Working on Promo Materials


If there’s one part of publishing I fall short on, it’s promotion. I hate it. I would much rather be writing. Heck, I’d even edit over promoting, given the choice. Since I’m trying to do this right after so long away, I’ve spent this morning pulling together some images, working with them and trying to figure out if they are something I can work with.

From the start, I’ll state that the base images begin with Midjourney. If you’ve ever worked with Midjourney, you know how strange it can be at times. You never really know what you’re going to get based on your prompt. Sometimes less is more when it comes to telling it what you want. Other times, you need to give it very detailed prompts.

So I started with the less is more attempt this morning. I wanted an image showing a woman who could represent the lead character in Surtr’s Fury and a setting that would fit the book. It needed to cue the reader that this was part fantasy, part dystopian, and part mystery. Not as easy as it sounds.

Here’s the first result:

Now, the image isn’t that bad except it is NOT what I wanted. Very little bothers me as much as book covers or promo images showing a woman about to head into battle–be it fantasy with armor and swords or UF with guns and knives or SF with blasters and battle rifles–with lots of skin showing and high heels. So, back to the prompt drawing board to change the clothes, at least her top, and add background.

Better, especially regarding the background, but still not what I was looking for. Time for more fiddling with the prompt.

Okay, we’re getting closer even as we get further away. Sigh. More tweaking of the prompt.

Oh hell no. That’s a big step backwards. Nope, nope and nope again.

Better, but the character is too clean and doesn’t show the trouble she’s lived through. Sigh. Starting to get frustrated.

Okay, we’re getting there. But there’s that damned bit of skin there’s no reason to have exposed.

Okay, attitude is there, but what’s going on with her face?

Oooh, this is better, even if it does look like she’s either got four legs or there is something directly behind her with its legs spread and the rest of it hidden by her. The attitude is right and the eyes fit the story. So let’s see what I can do with it.

Okay, need to work on the text visibility and the extra “legs”, but it could work.

Same comment as above.

That might work. I need to upscale it, tweak some more, and get rid of the extra legs.

“Legs” gone. Now to do some real “editing” and fixing of it and it might work. Hopefully.

So, what have you been doing this afternoon?


Here’s the working version of what will be the first promo image. It has been upscaled, the text and font tweaked, and more will happen.


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