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Archived > Cover Help - Fairy Tale Fantasy - "FairyTale Village"

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message 1: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited Oct 12, 2020 10:41AM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
UPDATE:

Scroll down to message 83 to see the latest version of the cover.




message 2: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Caston | 105 comments That looks good to me Dwaye. I like how the words seem to interweave with the trees and the forest floor. You might--might--think about making the title bigger however. Just my 2 cents.


message 3: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments I like it. It's nice and spooky and the title sort of hovers mysteriously. Have you tried Cinzel, not bold but regular? It's good as it is though.


message 4: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Um, no. I like the concept, but the way you're putting the lettering feels off to me. If you want the "hiding" effect, put shading on the letters.
The way it's now it doesn't read like "titles stamped on top" (without shading) nor "titles fusing with the background"(with the same shading style as the picture), but an odd mix of them that doesn't quite add up.

As for the image, it conveys something like the Scribes' Woodland Village from Suikoden Tierkreis. The girl doesn't want you to go there, and at the same time, she's puzzled that you've made it to her location. The colors and composition are made in a way that suggests detachment but not danger. Whispers. Fog. Uncertainty. The end of summer. Life force is dwindling.


message 5: by DJay (new)

DJay (djdjay) | 13 comments I like the idea, but the girl looks to me as if she was put into the picture. She doesn't really blend in. Try creating a layer over her that has more of the forest in it and raise the opacity until it looks like she has the same level of light on her as the rest of the forest. She "pops" out a little too much for me. Other than that, I do like the cover.


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann Wright | 88 comments This is a similar image to one of my covers. I've used the same girl and a forest background. I just thought you might like to be aware of that before you go any further with editing it, although of course these are free images and you're perfectly free to use them however you want. The girl is appropriate to your title so I can see why you have chosen that image and I'm not suggesting you change it.
M.L has suggested you use Cinzel, which I have also used, so that would create more similarities. I like the font you've chosen, but it might not stand out well on a thumbnail image. Perhaps make it bolder and larger and bring it out in front of the trees a bit more, so that the letters are less obscured, although I like the way the smaller twigs overlap.


message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 528 comments I think it's fantastic. One point, which Ann alludes to also, is that the title might not show up well in a smaller image. The grey on a thumbnail? Hmm... I'd try bigger and maybe even a different colour, bright white? Move it up a bit so it contrasts more?


message 8: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "This is a similar image to one of my covers."

Kind of holding off on responding to comments for a few days as I'm experimenting with some of the suggestions, but I wanted to say I had a little giggle when I saw this. Yes, I remember reading your book some time ago and when I found the image online, I knew it was the same you used!


message 9: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments I recognized the image as well. I've seen it a number of times. But I'm also looking at tons of images so it's not unusual to see images used by design artists that are open stock. I don't think it's a big deal. And it also shows the image resonated with others which may be a good thing. (Two ways to look at it.)

As far as fonts, there is a very cool font that is Cinzelish but looks more metallic and almost blade-like but curved and shaded that I see used for fantasy. I don't know the name of it. But in a muted yet shiny gold to echo the light portions of her hair would, I think, look nice.


message 10: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments In the spirit of helpfulness! Since it is a familiar image/face, a back-facing image works.

Girl in Forest - monochrome - morpheus font


message 11: by Mark (new)

Mark Abel | 40 comments This one looks more professional - Yes, much better! The first one looks a little high schoolish. Way to go with the makeover!


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Brown | 57 comments I'm with Mark.


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann Wright | 88 comments Dwayne wrote: "Ann wrote: "This is a similar image to one of my covers."

Kind of holding off on responding to comments for a few days as I'm experimenting with some of the suggestions, but I wanted to say I had ..."


It shows the image resonated with both of us, as M.L. pointed out. I'm interested to see your finished cover!


message 14: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Caston | 105 comments I like this one a lot Dwaye.


message 15: by Haru (last edited May 19, 2020 04:59PM) (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments I'm going to be the dissenting voice here and confess I don't like the new one at all. It looks grainy, like a low resolution pic. The color palette is very boring (there are good and bad colors for a monochrome, and a meh color like Autumn brown is not of the good ones). The lighting and palette also feel off (you're using Autumn tones but a lot of light--if you look at a landscape in Autumn you see the light is subdued). And the huge title in light color and tiny author name in dark feel like a mismatch.

The first one had an original concept in the way the letters were "hiding", you just needed to apply it in a different way. The palette was quiet but nice. You could feel the mystery. I would pick it. This one looks like a million other covers I've seen, and I would never give it a second glance.

Sorry if I'm being a bit rough, but I prefer honesty over niceness.

PS: If you're troubled about reusing the girl image, how about using the back-facing girl on the first cover? I can see it working.


message 16: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Jeffrey wrote: "That looks good to me Dwaye. I like how the words seem to interweave with the trees and the forest floor. You might--might--think about making the title bigger however. Just my 2 cents."

M.L. wrote: "I like it. It's nice and spooky and the title sort of hovers mysteriously. Have you tried Cinzel, not bold but regular? It's good as it is though."

I've been dinking with some different fonts and sizes for the title. I might share some results soon. I'm kind of getting tempted to go a different direction with the cover, though.


message 17: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Haru wrote: "The girl doesn't want you to go there, and at the same time, she's puzzled that you've made it to her location. The colors and composition are made in a way that suggests detachment but not danger."

That's not far from what I wanted in an image.


message 18: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "This is a similar image to one of my covers. I've used the same girl and a forest background. I just thought you might like to be aware of that before you go any further with editing it, although o..."

Hello again. When I posted this cover, I really loved it. Now I'm not sure I want to use it. Not because you and others have used it, but I got to thinking it over... the scene where this girl is dressed this way and living in a thick forest is fairly late in the novel. I'm thinking I need something to capture the spirit of the early part of the book. I don't want to get into much detail here, but what I'm afraid of is readers will think "Ah, a modern Fairy Tale" or whatever based on this cover, then they read the blurb or the first few pages and find that it's not a fairy tale -- not early on, anyway. So, I need to think of some ideas for things that happen early in the book that might be compelling images.


message 19: by Leah (new)

Leah Reise | 350 comments Wow, both covers are completely mesmerizing to me.


message 20: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
M.L. wrote: "In the spirit of helpfulness! Since it is a familiar image/face, a back-facing image works."

I really like the concept of it. I like the look of the trees. The girl seems a bit young, though, and I want some color in the picture.

I'm rethinking the image I found and am considering trying some new ideas. There is a part in the book where my lead female is in a thick forest wearing a red hood, but it's roughly two-thirds of the way into the book. I'm thinking of creating my own image that would reflect the first third or so of the book. I've looked at Paranormal Mystery covers and often they are cartoonish and whimsical. I think I could do a cover like that, though the book is not light-hearted all the way through and I don't want to mislead readers into thinking it's a warm, friendly story all the way through.


message 21: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Leah wrote: "Wow, both covers are completely mesmerizing to me."

Thanks. I'm going to keep dinking with mine and see what I can make of it. Or I might go a different direction entirely.


message 22: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments Mark wrote: "This one looks more professional - Yes, much better! The first one looks a little high schoolish. Way to go with the makeover!"

Thanks, Mark. I was inspired by Dwayne's cover. It's fun experimenting with covers. :)


message 23: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments Dwayne wrote: "M.L. wrote: "In the spirit of helpfulness! Since it is a familiar image/face, a back-facing image works."

I really like the concept of it. I like the look of the trees. The girl seems a bit young,..."


I thought of that, hmm, but since it's a mystery, the girl could be the protagonist or one of the missing children. It sort of sets up, well, a mystery. :) It's a fun idea. I like your original cover. I love the idea of different fonts and what they convey.


message 24: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
M.L. wrote: "I thought of that, hmm, but since it's a mystery, the girl could be the protagonist or one of the missing children. It sort of sets up, well, a mystery. :) It's a fun idea. I like your original cover. I love the idea of different fonts and what they convey."

There is a part, fairly early on, when they first enter FairyTale Village to investigate and one of the team talks about how he visited this place many times as a child and how he had a crush on Little Red Riding Hood. The reader might assume that the girl in the picture is one of the several girls that played Red in the park years ago. It could add to the mystery a bit, yes.


message 25: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Personally, I'd put the image of whatever part would catch the reader's attention. The cover I put for the workshop is a metaphor of what happens in the second half of the story. The first half is about the heroine's struggles and no erotica at all. Do you think I could make a better cover with that?

As long as you're not tricking the reader, all is fine.


message 26: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Haru wrote: "The first half is about the heroine's struggles and no erotica at all. Do you think I could make a better cover with that?"

For me, it's all about finding one image that tells as much of the story as possible. I haven't read any of your work yet, but if it's anything like mine, the struggle to find that one image is tough. My novels tend to be pretty complex.

Depending on the novel, I think a cover giving us a glimpse of the main characters struggles would be compelling. My second novel was some-hundreds of pages long but the image I landed on was a young boy with a black eye and a bloody nose to indicate this thing is about how cruel the world is and how even the innocent suffer.


message 27: by Ann (new)

Ann Wright | 88 comments I didn't want to put you off, but I see your point about where the image fits in the story. It would be interesting to see the blurb to go with your edited design when you're ready to share.


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

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
I actually did test a blurb a few weeks ago in the blurb workshop.

I'm kind of creating my own barriers. It's not you. With the cover and the blurb both, I'm still early enough in the writing process I haven't quite discovered what this book is truly about. I have ideas, but I don't want to force it. It will come to me eventually. That said, it's hard to come up with a cover and a blurb when I really only know the story, but not what it's truly about.

At the same time, I want to get attention on this thing. I don't generally dabble in genre fiction and so I don't expect my other stuff to get much attention. I think this one has a chance, but it is going to need a super blurb and great cover. So, it makes me want to start on the process early so I have plenty of time to mess around with different ideas.


message 29: by Laura (new)

Laura Engelhardt | 73 comments Having recently learned of some errors in my own cover design, I wanted to mention a few things in case you find them helpful:

1. Both designs read YA/MG to me -- first because of the title "Fairytale..." and the inclusion of a child on the cover.
2. Both convey mystery/thriller (of a gentle variety -- not expecting any graphic horror or violence)
3. I'm expecting a female teenage protagonist in the first example, but have no such expectations in the 2nd.
4. The first example feels like it could be set in "modern era," but in the 2nd, I'm expecting a non-technical world (unless a ghost story, which I could also envision). I think it's because of the colors in the first one -- the forest seems more photo-like & for whatever reason, that brings more of a "real life" vibe to it.
5. I personally found the first cover more interesting (I'd be more inclined to click on a link), though the fonts/hidden title was somewhat off-putting.
6. If you do stick with version one, consider changing the girl's dress so that it doesn't look like an old-time skirt (for urban mystery, I'd try to play up more real-life to contrast with the red cloak). There are also a lot of shadows around her eyes that read "I'm a vampire/witch/paranormal something" to me. But I do love the color contrast in that one, which is probably why I'd click on it over the 2nd.

Hope that helps. Good luck!


message 30: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited May 24, 2020 07:00AM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Thanks Laura,

1. It's not meant to be YA/MG, but it's not meant to be not for YA/MG, either. I don't really write for specific age groups. I write what I like and hope someone out there likes it, too.

2. There is a little graphic horror and violence in parts, but a good deal of it is mystery.

3. One of the protagonists is a fifteen year old girl. She is the central character.

4. Most of it is set in modern times.

5. I agree. It's off-putting. That's what I like about it. I want it to feel unsettling having these words kinda floating around back there. Maybe it's too unsettling.

6. Yeah, the cloak should look old-fashioned. When we get to the part of the book where Hannah lives in a deep forest, she wears a cloak very much like this. I didn't see her wearing an apron, but I like that it's there as early on we see she's a bit of a servant to her step-family (Cinderella).

There are characters in the novel who believe Hannah is a witch and it's one of the things that kinda remains a mystery for a while, so I'm okay with readers thinking she might be something other than a "normal" teenager.


message 31: by Laura (last edited May 24, 2020 07:10AM) (new)

Laura Engelhardt | 73 comments Dwayne wrote: It's off-putting. That's what I like about it. I want it to feel unsettling having these words kinda floating around back there. Maybe it's too unsettling"

I didn't mean unsettling ... more that I found it difficult to read. When I can't clearly read the text of the title, I often skip the book, even if the images are appealing. If you popped it in front of the trees, it might be easier to see & I don't think would detract from the mystery, given the twigs & stuff on the trees behind it.

Otherwise, it looks like I interpreted the book as you intended! So that's good :)


message 32: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited May 24, 2020 07:26AM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
If I go with this cover, I have considered trying to paint a few things into the background, such as a cottage with candy on it or a large wolf lurking around or something.

And thanks for your help, Laura. It seems you're interpreting it pretty much the way I was hoping people would.


message 33: by M.L. (last edited May 24, 2020 11:13AM) (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments You know . . . I might use the image I posted. :-) It's free so of course anyone can, and it was only posted as an example, but out of courtesy I wanted to mention it.


message 34: by Viola (new)

Viola Russell | 36 comments The girl's age is not determined. She could be a teen or young woman.


message 35: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Viola wrote: "The girl's age is not determined. She could be a teen or young woman."

Works for me. At age fifteen, she's in that moment of life where she's tired of people thinking she's just a kid and wants to prove herself.


message 36: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod



message 37: by Haru (last edited Jun 13, 2020 01:32PM) (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments My attention is on the egg.
And next... on the egg.
After that, I see the egg, the egg and the egg. Oh, and I notice the egg a little bit too.
Just in case you're wondering why, the egg has a lot of personality while the rest looks generic. Also because it's pure white in a composition with more muted tones. If you want to take away protagonism from it, use very light gray instead of white. It will look like white to everyone.

I like the first cover better.


message 38: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments It's really changed. I like it. I'm not at all sure about the tone but it definitely changed. I think someone who knows what you write about will like it as well. It is a nice complete picture. I don't identify a genre, however.


message 39: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments In the movie Shakespeare in Love, there is a scene where Geoffrey Rush says 'what about the dog?' He's totally in the wrong frame of mind. That's me at the moment: 'where is the wolf?" :-) If I hadn't seen the first cover, I wouldn't even think of it, However, where is the wolf? The only thing I can think of (and this is probably because I wrote something referring to 'a master of illusions,' I'm thinking maybe, just maybe the wolf is disguised as an egg. That's of course not right, but I'm trying to reconcile the first cover and second the new one. I like both though.


message 40: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
M.L. wrote: "It's really changed. I like it. I'm not at all sure about the tone but it definitely changed. I think someone who knows what you write about will like it as well. It is a nice complete picture. I don't identify a genre, however."

The style is similar to what I've seen on some paranormal mystery covers. I was attempting to do something similar. It needs some tweaking, that's for sure, but this is the basic idea for this one.

Yeah, it's different from the previous one. The book is months from being ready, so I'm taking time to try a few different ideas for covers.


message 41: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Haru wrote: "Just in case you're wondering why, the egg has a lot of personality while the rest looks generic."

Exactly. I want people to be aware of the rest of the stuff on the cover, but I want them to wonder about that egg... It's the only face on the cover, he's an exceedingly light shade of gray (yes, he's gray, but barely), has bright orange pants and a clashing bow tie.


message 42: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
M.L. wrote: "However, where is the wolf?"

The blessing and the curse of trying various things out here is that people are getting to know bits of the story and then being thrown for a loop when I post something that's different from what they already know. It's good, though, as it's giving me an idea of what is appealing and what is not.

The story is pretty complex and there's a lot of different things I could do with a cover. I might see what I can do with a wolf cover. I have one in mind that shows a Kobold. I might be working on that one soon and see how it flies.

M.L. wrote: I'm thinking maybe, just maybe the wolf is disguised as an egg. That's of course not right, but I'm trying to reconcile the first cover and second the new one. I like both though.

All I am really going to say to that is to quote one of the main characters who says, "Don’t trust your eyes, Glen. Ever."


message 43: by Gail (new)

Gail Meath (goodreadscomgail_meath) | 189 comments OMG, Dwayne. I love it! But there was a cartoon in the newspaper yesterday. It showed a pic of Humpty Dumpty and those around him, watching him on the wall before he took the fall. The caption read, "Okay, we will only have one take of this, so let's get it right." Sorry, it was too cute. Just sharing!


message 44: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Caston | 105 comments It's definitely got a different feel to it. But it strikes me as more original too, which is inherently a good thing. That being said, it also kind of gives off a children's book vibe (at least to me), which I know you aren't going for. Maybe if you added something in the same artistic style but something more sinister looking? Just a thought.


message 45: by Ann (new)

Ann Wright | 88 comments I've had a look at your blurb and I can see how the cover would work with that. I agree with Jeffrey though, it does give off a children's vibe. Humpty Dumpty doesn't help - he's too cheerful and friendly. I'm thinking along similar lines to Jeffrey - maybe something more sinister looking?
Maybe you could achieve that with changing the colour of the background to something darker and more threatening, perhaps with a shadow of a wolf somewhere?


message 46: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 528 comments So sorry, but I have to agree that it does give off a children's book vibe.

I liked the first two.


message 47: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod



message 48: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4276 comments Mod
Just having a little fun.


message 49: by Ann (new)

Ann Wright | 88 comments Well that certainly changed the atmosphere!!
On a more serious note though, I do think Anna has a point. I liked the first one, and think it might be worth exploring a bit more.


message 50: by M.L. (last edited Jun 21, 2020 09:45AM) (new)

M.L. | 1102 comments That's funny. Definitely a different take on Humpty. (He looked dodgy in the first one.) If there was a dead wolf in the background, same style as the girl, then the evil egg (if there is a murder in the story) is the prime suspect. To be commercial though I think the one to develop is the first one. I like the last two but as far as genre they're confusing.


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