Open feedback thread!

New readers: A lone wolf, a hunter, and a woman with a red riding hood cross paths. Join us on their journey into their strange and changing world over here.

Hey continuing readers!

For the long time readers or the new ones, I will need some time to regroup before Volume 2 can start.  Part of that is to give myself some time to reenergize, draw concept art, or just drown myself in hobbies I’ve put off for two years D:.

However a part of that will be time committed to reevaluating the structure of the next arc (as I have made some changes to the fate of characters since starting two years ago).

Part of this time needs to be to revising the story for some form of non-web release.

Some of you will never want to read this story again.  However, for those that do and wish to go on to have a copy, is a print copy more than an e-book version ?

For those of you who do buy e-books , what genre do you think I should attempt to classify this story under?

And whether you like print or ebook, what sort of cover do you think is appropriate for this kind of story? Should I attempt a more mass market look (more of a vector graphic design look or photography) or pure fantasy (i.e., illustrated figures)? Are there any examples you think I should look at?

Thanks for the feedback! See ya in two weeks 🙂


Open feedback thread! — 22 Comments

  1. I say ILLUSTRATION… or maybe some sort of vintage design look. Definitely not photomanip — that gives a very slick look IMO that doesn’t really suit your story. Photomanip makes me think YA or urban/paranormal/modernish fantasy. Maybe historical romance, but the moment you signal the fantasy elements, it starts looking like YA again IMO. (Then again, for reference, here’s how Tor marketed their recent Regency fantasy: — notice they changed the look for the second book — so I suppose it would work, but probably would be really hard to find appropriate photos unless you set up a shoot yourself…)

    As for genres, I’m not sure tbh. Fantasy, obviously, but you’re writing a very different kind of fantasy than most other stuff on the market. Romance is probably too competitive (and romance readers have a very specific conception of how the story needs to play out). The various fantasy subgenres aren’t really that helpful…. maybe someone else will have better ideas though!

    • The look you linked to (not on the left, but currently middle) is a common trick with Regency novel reprints… basically taking a classic public domain painting subject and shoving text on top xD. The majority of my dustcovers for Jane Austen books look like that. hehehe. That would be amusing…

      But yeah – genre is weird. I’ve pushed a bit forward through Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and think that’s closer to what I wanted to do – more literary magic/fantasy, and yet that makes it quite hard to classify. It really doesn’t fit into fantasy… but on Goodreads it quite often gets put under that note. Hmm.

      • Yeah, especially since literary fantasy/”speculative fiction” as another commenter put it isn’t really much of a thing, as far as I can tell, on the indie scene. (amazon/smashwords et al pretty much only offer general fantasy, epic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, so the only way to get more specific is to use tagging.)

        Apparently the public domain look didn’t work for them which is why they changed to the photo. XD The Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell look is actually the other option I was thinking re: something more design-oriented, but I think you already got a lot of good feedback on illustration so wheeee, looking forward to what you decide on!

  2. I’d buy the e-book, but not print version. I already have piles of books, and it’s hard to justify adding to the pile when I can read the story online.

    I’m not sure about the genre, but would it be possible to call it fairytale fantasy? I love fairytale retellings. Are you going to call it a compilation of a web serial or a novel?

    • Hm. Depending on how much I edit, I might simply call it a compiled serial. I don’t know if that might disadvantage me though. A lot depends on how well received the current “serials” are through Amazon.

      To some extend the compilation probably needs to offer some additional content, though, and I might write a short story or “add” content . Still mulling that.

  3. I’d buy the e-book, simply because I have way too many paper books and I tend to read multiple things at a time. The e-readers make it so much easier to carry around a library. Though, to be completely honest, I’d probably get a paper copy as well, just for the smell of the pages.
    For the genre, you could always classify it under “Science Fiction/Fantasy”. The reason I like your work so much is because it is very similar to one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher, of the Dresden Files and Codex Alera. I don’t mean to compare writing styles, but you’re both very good at taking a story and throwing the reader for a loop when you take it in a different direction than what they expect.
    Also, for the art, I personally think that a vintage look, probably an adaptation of the first piece of art (the one from the first chapter). Nothing too fancy, but different enough to catch the eye of people who browse and read the back of books because the cover looks interesting.

    • Thanks for the art suggestions. I’m seeing a consistent point made in the comments and it’s helped me narrow down what I’d like to do. (One of the suggestions below is absolutely genius and I think I’m going to run with it.)

      And yeah – I’m the same as everyone else. I don’t like having too many paper books because I have too many already that have exploded all over my closet and shelves :3. If I do print, it will be POD through Amazon Createspace.

      ETA: thanks for the suggestion/reference to other works. I can’t wait until I have some free time again to read and will definitely check out Jim!

  4. I would buy both! If you only chose one type, though, I suppose I’d vote for e-book; there’s no shipping involved, so distribution would be easier.

    An illustration definitely seems like a better fit for cover art than something “modern” and photoshop-y. As far as a category, if you had the option to market it as a fairytale, as a subgenre of fantasy, that would be great — I don’t know if that is offered, though, and it might just go under fantasy in general.

    • Yeah – I haven’t seen “fairytale” consistently written down as a subgenre. Marketing wise it would be easier to hang on that hat, although I do worry based on what I have seen that fairytale stories tend to want to focus on “one story at a time” and are squarely targeted at female readers. I don’t know if this will be an outlier in that genre too and cause male readers to run away.

  5. I am a huge fan of being able to hold the book I am reading. Although, from an economical point of view it would probably be far less work on you to just do the e-book.
    The story has a classic feel to it and I don’t think a contemporary cover would really fit. The illustration idea would probably work out best, although photography done in the right style could serve the purpose as well. I tried to dig around for an exampled of both but I couldn’t find anything that looked right.
    Hope the recuperation time treats you well!

    • thanks! I spent time with a sibling in Hawaii. We took in sights, slept a lot, and splashed around in the water. It’s given me a good break too — the next update is a hard one.

  6. I would buy in book format, for some reason I really like the paper versions compaired to the ebook. Mostly cause I do not have the best luck with technology at times.

  7. I prefer buying a paperback to owning an e-Book. However, I completely understand if you do decide to release your book in e-Book format due to costs. I would still support this.

    As for e-Book genres, this serial has a similar atmosphere to Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer– a retelling of a Celtic legend. It was categorized as “speculative fiction” and “fantasy.” Apparently, the whole idea of “speculative fiction” is to categorize works that contain multiple elements, such as fantasy, history, folklore, etc. into one umbrella genre. This is one possibility. I agree with the other comments that “fantasy” is another option.

    The ideal book cover for your serial would be illustration as others have mentioned. If you plan to use photography, it should be natural and elegant without being overbearing, such as the opening scene with Elanore traveling through the snowy forest alone. Possible examples of style are a European-like air ( or with a fairytale/folklore feel (

    Hope this helps! Enjoy the 2 week break.

    • I think it’s possible to do both but I need to decide which way to go first. I will probably commit to the ebook first because it’ll be easier and the lesser of two investments. Going to print means spending more time with a designer (or doing it myself) and getting the formats right. The ebook formatting I might be able to handle myself or get done at a lower cost (should I decide to pay for it).

      And thanks for the links to the illustration examples! Brian Froud is a great artist — he has a classic and dark feel that appeals to a lot of traditional fantasy folks. Also the other reminds me of classical paintings… something I hadn’t considered but could work very well.

  8. omg! the art should be the door!!! as stated in previous comments I would LOVE a look at that door. please please please please! also I vote you do an e-book! 😀 and I have no idea for genres… um. yeah. *shrug.

  9. Ebook. Lowest financial risk. BoD if people want more. Or, they can pre-order, and once a certain number of orders has come together, you go and print. Don’t take risks. Don’t riun yourself for people who now say ‘well yes SURE I would buy a paper copy’, and in the end you sit on a pile of paper and have to think of how to pay the rent. This might not be your problem, but I know of enough people who really wrecked themselves financially by printing a book that could as well and much cheaper have gone purely as an ebook first to test the market.

    And, illustration. Definitely. Vintage style sounds good, door sounds perfect because actually you are presenting a door to a fairytale world. maybe on the back side the heads of the three main characters encountered at the beginning. And at the door, a lion should be sitting.

      • Yeah – I think if Createspace wasn’t such a good setup at this point I wouldn’t even mention “print.” Amazon’s setup with Createspace is really good. The books would only be printed on demand (as the customer orders) and the cost for a 350-450 page paperback book is reasonable.

        The investment on my part is only then on the matter of editing and formatting. I’m going back and forth on whether to get some formal proofreading or not. I’m notoriously bad with commas and punctuation and I’d love to get this corrected. And yet with the length of the volume clocking in so high, urk… this would be tough.

        And the door image is actually really a good one as is your suggestion. I’m thinking of actually Elanore and the lion looking up at the door. It would allow me to use the iconic red-cloak figure and the weird little lion to good effect. I’m going to think on that one some more.

        • Yes, as I wrote, BoD = book on demand is the only option I would agree is a good start when publishing in print for the first time, if you don’t want to set up a kickstart project with people pre-paying.

          I was also thinking about adding a person to the picture, but actually I somehow thought it should not contain too many elements that distract from the door and its symbolism. But maybe the door could feature scenes with Elenore in her bright red cloak. The stone lion, being mostly grey-whitish I suppose, does not distract too much, but still raises curiosity, especially if it is clearly alive (maybe a colored ribbon should hang from its maw …).

  10. I’m all about the door idea for the cover! That sounds like a thoroughly fascinating and beautiful idea! On the paperback vs. e-book thought I’m undecided, though I can say the only e-book I’ve ever bought was a professional school application guide.

  11. I love the idea of the door as the central element for the cover. I vote illustrated cover. I would classify this under fantasy and fairytale. Not that fairytale is a widely used sub genre. I love having books on my shelves, but shelf space is hard to come by and ebooks are easier to store/organize/keep intact.