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message 1: by Joynell (last edited Jan 22, 2017 03:39AM) (new)

Joynell Schultz (joynellschultz) | 39 comments How important is sticking with the "genre" when designing a novel cover. I created two choices (or maybe they both are bad?) The first one (blue one) is more genre specific, the second one (red one) everyone likes more. I know the goal is just to have people read the blurb. I'm stuck! Thoughts?

(Genre: Urban Fantasy / Mystery / Touch of clean romance)

The blue one:

The red one:

Rough Draft of Blurb:

Ava's sick of mundane angel duties. She wants a promotion to finally earn her wings. A promotion takes more than hard work, it takes a miracle - literally. Unfortunately, her miracle's impossible, as it involves a vampire.

Fin doesn't deserve a miracle and can't be bothered helping a naïve angel. He's busy keeping the Blood Board off his back. For years he's avoided his own kind, but now his secret has surfaced. Nothing can help him except a miracle. Too bad he scared the angel away.

message 2: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 150 comments Hi Joynell!

It's up to you really, how important it is to have a genre-specific cover. To me, I think it's important, because a lot of people's browsing is cover-only and I want them to have a decent idea of the book from that.

I don't think the red cover is entirely out of genre, though to me it looks like a Young Adult fantasy, maybe.

I definitely get a clearer picture of the book from the blue cover, though the background makes it look a little sci fi - not sure if that's intentional. And it's not a bad cover. Hmmmm.

If I were you, I would continue playing with the design of the blue cover - maybe use the angel wing motif in the background, or consider changing the models you've used. But if you wanted to leave the covers as they are and choose between the two? I'd probably choose the blue one.

Not sure if that's at all helpful to you!

message 3: by Joynell (new)

Joynell Schultz (joynellschultz) | 39 comments Hi Aislinn,

Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I was trying to make the girl in the first cover seem "angelic" (though, she doesn't have her wings, so I was trying to avoid adding them to the photo, but maybe I will and skip the "glowing light beams" or shorten them up some.)

Also, I'm glad to hear you don't think the red one is completely out of genre... but the story's not YA.


message 4: by Aislinn (new)

Aislinn | 150 comments You're welcome. :)

Now that I think on it, having both the man and the woman on the front cover makes it seem more romance-heavy than 'touch of romance' implies. Your blurb also makes it sound romance-focused. If you want to move away from that, maybe you could try it with only one of them on the cover? Most urban fantasy covers only have a single woman, usually with a weapon in her hands. (Depends who the main character is, I suppose).

I do tend to think of urban fantasy as a darker genre than these imply - but I also like the idea of a lighter urban fantasy if that's what you're going for!

message 5: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hi Joynell,
In my opinion, the blue cover will blend in with the thousands of similar covers out there for the genre. This can be both bad and good. Bad because it won't be eye-catching, but good because there are tons of UF fans that just go buy anything that looks like something they read by one of their favorites.

Now, the red cover has definitely ebook appeal in that it is minimal and clean, plus it is easy to read in thumbnail size. You may consider launching with this one since it pops, but then after a while, if it isn't pulling in as many readers, try switching to the blue cover. That's the great thing about ebooks. We get to change the covers whenever we want.

message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Aislinn wrote: "Hi Joynell!

Now that I think on it, having both the man and the woman on the front cover makes it seem more romance-heavy than 'touch of romance' implies. Your blurb also makes it sound romance-focused. If you want to move away from that, maybe you could try it with only one of them on the cover? Most urban fantasy covers only have a single woman, usually with a weapon in her hands. (Depends who the main character is, I suppose).."

yep, totally agree. the cover fits in with PNR--not UF (for the aforementioned reasons). agree with the assessment of the blurb too. therefore, they are both in-line with PNR. if you worked in some fangs and wings into the "blue" one, you might have something going.

message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments I'd try two. It seems to have more impact. You can always change if it didn't work.....

message 8: by Joynell (new)

Joynell Schultz (joynellschultz) | 39 comments The story has alternating POV's from both main character, that's why I had both on the cover... Hmmm...too Romance-y. Maybe it's actually more PNR than I think it is. (Can you be PNR with nothing more than a few light kisses? I mean, one of the the main characters is an Angel, there's only so far you can go.)

I like the idea of trying one and then switching it. I was contemplating trying a Kindle Scout run--I could try the red cover, if the novel doesn't get votes, switch to the blue when I publish. Or vice-versa.

You're all wonderful, thanks for the input.

message 9: by R.J. (new)

R.J. Abell Aislinn wrote: "You're welcome. :)

Now that I think on it, having both the man and the woman on the front cover makes it seem more romance-heavy than 'touch of romance' implies. Your blurb also makes it sound rom..."

I agree! I would start with the second cover!

message 10: by Melonie (new)

Melonie Purcell | 43 comments Chiming in. Not a fan of the first cover. Nothing about it says fantasy to me. I liked the second one. Add some actual blood and you are there. Maybe in the font? Maybe have some of the feathers be red?

message 11: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments Hiya, Joynell!


I don't know anything about this genre but based on gut reaction, I dig the 2nd cover waaay more. It has much more impact with the contrast and looks way more "professional". Like, I wouldn't know you made it yourself if that makes sense?

Anyhoo, best of luck! Let us know what you decide!!


message 12: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I prefer the red one. The feathers, the wings, and the red appeal to me. I can't say I dislike the first one, but my preference usually go to covers without people (with very few exceptions).

message 13: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Everson (authorthomaseverson) | 424 comments I'm a fan of the second one. It's simple and eye catching.

message 14: by Ann (new)

Ann Wright | 88 comments I like the red one. It's eye-catching, intriguing and will stand out well on a thumbnail. Perhaps try flipping the image horizontally and it might be easier on the eye, as the slanted wing will lead the eye naturally down to the title.

message 15: by Nat (new)

Nat Kennedy | 317 comments I'm going to repeat:

The blue cover screams paranormal romance to me.

The red cover doesn't have as much of a scream. Could be fantasy, urban fantasy, Christian fantasy.

I would be more apt to pick up the red cover, because it looks more professional to me, though I do love urban fantasy. The red cover is more intriguing.

Christina pointed something out, the red one stands out. Eyes will catch on it and potentially click to see the blurb.

message 16: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Just a note for those saying the top cover looks like PNR: these two genres are often blurred and if you look through the bestsellers on both lists, you'll see the covers are all very similar. (I am speaking of 'normal' paranormal romance and urban fantasy, not "dark" or "erotic" PNR)

message 17: by Joynell (last edited Jan 23, 2017 01:17PM) (new)

Joynell Schultz (joynellschultz) | 39 comments Wow. I go to work today and come home to a ton of fantastic feedback! Thank you everyone.

V.M. Erotica--hmmm... I never thought of that. I just did a Amazon search for Erotica and wow--but I can see the comparison.

Ann, I just flipped the image. I like it better. Great tip!

Nat - Christian Fantasy. Oh No. I don't want to attract that audience, they'd hate this book, since I challenge a ton of religious concepts.

I'm going to start out with the red cover. Then switch after a little while if nobody notices it.

Christina - I agree that the line between UF & PNR is blurry, which makes it hard here. Thanks for the comment on that.

message 18: by Rohvannyn (new)

Rohvannyn Shaw | 189 comments I love option two with the wing flip. Great choice. It makes me much more interested in the book. Speaking personally, I wouldn't even give the blue cover a second glance - it's beautiful but looks romancish. I am not a romance reader. The red cover with white wings, now, it's awesome - nicely asymmetrical but not too much so, with an awesome sense of juxtaposition.

message 19: by Melonie (new)

Melonie Purcell | 43 comments Much better with the wings flipped around. Seriously though, consider making one of the feathers red. Just one.

message 20: by D. (new)

D. Thrush | 180 comments I'd change the font color on the second flipped wings cover.

message 21: by Joynell (new)

Joynell Schultz (joynellschultz) | 39 comments Wow. What wonderful suggestions.

D. - Any idea on what color font? I've played with a few of them and thought the black & white looked more classy. Maybe I'm missing an opportunity to make it stand out more.

Melonie - Are you saying to change the wings to red and have a different color background? I fear a red feather would disappear into the background now.

Thanks everyone!

message 22: by D. (new)

D. Thrush | 180 comments I'd try different font colors to see what pops out. Black might work and keep it simple or you could try a striking blue. I don't think white works.

message 23: by Melonie (new)

Melonie Purcell | 43 comments I am saying make three of the feather inside of the wing red. maybe a different color of red. deep blood red. see what it would look like. It might look terrible, but it might not. I don't know about the font.

message 24: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
Red and blue together are the worst combination for computer screen legibility of text. They don't interact well inside the monitor and it is advisable to not use them together. :)

Red and black can have terrible contrast, but I think here with just 'Blood' in black it works. I would not change any other text to black. The smaller stuff will get lost.

Also, maybe adjust the kerning (spacing) of your name just slightly so that it lines up with 'HOLY WATER'. The just slightly not bang on is through the cover off a bit.

Otherwise, I really like the red one. On the blue one, your fonts get lost in the burst effect and an outer multiple effect would help!

message 25: by Joynell (new)

Joynell Schultz (joynellschultz) | 39 comments It's looking better now. Thanks everyone!

message 26: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments Slip the wings behind the lady, and you might be able to merge both into one. Of course, the end result would have to still look right, but maybe that can work?

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