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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.


  1. Yeah, I can see the overlap in professions. Do you suppose any of our aspiring authors/cover designers here could hire him to do their covers?

  2. You are very correct. Anyone who doesn’t think branding is important in book covers is a beautiful fool. Series especially need good branding! All of your books should be able to be put in a line and people should be able to see they are related!

    1. I’m actually working on a logo for my fantasy series. It’s going to be a long (I hope) string of short stories, novellas and novels with the same setting and characters (as opposed to your standard epic fantasy trilogy) so a nice “sticker” on the cover will be a good way to set it apart from other work I might publish (if I ever force my lazy butt to edit the damn things). Something like Garth Nix has, but it won’t be the author’s name in my case. (I’m also making my own font, but that might just be temporary insanity taking over.)

        1. The pun is the best part though! ♫
          I will happily help you brainstorm your own pun…

          Is there a world name? Because if it is Vaginarious I have some ideas to go over with you.

      1. I like the idea of the stories not being a fixed length. They are as long as they need to be for the story, and it provides various lengths for the reader to choose from. It is a good marketing idea. (And providing that you don’t blow up planets or anything could be read in any order.)

        The sticker would certainly be branding, and I am interested to see how it works out.

        I, and I am sure anyone else who posts here, would be happy to offer advice or critiques!

        Feel free to add CB Archer to your facebook friends (The elf avatar one, not the crazy girl with the leek), if Facebook is your thing. It will make it easier to get information across, and I have a few otherauthor or designer friends who are also keen on helping!

        1. Yeah, I’m a strong believer that a story needs to be as long as it needs to be. It all started with a novella sized story, then I wanted to add to it and make it a part of a larger novel (that would consist of a string of stories wrapped in a main story). Then I started writing shorts with the same cast to practice my writing and work on character development, but then I realized I really like writing those stories because they don’t follow the main arc and I can make them about anything I want. So I’ve shelved the original story for now (because it does sort of blow up planets) so I can keep writing the non-arc ones.

          I’m trying to get my sister to pitch in on the logo thing. We’ve sort of divided our interests – I’m the writer, she’s the artist – mostly because she’s going to the appropriate university, although I can still outpaint her if I’m working from reference (I can’t draw from memory to save my life), but all I get from her is “I don’t like it, try something else” and “I don’t like that font, why don’t you make your own?”. :/ Not very helpful.

          I do have a facebook page for my writerly things but I don’t really use it (did I mention I’m lazy?). Following me on my personal profile wouldn’t make much sense since I don’t post anything writing related there (unless you’d want to adopt a cat or save the planet, those posts I have aplenty. Not always in English though).

          I was considering asking Nathan if I could post just the logo for critique, since it’s an element that would be a part of more than one cover. I still have to make the damn thing, so we’ll see.

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