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Covers, Blurbs, 1st Line, Query > Help Critique My Book Cover?

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message 1: by Jack (last edited Aug 01, 2014 04:27PM) (new)

Jack Kardiac (jackardiac) | 28 comments Alright, I'm in the final phases of editing and formatting Snapdragon, my collection of short stories. The tales range from crime to creature / horror lite, in the vein of Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock.

The cover is meant to accomplish three things:

1) An easily read thumbnail
2) Convey the mysterious / creature motif
2) Persuade the browser to click on it to find out more

I'll also be releasing a few stories as freebie singles to help promote the book, so all the covers will have a similar theme. That said, I'm wondering what you graphic guru's might suggest on how to improve these things (of if they should be left as is).


- Jack

message 2: by Abby (new)

Abby Goldsmith (abby_goldsmith) | 22 comments Wellllll, I'm a critical artist person. These covers will be easy to read and convey as thumbnail sized images, but "no" to your other two factors. I think they look amateur/on a tight budget, which is going to connote "unprofessional" to many readers.

Of course, it may not be worth spending $500+ on a cover for a short story or short collection. But if you browse DeviantArt, you should be able to find decent pieces that might fit the theme, which you can license rather than commissioning a work from scratch.

message 3: by Jack (new)

Jack Kardiac (jackardiac) | 28 comments Awesome. Thanks for your feedback, Abby!

message 4: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Golden | 37 comments Actually, Jack, I like the way you are working with silhouettes; perhaps, that's because I used them on my covers. You can take a look at them, if you like. Just click on my name and look at my published books. I'm preparing to release a very short book with some flash fiction and poetry in it,and I'll be using some silhouettes for that cover.

Snapdragon needs a more intimidating font: something jagged or ragged looking; especially since you appear to be aiming for a snapping dragon as opposed to a flower. You can do a search for horror fonts or scary fonts or jagged or snapping fonts that you can download for free. Also,your dragon needs teeth or an opened mouth, maybe. Search for free images on sites like If you pick an image whose colors are in sharp contrast to its background, by following a few steps found on YouTube tutorials, you can make a silhouette of that image using free software like or Gimp. Make sure that the image you chose initially will be clearly identifiable as a silhouette.

I really like the way your name stands out and the shadowed effect, but I suggest reducing the size a little. For the most part, your covers do have energy to them. You just need to empower them, so they match the themes of your short stories.

I like the cat cover the best; again, consider creating tension with the font. Is this an evil cat? The title "Model Pet” with a black cat on the cover suggests this feline is anything but "model." So find a font that pushes that idea more. You can also consider another silhouette, almost like an inset with the cat bearing its teeth or with cat-claw marks.

Now, the third cover, I think, needs a major do-over. I'm not sure what it is conveying, but based on what you say your stories are about, I'm not sure how this cover will work for them. I can't feel any real connection to it. It feels like a logo for a new brand of baseball or the announcement of a new product. That's just my reaction to it. I like the title: Orange, Black and Blue. I just need a way to associate it with the mysterious or a creature.

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