I asked the artist to make some subtle changes to the cover image -- and he got back to me but the changes were maybe a little too subtle. My fault. I think I was afraid he'd go overboard, so wanted to take baby steps. So I told him to push it farther..
Speaking of overboard, checked out a few art sites -- especially deviant art and cghub.
The fact that most of it is a very of much copying the standard bearers in the industry didn't bother me -- that makes sense. So seeing versions Royo, and Vallejos and so on over and over again, isn't surprising. (Nobody seems to be able to do Frazetta, at his best.)
Obviously the video game industry is a huge influence, and manga. Lots of tech.
The problem is that everything is so ramped up, over the top, grotesque. Not a lot of subtlety. Maybe that's what sells, I don't know. But damn if I could find a simple image, with some nice touches.
For one thing, they fill every picture with so much busy action, that it's hard to see it clearly. Certainly, as a cover image, almost all of them fail.
(Which is probably true of most writing, when you get down to it.)
I thought it would be easy to find a nice Middle-earth feeling scene that wasn't too obvious, for which a nice little cyber element could be added.
I couldn't even come close.
I'm probably going to have to commission what I'm visualizing. I'm thinking Filk's End, (looking like a modern day Bag End) with a gray suited long hair bearded fellow tapping on the round door with his cane, while through the window we see a table with a laptop and a steaming mug on it, and a couple of hairy feet propped up. (Steaming mug instead of a pipe.) Something like that. You know, simple.
Got lucky with the NEARLY HUMAN image -- it fits, mostly, especially when it's adapted, and we reached an agreement on price that doesn't kill me and it's going to be ready to go.
1 day ago