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message 1: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments How about a place people could post book covers: either drafts or published, and hear reactions? If your book is on Goodreads, you can use the "add book" feature, or if its online elsewhere you can add the html code:
< img src="http://mywebsite.com/mypicture.jpg" >

My thought would be just post the cover with no introduction, and people can reply with what the image suggests to them about the book.

I'll start with an example.


message 2: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments


message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Instant reactions... The hand-lettered font and the palette suggests the book is for kids or YA. The group of figures implies a quest or journey. The 'posterised' look might indicate an mid-20th century setting. The bird in flight seems inelegent - too much body, and the feet together at the back give it a sort of double-ended look. The general composition is good, but the placement of the bird seems artificial, out of the overlap sequence so hard to relate to the scene. I haven't tried looking at in the postage-stamp size it would appear on Amazon, but I suspect the author and title would be hard to read at this scale. I recommend you try that.

Good luck with your book, Eugene!


message 4: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Here's my latest -


message 5: by Richard (last edited Aug 02, 2016 02:54AM) (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
Hi Eugene, I pretty much agree with my namesake - particularly about the font which could be better. I love the title itself though.

By the way, there is a thread for covers already (in the "general" folder) it's just been inactive for a while and got buried!


message 6: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments Richard wrote: "Instant reactions... The hand-lettered font and the palette suggests the book is for kids or YA. The group of figures implies a quest or journey. The 'posterised' look might indicate an mid-20th ce..."

Thanks, Richard. Interesting. The artist was a Young Adult. I can see all your points. I certainly agree on the lettering, I've noticed there are books on my bookshelf I always see, and some whose titles are invisible across the room.

It's really good getting feedback that doesn't include any of my imagination!


message 7: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments Richard wrote: "I love the title itself though.

By the way, there is a thread for covers already (in the "gener..."


Thanks. I must have missed that, I looked.


message 8: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments Richard wrote: "Here's my latest - "

Speaking of font... Good on size, readability, and placement. The face looks very plain, like a default word processor font. I assume from the title that this is a work of non-fiction.

The stations have a cartoon style, which suggests a children's book, although the somewhat technical title suggests for older or technical-minded children.

You might consider more space in the title. It looks crowded, and its length is intimidating. Also, the small font "of" aligns the small font "and", which unbalances the whole. One way to get more space and reduce the visual impact of the title length would be to do "Vessels and Stations" in big font, and then "of Earthspace and the Belt" smaller, perhaps small enough for one line. This would give you a prominent title that can be "seen" rather than read, if you know what I mean.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Maybe you can't judge a book by it's cover.


message 10: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments Robert wrote: "Maybe you can't judge a book by it's cover."

But can you judge a cover? That's what this thread is for. There is another thread that debates the importance of covers.


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments I end up looking at descriptions and comments about a book I am interested in. That works on goodreads when a fair amount has been written about that book. For a book without a lot of traffic I would still try to find comments or descriptions elsewhere on the web about the author, other works, whatever is out there. For a free book I don't consider the cover as a deciding factor, free is more important.



I would welcome comments on this cover.




message 12: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments I asked my daughter what she thought--a way to get a response unadulterated by previous discussions, etc.-- she said: "Aliens. Flower Aliens."

The part of this design appeals to me most is actually the white framing of the alien face. I don't know why. The combination of the alien face and the flowers suggests something rooted in New Age philosophy to me. Otherwise I have difficulty pulling the images into a whole. Nor can I pull the images and the title into any relationship. What does being connected have to do with aliens have to do with flowers? I don't know, and don't have enough of a clue to make me curious about the answer.

I wonder if you want to lose the blue framing. The flower images seem to just stop, neither cut off nor framed. You already have two inclusios: the alien face, which encloses the clearly visible flowers, and the white bars, which enclose the face. As is now you have two more layers: the edge of the flowers, and the blue frame. Losing the blue frame would also, I think, give more emphasis to the white barring.

The font face goes with the rest of the design, for me. You're missing the author's name, which will change the design when you add it back in. The text is part of the design. On some covers, the text IS the design (or almost). I like the title placement, although if you do crop off the blue frame it will want its margins increased.


message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments The original had no border, and the white background around the image made it harder to see, so it needs some kind of border. Perhaps a darker one. The current one is a piece of sky. The author won't be on the cover.

When you get a cover made do you look at a thumbnail version to see what the title font looks like? I've seen people get the wispy looking fonts with too many characters packed in there that just seem to blend together in the thumbnail.


message 14: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Eugene wrote: "Richard wrote: "Here's my latest - "

Speaking of ..."

Thanks - I'm kind of stuck with the font, this is my fifth book and Franklin Gothic Demi Cond is kind of a trademark with me. It's meant to be 60's sci-fi retro. The fact that it looks like non-fiction is deliberate, it is a non-fiction book about a fictional universe, like the "Science of Star Trek" books but with more actual science.

The whole thing is meant to be a bit whimsical, so I did pick the more child-like pictures to put on the cover. It's amazing how you've been able to pick up the weaknesses of the book from looking at my cover!

I will fix some of the other issues you've raised though, on the next revision of the book. Thanks very much for taking the time.


message 15: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments On Robert's cover. I find the overall concept intriguing and original, though for me personally it embodies everything I don't like to see in sci-fi :-).

Are we not told it's a "rule" that the author's name should appear of the cover? Breaking rules is always fun, but I presume there's a reason for that, if only so people who've enjoyed one of your books can find another. That would only apply in bookstores though - online one click gets you all an author's books.

The blue border looks a bit odd to me, too. I'd just enlarge the central image to fill the page, leaving the text where it is. The border is only an issue for printed copies of books, in any case.


message 16: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments On a related note, here's my favourite sci-fi cover ever. It captures the tone and content of the book perfectly, and draws you into the story before you even open the book.

Glory Lane by Alan Dean Foster


message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments That's a nice cover for Glory Lane, reminds me of a soft Bruegel or Bosch painting.

The border on more connected than we think comes into play as a frame when viewed as a thumbnail.


message 18: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 18 comments I seem to be a little late to the party, but if it's still relevant...

I'd recently published a really dark cyberpunk novel and, after one cluttered failure of a cover, I created this one as a replacement.





I'd love to hear some thoughts! :)


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments For me, the text placement appears to be distracting. You have 4 quadrants and 2 of them come across as empty, like unfinished. The picture is extremely interesting and comes across good in the thumbnail. If I was moving stuff around, I would start by moving the title to the left, arc it down a bit, try to make it a part of the picture and try to make the right side appear less empty, see what that looks like. Are the dimensions the optimum dimensions?


message 20: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 18 comments I'm not quite sure I know what you mean when you say quadrants and optimum dimensions, LOL. I just haven't heard those terms before, so I apologize.

I do see what you mean about the empty spaces and the title placement, though. I'll try and experiment with moving them around later tonight to see how it looks. Thanks!


message 21: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments Draw a cross through it, upper left is empty, upper right has the title, lower left is the picture, lower right is empty. It's just a way I have of looking at something.

Amazon says the ideal dimensions are 1500 pixels wide, 2500 pixels tall. Your cover looks a bit wide. Looks like your image is displayed at 432 x 540. I have no idea why amazon says it should be 1500 x 2500.


message 22: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 18 comments Interesting tip! I never thought to do that.

Oh, the dimensions I set for all my uploaded covers are always 1560 x 1950, so it's my fault they come off a bit wide. That's just always been my preference... which is probably not a good one in this case.


message 23: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments I have wondered about changing the dimensions when making a cover where I would like to make a picture where the actual width of the picture is greater the height.


message 24: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments The point of the dimensions is to maintain a ratio similar to that of printed books. Amazon likes that neat consistency, and customers see you book fitting in with all the professionally-designed covers. Some printed books do have different dimensions, but not most novels. So if you vary, be sure you have a very good and compelling reason. At least, that's my rule.

I concur with others impressions about the empty space. I'm also a little unsure what to do with the word "/Remix". Is your true love in the "Basement/Remix" or is, I think more likely, the entire title is "/Remix." If the former, don't separate the words, IMO. If the latter, I would set off the word "Remix" more. Different color or font. Perhaps as tall as the entire title. Perhaps at an angle relative to the title. Perhaps styled to look like it is "stamped" on the book. But I'm not completely sure what meaning its supposed to convey, so I could be off.


message 25: by Sue (last edited Nov 15, 2016 07:19PM) (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments Hi, folks,

I'd like to get your reactions to this draft cover, which is book 2 in a series that starts with Nica of Los Angeles.

If the image doesn't load here, you may need to click over to:
https://sueperryauthor.files.wordpres...




message 26: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 36 comments Sue wrote: "Hi, folks,

I'd like to get your reactions to this draft cover, which is book 2 in a series that starts with Nica of Los Angeles.

Hmm. The image isn't loading via the tidy "img sr..."


It has a noir yet also surreal feel to it. I like it.


message 27: by Robert (last edited Nov 14, 2016 03:08PM) (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments It is extremely well balanced. I like it as a picture. The image I get is that of a person's head, big eyes, big mouth, very mechanical looking. I guess you have to mention Book 2 somehow, but in this example it looks out of place. Maybe wrong perspective, or font, or size, I can't tell.

What does the thumbnail image look like?


message 28: by Richard (new)

Richard Penn (richardpenn) | 758 comments Hi Sue, You might try moving "Book 2" down to just above the title, and align it to the left of that. Or ditch it: a lot of authors don't include serial numbers on the cover, just on the title page. Personally, I wish people would include serial numbers on the spine so I can keep my shelves in order, but that' me being a bit OCD.
I like this cover, too. It has the 'photocopier' vibe of some of Warhol's work, and the surreality matches the way you write. I wonder if the left and right margins of the graphic should be aligned with the title. It would mean shrinking them, as the title is already skirting the edges of the safe zone.
Good luck!


message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth White | 33 comments Hi Sue, this cover themes in really well with that of book one in the series.
Robert's comment about the 'person's' head is happily apt, considering the nature of the buildings.
To me, the emphasis is on the fact that this is the FRAMES series, book two of, and the title seems to be taking second place. I don't know if this was intentional - I would, however, like to know when you intend to publish, so I can read it!


message 30: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments Hi Sue. Not knowing your previous work, I thought Frames was the title, and Nica of the New Yorks the series. Knowing better, I can see how "Book 2" is more associated with "Frames," but still, the impression one gets from this cover is that "Frames" is the important part. Otherwise I quite like it.


message 31: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments Thanks, all, for your comments, which are quite helpful. I've ditched the "Book 1" (except on the spine. when I get around to making the print-on-demand version) and cleaned up the alignments as you suggested.

Back when I published Book 1, I decided to make the series title more prominent than the book title. Not sure that was the right decision but I don't feel strongly enough about it to go back and revise the other volume...

Elizabeth, publication is coming soon. The book is done, still have more publication hoop-jumping to complete. I'll be happy to provide a review copy as soon as one exists.


message 32: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) | 1213 comments Mod
Hi Sue! Glad this one finally coming out! I like the cover. It fits and oddly, the 'face' reminds me a bit of Lou Reed, which is always appropriate for New York. Any of them.


message 33: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth White | 33 comments Sue wrote: "Thanks, all, for your comments, which are quite helpful. I've ditched the "Book 1" (except on the spine. when I get around to making the print-on-demand version) and cleaned up the alignments as yo..."

: )


message 34: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments Christina wrote: "Hi Sue! Glad this one finally coming out! I like the cover. It fits and oddly, the 'face' reminds me a bit of Lou Reed, which is always appropriate for New York. Any of them."

Ha. A Lou Reed Frame. Maybe by book 4...


message 35: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Engel-Hodgkinson (nexus_engel) | 18 comments Eugene wrote: "The point of the dimensions is to maintain a ratio similar to that of printed books. Amazon likes that neat consistency, and customers see you book fitting in with all the professionally-designed c..."

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I'd lost the thread and couldn't find it for the longest time, lol.

'/REMIX' is there because it's a reworking of a short story I'd previously published. I can see your point about differentiating its style to the rest of the font.


message 36: by Alex (last edited Nov 21, 2016 05:47AM) (new)

Alex Stargazer | 5 comments Hey guys,

Any thoughts on the cover I’ve decided to go with for the new edition of the Necromancer?

The Necromancer 2016 Edition by Alex Stargazer

(Go to this link for a larger & clearer image: http://alexstargazer.blogspot.nl/p/th...)

Sue Perry, your cover conveys the surreal/noir feel that (I think) you’re trying to get across, but it has too many elements fighting for attention—there’s no real cohesion. Have you considered using a single powerful image and building the cover around it?


message 37: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments Alex wrote: "Hey guys,

Any thoughts on the cover I’ve decided to go with for the new edition of the Necromancer?


I love your cover! Only one comment: I'd recommend having the title a few pixels further from the edges, though.

Regarding your comments about my cover --- that is a single image, but it is a collage. Did you not see the face, or did you simply not like it?


message 38: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 229 comments The words are maybe a little too stretched out which makes them go from side to side.

I might like the moon a little higher, a little more to the right, where it is now it seems to compress the top of the picture.


message 39: by Alex (new)

Alex Stargazer | 5 comments Sue wrote: "Alex wrote: "Hey guys,

Any thoughts on the cover I’ve decided to go with for the new edition of the Necromancer?

I love your cover! Only one comment: I'd recommend having the title a few pixels ..."


I didn’t notice the face until you pointed it out, actually. Perhaps it ought to be clearer if you want the cover to really grab your reader’s attention.


message 40: by Eugene (new)

Eugene | 74 comments I agree with the others who say the title for "Necromancer" needs more room.

Not sure that the moon is too low. What bothers me is the halo around the figure. The moonlight gives him a natural halo, the added halo blots some of that out, and isn't as effective. IMHO.

Maybe that will solve the problem Robert saw in compressing the picture. Maybe not.


message 41: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor Robert wrote: "For me, the text placement appears to be distracting. You have 4 quadrants and 2 of them come across as empty, like unfinished. The picture is extremely interesting and comes across good in the thu..."

I'm someone who loves to play with empty space at times. I remember an art class back in high school where the teacher put a bunch of junk on a table and the assignment was to draw a still-life with three items. I drew the three items off-centered, using the blank space as a 4th item and the teacher did not see the vision.

When it comes to covers, the blank space is a future opportunity. If someone gives you one of those quotes that's worthy of cover placement, or you win some award that you want to promote on the cover later, that space gives you a ready-made spot to place it. Otherwise, you could run into conflicts with the image or colors that don't mesh right if you add the element later. In that case you could end up re-doing the entire cover.


message 42: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments be distracting. You have 4 quadrants and 2 of them come across as empty, like unfinished. The picture is extremely interesting and comes across ..."

The empty unbalanced sense works for me - suggests a dark uneasy tale.


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