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Thread: Opinions?

  1. #1
    Winston KarmaHead's Avatar
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    Opinions?

    (I apologize in advance if you need a certain post count to post in here...)

    I have yet to finish this novel, but once done (hopefully by the end of this summer) I'm planning on self publishing to get it out here, and I worked with someone recently to design this cover:



    What do you guys think? It's a work in progress so there's some stuff yet to do, including the spine and back cover of course.

    Opinions needed

  2. #2
    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    Very cool photo manipulation work.

    The image is too big for the forum. Shortly, a mod will ask you to reduce to 400px on a side.

  3. #3
    Winston KarmaHead's Avatar
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    Thanks!

    Yep I just resized

  4. #4
    The Crazy Man in the Sun. Feel me. WillSauger's Avatar
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    Its a cool picture, but I have no idea what its about, thus I don't have a clue what the book is about.
    The picture doesn't depict anything for me.

    The title doesn't help either. Both, the title itself and its size in proportion to the book.
    I'd like to see the title fill up a 1/4 of the front, not an 1/8th.
    Last edited by WillSauger; 02-03-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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  5. #5
    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    Heh, there are some elements in there that match young adult trends. My reading is sexy YA sci fi. Possibly military SF.

    Is that even close to your intent?

  6. #6
    Follow your heart; take your brain SelmaW's Avatar
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    To me this says dystopia, possibly sci-fi, possibly YA. Looks great, but I agree I'd like to be a little clearer on what it is.

  7. #7
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Disagree on the title size; I see a lot of commercially published books with effective covers, and they have similar text ranges.

  8. #8
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    Put up the blurb and then I'll comment. ^^;; Makes it easier on me.

    Right now I'm thinking Stephen Moffat...

  9. #9
    Maybe I should see someone . . . Tigerlilly79's Avatar
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    It's definitely interesting and eye cathching, but as others have stated it would be nice to know what it's about, I can't really tell from the cover. The positioning of her hands look kind of weird to me. What is she supposed to be doing?
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  10. #10
    Miss Conceived Liralen's Avatar
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    It would absolutely pique my curiosity and make me want to read the blurb. It's clever, artistic, well executed; there's thought and imagination in the cover and those are things that lead me to suspect the writer has crafted a story with those qualities.

    But I tend to dislike literal covers and pass those books by.
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  11. #11
    I think it looks great. But yeah - I have no idea where to put this genre-wise. Adult cyberpunk maybe?
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  12. #12
    Easily Amused ebbrown's Avatar
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    I would check out the book from that cover. Nice job.
    Last edited by ebbrown; 02-05-2013 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Kindle makes my words look like crazy talk

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  13. #13
    Winston KarmaHead's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for the feedback, it helps a lot really.

    I've noticed the theme of 'sci-fi' or 'dystopia' running through a few comments, and it certainly isn't, though I'm fully aware as to why potential readers would think that.

    I can't release a blurb or a summary as of yet, but it's a noir piece delving into thriller/crime/horror territory. The interesting thing about the cover is that everything on there relates to exchanges throughout the story, it would make total sense having read through. I'll definitely make sure to advertise this suitably once released, the cover has the potential to cause a bit of a mix up...

    Thanks again for the feedback!

  14. #14
    OUTCAST is out now!!!! Toothpaste's Avatar
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    The biggest problem with the mix-up is the gas mask. I too think SF/Dystopian etc. I get the impression you aren't really looking to change the image itself, but ultimately, that's your biggest problem. You might want to seriously consider doing something instead of the gas mask. Which, yes, would mean taking some effort to find something as fantastic - as you can't easily replicate what's going on without the help of the mask. But just because something is difficult doesn't make it not a good idea.

    For the record, I love this as a cover, but not a cover for a straight up thriller/crime/horror with no SF elements.
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  15. #15
    I agree with Toothpaste. I love the design, but to me it screams steampunk or cyberpunk. It has a similar aesthetic to Angry Robot's cover approach.

  16. #16
    waxing digital artistic Gale Haut's Avatar
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    I could see this as a suspense horror or a crime/thriller/horror cover. Both of those have a low key supernatural edge to them. But we really don't have much to go on here.

    Now that I know what the genre is, I'm assuming that the character on the cover has put on a gas mask that actually gases the person wearing it. Nice bit of irony.

    If I've got it right, you might want to consider adding a more distinct gas texture in the goggles, because at the moment they look frosted, and the ash flecks in the air could be easily confused with snow.

  17. #17
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    Part of the problem might be the font choice? It read Science Fiction to me... coupled with the choice of title itself it looks Science Fiction....

    I also disagree with the choice on the author name in terms of size and position...

    but again, I really do need the blurb to help it further than this. Blurbs help pin the concept. I do think one should have the blurb before the cover.... helps you distill what themes are important, etc.

  18. #18
    Just the facts, please
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    I immediately flashed on Doctor Who as well ... http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Empty_Child

    Good solid design!

  19. #19
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    It is high impact but what it says to me is, smoking head, weird eyes, BOOBS. So.... horror with irrelevant sexiness? It is a very interesting image, but I would not pick it up and read the blurb.

  20. #20
    Not-so-new PortableHal's Avatar
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    Karma, it's an interesting cover but I think it misses its target audience. The image says super model with a gas mask to me (designer jacket, french nails, trendy black bra).

    It doesn't say noir. I like noir, I read noir, but I'd pass this book by. I'd assume it was a YA Vampire Diaries Meets Road Warrior kind of story.
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  21. #21
    practical experience, FTW girlyswot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarmaHead View Post
    The interesting thing about the cover is that everything on there relates to exchanges throughout the story, it would make total sense having read through.
    The job of your cover isn't to make sense to people who have already read the book. It is there to advertise your book to people who haven't read it. They will use your cover to categorise the book and decide whether it's the kind of thing they are interested in. If the cover is sending confusing signals, a lot of people will simply pass by.

  22. #22
    OUTCAST is out now!!!! Toothpaste's Avatar
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    Or they will buy it expecting something else. Which could be good if they are open minded. But my experience is that if expectations aren't met, they will think the content is bad - not that maybe it just wasn't what they were expecting.

    Story: my mother tells of a time when her mother served the family lemon sherbert. Everyone tried it and it tasted revolting, like it had gone off or something. My grandmother went back into the kitchen and came back out and said, "Would it taste better if you knew it was banana?" Everyone tried it again and was all, "Oh yeah! That makes sense!" and liked it. You see because they thought it was lemon they thought it was just a bad lemon. Not that what they were really eating was banana.

    The same goes for books. I had someone review my latest saying she thought it was going to be more like a detective mystery and as she was reading it she really didn't like it. But then at some point she clued into the fact that the book, despite there being a mystery to solve, is actually a superhero origins story and it changed her whole outlook on the book and she ended up really enjoying it. I lucked out in this case. But I've had enough reviews on many different books where it is clear the reader simply wanted to read a different kind of book, not the one that was before them. And that's why they were disappointed.
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  23. #23
    figuring it all out Colleen Cowley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toothpaste View Post
    I've had enough reviews on many different books where it is clear the reader simply wanted to read a different kind of book, not the one that was before them. And that's why they were disappointed.
    This seems like Priority No. 1 for a cover: Communicate genre. Don't fake the reader out.

    I like a lot of genres so I'm not upset if I get a book expecting one thing and it delivers another (as long as the story is good, of course), but plenty of readers are very genre-specific.

    Upside: You've got plenty of other cover priorities here. Eye-catching. Intriguing. Good typography. If, in the end, you think it doesn't work for your story, you can always write another story that does! :-D

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