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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Schiver | 17 comments Okay all of you horror fiction lovers out there, I'm looking for some feedback from the experts in the genre, that's right, I mean you, the reader. I'm working on the cover for an upcoming release and was looking for honest opinions, be brutal, be frank (maybe not Frank, he gets picked on enough)

In exchange for your honest opinion I'm giving away a free copy of the book when it's finished, in the electronic format of your choice, delivered directly to your inbox.



You heard right, share your opinion with me and I'll send you a free book. Even if you only say "eh, it looks all right I guess," I'll send you a free e-book when it releases at the end of October. I would hope you'd go into a little more detail, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.

Leave your comments here, or pop over to my blog and share your thoughts.

http://www.richardschiver.com/2015/08...

Oh, and thanks for stopping by.


message 2: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Allen (lilithadamsseries) | 9 comments Quick question. Is the teddy bear significant to the story? I ask because "Coming of age.." makes me think preteen to teen and a teddy bear represents more of a younger character to me. Also,if you want the opinion of a fantastic cover artist Chris Howard with Blonde Designs works with a lot of indie authors and he always has great ideas on how to reflect content on a cover.


message 3: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "Quick question. Is the teddy bear significant to the story? I ask because "Coming of age.." makes me think preteen to teen..."

Wikipedia says it is the passage from childhood to adult. More reliable sources, such as Merriam-Webster, seem to agree.


message 4: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited Aug 08, 2015 08:45AM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "Okay all of you horror fiction lovers out there, I'm looking for some feedback from the experts in the genre, that's right, I mean you, the reader."

It appeals to me, but I believe I have odd tastes so that might mean nothing. I like covers that are void of a lot of color and give you an idea of the story without trying to tell the whole thing in one picture.

I like the Teddy bear. He looks like he was greatly loved at one time, a lost time. Now he's alone and facing a darker, more corrupt world.


message 5: by Jenny (new)

Jenny Allen (lilithadamsseries) | 9 comments Thank you for pointing that out Dwayne. I wasn't referring to the dictionary definition. I was merely conveying an opinion of what the words conjure up for me.


message 6: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Hi, Richard

I have some feedback to share on your cover (which is a pretty nice cover to begin with, by the way).

1. Move the title and subtitle down a bit.
2. Love the fonts you choose. Move your name and tagline down and to the left just a bit.
3. Put a little bit more space between your name and tagline.
4. Love the teddy bear - great image. I also love the watermarked "hazard" symbol over the background.

You're already off to a great start with your cover. These slight changes I listed above will better proportion the text to the cover/background images and give you a more balanced use of negative space.

Let us see what you decide to do...

April


message 7: by G.G. (last edited Aug 08, 2015 09:01AM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Jenny wrote: "Quick question. Is the teddy bear significant to the story? I ask because "Coming of age.." makes me think preteen to teen and a teddy bear represents more of a younger character to me. Also,if you..."

I had teddy bears until I got married and left the house (at 17) so the teddy bear is more a symbol of a change. It doesn't matter if it's preteen to teen or younger characters.

In the case of this story, I can imagine that no matter how old the kid is, an apocalypse can (and will) make him mature faster, thus leaving all childhood behind (the teddy bear symbol).

All this to say that the teddy bear works for me. I like him. I'm debating on his visibility though. he's dark, and sitting in the dark so I'm wondering if he'll be seen in a thumbnail picture.


message 8: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) I love the teddy bear as a symbol. To me, it means "coming of age." That sounds like the perfect symbol for your book, based on your subtitle.

April


message 9: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments April wrote: "Hi, Richard

I have some feedback to share on your cover (which is a pretty nice cover to begin with, by the way).

1. Move the title and subtitle down a bit.
2. Love the fonts you choose. Move you..."


Great advices April


message 10: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
G.G. wrote: "All this to say that the teddy bear works for me. I like him. I'm debating on his visibility though. he's dark, and sitting in the dark so I'm wondering if he'll be seen in a thumbnail picture. "

I took a copy of Richard's cover (just to experiment with Richard) and it is passing the tests. I can still see Teddy in a much smaller version. He fades a little on gray scale, but is still visible.


message 11: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Dwayne wrote: "G.G. wrote: "All this to say that the teddy bear works for me. I like him. I'm debating on his visibility though. he's dark, and sitting in the dark so I'm wondering if he'll be seen in a thumbnail..."


Good. Because in the end, the thumbnail size is what counts.


message 12: by Richard (new)

Richard Schiver | 17 comments Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting. The story Hope is about four teens in a post-apocalyptic world who have embarked on a quest to rescue several small children taken from the compound in which they live. It is the story of their rite of passage into becoming adults in a post-apocalyptic world.

I've worked on the cover, taking into account comments from this thread and others where I've posted it. Here is the latest version.





message 13: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I love the new version. It's more 3D, more real, and more inviting. The patch of grass also adds an air of desolation, like the place isn't being taken care of anymore. Nice touch.

I can't really make out what the letters are in the background but that could be because I failed to catch the meaning, after all, I didn't realize it was the bio-hazard sign on the first cover.That said, it doesn't matter. The letters in the background adds to the overall feeling mentioned above.

The smaller size image is also clear, even with my bad eyesight so that's always a plus.

(Sorry for not being more constructive.)


message 14: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments The issues I have with the new version:

* Too dark
* The title looks scrunched in...give the letters some space (or use another font, I'm not in love with the font on this)
* Subtitle and Author Name are almost illegible in thumbnail


message 15: by Nevada (new)

Nevada (vadatastic) | 20 comments I miss the bio-hazard sign, I liked it with the teddy bear. The 2nd teddy bear is colored much better though. I would say put the 2nd teddy and grass on the 1st background with biohazard.

If you don't agree though, that's your prerogative and we all know it's impossible to make everyone happy.


message 16: by Tom (new)

Tom (tom_shutt) | 20 comments Hi Richard,

The new version is definitely an improvement, but I do echo some of Micah's concerns. You can probably trade off some of the size in the main title to make the subtitle more legible, and it looks like you used three different fonts in the making of the cover. The first one makes me think of a tribal fantasy setting (the "O" reminds me of a shield in shape); the second is a good, modern font, but is hard to read at that size; and the third is in the vein of horror novels, but it's nothing I haven't seen before (and my first impression was to associate it with vampires or other monsters, not a post-apocalyptic world). Your name is also right of center, not lining up with the title and subtitle, and the overall presentation of the image is dark in an oversaturated sort of way.

G.G., I'm pretty sure the writing on the wall is "F*CK OFF", censored for obvious reasons.

Was the radioactive sign on the first cover just as a symbol, not related to the book, or was there some reason for it that might be missed by removing it from the new cover? Because that was a strong image for the first cover, making the whole cover better despite the gray background and small teddy bear.


message 17: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Micah wrote: "The issues I have with the new version:

* Too dark
* The title looks scrunched in...give the letters some space (or use another font, I'm not in love with the font on this)
* Subtitle and Author N..."


I agree the author's name could be a bit bigger. Yet, with bigger noticeable font, people might then say it is too prominent. (Heck my name isn't that big on my cover and that's what someone said so you can't please everyone. That's for sure.)

As for the subtitle, not to argue but I don't see how it could stay visible in thumbnails. If the subtitle would be a word or two, maybe, but not a phrase of that length. Of course, the subtitle is important but we're talking tiny picture here. We still need to be realistic. Besides, making the title smaller and subtitle bigger might just confuse the potential buyer/reader as which one is the real title or if both are part of the title.

Tom, Ops You're right. Not sure how I could have missed that. ;)


message 18: by Matt (new)

Matt (mattmargolis) | 8 comments the concept is good, but i think the artwork/imagery is failing you. i've designed some post-apocalyptic covers if you want some help. http://logotecture.com/project-type/b...


message 19: by Joselyn (new)

Joselyn  Moreno (joselynraquel) | 41 comments Richard wrote: "Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting. The story Hope is about four teens in a post-apocalyptic world who have embarked on a quest to rescue several small children taken from the compound ..."

I like this one better than the first I saw


message 20: by Richard (new)

Richard Schiver | 17 comments Here's the latest version for anyone interested.






message 21: by David (new)

David Heath (davidheath23) | 7 comments Personal Opinion: The author name is better, it's more legible on the thumbnail. The actual subtitle/description (?), not so much.

I actually preferred the darker version, but agreed that it was TOO dark; I'd find somewhere in the middle between the original and this.

I would just drop off the "the horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present" part; maybe use that on the back cover. You should just stick with 'HOPE', and at a maximum, 'A Novel'.

Just an opinion though...keep at it til it's exactly how you want it! :)


message 22: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I liked the old subtitle better. I mean with all the post-apocalypse books out there, the old subtitle gave it an edge. It was different and more intriguing.

In the new version, the shadow around the bear looks more natural. Much better.


message 23: by Matt (new)

Matt (mattmargolis) | 8 comments the typography is all wrong... font/color/effects... just doesn't feel right or appropriate for the genre.


message 24: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Matt wrote: "the typography is all wrong... font/color/effects... just doesn't feel right or appropriate for the genre."

What would you suggest?


message 25: by Matt (new)

Matt (mattmargolis) | 8 comments Well, for starters, the black outer glow is too obvious... It be better to slightly darken the artwork uniformly, or overlay gradients at the top and bottom to achieve the necessary contrast.

Then there's the "The horrors of the past..." line... that sounds less like a subtitle, and more like a tagline... therefore, it should should be smaller, detached from the title, probably on the wall, opposite side of the teddy bear... that would help fill in the blank space a bit..

both the title and author name use bad fonts. there are so many alternatives that could be used... the title has a ugly bevel that is totally unnecessary. White also contrasts a bit too much... i assume that's to increase contrast, but there is no reason to be afraid to use a touch of color...


message 26: by Matt (last edited Aug 12, 2015 10:19AM) (new)

Matt (mattmargolis) | 8 comments here's a link to a 5 minute, low-res concept i whipped up as to how i might approach it.



keep in mind, I currently do not have access to all my fonts since i'm not on my home computer, and the low res stock image doesn't help either..


message 27: by Richard (new)

Richard Schiver | 17 comments Thanks everyone for all of your feedback.

My plan now is to re-shoot the picture for the cover. I picked up a teddy bear the other day from Goodwill, he stands prepared to sacrifice his good looks for the advancement of my art. In exchange he'll retire to a spot on my bookcase, where he will spend his time idly watching the days pass.

I truly appreciate all of the honest feedback everyone has given me here. When the new cover is ready this will be one of the first places I share it.

Right now I'm tightening up the opening of the story as I edit the manuscript. There are several more passes I want to make before I send it back to my editor for a final pass. My plan is to release at the end of the Halloween Horror Author countdown I do every year on my blog in October.

Of course the freebies will go out before then.

If you don't hear from me for a bit it doesn't mean I've given up. Just busy.

Thanks everyone.


message 28: by Nevada (new)

Nevada (vadatastic) | 20 comments Richard wrote: "My plan now is to re-shoot the picture for the cover. I picked up a teddy bear the other day from Goodwill, he stands prepared to sacrifice his good looks for the advancement of my art. In exchange he'll retire to a spot on my bookcase, where he will spend his time idly watching the days pass."

Just be sure to hold him or let him sit in your lap while you type every once in a while. If Toy Story taught us anything it is that toys need to be played with. :)

Good luck!


message 29: by Richard (new)

Richard Schiver | 17 comments Nevada wrote: "Richard wrote: "My plan now is to re-shoot the picture for the cover. I picked up a teddy bear the other day from Goodwill, he stands prepared to sacrifice his good looks for the advancement of my ..."

I will do that Nevada.


message 30: by Richard (new)

Richard Schiver | 17 comments When one subs to a publisher and is accepted a team of editors and designers descends upon your work to poke prod and polish the manuscript into its final format. In many cases the end product bears little resemblance to the initial draft. My editor has on several occasions suggested that I look at expanding upon one of the plot lines in the original manuscript and create a whole new work that more closely follows the vision I had originally.

This new work would benefit more from the cover with the abandoned teddy bear than what I’m currently working on. Which places me firmly back to square one with the cover, and even the title of my current project.

The initial spark that started this journey was the idea of the children of the apocalypse, and how they would respond and survive in a world turned upside down. Where Lord of the Flies meets The Walking Dead.

At the end of my current project, four boys who were born during or shortly after a Zombie Apocalypse come face to face with a savage cult of boys who worship a creature that feeds upon the fear infused tears of children. A psychic vampire similar to the one which has appeared in some of Stephen Kings work.

In this cult no child is allowed to mature beyond fifteen, and they rely on kidnapping children from surrounding survivor compounds to expand their ranks, and provide fresh victims to the god they worship. This served as the catalyst that prompted the four boys in the original work to set out on a mission to rescue the kidnapped children.

Now I’m faced with coming up with a new cover. My heartfelt apologies for being such a pest but I find the feedback here to be quite illuminating.

So what do you think of this?




message 31: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Very good. I wouldn't change a thing.


message 32: by Richard (new)

Richard Schiver | 17 comments After some tweaking. Dropped the mist completely and brought up the colors more. Added a white drop shadow to the text to bring it up from the colors of the image. Thanks Ken.




message 33: by K.P. (new)

K.P. Merriweather (kp_merriweather) | 266 comments Super trippy. Awesomesauce. :D


message 34: by Nevada (new)

Nevada (vadatastic) | 20 comments First off, cool premise - I would read that book you just described.

I like the four boy shadows, that looks cool and they seem to be hunched forward like they're pushing to get to something. The disembodied hand is okay. The streaky black, blue and white makes me think space, combined with the four-fingered hand, makes me think aliens - not once human zombies. I also liked the font from the 1st hand cover better. Could the hand be rotting/falling apart and dripping blood onto a teddy bear that the boys are approaching?


message 35: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I still like the first version better, the mist and the font. The 2nd version looks a little busy to me, oversaturated and less mysterious.


message 36: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Ken wrote: "I still like the first version better, the mist and the font. The 2nd version looks a little busy to me, oversaturated and less mysterious."

I agree 100%

The first one with the fog is mysterious. It makes me wonder what else is hiding out there.

While the second isn't bad, it's more like a door to another dimension type of cover.


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