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message 1: by Sammi (last edited Mar 19, 2013 08:16AM) (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments Firstly, i apologise profusely if this is in the wrong section!

I’m not advertising or selling anything. I would just like some general hints, tips and constructive criticism from members of the group :)

Basically I’m learning to make and design e-book covers. I’m not the best at making things with Photoshop and its a learning curve. I am really just looking to get some opinions on what i can do to improve the current style.

I have only really tried 2 so far and i have posted them below.

Thanks in advance :) !!

(i dont want to post massive photos, but i have the full size versions in my profile)

message 2: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18543 comments Well as the section says, anything goes!

message 3: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18543 comments Had a quick shuftie at the photos on your profile and I think they are fab! Especially if you are only just starting out with photoshop. They are the kind of covers that would make me pick up the book and have a read of the blurb, and that's pretty much the point of a cover.

Good job :o)

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments this maybe should be in the author zone but no worries. Simon will shift it. I can't at the moment as I've only got my phone.
can't look at the covers either. :-(

message 5: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18543 comments That's a shame Patti, they are very pretty.

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments ill be sure to look when i get home.

message 7: by Sammi (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments Oh brilliant, thanks! Its kinda what im hoping for, as long as it can encourage someone to have a nosey at the book, awesome! :)

So tempted to take a course, its just finding the time. For now im going to keep on trying.

message 8: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18543 comments I imagine if I attempted a photoshop picture it would look like a 6 year old using (microsoft) paint.

message 9: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Roth | 1 comments Hi Sheikhs, Lies and Real Estate: The Untold Story of Dubai

Hi, I would appreciate any feedback on my book cover. The book has been causing quite a stir so I hope the cover reflects its controversial subject matter..


message 10: by Sammi (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments Golly, my thread has been highjacked lol

message 11: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18543 comments It appears so

message 12: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 853 comments Lily, call me stupid (well, no don't - I'm sensitive) but I couldn't find your photos on your profile. However, from the tiny photos on your initial post I'd say that the artwork looks fine, but if they're ebooks, you really need to make sure that the typography is clear. I have no idea from those pictures what the books are called or who they're by and very often pictures that size are what people see first on places like Amazon. You need to use a font that's clear in a colour that shows up in even the tiniest version of the cover. (If they're for paper books, then disregard what I said.)

I wrote an article in the March edition of 'Writing Magazine'(a British magazine) that gives tips on making your book cover stand out. You might still be able to get it. Another great source for learning about book covers is Joel Friedlander's site -

message 13: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18543 comments That's very true, I never thought of what she ^^ said

message 14: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments Katie's an experienced cover designer. I didn't actually realise until I looked just now, that there is any text on there. Lovely pics though, for the right genre.

Katie, the pictures are on the profile where it says 'more photos'

message 15: by Sammi (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments Apologies for not making it easier to find, i should have provided a link, doh!

I hear what your saying about the font Katie and thats a really good suggestion. I think on my first attempt it lacks that 'oomph' effect on the font and i think i could make it alot clearer. Now i look back on it, im tempted to completely scrap it lol.

Thank you for the website link! Soon as i get home i'm going to have a nosey :)

message 16: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Brown I have no photoshop skills so asked an old colleague of mine to do my cover. I was quite pleased with the result at first, but don't like it so much now... was thinking of changing it, but not sure if that's the right thing to do. Or whether it's just me dallying around and thinking about it too much.

What do you guys think?

The Curse Tablet by Daniel Brown

message 17: by Sammi (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments another hijack :o !!

message 18: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments Maybe you need to change the thread title to Lily's Book Covers?

message 19: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments Hey Lily I've had a look at the larger pictures and they look good to me. Of the two I prefer the lighter one with the fairy, as it sort of tells a story and gives an impression of what is likely to be found inside. I agree with Katie that the text gets lost, but I love the font styling.

I've worked with Photoshop professionally for around twenty years, and if you're artistically minded, as you seem to be, I would say you don't need a course. Borrow a good guide book from your local library to learn how the more obscure functions work and then learn it organically. I know of some artists who sell photshop art and command a good price for their work, and they were self taught.

I find it easier to work in CMYK as you can adjust the colours in the same way as with conventional paint etc., but convert back to RGB before uploading.

message 20: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Brown Lily (The Novel Nerd) wrote: "another hijack :o !!"

Sorry, I wasn't trying to butt in or anything... :P

I just saw your thread and it chimed with me because I had been thinking about mine recently.... carry on! Ignore me! ;) *slinks back to the shadows*

message 21: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments Bang it on your author thread Daniel. It'll bring it to the fore again too. :)

message 22: by Katie (last edited Mar 20, 2013 07:05AM) (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 853 comments Ignite wrote: "Bang it on your author thread Daniel. It'll bring it to the fore again too. :)"

Or if it's anything like my author thread...maybe it won't.

Don't worry, Daniel, you came in on the heels of a blatant spammer. My comment on your cover would be that it doesn't give me any sense of what the book is about or even the genre.

message 23: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments Except it's dark...

message 24: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments I've posted a response on your Author thread Daniel

message 25: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Brown It is quite dark... :)

message 26: by Sammi (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments Spammer?

For what its worth Daniel, your cover creates a good atmosphere and even as a small icon you can read the text very well. So as an ebook cover i find it works well. I do agree though that it doesnt give much away concerning the genre.

@David: Oh really? The lighter one was my least favourite of the two. I am totally in agreement about the colour of the font, i will make sure to watch out for this in future. I guess i've blended it all in way too much.

However, its good to know that i should be able to pick the skills up through practise and patience. I can be a little slow at picking things like this up :)

message 27: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments Just goes to show that we are all different. I work in a library and take notice what books tend to get selcted from the quick choice where the covers are on display. I think the fairy one would get more hits, but that doesn't mean everyone would go for it. We sometimes make it a competition, I'll pick half the books my collegue picks the other half, and we get a point for every book we selected.

Best thing with photoshop is to make use of the layers and experiment. If it doesn't work just switch off the layer, don't delete straight away as you might want to go back to it.

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments what a lovely thread. i love how helpful we all are in our group. so glad Katie saw this thread. her covers are WONDERFUL!

message 29: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 853 comments Patti (It's a grape life) wrote: "what a lovely thread. i love how helpful we all are in our group. so glad Katie saw this thread. her covers are WONDERFUL!"

Haha! Patti could you make me a little recording of that, so that when I'm feeling down about my creativity, I can play it and cheer myself up? :-)

message 30: by Beverley (new)

Beverley Carter | 199 comments I'm totally hopeless at this sort of thing, but luckily my Dad is fab and does my covers for me, although we do have discussions about what I want etc. My 15 y-o daughter did one of my covers and even took a photo of her own eyes and floated them into the picture. It's completely beyond me how they do it! Although I don't make any pretence at knowledge, I thought I might just say a couple of things:

1. Make sure you can read the text on Amazon size thumnails, well, so far as is possible anyway.

2. If you haven't already done so, check the Amazon size stipulations.

One thing I have done is to look at other books in the genre by famous successful writers and see if I can work out what sort of style to go for. I try to get the cover to sort of give a flavour of the story without giving away the punchline. I've also tried to keep with the same fonts for other books to give a 'corporate id' feel to it. One of mine is different because my Dad said it didn't look right but he's always on about changing it!

Oh, and your covers are beautiful, but I too prefer the fairy. Good luck! :)

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments lol Katie ! i already sound like broken record about your covers!

message 32: by Sammi (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments @Beverley- Your very lucky to have such a talented father & Daughter :) !

Yes the amazon sizing was what i went for in the end, roughly. I just have to hope they upload ok.

I do love your cover for Tales of Strangeness and Harm, it looks amazing!!
With Daniel Browns permission i've now attempted a third book cover based on his novel 'The Curse Tablet'. I've taken all your wonderful tips and attempted this.

Any improvements you can think of?

message 33: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments Lily (The Novel Nerd) wrote: "Firstly, i apologise profusely if this is in the wrong section!

I’m not advertising or selling anything. I would just like some general hints, tips and constructive criticism from members of the g..."

They like nice to me:)

message 34: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments Didn't someone suggest some red for this one? What about the author's name. It sort of shrinks into the background at the moment.

message 35: by Sammi (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments I've used yellow as the author has requested this. I see your point but the book has yellow mist in it so I think it needed to stay.

message 36: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments I would say that was pretty dark, I am not sure how well that would show up on a thumbnail view.

message 37: by Cherrelle (new)

Cherrelle Smith (spoonary) Yeah, I would suggest brightening it up a bit, and make the author's name stick out more. Great work though :)

message 38: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments Yes the picture is lovely, just a bit dark.

message 39: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments I though there was a suggestion that red suggested the genre a bit more? You really need to look at a thumbnail. I suspect 'The' might disappear too.

message 40: by Sammi (last edited Mar 24, 2013 10:51AM) (new)

Sammi (Sammi-N) | 98 comments I've had a look around similar genre books and to be honest maybe 80% you cant actualy read the title. I've had a look at the thumbnail for this and it shows the 'curse tablet' really clearly.

I've added the red as a alternative & also made the author name bolder.

Also with a brighter background:

message 41: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 1674 comments Much better. Yes half the thumbnails are unclear.

message 42: by Sara (new)

Sara Boyd (saraboydauthor) | 1412 comments I like the second one. The background picture is nice, you can see it better than before and you can read both author name and title. I think you should always be able to read both title and author. Especially if 80% of books in the genre can't be read properly. This one will stand out.

message 43: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments I think I prefer the first of these last two. The slight tint looks more sinister. The last one looks kind of ordinary; just a bunch of trees on a dull day. I like the glow behind "The" - it really was lost on the first pic.

You might want to try a thin dark stroke on "Curse Tablet", which will effectively raise the contrast on the words.

message 44: by Cherrelle (new)

Cherrelle Smith (spoonary) I prefer the first of those two too. I also agree with Tim.

message 45: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25093 comments These are both better. It's rubbish when you can't read the author's name! Couldn't see the colours last night as I was on my kindle. I think on balance I like the second because you can see details in the picture - but as you wouldn't in thumbnail; maybe the first because it has the sinister look

message 46: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Brown Wow! Thanks Lily.

I like them, I think the picture is quite good, although it looks a little too sparse, tree-wise. I know I said copse and that's what's it is called in the book, but it is probably more of a small wood....

I'm not sure about the motif under the author's name in the later versions, prefer the uncluttered look. The yellow on the title is fab, as the Curse Tablet in my book has a very special characteristic that removes it from other tablets (it is made of gold!) :)

Having said that, I do think that the colours seem a little washed out. An example I gave the guy who did my original cover was this:


I like them, not sure I like them enough to change my current one... but I'm thinking about it!! :)

I hope you have gained form this too.

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