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message 1: by Denae (new)

Denae Christine (DenaeChristine) | 180 comments The blurb is concise and fairly specific.

I don't know how much info we need on the Society of the Phoenix. That's the one sentence that loses my interest. "opposition to their goal" includes all the Grimm Reapers, I assume?

You do use "survive" twice and "stay alive" once. Do you want to mention how Ember and her family are being targeted? Like, "To avoid getting her soul burned out of her body" (which makes the story sound more horrific) or "To keep from being drowned in used bubblegum" (if you're going for MG humor) or ... ?

Cover is good. I like flames. I'm not sure it says much about the genre, though.


message 2: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments Denae wrote: "The blurb is concise and fairly specific.

I don't know how much info we need on the Society of the Phoenix. That's the one sentence that loses my interest. "opposition to their goal" includes all ..."


Thank you!


message 3: by Dwayne, Captain Whatever (new)

Dwayne Fry | 3183 comments Mod
Grace wrote: "Hey everyone! I was wondering if you could critique a blurb and cover of mine. "

Embed the cover in your post, please.

The blurb is okay, but it could use some tightening. Some of it is confusing. Not sure what is going on at the high school that Ember needs to "survive" but it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the main plot. I'd cut it.

Since we don't know anything more about Danny, Billie, and Maisie other than they know Ember, I'd probably leave them out of this. Maybe just blanket them by saying "Ember and her companions".

This bit: "A shocking betrayal cuts Ember deeply. An unexpected alliance will be formed. And a dangerous path will be taken." Cliched and doesn't really tell me anything about the story.

The main story is Ember saving the world from the Phoenix cult, no? Focus on that.

I personally would not read a book just because it promises to appeal to fans of another book. If I have not read that other book, the statement will mean nothing to me. If I have read the other book and hated it, I would assume I'm going to hate your book, too. If I loved the other book, I might page through yours and see if it can stack up the other one, but if it doesn't impress me quickly, I'd toss it aside.

As an author, I would rather my work be recognized as my work, not "I'm trying to be another X____ X_____".

But, that's my opinion. There's nothing wrong with what you're suggesting. I've seen it done. Maybe it will appeal to some readers.


message 4: by G.G., Genre Buster Extraordinaire (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 2588 comments Mod
Here it is:

description


message 5: by G.G., Genre Buster Extraordinaire (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 2588 comments Mod
First, I think I would skip telling that Ember is a talented Grimm Reaper. You are doing so right after that, so why the repetition? Besides, saying she is talented doesn't do any good since after all 'she just wants to survive high school'. I'd start with this: Ember Lawson just wants to survive high school. (Period, not comma) She isn't ready to save the world.

Now for this sentence: Ember's family, the Grimm Reapers, are the enforcers of the magical world of Fae.

The verb isn't in accord with the subject. You set it so Ember's family is the subject and that would be singular, not plural. If you want to keep it plural (since singular would rather sound strange), change the order: The Grimm Reapers, Ember's family, are the enforcers of the magical world of Fae.

To stay alive, she and her companion (I agree with the poster above. We don’t need to know who just yet) must turn to their sworn enemy for protection. (But this part is confusing…You introduced the Grimm Reapers, the Society of Phoenix and now a third party? Why would they have to turn to someone else if her family acts as the enforcers? I believe you explained it further down. They do it because of a betrayal. Remember that the possible readers don't have a clue about the story. You can't expect them to guess. It needs to be clear right away.

I've tried my hand in a new direction, feel free to discard or take what you want from it:

The Grimm Reapers, Ember's family, are the enforcers of the magical world of Fae, but she isn't ready to save the world yet. She just wants to survive high school.

When a dangerous cult sworn to resurrect the last Phoenix rises up to take out all opposition to their goal, a shocking betrayal forces Ember into an unexpected alliance, and a dangerous path will be taken.

Will Ember and the people close to her survive the coming war?
*******************

Now for the cover. I like the image. I can see her as Ember the Reaper. Especially with the title (Fire) and the red hair and all. Nice. However, since everything is all grouped up at the bottom, not centered, no special graphics, nothing special really, it gets lost to me. I have nothing against asymmetry, but you've got Fire slightly to the left, Reaper slightly to the right, and your name also slightly to the right. One off would be great...but not all three in all directions.

That said, it's also hard to guess the title. It is Fire? Reaper? Fire Reaper? Is Fire a subtitle? or is it Reaper? Can you see what I mean?

Oh I almost forgot. Yes, some authors do that. Compare to other stories but if you do it, you have to make sure it is similar. As for me, I have never chosen a book to read because of comparison. However, I have skipped more than one book because of it, thinking Not another copy cat?!?!? That said, your story sound interesting. I don't see why you should weaken it by comparing it to others. Just my opinion.


message 6: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments Dwayne wrote: "Grace wrote: "Hey everyone! I was wondering if you could critique a blurb and cover of mine. "

Embed the cover in your post, please.

The blurb is okay, but it could use some tightening. Some of i..."


Thanks!


message 7: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments G.G. wrote: "First, I think I would skip telling that Ember is a talented Grimm Reaper. You are doing so right after that, so why the repetition? Besides, saying she is talented doesn't do any good since after ..."

Thanks, my blurb definitely needs some work :/ I think I'm going to leave out the similar book reference.


message 8: by G.G., Genre Buster Extraordinaire (last edited Jun 30, 2017 01:22PM) (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 2588 comments Mod
Grace wrote: " my blurb definitely needs some work :/ "

Sadly writing blurb is a pain in the a-word. Why? Because the more you look at them, the more you work on them, the less you see them. That's why you ask for other's eyes to look at it. No shame in that. Even after you've published you will still wonder if you could rewrite it. Heck, I just redid mine a few days ago. Blurb aren't fun to write and yours wasn't bad to begin with. Just a few things here and there that needs rethought. Nothing big. :)

Wipe that :/ (frown) out of your face!! The worst is done. :)


message 9: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments G.G. wrote: "Grace wrote: " my blurb definitely needs some work :/ "

Sadly writing blurb is a pain in the a-word. Why? Because the more you look at them, the more you work on them, the less you see them. That'..."


Thank you. That meant a lot to me. I made a few tweaks and here is the updated blurb:

Ember Lawson, a Grimm Reaper, just wants to get through high school. She isn't ready to save the world.

The Grimm Reapers, Ember's family, are the enforcers of the Fae races of our world. They keep peace and law under the command of the Fae Assembly. Until a dangerous cult, sworn to resurrect the last Phoenix, rises up to remove all opposition to their goal. When a shocking betrayal rips Ember's family apart, Ember and her friends must turn to their sworn enemy for protection. An unexpected alliance will be forged. And a dangerous path will chosen.

Will Ember and the people close to her survive the coming war?


message 10: by Dwayne, Captain Whatever (new)

Dwayne Fry | 3183 comments Mod
Yes. This one is much better. The story is clearer now.


message 11: by G.G., Genre Buster Extraordinaire (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 2588 comments Mod
Much much much better!!!!
I like this one a lot! :)


message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Jesinghaus (jessjesinghhaus) | 108 comments I'm coming to the party late, but I'm digging this latest iteration of your blurb.

As for the cover, I like it. As G.G. mentioned, though, the text for the title and author name are a bit muddled. Maybe because he 2nd half of the title and your name are the same color? Try keeping the title in the same color family and use another for your name?

Also, the fire on the bottom of the cover doesn't really read as flames to me. I mean, my brain knows that's what they are but my eyes just don't see fire. Maybe because the flames are so horizontal? Stylistically I see why you'd want that with your image and text placement, but maybe play around with some different flame elements? Or not! 😉 It might be just me. LOL


message 13: by G.G., Genre Buster Extraordinaire (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 2588 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "I'm coming to the party late, but I'm digging this latest iteration of the fire on the bottom of the cover doesn't really read as flames to me. ..."

Flames? Yikes...I had to go back and check. You are right. That's what they are. I never saw flames. I thought it was a dress or something.


message 14: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments Thanks, I'll work on the cover.


message 15: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 104 comments You could try to make the word "fire" appear as red-hot embers with flames coming off it instead of having the flames at the bottom.


message 16: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments J.N. wrote: "You could try to make the word "fire" appear as red-hot embers with flames coming off it instead of having the flames at the bottom."

That's a good idea. Thank you!


message 17: by Jane (new)

Jane Jago | 941 comments I'm liking the last incarnation of your blurb.

The cover maybe not so much. If Ember is a teenager the girl on the cover looks too old and too knowing from my perspective.


message 18: by Grace (last edited Jul 02, 2017 07:40AM) (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments Jane wrote: "I'm liking the last incarnation of your blurb.

The cover maybe not so much. If Ember is a teenager the girl on the cover looks too old and too knowing from my perspective."


I know. :( I couldn't find a stock photo that met my requirements AND was a teenage girl. I had to compromise somewhere. But if you have any recommendations on where to find good stock photos, I'd love to know.


message 19: by Dwayne, Captain Whatever (new)

Dwayne Fry | 3183 comments Mod
There's a link at the top of this topic that goes to a number of sites I browse when I need a stock photo.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 20: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments Dwayne wrote: "There's a link at the top of this topic that goes to a number of sites I browse when I need a stock photo.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/..."


Thank you.


message 21: by Jon (new)

Jon Stubbington | 9 comments Hi - To add to what other people have said here about the cover, I feel it currently looks like separate elements placed together. I would recommend taking some of the suggestions made above to rebalance the cover and to tie the different elements together, such as the idea for the flaming text.

Are you able to place the flames behind the image, or perhaps have them framing the image, rather than at the bottom? As has been mentioned, they don't "read" as flames at first glance (and, sadly, a first glance is all most browsers will give your book before deciding whether to read your blurb).

I would also look at how this appears as a thumbnail image. That's the size most people will see it as when browsing through Amazon etc. Zoom right out so it's the size of the covers on Amazon and check that you can read the title and author name clearly, and that the imagery still makes sense at that small size.

Hopefully these thoughts help. I think you have the basis for a strong cover (you've already simplified the design to a couple of key elements - MC's face, fire - and this is a really good starting point for a design), I think it just needs a little more cohesion and you'll be onto a winner.


message 22: by Grace (new)

Grace Anthony (AnthonyBooks) | 65 comments Jon wrote: "Hi - To add to what other people have said here about the cover, I feel it currently looks like separate elements placed together. I would recommend taking some of the suggestions made above to reb..."

Thanks!


message 23: by Lila (new)

Lila Diller | 53 comments I like the photo on the cover--it intrigues me! However, I don't like the text. I agree with message 5: G.G. The text looks off-center, it doesn't show me where to focus. And I can't really tell what's what. Is the character's name Grace Anthony or the author? (I'm assuming it's the author, but it's not clear.) I agree with message 21:Jon. The flames don't read as flames right off the bat--I thought it was her scarf blowing in the wind! :) I thought the word Fire was more about her hair color and the internal fiery personality. I like the color of the word Fire: why is it the only word in a different color? Maybe put the author name in that color, too, and leave Reaper as white, but if it's a series title, add "#__ in the Reaper Series," or something like that.


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