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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Cover and blurb for fantasy/adventure book

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message 1: by Maron (last edited Apr 26, 2014 08:57AM) (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 18 comments Hello! Three weeks ago I posted a possible cover and blurb for my book Laika in Lisan here, and I received terrific constructive feedback. I ended up completely ditching my earlier concepts and starting from scratch. I commissioned an artist to draw a unique illustration for the book, and I'm so happy I did. Now I'm back and eager for feedback on the new cover and new blurb! I'm generally happy with both of them--much more than I was with the earlier versions--but I value the opinions of this group. I'm ready to make changes if other people think both the cover and blurb could be improved.

Here is the current cover:

Here is the blurb:

When historian and private tutor Laika Roen is invited to study in Lisan—a country to which few foreigners are granted entry—she drops everything in her unsatisfying life to pursue adventure. Lisan is a mysterious land, where it's rumored that citizens are oppressed by their cruel and despotic leader, a man they worship and adore nonetheless.

Laika gets more than she bargained for when her trip is disrupted by violence and she’s forced to set out on her own. She soon meets Rodya, a man who’s living in the mountains to avoid Lisan’s oppressive government. With his guidance Laika witnesses firsthand what is normally hidden from foreigners like her: the widespread abuse and deprivation of the Lisani people.

Trapped in a maze of moral ambiguity, Laika must choose between her conscience, her feelings for Rodya, and the greater good.

When the artist started making concept sketches for the cover, I made a "draft" based on her concept sketches. I really like the colors of the draft, probably more so than the colors of the final illustration... I'm debating whether I should try to darken the cover above to try to achieve a similar effect. The draft cover is below. I'm very curious to hear whether you guys prefer the general tone of the current cover or the draft cover (granting the illustration in the draft cover is clearly a sketch).

Thanks in advance for your input!

message 2: by Luke (new)

Luke Ahearn | 23 comments I like it!

message 3: by Maron (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 18 comments The version I posted above was made after enlarging the characters in the illustration. I'm thinking about returning to the original size. The revised cover is below (using the unaltered illustration). If anyone has any feedback (e.g., do you prefer this version or the one with larger characters), I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

message 4: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) I prefer the one where you see the characters more and less of the mountains.

My first impression of the other one (smaller characters) is that it's a book for either Teens or YA.
If that's what you're looking for then it's perfect.

However, the cover that has the two larger characters has an older feel to it. Maybe that's why I prefer it over the other.

message 5: by Maron (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 18 comments Thanks, G.G.!

message 6: by Maron (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 18 comments Thanks also, Luke!

message 7: by Ben (new)

Ben Hutchins | 4 comments The draft cover is better than your "final" If it were me, I'd use the draft as my final. Your current one is too bright and happy for the theme of your book, makes me think sound of music. The darker, draft image warns of foreboding and challenging times, which is what would draw me to the book in the first place.


message 8: by Maron (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 18 comments Thanks for the feedback, Ben!

message 9: by Mati (last edited Apr 27, 2014 08:57AM) (new)

Mati (matiraine) | 40 comments I like the smaller characters personally. It doesn't feel as 'scrunched' as the one where they overlap the title. I feel like the 'in' is in a weird place though, it makes the balance feel a bit off to me when it's that far to the left. It looks better in the recent cover though.

I do agree, the colors are a bit bright for the book, considering the direction it goes.

message 10: by Maron (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 18 comments Thanks for the feedback, Mati! I think I'm going to go with the version with large characters because it's more eye-catching as a tiny Amazon thumbnail. I do like the colors of the draft much more than the final illustration (as you mentioned, the darker colors fit the mood of the book better), but I was unable to improve the colors in Photoshop without it looking artificial. (I really like the illustrator's style and I think the final image is attractive on its own, but her early sketches were closer to what I had in mind.)

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