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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Opinions on cover art and blurb on back cover please.

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message 1: by Robert (last edited Mar 02, 2016 06:07AM) (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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Any feedback is appreciated

This modified version was at the suggestion of a goodreads member.
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There is also a back cover.
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It was suggested that the font be less fancy for the title. Hopefully this new font makes it easier to read the title while in thumbnail form. Also increased the size of my name at the top.
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So here is where it all ended up after everyone's great advice. Thanks everyone. If there are more suggestions, I am still open.
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message 3: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Lucas | 11 comments ^^^^^ this.

www.goonwrite.com


message 4: by Zara (new)

Zara Deyn | 45 comments Hello Rob,

I am no expert so this is just a few thoughts - be patient with me please!
My first impression is that I am very impressed overall.
It would also be helpful to have your illustration as a thumbnail size posted here which is what we'll see on Amazon when we are surfing through new releases.
I do hope you will attract lots of expert views but in their absence, can I just ponder?
Some would have a larger author name so that your next books will be easily identifiable with you. Also, it is helpful for keyword searches and to market is to have the genre mentioned on the cover. Is it one in a series? If so, please mention this.
As I said, overall, it is very attractive and professional - I just hope you get more professional and experienced views and that you can investigate how other best sellers in your genre present their covers.
Will be keen to follow your success - good luck!
Kindest


message 5: by Lyn (new)

Lyn Morris | 19 comments Rob wrote: "http://postimg.org/image/g4p90uvgf/



Any feedback is appreciated"


I think it looks great, I would just make your name a little larger.


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Zara wrote: "Hello Rob,

I am no expert so this is just a few thoughts - be patient with me please!
My first impression is that I am very impressed overall.
It would also be helpful to have your illustration a..."

Thank you Zara. I have changed the image host to something that allows me to display the images. I uploaded a thumbnail size as well. (Good idea)
This is my first book. Although a series is not intended, there is potential for a continuation. The word Chronicles is intended more to describe the nature of what these time travelers do, which is they chronicle history.


message 7: by Zara (new)

Zara Deyn | 45 comments Hi Rob,

Looking good, aren't they? You must be really proud and rightly so.

Because I am having trouble myself in marketing generally and describing and clarifying my niche for Amazon, I have trained myself to notice how other people deal with this on their covers. So, all I can add, is that your cover is your opportunity to sell your book - you have an excellent cover (I think but I am not an expert!) I just wonder if you should have something in writing along the lines of describing that this is a sci-fi adventure of those whose mission is to chronicle history. (Perhaps see what others in your niche do on their covers?)
Wishing you well.


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Zara wrote: "Hi Rob,

Looking good, aren't they? You must be really proud and rightly so.

Because I am having trouble myself in marketing generally and describing and clarifying my niche for Amazon, I have tra..."

The back cover will indeed have a few sentences describing and drawing in the potential reader. I am working on that blurb now. From what I've seen on Amazon, the blurb is directly under the price of the book, which is to the right of the front cover art. So for online sales, where people can't grab the book off the shelf and flip it over, the same description is there for them to read on the ordering page.


message 9: by Zara (new)

Zara Deyn | 45 comments Good luck, Rob.
I look forward to seeing the finished result.
Enjoy the process!


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Zara wrote: "Good luck, Rob.
I look forward to seeing the finished result.
Enjoy the process!"


Thank you. I'd also be interested in seeing your work.


message 11: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments Good changes, Rob. The last main title in Sans Serif is much better (more readable at small size, which is key). Here’s an added thought for your author name: try adding “tracking”, i.e., add space between each letter. This can work well in all-caps like you have. And gives a nice contrast with the main title, which is tightly spaced. Try it!

But overall, nice cover.

Harald Johnson
Book Cover Reviews


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Harald wrote: "Good changes, Rob. The last main title in Sans Serif is much better (more readable at small size, which is key). Here’s an added thought for your author name: try adding “tracking”, i.e., add space..."
Tracking was the right call.
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message 13: by Zara (new)

Zara Deyn | 45 comments Hi Rob,
I was waiting for Harald to comment as he knows more than I do but, in the meantime, I think your covers are looking good, don't you?
BTW, I have three books of short stories on Amazon under my writerly name of Z.Y.G. Deyn - Guilty Pleasures at the Karmic Café - but am now absorbed in trying to write a series of crime, mystery, thrillers. Watch this space!
Kind regards,
Zara.


message 14: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 14 comments Rob, your cover looks good. The only thing I am not quite sure about is having the blurb in what looks like a courier font, and also indented rather than blocked on the left. Maybe Harald can advise?


message 15: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments You guys are waiting for me? [*blushing*]…

Nice to see the whole cover with back and spine. Overall, looking good. One could question whether “CHRONICLES” needs to Track to be flush with line above, but no big deal. Heavier font even easier to read.

Re: back cover blurb… Can’t really see it well. Yeah, most blurbs are “blocked” vs. indented, but not a huge deal either way. One suggestion: there’s a lot of dead space at the top (of back). Maybe put a couple of your raving reviews up there? ! :)

Go get ‘em, Rob!


message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Harald wrote: "You guys are waiting for me? [*blushing*]…

Nice to see the whole cover with back and spine. Overall, looking good. One could question whether “CHRONICLES” needs to Track to be flush with line abov..."

Yeah, I don't know why the image is so small. Here it is on my facebook, it is easier to read the back blurb. https://www.facebook.com/timetraveler...

Ok So the Chronicles on the front cover needs better tracking and alignment? I have astigmatism, so I see things crooked.

I would love to put reviews on, as soon as someone gives one I will. The top space is hard to see on the back cover because it is a tree at night. I will see if I can lighten it up a bit so you can see more green.
Thanks Harald.
Rob


message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Pam wrote: "Rob, your cover looks good. The only thing I am not quite sure about is having the blurb in what looks like a courier font, and also indented rather than blocked on the left. Maybe Harald can advise?"
Okay, so "Blocked" means the first line of each paragraph is not indented? Sorry, I am not a expert on terms. I can change that. My daughter told me that the lines should all be the same width, but when I use tracking to spread the words, some lines just don't align. Probably a photoshop problem that I am not aware of how to adjust. If you know how to make photoshop do that please let me know what the function is called.

What is a good font to use for blurbs? I have also been struggling with that. My Daughter once again told me to put a black glow effect behind the letters, but that to me looks cheap. I suggested putting a black box behind the entire blurb, even putting a nice border frame around the box, but she told me "no one does that Dad" She is my grammar nazi, so I try and not upset her.


message 18: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 14 comments Yes, sorry, by blocked meant that the first line in a paragraph is against the left-hand margin instead of being indented, so that all lines in the paragraph start up against the margin and aligned with each other. Indented to me would mean that the first line starts a few spaces in compared to the rest. My terms all come from word processing.

If lines are all straight edged/aligned at both ends that is called 'justified'. Doesn't always look good because, at least in Word, it results in words being too spaced out especially on short lines. I pulled a few trad pubbed paperbacks off the shelves at random, and none are justified - a lot are blocked, but some are actually centred which surprised me a little.

Leaving to Harald and others to advise on the rest of your queries as I haven't yet published my first book (still editing).


message 19: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments Hi Guys…

RE: Main title on front… “CHRONICLES” is tracked (spread) to line up left and right with the line above. Try that one word with the same tracking as the line above and see how it looks.

RE: Back cover font… any basic sans serif font (like you have) is fine. You don’t need a dark glow behind the words if there’s enough contrast with the background. Look like it to me, but if in doubt, just darken up the image behind the words. No need for a black box, but if you do, don’t use a border.

RE: Back cover paragraphing… Pam is right: lines that start and end on the same vertical line are “justified.” In Photoshop (not sure which version you have), you can find all that in the “Paragraph” tab with “Character.” Just click that icon. And add a small space AFTER each paragraph if not indenting (also in the Photoshop menu). And you can avoid ugly spaces by also clicking on the “Hyphenation” box. In pro text formatting, this is called “H&J” (hyphenation and justification), but that’s probably too technical here.

The other way is to just let the text be “ragged right” where each line ends at the end of a full word (as you have it). I see book covers done equally ragged and justified. This is the safest way, and also looks fine. But one classic rule you should not break (if you’re indenting) is this: NEVER indent the first line at the very beginning. Especially when you have a “drop cap” or emphasized letter like you have with “Evelyn.”

Got it? :)))

Harald Johnson
Book Cover Reviews
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Harald wrote: "Hi Guys…

RE: Main title on front… “CHRONICLES” is tracked (spread) to line up left and right with the line above. Try that one word with the same tracking as the line above and see how it looks.

..."

Okay, I think this fixes everything you mentioned.
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message 21: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments Yo Rob— Hmmm. Don't want to keep bugging you but am wondering about the back cover text...

1. There's a bad "orphan" at end of graph #1. Cannot have that. Either write more or (better) cut something out.

2. Where are the spaces between the blocked graphs? Just add some "space after" to create.

3. How did the text expand to go up over the figures? One solution is to wrap the text around the ISBN box (like you did before).

You're getting there!


message 22: by Robert (last edited Mar 12, 2016 09:07AM) (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Here are the changes you suggested Harald. Trying a new image host but still have small images, and it is hard to read the text.
http://postimg.org/image/xkjtydjgn/full/



message 23: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments Much better, Rob! You can still make tiny tweaks, but I don’t want to intrude too much.

Harald Johnson
Book Cover Reviews
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


message 24: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Harald wrote: "Much better, Rob! You can still make tiny tweaks, but I don’t want to intrude too much.

Harald Johnson
Book Cover Reviews
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/..."

No, please, intrude, intrude. I can use all the help I can get, and everything you have said so far has been spot on.


message 25: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments OK, intrusion shield is down. Just for back cover…

A. It’s a pretty good blurb, but it’s a bit awkward design-wise on the back page. If it were me, I’d drop the entire text down. Try to clear (get under) the horizon line as much as you can. The easiest way is to slide everything down and make the ENTIRE last graph wrap to the left of the ISBN box. You may need to separate that last graph and handle it independently from the other two. And if you get any ugly spaces between words, try the Hyphenate function. (And don’t crowd the top of the box with the text; give it some air.)

B. You don’t need to double space between the graphs; too much space separates the flow and thoughts. Use the “Space After” option in Photoshop and make the spaces a little less; maybe 2/3 or so of what you’ve got.

C. Finally, I’m not a fan of your text font (for the back cover). It’s a little hard to read. See how the “a” and the “e” are broken? Try something a little simpler.

Shields back up!

Harald Johnson
Book Cover Reviews
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


message 26: by Robert (last edited Mar 13, 2016 10:21AM) (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Harald wrote: "OK, intrusion shield is down. Just for back cover…

A. It’s a pretty good blurb, but it’s a bit awkward design-wise on the back page. If it were me, I’d drop the entire text down. Try to clear (get..."


Okay, the font on the back is now Sansserif and I made a box that fits around the isbn space so the text wraps around it. I also changed the space after paragraphs to 5pt which reduced it a bit. Let me know what you think.



message 27: by N. (new)

N.  | 7 comments Hi Rob,

I like the orange/blue combo. I think the font though makes it look less than professional.

Personally, I use http://goonwrite.com. I've also heard http://99designs.com is good, but I've never used them.


Thx.


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Nyong wrote: "Hi Rob,

I like the orange/blue combo. I think the font though makes it look less than professional.

Personally, I use http://goonwrite.com. I've also heard http://99designs.com is good, but I've..."


By less than professional regarding the font, do you mean I should use a more common font?


message 29: by N. (new)

N.  | 7 comments Yes. Honestly, if it were me... I'd look at the charts on Amazon and use the same font of whoever is selling the most in my genre. Readers are making VERY fast decisions. If they recognize anything familiar that's a positive that may up your discoverability.


message 30: by Robert (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Nyong wrote: "Yes. Honestly, if it were me... I'd look at the charts on Amazon and use the same font of whoever is selling the most in my genre. Readers are making VERY fast decisions. If they recognize anything..."

I see, never really thought about it from that perspective. I'll do some research and see if I spot trends. Thanks!


message 31: by N. (new)

N.  | 7 comments No prob!


message 32: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments Not sure which part of the cover Nyong is referring to, but on the back, any basic sans serif font will work, if handled well. Main thing is readability inside a decently designed page. The most common text fonts include: Helvetica (including H. Neue), Aria, Myriad, Tahoma, and all can be used in this context.

Re: the back cover blurb, you’re almost there except for two things:
1. That last graph isn’t working like that. It’s too close to the box, and it should match the H&J of the graphs above, i.e., justified. Just looking at the word spacing, it should be easy to move the right edge to the left (leaving roughly the same gap as above the box) without breaking any lines. Try it!
2. You’re crowding the left edge with the whole text block. Try bringing the left side a bit to the right (and shrink the point size if lines start to break. You want to give the text some air with other elements including the page edges.

Harald Johnson
Book Cover Reviews
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...


message 33: by Robert (last edited Mar 24, 2016 11:00AM) (new)

Robert Werden | 26 comments Did some changes. I still need to work on the back cover section. What do you think? Cleaner?



message 34: by Harald (new)

Harald | 51 comments This is what I wrote over on Book Cover Reviews:

Hey Rob. Good to see you working hard on this.
— Overall, the cover art is great. Much simpler, more powerful, with the nice benefit of it crossing over the spine.
— BUT… you changed the main title font. How come? It’s not as readable (when small) as the earlier one. Could also be bigger (vertically) than what you have.
— Now just clean up that last graph on the back cover! :)


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