Another Day, Another Book Design

Well, special thanks to Daron Henson for his great comments to me about blogging (I linked his blog site to his name). I must admit I’m new to pushing out tidbits of info I might know about writing and such but I’ll give it a whirl. I’m currently finishing up final edits on the Shield of Skool (pushing my editor to move faster).

So, my attention is currently focused upon the cover design work which is more difficult than I imagined.  I asked for feedback on my original design on The Writers Network forum at LinkedIn for their thoughts and found some great feedback about some of my shortcomings as a design expert.  With these thoughts in hand, I attempted to make some creative changes and have come up with the following book cover…

If you have stumbled upon this site, you are the first to see my new cover….lucky you…   The design is the best I can do using the limited capabilities of myself and the online program within createspace but hey, it’s free…..
To head off some of the potential arguments  I’ve read some marketing experts online who state you should invest some money into your covers with a design professional but I’ve not seen anything that would show a breakdown of the cost/benefit on such things so I’m going with free for the moment and rely upon the expertise of others that I can find.  Who knows, might change my mind come around publish time for the second book of the series.  I’m open to any advice/thoughts from others on the comments side.
Speaking of which I’m up to page 35 in Book 2 (Battle of Three Realms) and the outline seems to be pretty well in place for this.  If I can spend some quality time this weekend, I might be able to get out 10-15 pages.
Which reminds me, how many pages is normal to get out on a first draft?  Seems like I can get a lot done in about 5 hours of focused time (which is hard to come by of course).  Any thoughts?
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