today, I don’t know), notifications that messages sent to me from the contact form here were bounced back from my gmail account.  That means that ALL of these people sent covers for criticism, and I never got them. YEARGH.

Not only that, because the error messages are text-only, I still don’t have the actual covers, so I can’t belatedly throw them in the hopper.  My only recourse is to email back the original submitters, explain the problem, and have them resend directly to my email address.

If you’re someone who’s been waiting for your own cover to show up here, I can only point my fingers to our robot overlords and shrug apologetically.

Check out Corp-ID-Theory

While you’re waiting for the next critiquable cover to show up here, you could check out Corp-ID-Theory, a cool new blog by Michael Shumate. why yes, we are related; in fact, he’s my father.  And whereas I’m a largely self-taught designer who proceeds by gut feeling and tries to justify it afterward, Dad is an honest-to-goodness retired professor of graphic design.  His new blog is all about branding design, and if you think that’s a field unrelated to book cover design, you definitely need his blog.

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