Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SIREN COVER CONTEST! PRIZES! Updated


(Note 2: I've added two new designs to the contest, based largely on what you've had to say so far. So if you've got time, take a look and see what you think of #4 and #5.)

(NOTE 1: If you have to comment anonymously, pls include your FaceBook name of some other way I can reach you- probably not good to show your email address on the comment.)

I'm about to release my first totally independent novella, SIREN. This 25,000 word novella. It's gone through an outside editor, and is ready to go. Except for one thing. It has THREE covers. So I'd like you to help me decide which one is the best one for the story.  THERE WILL BE PRIZES.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
SIREN is a 24,000 word novella, a sensual historical sea fantasy romance set in 1851, during the time of the great Clipper Ships. From the beginning, Siren is a mystery to the hero, John Wall, so main story is told entirely in his point of view, to emphasize his inability to know or understand the mysterious being of the sea.

For seventeen years, John Wall has sailed the seas, braving storms and pirates to bring his cargo safely into port.

Sometimes he sees the Siren and hears her clarion voice above the crashing waves:
"Come to me, John Wall. Come to me."

But the Siren's song is death, so John resists its lure--
Until the night he meets the King of Storms.

Masts shattered, sheets ripped and sails torn, his men-- gone--
John clings fiercely to the wreckage, defying death.
And the Siren comes for him.
"Come to me," her beautiful voice sings.

Their lips locked in a kiss, John Wall slips beneath the sea.

What has he found? Heaven? Hell?
Or something beyond his wildest imagination?

WHAT TO DO:
Read the blurb and look at the three proposed covers, on this post. And comment. If all you want to say is "Great cover!", that's fine with me. But the commenters who give some helpful, insightful suggestions  (I get to decide) will be given an extra FIVE chances toward winning the prizes. Yes, you can say you don't like something, and yes, you can point out flaws. Remember, my crazy eyes often don't see something that's perfectly obvious to other people, so I don't take offense to such things if they're not rudely presented.

You MUST be willing to give me your actual email address if you are a winner because all prizes must be sent by email.

PRIZES:
1st: $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony, or other ebook retailer the winner chooses. This will be MY choice of the most helpful comment. no promises that I'll actually be able to use the best comment though.
2nd: $10 Gift Certificate to an ebook retailer of winner's choice, randomly drawn from all commenters. (Don't spam me with hundreds of "nice cover" type entries. I'll just delete all but one anyway.) Commenters with helpful suggestions or comments beyond "nice cover" remarks will be given five entries into the drawing.
3rd: Ten $1 Gift certificates to AMAZON ONLY. These will be randomly drawn in the above manner.
Bonus Prizes: Two Free copies of SIREN from Smashwords

Nobody gets more than one prize.

DEADLINE: You've got till NOON, Friday May 18, 2011, to enter. I have to cut it off then so I can get the book out. And I'll announce the winners on Friday night on this blog.

And look for SIREN's release on Amazon, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. I'll post precise links when I get them.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say!

61 comments:

  1. Hi Delle! I really like the second one, the water looks better to me here. Whichever one you chose, it'll be great. :)
    -Sami

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  2. Hmmm, this is a tough one, but I have to say number one. I like the water of the second one, but 2 and three have too much going on, they're too busy for me, and i get lost in trying to look at everything. Number one is simple, and it matches the title, gives me a hint what the book is about.

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  3. I like #2. I like the hero in the picture with the heroine and the water is much more compelling to me in that one.

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  4. On my first look, I went with #1. But #2 works for me, too.

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  5. The first has the Siren part ok and the 2nd has the water and the man which I prefer but what is that thing on the side? Even blown up it doesn't make much sense in either 2 or 3. If you took out that thing whatever it is on the side looks almost like a lamp and lampshade I would say #2 is the better of the 3. That or put the water in #1 to make it look better I am not sure on that pattern showing in #1 and #3, The water is the best but to tell the truth I would say #2 with only reservations of that thing on the side by the man. Hope that helps since whatever it is is not very definitive and it is anyone's guess on what it truly is.

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  6. #1 is my favorite. It took me a while to even see the difference between 2 & 3, but in any case, I prefer the simplicity of #1.

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  7. If it's John's viewpoint, you need the guy on the cover. I like the second cover best, with the more realistic looking water. It seems to make more sense to me visually.

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  8. Delle, I like the second one. The first one and third are okay, but since she is calling to John, I like the second one best. I like that we can't see his face so readers can relate to the description in the book. It's sensual, kinda historical, and has another world fragrance.

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  9. Hi, Delle!

    I have to say that the second one is the best of the three. The first and the third seem a bit too busy with the paisley/art deco design in the water. The second one appears to strike the best balances of representing the book (my understanding of it at least) and not being too much. Besides, far be it for me to decline an option that has a fine, muscular male back on in it. :3

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  10. From Julieanne:
    Honestly, I don't like any of them. they seem too cartoony, too loud/colorful. I like the ship in darkwaters at the top of your blog, better, though I know that wasn't one of your 3 suggestions I think something with that background theme would be better. They say you cant judge a book by it's cover, but i admit I'm guilty of letting that sway me. Darker colors with less clutter draw my eye. I think it's subconscious that it represents the writing within. Clean and uncluttered. *shrug*

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  11. I say the first one. I like all 3...but I think the the other 2 are kind of busy. I can't figure out what that white thing in the upper left hand side is. I love the girl...she looks mysterious....No need for a man in the pic...Although I'm guessing she represents "Siren" and he is John Wall. I still think the first is best!! That's my honest opinion Delle!! Love YOU!!!

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  12. I'll pick #1. I'd like #2, but you have to fix his trident, which looks like it has a mushroom on top of it. At least I assume it's a trident. Can't wait to read Siren, Delle, because I've run out of Delle Jacobs reads!

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  13. I like the third one the best out of all three. The first one seemed a little empty to me on the left side. The second one I liked but I didn't like the pattern which I think was water at the bottom. The third one seemed perfect. Although that thing above the guys head could go away as I really don't understand what it is.

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  14. I like the first. When I first looked,I thought the second two had too much with the man on the cover. There is a lot happening on all 3 but adding the man, IMO, puts it over the top. Just my initial thoughts.

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  15. I'm with Lainey...put the water on #1 and leave off the man and that thing-whatever it is. Or just leave off the thingy in #2.

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  16. Delle - I like number 3 - I think it has the best of both 1 and 2 in it. Can't wait to read the book.

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  17. My first choice was #1, partly because I couldn't tell what the trident was until Anonymous mentioned it. If that's fixed, I'll pick #2. It does show the water better on that one. And the blurb is more about him than her, so it seems that there should be a man on the cover.

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  18. Number three is the best one. The pattern in the water conveys magic and mystery, however, you could make it more transparent over the water to catch that sea-swell feeling in #1. I would photoshop out the object he is holding. The diagonal line draws the viewers eye up toward the corner and the unidentifiable object. I'd take out the staff too, just leave him. The dark area with lightning will be fine there. Just my humble opinion.

    Kudos, as always!

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  19. I like the first one, it looks clean and simple, the other two are much too busy
    Jan Ice

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  20. Well, I was going to tell you what the thingie is, but I think I'll wait to see if anyone recognizes it. In the meantime I've already tried removing the forked mushroom thingie as well as the fractal sea creation, and I think it solves most things, like makes it simpler.

    Delle

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  21. I liked the first one right away, but then I started second guessing whether or not John Wall should be on the cover. I'd like him there if the stick with the bell shaped thing on the end didn't look as though it were going through his head. I'm also wondering what that dot is on his lower back. The first one has a great affect with the swirls near the word Siren. I'm getting the impression of a mermaid's tail. I like it. All three photos have a line going across the waves. It almost looks like it was from the edge of the stock art and maybe wasn't blended in all the way. I'm not sure.

    All in all, I pick photo #1

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  22. A glob of shark flesh on a triton? Okay, I'll stop. I'm glad you took it out because there's more tension between them if he's not armed. (No need to enter me in the drawing.)

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  23. Ooooooooh! He's hanging onto a buoy!!! Okay, I really am done now. :-)

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  24. Delle,

    definitely the second one.

    Great work!
    Anke

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  25. I like the water pattern in number 2, but otherwise choose #1. With #1, the eyes of the siren are connecting with the reader. In #2 and #3, her eyes still connect with the reader, rather than the man who she should be connecting with. This disconnect is made stronger by the way we only see the man's back -- there's nothing connecting him to either her or the reader. If anything, he needs to be reaching out or leaning toward her, or something, with her eyes directed at him so there's connection. Otherwise, I'd go with connecting with the reader and cover #1.

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  26. Hi Delle, I think the title matches #1 cover so well, but like the water best in #2. No one has mentioned the lettering, but I like your name in green on #1. And I was a bit bothered by the extra swirl (tail) on the "S" in Siren. Made it look sort of like an "8" lying down. They are all good (of course) but #1 gets my vote. Linda

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  27. The first one, elegant, simple and so you.

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  28. Hmm. This is a tough one. I love the look of the first cover very much. Very elegant and mysterious like the sea. However, as it is his story I think he should be on the cover in some way. Like many others here, I think there should only be three things on the cover - Him, Her and the sea. For that, I say the second cover is the best representation of the two of them, just take the extra stuff out. I LOVE the color scheme, however. It just screams historical romantic tale of the sea!

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  29. Nancy Crampton-BrophyMay 18, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Delle - love number 1 but after reading the blurb, for me it's got to be 2 or 3. Two has better water, but I love the swirls in 3 that remind me of a low tide on the Oregon coast. The other concern is where you are releasing it. If it is on Smashwords/B&N/Amazon, you might want to consider #1 because the cover needs to be simplier. (IMHO)

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  30. Amazing how different everyone's views are, yet how much in concurrence! I'm seeing you all saying some of the same things I've been thinking. But I don't want to comment too much right now because I want everyone looking at it as they might if they saw it on Amazon or Smashwords. Yes, this will be ebook only. It's not a very good bet for me to go to print. And it's a novella, which is really too short to go into print. However I am working on a companion novella called Indigo of the Oceans, which will be told entirely from the heroine's point of view. It's possible that the two together might be suitable for print, though still not very feasible.

    Thanks everyone! Keep your ideas coming!

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  31. # 1 - for the feeling of mystery and the lettering is sharper.

    #2 - is my second choice because the water makes it less "busy". But the dimensions look off because he's closer, yet she's bigger. Don't like the letters.

    #3 - is just a no for me. :D

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  32. I like number one best. In the other two, the man seems to be slightly distorted and something with the perspective of his head isn't right. Also, with the trident and the white bit (a sail maybe?), you lose the power of the storm. Plus the details will not shrink well for thumbnails of the cover. I don't believe you will lose anything by not including the man. After all, everybody knows that in a love story there has to be one, and the blurb says so too.

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  33. Here's my input. Picture #1 gets my vote. It immediately strikes attention with the greeness of the sea. It conveys what the story is about: a Siren.

    However, all three pictures have a serious flaw. The auburn hair of Siren looks almost like a male monster face. Remove the squiggly line splitting down the hair. Then the monster face will be gone.

    As for pictures #2 and #3, they don't work because: 1) the horn-bell-mushroom sea anemone flower doesn't look like it should. It needs to be gone or beautify it into a recognizable flower; 2) at first look, it's difficult to discern the hero. At first glance, he doesn't look like a man. I didn't realize it was a head I was seeing. Once I realized it was a man, the head doesn't seem seemlessly attached to his body. However, the idea of the hero in the picture is good since the story is in the hero's viewpoint--but it's not necessary to have him in the picture.

    With that said, #1 wins. It's more intriguing and the green is eye catching--especially the droplets and petals. With the other two pictures, you don't see as much green as there is in #1. It's the green that brings the picture to life. So #1 wins, in my opinion.

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  34. I like number one. I think the hero clutters it up, and since the book is told from his point of view, the first cover is the view he'd actually see. It lets me get into his head.

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  35. I have to agree the first one looks less busy. I can't tell what that object is in the upper left corner of 2 & 3. However, I don't care for the waves in number 1. It doesn't look like water in that one and gives it more of a vague fantasy look. If you can put the water from number 2 onto the number 1 cover, it will be PERFECT!

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  36. I know it is past the deadline, but this was so cool, I wanted to comment anyway.

    I like all of them, but #1 is my favorite. It makes one feel that she could be a siren for anyone, not just the hero. I also think, that oftentimes, simplicity is best, and that one is the simpler of the three.

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  37. Book cover #2. The hero is shown, and the heroine's body is part water and that is what she is, so...it shows more of her true self.

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  38. I pick number 2. Absolutely keep the dark haired man on the cover!!!!!!!! I can't see his face but I can just tell by his hot physic that he's good-looking and sexy.
    I DON'T like the pretty swirly stuff in the water. I didn't even know it was supposed to be water until I looked at cover 2.
    I'm not a sailor but I'm guessing the stuff in the top left hand corner has to do with sailing.

    Thanks so much for the contest.

    BTW, I LOVE your book Loki's Daughters. Any chance you'll write more viking romances?

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  39. I am undecided between #1 and #2, but choose the one

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  40. Delle, Thanks for the opportunity to give you my opinion. I like the second on the best out of the three choices. I like both hero and heroine on the cover. I can tell that it's a sail in the picture. The water on the third one had too much going in my opinion. But personally, I perfer to see the mans' face and chest (yummy). Maybe show him reaching for his boat as he's going into the water. Or imply a push pull between want for his boat and wanting the siren. I hope this helps.

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  41. I like the second one because the water isn't quite so fanciful or busy, and because John Wall is also part of the picture, since it's his POV. I like the Siren and her red hair!!

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  42. The second cover is my vote because it tells the most about the story. The cover cleary shows the two main characters and the stormy ocean. Plus it's the most exciting, making me want to read the story more than the other two.

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  43. Judy Newberry AshleyMay 19, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    I like the second one and would echo an earlier comment that the "lamp shade" is a bit distracting. Maybe bits of wood to indicate a wreck at sea, but subtle-ish :)

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  44. Sorry I'm having router problems again- I get booted off within a minute of re-connecting. We'll be adding a second router and re-configuring tonight, I hope- we've tried everything else. I can read your answers but can't stay on long enough to reply. Hope this one goes thru- will keep trying.

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  45. Once again not connected. I'll keep trying till this post finds its way.

    Okay, yes, it's a flapping remnant of a sail. Never mind- it's easily gone because it was a separate layer. The fractal design is a layer too, so is easily removed by one click.

    And Vonnie, that's lightning. I think it stays because it's a giant storm at sea. Siren is both huge and then back to woman-sized in the first chapter, so in a way she is a monster. And she can be pretty scary in the story, especially to a guy who can't figure her out.

    I'd love to use one of Jimmy Thomas's photos but can't find a single one that fits. Unlike a real person, I can't just make him stand and pose differently so his eyes and body line up with Siren. And it really is astonishing how we humans can detect the slightest difference in eye alignment and know when it's not right. We can see that when we wouldn't notice other really large errors. So the right photo is really vital.
    Sorry I don't have the ability to just paint what I want! I'm not really an artist so much as a compositionist.
    So I'm working on a different idea, based on what I've read here. You all are great!

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  46. Ok, I like cover #3, except--what's in the upper left hand corner? Is it supposed to be a mast with a torn sail? Can you make it more explicit so we can tell exactly what it is? Or remove it entirely. I like the design in the lower right hand side of cover #3.

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  47. I like the first one best, with the focus on her since she's the Siren! : )

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  48. Cover number one is my choice. I feel that it is more evocative and mysterious than the other two. The fact that only the magical figure of the siren is shown relates more to an idea of the apartness of the mystical from the everyday. The figure of the man in the other two is a bit too 'blah' for me and I can't really get a take on what he is holding! I'm sure that the book will be great anyway.
    Regards
    Gillian Wheatley

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  49. Lots of food for thought! So I generated two new ideas if you have time to look at them. The first goes back to suggestions to simplify, and it's close to my original design. Then, while I just happened to be cruising Jimmy Thomas's site (purely business, you understand) I spotted one photo I thought could take the Siren cover in a different direction.
    I added #4 and #5 to the bottom of the main post.
    While I like that #4 is more romantic-and the story is first and foremost a romance and then a paranormal-I don't think the hint of paranormal is strong enough. These are just sketches. Lots of room for new ideas.

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  50. After looking at the two new pictures, I still prefer #1. While #4 has the hero in the picture, the heroine looks too passive, not at all like a siren. Rather than a mermaid story, it gives the impression of a sleeping beauty story--thereby confusing the reader.

    While #5 has the mysterious mushroom flower gone, there's too much of the hero. His back looks like a hamburger patty. I want to see more of the heroine like in #1.

    Therefore, my vote remains for #1. It shows the heroine in command, like a Siren luring all who look on her. The green is so beautiful, evocative of the sea. It's a finer contrast. The simplicity of the heroine amidst the plentiful green sea is more eye catching than the other pictures and sure to sell multiple copies. Stick with #1. You won't be sorry!

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  51. Hopefully this isn't too late--the instructions set the deadline at Friday, May 18, but Friday is the 20th.

    Of the five covers, #1 speaks to me on an emotional level, and there is nothing in it that distracts (although I didn't realize the fractal stuff was supposed to be water until I looked at the other covers--looks more like bed sheets to me...which is okay...!). On a technical level, I also prefer the placement and coloring of the lettering in this version.

    That said, I really want the man to be in the picture. And it would be nice to have a token of the ship (which you have in three covers except it is not recognizable) as well. Seeing his whole back as in #5 is overpowering, even with the lettering overlaid on it. Unfortunately, I don't have a suggestion on how to include him without destroying the balance of what you already have.

    One final comment: since this is a paranormal romance, I think there should be something obvious on the cover to indicate that. Not sure what you would use, but just by looking at any of these covers I would not know it is a fantasy. Mysterious heroine, definitely, but NOT definitely paranormal.

    Love your books, Delle, whatever cover you decide upon. (And I just turned another reader on to you this afternoon!) Please keep up that writing, writing, writing!

    Maureen

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  52. Okay, now I like cover 5 best. Cover 4 is okay but I don't like the heroine on this cover...something about her hair swimming around her looks weird. She's so pretty when we see her from the front but not so much from the side...IMO.

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  53. Hi Delle,
    Personally I like the first cover with you alone the best in the turquoise design over the water. Not that a cover with Jimmy Thomas isn't delicious - there is just something about the first cover that draws me to it. My second choice would be #3 which has the man and the design over the water. There is just something about the design that makes me go 'wow' what a great cover.

    Kris McConville

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  54. Delle, I'm glade you posted the new ones. I see that most people don't seem to like the new ones, but I DO. The fourth one is my favorite. I do agree that the siren doesn't look as larger than life as she does in the other covers, and less powerful, but it's my fav. The guy looks hot. I did think, what is he standing on though, but my minds eye just created a ship under him, one that may be sinking or something. Even though I say all this, it works, it's good, it's what I would use. No edits are really NEEDED for it. If they read the blurb the reader will know what's going on on the cover.

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  55. Hope it's okay I'm commenting twice. Out of the two new covers I have to say I like #5 the best now, although for is close but like someone said the heroine doesn't seem right to much hair a little to less face.

    I'm your friend already on facebook under Tiffany Krepps.

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  56. Oh, wow, I'm all for #4 now! I like faces. I always hated that headless torso look.

    And congrats on your new book.

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  57. Wait!! I forgot to tell you that I DO NOT like the lightning in the heroes hair in cover 5.

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  58. I have looked at the two new ones and I like cover #5 the best of the two. That is because it still has the emphasis on the siren rather than the male figure as his face is not visible. Therefore he can represent a sort of everyman figure - those who will be seduced by the Siren song.

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  59. Thanks everyone for your wonderful help. I know you aren't all in agreement, so you probably won't all agree with the way the cover ended up.
    I'm still working on the list of everyone who commented and making sure those with suggestions get their five points. It takes awhile to set it up right because I first have the randomizer sort the needed number of numbers, then I assign the randomized numbers in order to the list of names- if that makes any sense. Then I randomize the list and pick the top ones in order.

    I'll give you the list of winners and notify as many winners as I can reach tomorrow. The book is now published on Amazon but isn't available yet. And also tomorrow I'll publish it on Smashwords so everyone can have access to it, not just Kindle users. It will be 99 cents, and I hope all of you will buy it and read it, and if you like it, give it a short review to get it off on the right foot.

    Again, thanks so much! I'll post the winners here and on Face Book.

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