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Archived Workshop No New Posts > Is my book cover a "love it or hate it" cover?

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message 1: by P.L. (last edited Jan 26, 2017 01:56PM) (new)

P.L. Winn (plwinn) | 14 comments One person created the lettering just because he was excited when I told him the title. Another person drew the art. I was on board every step of the way: hand illustration sounds great! Limited color palette sounds great! Etc. And I like the cover.


Nearly every person who has seen it has asked some variation on, "How do you feel about the cover?" before offering their own opinion, which suggests that it's off-putting or odd.

So, please be honest: does the cover seem too strange? Should I look into something photographic instead?

message 2: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4277 comments Mod
It definitely has a graphic novel / comic book feel to it. I like it.

message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 91 comments Reality Defense Agency? Awesome. Well as I do strange 6 ways before breakfast and the cover matches the description-I really like it. It made me smile.

On the screen the "vs" could be clearer but to be honest I'm being fussy with that.

message 4: by Angel (new)

Angel | 216 comments I like it. It definitely catches my eye and piques my interest about your novel. Also Dwayne is right, it does have a graphic novel feel, but then again I like graphic novels.

message 5: by Virginia (new)

Virginia | 142 comments I like it!

message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) I agree with Amy about "vs" being a bit small, but I like the cover. I am always happy to see original art covers though, so there is that.

message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments I'm in the like it camp . But vs does need to be a bit more visible

message 8: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4277 comments Mod
I love that the green and orange are so prominent. Those colors do not usually play well together, but the soft browns create a nice bridge for them.

message 9: by P.L. (new)

P.L. Winn (plwinn) | 14 comments Thanks for the responses! Self-doubt keeps popping up the closer I get to launch day, and maybe that's all this is. I appreciate the feedback!

I'll see about getting the "vs" thickened or something so it's more visible. You might have guessed that future books should have titles like Tillie Madison vs [Thing], so the "vs" is pretty important.

P.S. The illustrator and I both like graphic novels, and sometimes trade titles to read, so I'm not too surprised that influence is apparent! :-)

message 10: by Rohvannyn (new)

Rohvannyn Shaw | 189 comments Yes, it's strange. But it would make me want to read it! I think it's awesome.

message 11: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments What Dwayne said. And also love the diagonal lettering!

message 12: by Lauryn (new)

Lauryn April (laurynapril) | 10 comments I would make the title a little bigger, but otherwise I like it. More importantly, does it represent your story? Not everyone has to like it. But it should be appealing to the people who would like your story. When I pick up a book, the cover is the first thing I see. So, I want the feelings I get from seeing that cover to be replicated in the story.

Your cover is unique and graphic and quirky, and if those are all things that you would associate with your story then I think you've nailed it.

message 13: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Everson (authorthomaseverson) | 424 comments I'm not a fan of the coloring. I love the type print and its bright orange color, but the rest of the picture is not my thing.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

P.L. wrote: "One person created the lettering just because he was excited when I told him the title. Another person drew the art. I was on board every step of the way: hand illustration sounds great! Limited co..."

I would read the comic but just change the coloring, its a rather odd combo of orange and green.

message 15: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments I'm of the 'do you like it' opinion. If you do, then give it a try. The problem I have is that there is nothing balancing the harsh diagonal and the imbalance feels way off balance (waiting for the bottles to slide off the shelf). I also like some graphic novels and am used to intersecting planes, but that's what is missing: nothing intersects to give it balance. I don't care for the colors either. So it's not a matter for me of love it or hate it, it just doesn't work as a book cover.

message 16: by P.L. (new)

P.L. Winn (plwinn) | 14 comments It does represent the story inasmuch as all five depicted characters are in the novel. Four of them even show up in that very bar!

It is not, however, a graphic novel at all. It's unclear to me, however, how much that impression comes from the cover alone, versus having read previous comments here which mention a graphic novel-style influence on the cover illustration.

I'm definitely making notes, and the fact that some people specifically love the colors, while others don't, does suggest that my first impression of love/hate may be right. :-)

message 17: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments Who is the audience? It is difficult at thumbnail size. What is the genre?

message 18: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 779 comments I love it! Its certainly different and has a star trek,graphic novel feel to it. I'm curious as to the genre of the book as well but either way I think it looks great.

message 19: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments All of you are probably too young to have seen it but the sideway look like that reminds me of the old TV show Batman and Robin. All that is missing are the stars-looking bubbles with bang! and Boom! and Slam! words written inside. So yeah, I would seriously think this book is about superheroes. :)

message 20: by P.L. (new)

P.L. Winn (plwinn) | 14 comments I had another post on the genre, but I think basically it's modern fantasy. My protagonist is an agent of the Reality Defense Agency, so suicidal leprechauns and such are typical. As my blurb says, "Magic, monsters, and minor gods are all just part of a day's work at the Reality Defense Agency. What's new is something stalking Tillie in her dreams. Now she faces something a bit bigger than a chupacabra or a drunken leprechaun, and it wants her dead."

So the audience would be people who are interested in something like that.

G.G., I certainly remember that show! Holy Limited Color Palette, Batman!

message 21: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments The cover conveys to me it's a very young adult title. A Comedy.

message 22: by Ruby (last edited Jan 27, 2017 02:54AM) (new)

Ruby Molloy (rubymolloy) | 2 comments This may sound harsh, but please read to the end.

I felt uncomfortable looking at the cover, almost repulsed. But after a few seconds, my overriding emotion was one of curiosity. It made me question what the scene trying to portray. I think if I'd seen this in a book shop I would definitely turn it over and read the blurb.

Overall, I'm not sure I like the cover, but it could potentially work, sales-wise.

I agree with the comments about vs being too small.

Good luck!

message 23: by Allan (new)

Allan Walsh | 64 comments I like it. It's clean, crisp and simple, with a touch of weird that sparks the curiosity :)

message 24: by M.L. (last edited Jan 27, 2017 10:43AM) (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments When I first saw it I didn't think 'graphic novel,' but more of a New Yorker cartoon combined with Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, really more literary fiction. I'm not saying it's either one but those are the things that came to mind. I do like the orange cat, it seems the one anchoring element. Anyway, it's definitely eye-catching! Maybe I'm getting used to it. :)

Roughseasinthemed | 60 comments I like this as art work. But not sure about as a cover. Would I pick it up? Don't know. I do like the colouring. Think it is perfect.

Yes on the bigger vs by the way.

message 26: by W. (new)

W. Boutwell | 157 comments Reminiscent of Clarke's Tales of the White Hart

message 27: by Jane (last edited Jan 28, 2017 09:29AM) (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments The more I look at your cover the further it draws me in. It is vertiginous and a little uncomfortable, but those are virtues. Just make that VS easier to see and other than that change nothing

message 28: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Schwimley (victoriaschwimley) | 161 comments Well, I like it, but it immediately made me tip my head sideways to look at it. I think I would pass it by for that reason.

message 29: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 818 comments I love the tilted scene and the limited colors (and the orange cat) I would prefer the VS be bigger so I could see it and also your name could be a bit larger.
Overall, it is unique, eye-catching and makes me want to find out more of what the book is about.

message 30: by Lane (new)

Lane Casteix | 7 comments IMO:
1) Too much tilt of the scene. I like the tilt. I assume it has some meaning beyond eye catching. Related to the story perhaps?
2) Too much empty space (floor) at the bottom, although "white space" can be your friend, but isn't in this case.
3) The tilted copy for the title, etc isn't working well here, It should be at the same angle as the illustration. It is also inconsistent – lines tilted at different angles from others. All should be the same angle if it is going to be tilted at all.


message 31: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Peacock-Smith | 6 comments I like it and agree on the "vs" but it sounds like you have that covered. My suggestion would be to flip it. Visually the eye reads left to right and top to bottom so to place things in that order (top left to bottom right) settle well with our eyes subconsciously. It is more calming and easier to read. Once I realized that I flipped my cover and changed nothing else and my critics loved it without being able to tell what was different. You want people to feel comfortable reading the cover rather than forcing the eyes to read bottom left to top right. Just a thought

message 32: by Christy (new)

Christy W. | 1 comments I like the style of the title. It goes well with the genre in my opinion.
Not sure about the whole story but if the bar tender is an important part of the story you may want to change a bit. My eyes mainly caught the ones sitting at the bar. Really like the cat ;)


message 33: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 30 comments P.L. wrote: "One person created the lettering just because he was excited when I told him the title. Another person drew the art. I was on board every step of the way: hand illustration sounds great! Limited co..."

I quite like it, it's just unbalanced at the moment.
You need something in the bottom right corner.
A tagline, or a promotional quote, or something.

message 34: by P.L. (new)

P.L. Winn (plwinn) | 14 comments Emily, I totally agree! Once I have a good review blurb to put there, I shall.

message 35: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 30 comments P.L. wrote: "Emily, I totally agree! Once I have a good review blurb to put there, I shall. "

Perfect :)

message 36: by Tim (new)

Tim Scott (timscottphotog) | 4 comments I think this cover has nearly everything right about it. I agree with some of the people who suggest small changes to the title (such as make 'vs' bigger). In my opinion, nothing about the image needs alteration except that I want the image to interact with the title more - that is, have the title be like a carpet under the barstools so that the feet are not chopped off.

message 37: by D. (new)

D. Thrush | 180 comments Yes, too much empty space at the bottom. Yes, make vs bigger. Maybe try not tilting the title. Not sure how that would work. Or maybe a few spilled bottles in that corner? I'd just try different things. I found the title a bit difficult to read easily. Otherwise, an interesting cover.

message 38: by Mat (new)

Mat Blackwell | 33 comments I love the cover! Lizard man and leprechaun? Awesome! But yes, something needs to happen in the bottom right hand corner - a quote saying how amazing you are?

message 39: by Mat (new)

Mat Blackwell | 33 comments (I just read all the other comments - ha, seems I have nothing new to add here!)

message 40: by P.L. (new)

P.L. Winn (plwinn) | 14 comments I definitely need to figure out how to send out review copies, so I can get a blurb on the lower-right corner. I created a promo image for Instagram that highlighted the vastness of that empty space. I don't think posting the promo image here is allowed, probably, but yeah, the issue seemed even more stark there than with the bare cover.

message 41: by Janet (new)

Janet Lynn | 31 comments Your cover definitely follows your genera and subject.

message 42: by Roughseasinthemed (last edited Jan 31, 2017 12:05PM) (new)

Roughseasinthemed | 60 comments Have you thought about applying for an award, eg Brag Medallion or Awesome Indies? Would fit nicely bottom right.

message 43: by Nat (new)

Nat Kennedy | 317 comments Personally, I love it. It's eye catching. If I was in the mood for character driven sci-fi (which is the feel it's giving me), I'd pick it up and look at the back cover to see what it is about.

message 44: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
I like it.
It feels unique and I am a big fan of unique! :)

message 45: by Lynzie (new)

Lynzie Allen | 27 comments I like it and it makes me want to read it. The title could be stretched out (not quite so diagonal) for me, but otherwise I dig it.

message 46: by Dana (new)

Dana Petrovic (danapetrovic) It stands out and I think that is important.

message 47: by Auden (new)

Auden Dar | 5 comments The "vs" could be bolder and I prefer horizontal titles. It's just easier to read. Overall, the cover is AWESOME.

message 48: by Kim (new)

Kim Padgett-Clarke | 22 comments Because of the cover and the title it is a book that would grab my interest. Unusual and striking.

message 49: by P.L. (last edited Feb 02, 2017 10:44AM) (new)

P.L. Winn (plwinn) | 14 comments Thank you so much! I'm feeling better about the cover now, and I feel even better every time someone buys it. :-)

(Weird, I posted that from my phone, and the second bit got chopped off! Here it is again:)

I've gotten an updated title block with a thicker "vs," so now I need to get that to my cover designer to replace the one that's there now.

(Ah! I realize now that I included an emoji in my comment from the phone, and everything after the emoji disappeared.)

message 50: by Julie (new)

Julie Cumpston-Bittner (julz_b21) | 3 comments IMHO, that is a great cover! It immediately captured my curiosity and now I want to read what's inside! It's appealing and "catchy" art. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give that cover an 8!

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