DPI, covers and other thoughts

Hello, everyone! This entry has been delayed due to the subject matter in the title, among other things.  But I am going to focus on the subject.

Ah, DPI.  You are what allows a highly detailed image to be reproduced exactly as it appears, no fuss no muss.  You make cover art possible.  Of course, provided the DPI of the image you wish to print is on the same page as you are.  When you’re not…well, this can run into problems.

I’m no Photoshop/Gimp/Paint Shop Pro expert, so naturally when I selected the image for my cover, I didn’t really understand the technical aspects of it.  All I saw was a beautifully done piece that I knew would help Renegade stand out.  Here, have a look at what I’m talking about:

 

Image

“T.L.J.: Escape” by Maxim Mitrofanov

A space vista seen through a cracked window.  Beautiful, yes.  But it also creates a sense of vulnerability and loneliness, don’t you think? The story opens up with my main character, Xargun, looking at a similar vista and thinking how much he longs to be free.  I thought the cover was a nice lead-in to the opening chapter, something to help the reader understand that Xargun isn’t in control of his own destiny.  He’s living for the whims of others. 

Getting back to the issue at hand: DPI.  The DPI of the image is around 71/72.  Pretty standard for wallpaper.  Atrocious if it were to be professionally printed out on those numbers.  Imagine all those little details blurred or altogether lost in the process.  Sloppy covers don’t exactly inspire readers to pick up your book.  It’s as much a hook as your summary is.  If neither is firing on all cylinders then you’re good as sunk.  Of course, a beautiful cover could also be hiding a really shitty story.  I’ve seen plenty of them on bookshelves at the stores.

And let’s talk about some of those books at the stores.  I browsed the science fiction/fantasy section recently and let me tell you, I swear the “thing” to do is use an image of a figure (usually a woman in questionable clothing), slap it on a cityscape/alleyway/backdrop vaguely resembling either and call it a day.  I’ve seen romance novel covers more engaging. 

If a rendered piece of art isn’t the thing to do, authors seem to look toward the minimalist approach.  You know, a bowl of fruit on a black background with the book title somewhere in the vicinity.  I’m not criticizing minimalism; in fact, the only reason it’s more popular is because of Twilight.  Other series in the same vein have the same motif going.  Kinda makes them all blend in, doesn’t it? A bit counterproductive if an author wants their rip-off title to stand out among others.  But I digress.

I have sent an email to the artist seeing if he’s willing to recreate the image for my cover.  He lost access to the original file when his old hard drive went on him.  I don’t expect an assent, but I thought it was worth a shot to try.  In the meantime, my sister is working on a portrait of my main character that, if all else fails, will become my book’s cover.  Either works for me.  I just have to wait on a response before I turn down the proper road.

Of course, the cover hurdle has delayed my releasing Renegade to the wild.  Even if I were to use the image on an existing cover template through CreateSpace, it’d be rejected because of low DPI.  While I wait, I’m still busy working on the subsequent titles, Exile and Savior.  I don’t expect their release to be for another year or so.  Not going to get ahead of myself.

Until next time, friends!

 

 

 

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