Book Cover Reviews discussion

This topic is about Liar
Cover Reviews > Your thoughts on a YA cover?

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message 1: by Winifred (new)

Winifred Morris | 33 comments It's contemporary YA, the story of a troubled teen sent to live with his grandparents on a wheat ranch, and one of his many screw-ups is starting a forest fire. It was originally published in 1996, but the paper version is out of print so I've decided to rerelease it as an ebook. You can see the original cover here: Liar. But I don't have the rights to it. Here's my idea so far:
What do you think?

message 2: by Harald, The Swimmer (new) - rated it 5 stars

Harald | 387 comments Mod
Hi Winnie! Good idea to re-publish one of your out-of-print paper books. Honestly, I think you're off to a better start with this design than the original cover (realizing that that one is 20 years old and styles change).

Couple of suggestions for the new Liar cover design:

1. The brightest spot is that eyehole of the farm and sky; it's distracting me and pulling me away from everything else. Can you tone that down somehow?

2. The boy is very engaging (much more than the 1996 one), but I sure hope he matches your text descriptions exactly!

3. The contrast on the main title isn't bad, but if you could darken the bottom forest a bit, the title would jump out even more.

Hope that's helpful.

message 3: by Winifred (new)

Winifred Morris | 33 comments Thanks for your comments. Some other people were even more critical, so I've tried to rearrange things a bit. Which do you prefer? One person thought the letters of Liar were too far apart. Should I lose the quote? Or put it back at the bottom? Or up at the top by widening that band? Any other thoughts?

message 4: by Harald, The Swimmer (last edited Feb 02, 2017 03:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Harald | 387 comments Mod

* Panelizing (the band) the title is always an option, but in my opinion, the weaker option. It separates the title from "the action." It would be relatively easy (at least for me :) to darken your original background to have a similar effect if you want to put the title at the top.

* The "LIAR" title tracking could be tightened, sure.

* The quote doesn't matter much to me; if it's important, keep it. It reads best in #2. Don't put it in the band (which I don't like much).

* With all that in mind, I like #2 or #3 because it keeps the farm but tones it back as I was suggesting. But I like the crisper boy in #2.

message 5: by Winifred (new)

Winifred Morris | 33 comments Thanks! Although I'm feeling a bit baffled by the feedback right now. Need to think. Going through a book I wrote twenty years ago is getting a bit depressing too. Gotta think about the whole project maybe. Still, I appreciate all your help.

message 6: by Harald, The Swimmer (new) - rated it 5 stars

Harald | 387 comments Mod
After 20 years, you've got plenty of time to think it through ;-)

message 7: by R.M. (new)

R.M. | 3 comments Great start! I like the idea, but I agree that the execution needs a bit of work, which it's perfectly normal, specially if you don't have much experience.
On your second post, the overall blending of the images improved a lot (#1 and #2). I feel you could still adjust the overall color or maybe add a gradient map to make the boy integrate more seamlessly with the rest.
I personally don't mind the quote but the rest of the text is not capturing my attention. I agree with Harald about the band.

What could help is look at some other covers that you particularly like and obtain some inspiration from them, specially the way they've used typography (for me typography is still the trickiest part).

Good luck!

message 8: by Winifred (new)

Winifred Morris | 33 comments Thanks, R.M. I have to admit I'd received so much conflicting advice, I'd decided it didn't much matter which cover I used. But since you've reopened the topic, I'll run all the permutations I've got by you and Harald, and anyone else who wants to pick a favorite. Do you have a favorite of this bunch?


message 9: by R.M. (new)

R.M. | 3 comments No problem, Winifred. Have you considered the idea of testing variations with a larger audience (more info on this topic on this link I found:

Personally, my favorite is the second one, but I still feel that the images could be a bit more blended. From a design perspective only. But overall, I think the message and concept you are trying to pass are strong. Best of luck!

message 10: by Harald, The Swimmer (new) - rated it 5 stars

Harald | 387 comments Mod
Like R.M., #2 is my favorite of this bunch. Having the "farm" element anchors it more somehow. And you have decent contrast for the main title (a must-have), which #3 and #6 do not have.

P.S. That is a great link from R.M. about cover testing. "Covers" the subject well with plenty of options.

message 11: by Winifred (new)

Winifred Morris | 33 comments Thanks to both of you. And I'm glad you like the farm. I think I did get it blended in a little better this time. Before, although this was on a different group, most people liked the simplicity of just the fire. But for me the location is a major part of the story. I'll be sure to check out that link too.

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