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Archived Workshop No New Posts > I love/hate my cover...help??

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message 1: by Erin (last edited Jan 27, 2017 08:29PM) (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Okay. So I'm publishing the first in a six series novella set and have similar covers for each. Only the graphic varies slightly but the stiletto heels remain. So far a couple people have said they like the cover because it catches their eye when they're scrolling through all of the identical romance covers. They like the white and red and the graphics but they don't love the title. I think I agree but can't put my finger on it. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Give it to me straight, guys!

Cover


message 2: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Moved to the cover workshop folder.

Now, hi! The fonts you chose are very difficult to read and Papyrus is probably second only to Comic Sans as universally hated (do not ask me why, I am not a font hater myself). My suggestion would be to check a site like font squirrel or da font for some better title type fonts. These would be thicker, maybe a little decorative, but not too script-y (Cinzel is the one that shows up on nearly every PNR cover these days, I would caution against an overused font, but if you take a look at it, it may give you some ideas).

Beyond that, the image is stark. That in itself could be a good thing as you mentioned, it will stand out. But there's something about the floating items in the white space that I am not sure of. For one, I would suggest centering them a bit more. Right now there is a lot of space to the left. The other thing you might try is a bit of a reflection, as if they are sitting on a pristine surface instead of floating.

And finally, because your book will show up on a white sales page, I would add a thin border around the edge to keep it from bleeding into the background. Also, another option, instead of the red bars would be to have a stark white background with the lettering in red. This would give you more room to play with, meaning you could go with a more decorative font and it wouldn't get lost in thumbnail size.


message 3: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Christina wrote: "Moved to the cover workshop folder.

Now, hi! The fonts you chose are very difficult to read and Papyrus is probably second only to Comic Sans as universally hated (do not ask me why, I am not a fo..."


Sorry about the wrong folder :-)
But thank you for the feedback! This is incredible. It never ceases to amaze me how someone else can see so clearly something that you cannot. Thank you so much!


message 4: by Jacinta (last edited Jan 27, 2017 09:53PM) (new)

Jacinta | 3 comments Heya!

I was going to point out the Papyrus but someone else already did! I did a bit of freelance graphic design for a while and learnt a fair bit about fonts.

Fonts and typefaces are a form of art, and art is about conveying mood. Every font has a different mood - casual, sleek, vintage, whimsical, modern, etc. You'll notice if you google lots of book covers that particular genres seem to attract particular fonts. Your font choice will want to reflect your book's genre.

For a title especially, you'll want something that a) reads easily, b) is bolder and more eye-catching and c) not outdated. If you google Free Headline Fonts 2017 you'll probably be able to find some really good ones. :)

A little bit of white space is awesome, but it looks like you might have a little too much there! Again, if you google book covers, there'll be a lot of examples that you can choose from that are minimalist but still pack a punch and grab attention.

Can I make a suggestion? You could probably put your title in the middle, centring the text, with the shoes being a lot smaller and positioned beneath Blaque Beauty, followed by a smaller crown beneath The Prince. If you kept the entire page the one colour and a contrasting font it would look fantastic, i.e.; either entirely red with white text, or (this would be even better, I think), entirely white with the red text.


message 5: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Jacinta wrote: "Heya!

I was going to point out the Papyrus but someone else already did! I did a bit of freelance graphic design for a while and learnt a fair bit about fonts.

Fonts and typefaces are a form of ..."


Title in the middle! I love it! Will look up the resources you named - grateful for advice from a pro :-)
Many thanks


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Just noticed the shoes already have a reflection. The crown is floating though. ;)


Roughseasinthemed | 60 comments Agree with Christina about a thin border to delineate the white space. And pretty much everything else. I like the starkness though.

My issue with the title is I read it (phonetically as Blake Beauty rather than Black Beauty. Depends what you intended of course.


message 8: by Jacinta (last edited Jan 27, 2017 10:24PM) (new)

Jacinta | 3 comments Erin Lee Daniels wrote:
"Title in the middle! I love it! Will look up the resources you named - grateful for advice from a pro :-)
Many thanks ."


You're very welcome! And now I'm super curious as to what your story is about - hope to read it when it comes out! :)


message 9: by Don (new)

Don H.M (theayatollahofrock) | 3 comments I can honestly tell you are trying to play it really safe with the cover but that approach backfires a bit here.

I don't mean to be harsh, but this cover is sloppy. The lighting and fonts seem like they are photoshopped with no consideration for blending. This cover also doesn't really catch the eye, you can write the works of Shakespeare in this book but it will seem like a cheap dollar store Chinese mistranslated sex novel (that's a thing, trust me).

You should experiment a little with lighting, fonts, filters, blending and textures and try to make the cover feel like the story. You have the right idea for the cover, but how you went about presenting it is wrong.


message 10: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Jacinta wrote: " Erin Lee Daniels wrote:
"Title in the middle! I love it! Will look up the resources you named - grateful for advice from a pro :-)
Many thanks ."

You're very welcome! And now I'm super curious as..."


I'm so embarrassed to say this but I'm still working on the blurb lol. If you like here is the blurb for the second book in the BB series: Blaque Beauty and the Billionaire

Marlee's career is about to take off when her design firm lands a lucrative contract with billionaire hotelier Marc Ross. But when she discovers that her new, mysterious lover turns out to be the boss will Marlee lose everything, including her heart?

Billionaire property developer Marc Ross is used to getting what he wants and he wants Marlee Winters. Caring, quirky and confident, she is nothing like the spoiled heiresses and supermodels he is used to loving and leaving. Convinced he has at 4.6 billion reasons to hide his identity, Marc is determined to see if Marlee can love him for who he really is. But a vindictive ex and an epic snowstorm threaten a future Marc didn't even know he wanted until Marlee showed up in his life.

Will deception be the deal-breaker or is happily ever after written in the fine print?


message 11: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Roughseasinthemed wrote: "Agree with Christina about a thin border to delineate the white space. And pretty much everything else. I like the starkness though.

My issue with the title is I read it (phonetically as Blake Bea..."


Interesting...these are interracial romances so it is a play on the word black :)


message 12: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Don wrote: "I can honestly tell you are trying to play it really safe with the cover but that approach backfires a bit here.

I don't mean to be harsh, but this cover is sloppy. The lighting and fonts seem lik..."


Great. Now I need to go to the dollar store.
Agree with your observations. I paid $5 for the cover on fiverr. I read that it's best to do this and then let people critique it etc and then you submit your concept to a skilled designer when you know what you're trying to convey. I have to say I like this approach and I'm picking up excellent feedback here. It's worth it because only the title and half the graphics will change for all six covers so the time I spend getting it all together will benefit me when I use a pricey cover designer.


message 13: by Alexis (new)

Alexis | 265 comments How about the crown dangling from the stilettos?


message 14: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Ash wrote: "The title is off because "blaque" is a word most people have to stumble over and then wonder if they pronounced it correctly in their heads. Also, all the Bs are vaguely alliterative for an adult's..."

Very helpful and very encouraging :)


message 15: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments If this is brutal honesty time, I really don't like it much. I can see the idea of a series of novellas with very very similar covers. I maybe don't think this is it.

If I was doing it using the stripes, I'd sort the fonts. Something plain and easy to read, and I'd connect the stilettos and the crown somehow. Maybe make the shoes much bigger and have then wearing the crown


message 16: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Don wrote: "Erin Lee Daniels wrote: "Don wrote: "I can honestly tell you are trying to play it really safe with the cover but that approach backfires a bit here.

I don't mean to be harsh, but this cover is sl..."


Your comments are the best!


message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Jane wrote: "If this is brutal honesty time, I really don't like it much. I can see the idea of a series of novellas with very very similar covers. I maybe don't think this is it.

If I was doing it using the s..."


I think you're right. I can't put the crown on the shoes because there won't be hats on the other five covers and I want continuity. Jotting down everything else.


message 18: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) | 629 comments So freakin' stoked to see you whipping up covers, Miss Erin!! And I'm gonna be totes honest cuz, well, you asked.

*sheepish grin*

I'm not digging it all that much. Others have mentioned font, white space, etc. so I won't say that again. Hmm. I personally don't feel that it would sell well in romance the way it is now. Like, I'm all for pushing the boundaries and saying "eff you" to expectations or whatevs, However...

There is some merit in a cover that draws the attention of your target audience, imho.

I'd suggest taking a peek at the top 100 in your subgenre and see what they're doing. Not to say you gotta copy but it'll give you an idea of how your cover stacks up/compares in a sea of thumbnails. Just me, though.

Oh, and as a person obsessed with being matchy-matchy, I 100% hear ya on the continuity haha! On the other hand, I'd personally make Cover #1 the best it can possibly be regardless of continuity. If readers dig the first in a series, I reckon they'd buy the rest even if the cover were plain white ^_~ But, yeah, getting that first baby visible is kinda the important part. Again, just my very free cents of questionable value LOL

Best of luck, ma'am!!

Hugs,
Ann


message 19: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Just a reminder that critical opinions and harshly negative insults are not the same thing. The original poster asked for honesty, not to be insulted.


message 20: by Lane (new)

Lane Casteix | 7 comments May I suggest:
1) All copy should be centered (first line is flush left now and no apparent reason for that difference)
2) Copy is too spread out in upper block. Needs to look more like a unit. Font selection could be better as others have suggested (Papyrus is really a "period" font) and probably all the same font, although the second font can be useful for emphasis if that is your intention.
3) Heels and crown are too small for the space. I would make them the focus with perhaps the crown and heels together as one unit, somehow (crown hanging on back of heels?) And maybe even intruding into the two red blocks above and below. (Creates depth in the design.)
4) Any design needs a focal point. The heels and crown are the focal point it in this design but not yet strong enough to work well as such. See point 3 above.

Yes, I did (retired) this for a living, but book cover design is not my specialty (beverage/alc package design is), so I usually shy away from commenting on book cover designs.

Someone who knows what they are doing should "play" with the design elements, and that may suggest some other (better) solutions.

Hope I have helped.

Lane


message 21: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1103 comments The white is eye-catching, but while it does do just that, catch my eye, it doesn't inspire me to really want to pick it up. For me it's not dramatic enough. It almost looks like it's about etiquette.


message 22: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Annie wrote: "So freakin' stoked to see you whipping up covers, Miss Erin!! And I'm gonna be totes honest cuz, well, you asked.

*sheepish grin*

I'm not digging it all that much. Others have mentioned font, whi..."


Thank you - I love your covers btw. I'm digging your advice about the first in a series being especially well done. Never thought of it that way. :)


message 23: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Lane wrote: "May I suggest:
1) All copy should be centered (first line is flush left now and no apparent reason for that difference)
2) Copy is too spread out in upper block. Needs to look more like a unit. Fon..."


You have helped and I now see the potential in yours and Jane's idea of the crown hanging off the shoes. I'm going for it!


message 24: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Christina wrote: "Just a reminder that critical opinions and harshly negative insults are not the same thing. The original poster asked for honesty, not to be insulted."

Thank you. Very much appreciative.


message 25: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 30 comments Erin Lee Daniels wrote: "Okay. So I'm publishing the first in a six series novella set and have similar covers for each. Only the graphic varies slightly but the stiletto heels remain. So far a couple people have said they..."

Agree with all the rest.

I would also add:

1) When in doubt, stick with Time New Roman or Trajan Pro and have everything centrered with varying size and opacity depending on the importance.

2) Best to have an offwhite background with only one of the pictures you have (as they are seperate pictures that do not work together in harmony - you could try manipulating them together, but this will need a level of photoshop skill). If you want the red, I would advise you have it splashed down the bottom and have it fade up towards the top - this will split the main text and picture.

[ I make covers - did my new debuts ]


message 26: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Emily wrote: "Erin Lee Daniels wrote: "Okay. So I'm publishing the first in a six series novella set and have similar covers for each. Only the graphic varies slightly but the stiletto heels remain. So far a cou..."

Fading...I like this...


message 27: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 30 comments Erin Lee Daniels wrote: "Emily wrote: "Erin Lee Daniels wrote: "Okay. So I'm publishing the first in a six series novella set and have similar covers for each. Only the graphic varies slightly but the stiletto heels remain..."

ahaha Yeah. It's very typical for romance novels :)


message 28: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4310 comments Mod
I actually love simple covers. But, to be honest, my initial reaction when I see this is "sticker album". The two images do not immediately relate in my mind and seem to be floating on a sheet of white paper. I would find a way to connect the items or maybe just go with one or the other, whichever better represents your story. Maybe the background could be slightly darker or a border around the cover. The title needs to be a little thicker as it is hard to read and the first two words are off center.


message 29: by Erin (new)

Erin Daniels | 27 comments Dwayne wrote: "I actually love simple covers. But, to be honest, my initial reaction when I see this is "sticker album". The two images do not immediately relate in my mind and seem to be floating on a sheet of w..."

Thank you and agree, for sure.


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