Photo Rehab Cover Makeover Redo: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Following a few comments from my response to this Cover Makeover Challange I decided to see what the cover would look with different backdrops.

As a reminder, here’s what we were given as the original:


It’s The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and here is a very brief excerpt from the author Sarah Ockler: The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

In my post (HERE) I picked this photo . . . 


. . . to generate this makeover . . . 

Chasing Mermaids2_DIGI

I was, and still am pleased with that effort . . . 

. . . but the few comments I received nagged at me; did I err in my choice? Is there the possibility of using other shots for better results? Very few comments – only a few regular readers ever bother commenting. 

I took these two photos . . . 

Navarre, Pensacola,

Navarre, Pensacola,

Navarre, Pensacola,

Navarre, Pensacola,

. . . and mapped the layers from the original makeover onto them two photos.

Here’s what I came up with . . . . 

Alternate No. 1:

Navarre, Pensacola,

Alternate No. 2:

Navarre, Pensacola,

Everyone likes polls, right?

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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27 Responses to Photo Rehab Cover Makeover Redo: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

  1. oneowner says:

    A2, by a nice margin.


  2. Ranger says:

    I much prefer your original version to the real cover. Why are they laying on dead starfish? Looks uncomfortable to me. But then I’m old. Perhaps that’s what teenagers do now.

    The only thing I have a comment about with your original makeover is about the two figures in the corner: given the obsession with beautiful bodies in the media world, the boy looks a bit, um, unfit. It could be to do with the shadow falling across him. And that the original cover gives the impression that the heroine is of Caribbean ethnicity. But all that is unslghtly nit-picking; I genuinely prefer your version.


    • disperser says:

      She’s from Tobago . . . and yes, the guy in my cover is a bit out of shape. However, I don’t have many photos of people . . . I had to make do with what I have. That was a couple in Florida, obviously young, and obviously not of the (water)jet-set . . .

      . . . but, they were holding hands while walking, they were talking to each other, and they were smiling at each other. I immediately liked them.


  3. HA! I clicked on/voted for the bathroom choice! I HAD to, based on my Poop Post today! ;-) :-P

    But, I actually still like your original makeover cover the best! :-) So, if I voted properly and not sillyily, I’d pick Original Makeover! :-)

    HA! Your choices made me laugh loudly! :-P
    HUGS!!! :-)


  4. I like your original because it has rocks, albeit not very big ones, and everyone knows mermaids sit on rocks. You can’t find mermaids if there are no rocks.


  5. desleyjane says:

    Hmmm not the second one adds some more summer glow and it’s lovely. But I prefer the first one – the colours are fab. Both are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never found a mermaid but I have heard them singing- alt 1 was my pick. All beautiful!


  7. colonialist says:

    I did think 2 was the best of the lot. As long as they do go walking along a beach; I loathe covers that have nothing to do with what is actually in the novel, but where some cover designer thought it would be a good idea.


    • disperser says:

      I will claim ignorance as I have not read the book . . . I assume there is a beach since the original cover has what I presume are the protagonists on a beach.


  8. I vote they’re all better than the real cover, so good work.


  9. Emily Scott says:

    I find the text a bit hard to read in your makeovers, the colours you’ve used are quite similar to those in the background.


    • disperser says:

      They are, in fact, overlays of sampled background colors. Interesting, though. I find them easily differentiated by the processing (shadow and embossing).

      I’ll have to rethink my next effort; perhaps what I consider visible depends on the individual.

      You also got me thinking about people who are colorblind. I’m guessing those individuals might also have difficulties with some of my color choices.


      • Emily Scott says:

        I can certainly read the words, but in a bookshop the title and cover has to really stand out. A lot of people in the comments have disliked the original commercial cover, but it does have symmetry going on which draws the eye into the pink title and puts the couple as the main focus to emphasise the love story theme.


      • disperser says:

        Perhaps you are right . . . certainly I can assume marketing experts had a hand on choosing every bit of the cover, but that does not take away the fact the original is busy and also difficult to read.

        The cover would only stand out if displayed on the endcap; the majority of books have to be picked up and held to see the cover. Of course, on-line is a different thing altogether. Say you are shopping on Amazon and looking at a lot of small icons; that design does not lend itself to conveying a lot of information. Probably mine does not either, but I think the colors in mine are more striking. I could be wrong.

        Sure, the eyes are drawn to the pink circle, but the choice of fonts and color combination is not easy to read, at leas for me. Then again, I am not the intended audience; as I mentioned above, I would assume this book to be marketed at teens. Were I to be cynical, I would also add the cover is a blatant attempt to draw the attention of young women. Also, there seems to be no connection between the title and the cover (the title has ‘mermaids’ in it). Perhaps the shells and dead starfish? In that regard, I think they forewent accuracy in favor of something they assumed would be visually striking to said female teens.

        That said, I’ll use the excuse that I was not trying to reproduce the original cover. I made something that was visually pleasing to me, with full understanding that it may not necessarily represent the content of the book (I added the disclaimer). On the other hand, I do think the covers I made lend themselves to hinting at a “romance” book versus some other genre. I also admit they are far more “adult” than the original . . . I am, after all, 62.

        Truthfully, I did not get “love theme” from the original cover. Given love is supposed to be a two-way thing, I got no such feeling from the cover. Sure, two people are laying there, but there is no hint of emotional intimacy. Again, I’m 62 . . . perhaps to a teen emotional intimacy and love means looking adoringly at someone else without any hint of corresponding adoration coming back at you.

        Mind you, I’m not arguing your assessment; just giving my old man perspective. Were I in a bookstore, I would be much less likely to give the original a second glance. I would also pass on my covers as they would be in a section I never visit.

        But, were I to see mine, I would stop and say . . . “Why, those bastards stole my pictures and used it without paying me for it!”


        • Emily Scott says:

          “perhaps to a teen emotional intimacy and love means looking adoringly at someone else without any hint of corresponding adoration coming back at you”

          You’ve obviously never been a teenage girl… yep, this is the experience of many/most teenage girls at the hands of cruelly indifferent teenage boys, at least that’s how I remember it!


        • disperser says:

          Wow . . . it must suck to be a teen girl.

          But . . . and here my memory is fuzzy, I can vaguely remember girls I liked who would not give me a second look (or a first one). I’m thinking it must just suck to be a teen, period.

          . . . probably because most teens are vacuous shells pretending they are someone of note.


  10. Enjoyed looking at this. Wow! You’re talented.


  11. AnnMarie says:

    I, too, think that mermaids and rocks go together. I mean, what else are they to lean or sit on? So your original choice still works best for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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