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message 1: by Matia (new)

Matia ben Ephraim | 13 comments As the old saying goes, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover - but of course, everyone does. I want to know if readers would really be more inclined to buy the exact same book just based on what it looks like on the outside - even if it's not as accurate a representation of the story. I've seen other posts for cover design feedback, which seem to get a pretty good response; but in this case I've already published both versions, and I'm not looking to tweak them. I'm just wondering: which one appeals to you more - the first, a unique homemade depiction, or the second, a generic dramatized image?

message 2: by Madalain (new)

Madalain Ackley | 6 comments My purely personal reaction is that I would pick up the book on the right. It's the ways the glowing eyes matching the color of the title caught my attention.

message 3: by C.A. (new)

C.A. Pack (capack) | 49 comments I think each cover would appeal to a different demographic. The more colorful one might attract a younger more female audience, while the other might appeal more to males.

Personally, I prefer the first one. The second one looks too generic.

Sam (Rescue Dog Mom, Writer, Hugger) (sammydogs) | 968 comments My personal pick is the one on the right, though I agree others will prefer the other. Hugs

message 5: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Abbott | 2 comments To me, the one on the left says it's a children's book. The one on the right looks like an adult book. So, I'd be more likely to pick up the one on the right, but I'd be disappointed if I found it was aimed at young readers. Others might do the opposite, but for the same reasons.

message 6: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments I prefer the one on the right. Like someone said, there is something about those eyes. The one on the left leads me to believe it is meant for children. I would not pick it up for myself.
So if your story is for a younger crowd, then the left is perfect.

message 7: by Liz (new)

Liz Carter | 3 comments I'd look at the one on the right as the other one looks more like a book for children, but I'm not sure about the typeface and backgrounds - could you make the image take up more of the page rather than using block patterns behind the title and author maybe? :)

message 8: by H.E. (new)

H.E. Bulstrode (goodreadscomhebulstrode) | 84 comments If it's a children's book, the cover on the left would be better, but if it's for adults, then the one on the right.

message 9: by Anna (last edited May 22, 2017 02:09AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 528 comments As others have said, the one on the left seems to be for young people. The one on the right has a hint of horror and possibly meant for an adult readership.

message 10: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Cole | 17 comments Agree with the rest. Preference for me would be the one on the right. The left one looks more suited to children.

message 11: by Susan (new)

Susan Stafford | 230 comments Cover on the right looks mysterious & more interesting & less child like

message 12: by Matia (new)

Matia ben Ephraim | 13 comments Awesome feedback, everyone!
As I suspected; the new cover makes a stronger impression with the mature massmarket audience, but therefore it's also less original.
I'd say the true tone of the story is somewhere in between the two, for while there are some grim circumstances and dark creatures to deal with, especially in the latter half where there's battle and warlocks and trolls and dragons, I'd like to think the overall theme is light - without being necessarily comedic. Mind you, I'm not sure how a 770-page epic could still be construed as a children's book, even with the cover. What bedtime story do you know that weighs two pounds? Just because it's bright and colourful doesn't mean it's for kids; the depicted character is a young man, after all, with an earnest expression. Kids could read it, too, if you have any prodigious ten-year-olds, but it's intended for an age range similar to that of the protagonist, between 17 and 20; though I reckon anyone older than that could enjoy it too. I'd call it light fiction for adults.

message 13: by Eric (new)

Eric Halpenny | 36 comments I agree with most everyone else on here, the one on the right draws me more than the one on the left.

message 14: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments When someone looks at a book online, they see a cover. They won't see how thick it is unless they check further. So the number of pages doesn't help classify the book here.

Also it is not the bright and colorfull that screams kids. It's the hand draw and uneven coloring that reminds of coloring books. While the talent of the artist is undeniable, it still gives a children feel.

You asked for opinions. We gave it to you. There is no need to be offended because the majority feels the left one is more fitted for children. Now, it is still up to you to decide if you will go with the majority or not. Good luck with whatever you decide.

message 15: by M.L. (last edited May 23, 2017 08:42AM) (new)

M.L. | 1101 comments I prefer the cover on the right. One thing to keep in mind about 'original': although the art itself may be an original work of art, it does not mean it has a unique or original feel. Also, the lion is reminiscent of the very well known The Chronicles of Narnia, read by people of all ages. I happen to have several editions including the one below - 767 pages.
The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) by C.S. Lewis
Adding, since the story is somewhere between the two, you may want to come up with a third version, especially if the lion cover has nothing to do with the story. Narnia's cover has everything to do with the story.

message 16: by Matia (new)

Matia ben Ephraim | 13 comments Yes, I know it's similar to Narnia. That's why I think a less generic cover would be less of a gimmick - but people like what they like...and they might also favour something familiar. In this case the black lion symbolically represents the hero, who also has wavy black hair and deep blue eyes. (There are several more reasons why it has significance, but you'll only find them out in Book 2.) That's why you don't see the lion actually standing in a scene as if he's present as such. I came up with the black lion emblem ages ago, and I thought it would make a cool cover!

But alas, covers are tough to decide - there are so many possible options! I'm still considering coming out with a third at some point, that's perfectly tailored to suit the story...I'm just not sure yet what that would be....

Forgive me if I ramble; I'm prone to abstract generalizations in my endeavour to be thoroughly comprehensive in my expoundings.

Anyway...both versions will still be available for sale, and whoever wants to buy whichever copy, they can do so - and they'll find satisfactory elements of either theme within the story.

message 17: by Randall (new)

Randall Krzak (randall_krzak) | 8 comments I think I'd go for the one of the right as the eyes really draw you in. But I can see some people liking the more colorful one on the left.

For me, the eyes have it.:)

message 18: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 810 comments I will agree with most of the comments. The one on the left I would expect to be a YA book. Meanwhile, the one on the left would be an adult book and I'd look at it just to find out why the lion has blue eyes and if the wizard shifts into a lion or there is another reason the lion is featured instead of things you normally associate with a wizard. Things that aren't the norm will draw me in so I look closer at the book.
Even though cover designers advocate keeping within the normal designs for different genres, even to using already used pictures, I have a tendency to pass them over unless the title draws me in. The left cover, I'd definitely look at it more due to those eyes. The right, I'd probably pass it over unless I was looking for an easy reading fantasy book geared to the younger crowd.

message 19: by Angela (new)

Angela Joseph | 132 comments The one on the right draws me in. I didn't check to see what genre it is, but the one on the left looks like a children's book.

message 20: by Amie (new)

Amie O'Brien | 280 comments I liked the Blue Lion. :)

message 21: by Matia (last edited May 27, 2017 07:46AM) (new)

Matia ben Ephraim | 13 comments How about this alternate version? The graphic designer Hampton Lamoureux came up with this impressive rendition.

Since covers are all about grabbing attention to make you pick up the book (or click the image, as the case may be), would you consider this an effective means of getting you to pause and read the blurb? If so, then it's done its job, and you can then see what the book is really about - so long as you don't expect it to be full of black lions.

Here's what the back would read:

Magic. Learning it isn't as easy as it sounds. But when petitioning the local Wizard for an apprenticeship is the most popular practice among the other lads in the farming town of Kharathad, how can young Dogalas not be curious?
At the end of his training comes the mandatory yearlong Journey of altruism in search of a new town to call home, and all too soon he's on his own in a world inhabited by dragons, bandits, trolls, and demons known as warlocks, who can use black magic to steal the life force of others, and who are making an unnatural comeback from their incorporeal realm of phantoms and nightmares.
Only his inner strength and nobility will enable him to face these challenges, and as he delves further into the secrets of his past, the mysteries of his future, and who he's destined to be, he must maintain the zardor enough to still find the magic within.

message 22: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4269 comments Mod
The cover is nice, nicer than the ones above. The blurb doesn't do a thing for me. Granted, I don't read a lot of fantasy and am probably not your target audience, so take this with a grain of salt. For me to get interested in a fantasy, I need to see something new, different and daring. Kid learning to be a wizard, a world inhabited with dragons and trolls, stealing life force... and a destiny. In my limited experience with fantasy, I've seen all this many times. What is it about your book that is different? What makes it unique?

message 23: by Christina (last edited May 26, 2017 05:03PM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Matia, please take the link to the cover designer out of your post. We do not allow advertising or links of any kind. Thank you.

message 24: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Love the new cover. Much better than the first two!!
I have to agree with Dwayne for the blurb. It's not a bad blurb, it's just missing a little something. Although from what I read, it's a story about a journey and the discovery of oneself. I haven't read many of these so I am not the right audience for you but if that is what it is then yes, I think the blurb could work.

message 25: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 888 comments I like this cover a lot.

message 26: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (crunchypillow) | 8 comments I'm weird, but I like the first two better. Less "commercial." I'd just be much more likely to pick up one of the first two than the third, but then, I'm always looking for something different...

message 27: by Frances (new)

Frances Fletcher | 46 comments This cover is stunning! The cover art is gorgeous. And the font design simple, elegant, very nice!

message 28: by Madalain (new)

Madalain Ackley | 6 comments I certainly like the third cover even better. Especially the blue eyes on the lion. It would definitely catch my interest enough to read the blurb.

message 29: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1101 comments I like both lion covers. With the second version of the lion however, the lion is even more pronounced so I *do* expect something 'lion' in there--not full of black lions--but something. This one is reminiscent of the old TV series Beauty and the Beast: a little closer to human. :)

message 30: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne Blackwood (yblackwood) | 20 comments Matia wrote: "As the old saying goes, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover - but of course, everyone does. I want to know if readers would really be more inclined to buy the exact same book just based on what..."

While the first cover is attractive, I am drawn in by the cover to the right. There is a mystique about it that attracts me.

message 31: by Carrie (new)

Carrie D. Miller (carriedmiller) | 24 comments Love the newer cover!

message 32: by K.A. (new)

K.A. Lentz (kalentz) | 57 comments The third cover really makes me want to pick up the book and read the back, the other two are nice but miss that something the third cover has in spades.

message 33: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Collett | 6 comments Definitely like the third cover best. The first cover makes me think the book is targeted to YA readers. Cover #2 is nice, but pales next to #3. Just my opinion.

message 34: by Angela (new)

Angela Maher (angelajmaher) | 43 comments Third cover! It's a book cover that practically begs you to look at it.

message 35: by Amie (new)

Amie O'Brien | 280 comments Oh man, I really like #2 and #3. I almost think I like #2 the most, but it's very close. It's true he looks more gentle in the newest version.

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