View Full Version : O.T. New novel cover

12-01-2011, 10:43 AM

This is the proposed cover to my new novel. What do you think? Lost at Starvation Lake is the sequel to Survival at Starvation Lake.
Gary P. Hansen

12-01-2011, 11:06 AM
nice job, cant wait to read it, looks like a white knuckle job!

12-01-2011, 01:39 PM
Do you have a publisher?

Good cover art. Have you considered having the TurboPorter in a descending attitude? It might increase the sense of drama.

12-01-2011, 01:42 PM
Looks Great!

12-01-2011, 03:53 PM
I changed it a bit to show what I mean and also gave it some more "Pop".

Just an example, please don't be insulted. I used to do graphics art as part of my living.


12-01-2011, 05:53 PM
Do you have a publisher?

Good cover art. Have you considered having the TurboPorter in a descending attitude? It might increase the sense of drama.

Not to start a float plane thread hijack, but the picture sure looks like a Turbo Otter not a TurboPorter. The vertical stabilizer and the cockpit window are the wrong shape for a TurboPorter.
I still like the cover and think it's super cool.

12-01-2011, 06:16 PM
Looks like the tail has been "photoshopped"

loose nut
12-01-2011, 06:19 PM
To small for an Otter.

12-01-2011, 06:23 PM
The tail is cut off in the original image. I didn't bother putting it back in. I think MM is right, the Porter has a round last window and a little longer nose.

12-01-2011, 06:40 PM
The shadows look all wrong in Evan's version. The clouds go along with a sun just above the horizon. A sun high enough for Evan's dive would result in a different sky.

Nice cover.

12-01-2011, 06:55 PM
All I had to work with is the original image. It isn't 3D and I didn't spend a lot of time on it. It is just a suggestion.

12-01-2011, 07:16 PM
The plane is a DHC-3 Turbine-powered Otter. Thanks for your effort Evan. I think that my daughter's cover fits more with the story line as the plane goes down only after being engulfed by a storm because of a combination lightning strike and a pilot error. However, I think your idea to brighten up the lettering is a good one.

Sarah is a graphic designer for the Marine Corps and designed the covers of both my novels. Tragically, her husband USMC Engineer Paul J. Miller was killed in action in Afghanistan on July 19, 2010, the same day Survival at Starvation Lake was published. Gary P. Hansen

12-01-2011, 09:32 PM
Gary, great to see that your not a "one shot wonder":D . I really enjoyed Starvation Lake and have been looking forward to a follow on. The art looks great ( and I too am a pilot).

12-03-2011, 04:34 PM
Thanks tmc 31. Last spring I received an email telling me that Survival at Starvation Lake was selling in the top 3% of all books. That is not as good as it sounds. Less than 3% of all books ever sell 1,000 copies. So, just because Survival at Starvation Lake has sold over 1,000 copies puts it in the top 3%.
Gary P. Hansen

12-03-2011, 06:04 PM
Excuse me, but that puts you in a select group of authors. Sure, there are a lot of authors but apparently you have sold more books than 97% of them. That is a heck of a lot of people to beat at the same game.

However, as usual it isn't that simple, not by a long shot. Here is a very informative explanation of how it works in the publishing business, especially relevant to a first time author.


PS: I have had work published in magazines and newspapers (Not just letters to the editor) and have even had my content on the front page of the local papers and magazines several times. I have also had one of my astrophotos featured on a national science TV program. But I have not yet written a book or had it published so you are well ahead of me.

12-03-2011, 07:24 PM
Thanks Evan, that article was informative but that isn't the way it works any more, for the most part. Unless there is a "known" demand for a book, almost all new books are being now electronically printed on demand. It is more expensive to print per copy that way but in the long run it is cheaper over all. A publisher doesn't end up with a warehouse full of books that are not selling.

Amazon says that they have copies if my book in stock but they don't really. What really happens when someone orders one of my paperbacks or a hardcover is that Amazon sends an order electronically to the printer who prints one copy electronically and ships it with an Amazon return address. This can happen in less than a minute for a paperback. Amazon then sends payment to the printer and the publisher. Then two months after the quarter ends, my publisher pays me $.67 for a hardcover or $2.00 for a paperback.

The first thing I ever wrote for publication back in 1973 sold over a million copies. Of course that was because it was a magazine with over a million subscriptions and had nothing to do with my article. Gary P. Hansen

12-03-2011, 08:25 PM
Back in 1998 when I quit Xerox publishing on demand was really taking off. It was Xerox that began that revolution in publishing on demand in the 80's and back then the target market was textbook publishing. It was a huge improvement over conventional textbook publishing, especially in universities since a professor could update his textbook whenever required. It also lowered the cost from hundreds of dollars per text to tens of dollars. I worked on some of those machines and they are complex beyond belief.

They have computers, mechanical transports, CNC systems, hydraulics and pneumatics and complex optics all in the same machine along with dry ink systems capable of fouling up nearly anything if it isn't well controlled. Data in one end and bound volumes out the other.

I am surprised they have it cheap enough to do something like a consumer paperback at low enough cost to make it profitable. The machines are extremely expensive. You would need to sell a lot of paperbacks on demand to pay for a million dollar machine plus operating expense. In 1998 the cost per page was about .3 cents at the least not including amortizing the machine. To pay for itself most run at least 2 shifts per day and many 24/7.

I was invited to join the digital systems team in Vancouver in the early 80s but the idea of being on call 24/7 with young children did not impress me. I also didn't want to live in the city although the pay was very attractive. We are both glad I decided to turn it down.

12-04-2011, 10:05 AM
. Then two months after the quarter ends, my publisher pays me $.67 for a hardcover or $2.00 For a paperback.

Gary P. Hansen

If it is a fair question, how does this compare with the kindle version. I purchased "Survival" in paperback the first time and then repurchased it in the kindle version when it became available in that format.


12-04-2011, 12:24 PM
I am paid $2.60 for the Kindle version. The Westbow division of Thomas Nelson is is paid $5.20 the month after the sale is made, then two months after the quarter that the sale was made, they pay me half. Unless of course the somehow forget to pay me, in that case they hold on to the money for another three months. Gary P. Hansen

12-04-2011, 01:42 PM
Is it true that the books ordered on Amazon or Barnes & noble online are "printed on demand", and not shipped from inventory?

12-04-2011, 02:31 PM
I don't think so for most books and especially not for hard cover. Last time I worked on those machines hard cover was still well beyond the capability of the machines. A hard cover book will be bound using either a "perfect binding" or a "side sewn binding" for best longevity. Side sewn is the strongest but also the most difficult to do in a fully automatic printing system. Even the perfect binding is a challenge to fully automate.

The main problem is the cost per page of instant print methods which rely almost exclusively on xerography. It is an inherently expensive process. The machinery has a very high ongoing maintenance requirement because it is so complex.

It is probably reserved for books where the sales potential is unknown, in particular for new authors.

12-04-2011, 02:59 PM
It is my understanding that most of the books that have come to market in the last few years are printed on demand. The printing cost for print on demand for a 200 page paper back is from $2.50 to $3.80 depending on how many are printed at a time. The largest printer doing this is called The Lighting Source.

Now if there is a book with a known demand that is going to sell 50,000 copies then it will be printed with traditional offset printing and the cost be $1.50-$2.00 each for a 200 page book. The cost could be even less for a "Trade paper back" which uses less expensive paper.

Now there are still new books being printed in small runs by small printers but because of the cost to store the printed books, for-fill orders, and inventory tax, many of these small operations are going under.

Amazon & B&N do inventory some books but more and more are print on demand. Of course if a print on demand book is returned it is put in inventory.

Many of the books that were traditionally printed in the past are being printed on demand when the existing inventory runs out. Such as, if a book had a 20,000 print run and sold 10,000 in the first two years but took another ten years to sell the rest. Gary P. Hansen