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Archive: book discussions > Your thoughts on series book covers - please? :)

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message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Cusick-Jones (melc-j) I'm looking for some advice and thoughts on book covers if you can help me out:

I'm working on a series of books at the moment and am at the turning point in relation to cover art - do you maintain the theme throughout the series for continuity? Or do people like to see things change with the storylines (as the setting changes between the first two books and the second two).

My current book covers:

The Rainbow Maker's Tale (The Ambrosia Sequence, #1.5) by Melanie Cusick-Jones Hope's Daughter (The Ambrosia Sequence, #1) by Melanie Cusick-Jones

Are a 'matching pair' - as a reader, would you like to see the theme continued or see wholly different cover styles for the next 'pair' of books in the series?

I'm thinking of the standard range used through things like Twilight series, Harry Potter, etc. where the main conventions (such as fonts, background colours, etc.) were used throughout the whole set.

What do you think?


message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie Rainey I think sticking with similar covers is good. It helps the reader quickly identify that book as part of the series.


message 3: by William (new)

William Stuart (thegemstonechronicles) | 14 comments I agree with Julie. In my series, each of the four covers will build on the previous covers. The first book, called The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian has a carnelian only. the second book (The Gemstone Chronicles Book Two: The Amethyst will have the carnelian and the amethyst. The theme continues for the final two.
The Gemstone Chronicles Book One The Carnelian by William L. Stuart


message 4: by L (new)

L I do agree with Julie in that a series of books should have some sort of feature to be able to reconize them, as the same series. For example the Harry Potter books had bright colored covers, or Tolkien's books had a symbol. The image or lettering needs to stand out so that it matches, so one can tell it is the same series. Natrually each book needs to be also slightly different (as in the color of your eye), which i think is really good.


message 5: by Nicola (new)

Nicola Palmer | 10 comments I'd like to see the theme continued, I like familiarity for a series of books. I've tried to do that with mine.
Alice Parker's Metamorphosis (Alice Parker, #1) by Nicola Palmer Alice Parker and the Mind Magician (Alice Parker, #2) by Nicola Palmer Alice Parker and the Secret of Arcanum Cove (Book 3 of the new adventure series for children) by Nicola Palmer


message 6: by Melanie (last edited Sep 23, 2012 04:42AM) (new)

Melanie Toye (melanietoye) | 3 comments I haven't written a series before, but I do agree as a reader, that similar font would be good. However don't be afraid to change images with each book that relates to that story. If it's too similar they may not release its another book.


message 7: by Miles (new)

Miles Gentry (miles_gentry) | 12 comments I recently read Volume 1 of a five part series written by an author here at GoodReads. Her book covers are a great example of maintaining a theme, yet clearly distinguishing between Volumes of the series.

Check them out here:
http://www.sparkinspirepublishing.com...


message 8: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 19 comments I think it's helpful to have them look nice on a shelf next to each other =)


message 9: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Cusick-Jones (melc-j) Thanks for all the thoughts, you've helped me confirm what I was already kind of thinking :)


message 10: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Jones | 13 comments I keep the same theme but different colours for Black Book Part 1: The Devil's Blood




message 11: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Cusick-Jones (melc-j) Dylan wrote: "I keep the same theme but different colours for Black Book Part 1: The Devil's Blood
"


Really like your covers Dylan - they almost look like 'westerns' more than sci-fi - the colours really work well.


message 12: by Jill (new)

Jill Sanders (jillmsanders) | 146 comments I agree, I like sticking to a theme, but adding small differences to make each book unique.. But, that's just me..

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message 13: by Aria (last edited Feb 22, 2013 10:04AM) (new)

Aria Grace (ariagrace) | 7 comments Ditto. I've kept mine very similar (maybe too similar) but with my new series, I'll have to mix it up more. Hopefully, they still compliment each other nicely.

Personal Assistant (Sexy Gigs, #1) by Aria Grace Dog Walker (Sexy Gigs, #2) by Aria Grace House Cleaner (Sexy Gigs, #3) by Aria Grace


message 14: by Anonymous (last edited Feb 24, 2013 11:36PM) (new)

Anonymous Author (anonymousauthor) | 4 comments The continuity of the series covers is important, however you achieve it. I personally do not like the images of the eyes because I RECOGNIZE THE IMAGES. They are very heavily used stock images and you do not want to run into that issue. When you think about the most memorable covers, they are often the simplest looking. Twilight Sparkle Smooches (or whatever it's called, I don't remember the exact title) is just an apple. Heck, with my limited photoshop skills, I could drape some black fabric over the back of a chair, take a picture of someone holding an apple and then use photoshop to make the arms appear in black and white. Easy stuff.

What you could try to do is either make a graphic of an iris/pupil if that is the central theme of your book or take photos of a model's eye. You could even do various stages of an eye opening or emoting. All you would need is proper lighting (it is best to take photos on a gray day because it reduces how much color interference that darn sun offers up) and a willing subject with really nice skin and eyelashes willing to lay down while you climb on top of him or her and snap photos. You will, of course, need to ensure that the camera is properly focused so that your images look right.

Then, just plug that thing into photoshop or Gimp (the freeware version of photoshop that does most of the same stuff) and tweak as necessary to make it cover-ready.

That, or you could hire an artist to do it for you, whatever your preference is. Much luck to you! :)


message 15: by M.R. (new)

M.R. Graham (mrgraham) | 3 comments I don't think it's necessary that you use the same types of images for a series. Other design elements can be brought together for continuity: font, text size, text placement, colors, "mood"...
What I did was create a template in GIMP with one layer for the background, a new layer for each text field, and layers between for images. For each cover in the series, I just altered the text, bucketfilled the background a slightly different color, and inserted a partially-transparent image between the text and the background.
I'm not much of a designer, but I feel they came out fairly well, though I may enlist some professional help before the first book is released.
The Medium by M.R. Graham The Mora by M.R. Graham


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

For my Midwife's Secret series of three books within the larger set of the Queen of Scots Suite, I used photos of the same model, with the same color scheme, similar although not identical fonts, etc. They are easily identified as a set.


message 17: by Jill (new)

Jill Sanders (jillmsanders) | 146 comments I've updated mine from above.... Take a look at the new ones & tell me if you like better.

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message 18: by Jill (new)

Jill Sanders (jillmsanders) | 146 comments I really like them!

M.R. wrote: "I don't think it's necessary that you use the same types of images for a series. Other design elements can be brought together for continuity: font, text size, text placement, colors, "mood"...
Wha..."



message 19: by Karen (new)

Karen A. Wyle (kawyle) | 54 comments When the cover designer for Twin-Bred couldn't do the sequel's cover, I asked the gentleman who's designing the sequel cover to do a new cover for Twin-Bred, incorporating the original cover art into a design similar to what he's doing for the sequel.


message 20: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Ryan (goodreadscomchrisryanwrites) | 17 comments A theme is crucial, a identifiable look might even be more vital. However, let them grow or alter in small, subtle ways that reflect how the series is going.


message 21: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Byrne (katarina66) | 44 comments I agree with all those who keep the theme similar, especially if it is a series. Each of my books are stand alone, but also part of a trilogy. (I've only done two - working on third)
Maybe the covers are not very exciting. I'd welcome comments.
Follow the Dove by Catherine M. Byrne The Broken Horizon by Catherine M. Byrne


message 22: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Ryan (goodreadscomchrisryanwrites) | 17 comments Dylan wrote: "I keep the same theme but different colours for Black Book Part 1: The Devil's Blood
"


They look really great. Are the colors linked to themes in the book?


message 23: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Ryan (goodreadscomchrisryanwrites) | 17 comments Catherine wrote: "I agree with all those who keep the theme similar, especially if it is a series. Each of my books are stand alone, but also part of a trilogy. (I've only done two - working on third)
Maybe the cov..."

You might consider tying the trilogy aspect together via typeface, title placement, something like that.


message 24: by Jim (last edited Jan 11, 2014 05:05PM) (new)

Jim Vuksic In my opinion, one of the best and most clever examples of a book series cover design to-date are those of the hard-cover box set of The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Each book's cover is a different color: The Hunger Games - black; Catching Fire - red; Mockingjay - blue.

The graphic design of the spine for each cover is exactly the same except for the color; however, each front cover design depicts the trilogy's fictional mockingjay bird in different stages of flight against a unique circular background design for each bird that provides a subtle hint of that particular installment's storyline.

I do not know if it was intentional or not; but the title of the first book contains three words, the second, two words, and the final title, just one word.


message 25: by Jeannette (last edited Jan 11, 2014 05:09PM) (new)

Jeannette Westlake | 1 comments I like series covers that maintain a consistent feel across the series, like these for The Lays of Anuskaya:

The Winds of Khalakovo (Lays of Anuskaya, #1) by Bradley P. Beaulieu The Straits of Galahesh (Lays of Anuskaya, #2) by Bradley P. Beaulieu The Flames of Shadam Khoreh (Lays of Anuskaya, #3) by Bradley P. Beaulieu

or these for the War of the Blades:

Dragon Fate (War of the Blades, #1) by J.D. Hallowell Dragon Blade (War of the Blades, #2) by J.D. Hallowell


message 26: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Ryan (goodreadscomchrisryanwrites) | 17 comments Jim, I agree, The Hunger Games covers were really well done.
Other marketing-oriented covers include Janet Evanavich's caper books, which are similar in tone re: color, title, and graphic. Carl Haisson (spelling?) has the same font, word placement, and similarly toned color and graphics as well.

When I was a kid, I'd go to EJ Korvettes in The Bronx and search the book aisle for two beloved logos, Doc Savage and The Shadow. Whenever I saw a new one of those Ballantine books pulp reprints, I would be ridiculously thrilled. Yeah, covers make a difference, even when we are young.


message 27: by Robert (new)

Robert Hunt (robertahunt) | 21 comments Robert A. Hunt
Hello there, My name is Robert A. Hunt and I have two series on the go and both series are very different.
The Crater Mountain Sasquatch
The Cross-Breed Legend
These books listed above all taken place in small towns and all have some mysterious legend.
My other series are science fiction based and starts out with aliens living this planet and then continues with more aliens adventures living on other planets.
Earth Volk
Grizz: Rise of the Blackguard
Verticus
I have written another book called:
Jasper and the Shelter of Angels which is currently not a book series.


message 28: by Jason (new)

Jason Chapman | 1 comments could someone please tell me how I can upload my book cover design to Goodreads. Thanks you.
Jason Chapman


message 29: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 7 comments I agree that some continuity is good like titles and author name keeping the same font throughout the series though colour can change. A good example is Lindsey Kelk series ''I heart...'


message 30: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 453 comments I think similarity between covers in a series is key and a good idea. It indicates to a reader that a book is in fact a part of a series for one and two it just makes sense to keep them similar. I came across a book once which was the 2nd book in a series but I didn't know it until I read the inside flap. I of course looked for the first one and noticed it looked nothing like the 2nd so I think it definitely helps a reader identify.


message 31: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Jason wrote: "could someone please tell me how I can upload my book cover design to Goodreads. Thanks you.
Jason Chapman"


Jason, take a look at this link

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 32: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Melanie wrote: "I'm looking for some advice and thoughts on book covers if you can help me out:

I'm working on a series of books at the moment and am at the turning point in relation to cover art - do you mainta..."


I think it is a good idea to maintain continuity. I took my original cover and added the new titles to a blank space at the top.




message 33: by Rita (new)

Rita Stradling (stradling) | 1 comments I have a question about series book covers that's a little off topic...

If you hire someone to do your first cover, but make up the second and third with similar fonts and a similar stock image, is that violating the original cover designer's copyright?

I think it is, because I think it's a derivative, but then at the same time, I'm not sure because how different would it have to be?

Can you no longer use a similar image or say, handwritten font? Any help?


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