View Full Version : Moonsteed (opinions please!)

02-27-2011, 11:53 PM
Hi Peoples of the Board. Here's another cover in progress (click for bigger). Bonus points for finding the error in the blurb (I know there's at least one).

02-28-2011, 12:07 AM
Jeez, not only is pluto not a planet anymore, but Jupiter just got demoted to being a Moon? =P

Lol, aside from that little error, I'm seeing edge effects on the children and the horse, especially where it meets the mountains. It feels like the originals were low-resolution, and that effect is going to become very pronounced when printed on a cover. I recommend getting higher-resolution copies of each of the cover elements, and using a healthy dose of anti-aliasing on each of the layers.

Hope this helps, JayD

02-28-2011, 12:08 AM
Overall, I think it's well done. I might have moved Jupiter just a bit; it's just a little too centered. How the sword is held and its angle looks just a little odd to me; but then I'm studying the cover more than most people would.

I'm not sure about the horse. A pale colored horse would work better; but black and white horses are often used.

I would consider changing the wording of the back cover to: AND LET A MAN LIVE WHO DESERVED TO DIE. I'm not sure.

02-28-2011, 12:11 AM
I think it looks great, but I'm having trouble reading the copy over the stars.

02-28-2011, 12:14 AM
I like the composition but the two human figure have different lighting (direction/intensity), scale (size), and texture (the left one looks almost painted).

02-28-2011, 12:56 AM
Thanks everyone who's commented so far. This is my first cover done using mostly stock and public domain images, rather than things I drew myself. I did use the same effects on the characters to get the paint-like images, to try to equalise the unmatching lighting, but it doesn't seem to have worked. xD Probably I should keep the woman, as I really like the pose and I'm having trouble finding suitable women with the right type of sword. Will see if I can get a different man. I still need to do some blending in on the horse and the rocks, and will try a darker box behind the back cover text, so I'll see what it looks like after that.

02-28-2011, 02:46 AM
I like the basic composition, but I'm not wild about the mountains. They look too fake and are jarring behind the more realistic horse and moon.

02-28-2011, 03:51 AM
I think using just the female figure could also be good, maker her a bit bigger and that sword puts a nice dynamic line through the front cover.

02-28-2011, 09:22 PM
There should be a space between "an" and "arrest" in the blurb.

Do I win a prize? :D

I like the cover (and the story sounds interesting, too, and I normally don't read SF).

...although the dude on the cover reminds me of Adam Sandler, for some strange reason. :Shrug:

It's been a tough morning.


Soccer Mom
03-01-2011, 02:08 AM
Yeah, I like the girl with the sword. The guy, not so much. I'd lose him. It makes the cover too busy. Too many images clutter up a cover.

03-01-2011, 09:23 PM
Thanks people. Congrats Nancy, you win a prize!

Not so sure about just using one figure... the book itself is SF/erotic romance, and I think it's usually customary to have two characters to hint at this. I sold the electronic rights (the publisher's version of the cover is one of the ones in my signature) and its designer seems to have skirted the issue of the hero being 'hefty' rather than the typical athletic muscleman used in stock images of this sort by choosing a picture where the man is partially concealed by the woman. I suppose I could tone the man into the background a bit more. I'm having trouble finding stock images of burly, slightly overweight young men that aren't deliberately unflattering.

03-01-2011, 09:50 PM
To be honest if it is a romance I think the woman alone is fine. I have yet to see a BBM romance use the man on the cover in a major way. I suspect there is a reason for that. When they show a BBW I normally feel depressed that size 14-16 seems to be considered BBW.

03-02-2011, 12:32 AM
I suspect there is a reason for that.

Derailing the thread here: I've heard this argued before, but I'm not convinced. I think it's more to do with the selection of stock images available. Research points to most readers of romantic and erotic fiction being female. The bricks-and-mortar research I've seen into the matter seems to point to headless shots of muscly torsos being less interesting to most women (while appealing to gay men) and women preferring more 'character oriented' images of men of a wide spectrum of sizes showing their faces. It's tied up to some degree in feminist theories about male and female 'gazes' in that traditional depictions of men centre on how men wish themselves and other men to be perceived rather than how women want to perceive them. Colin Firth in his wet shirt on Pride and Prejudice (no idea if it's well known in America, sorry) was considered for a long time to be the epitome of this theory. He was doe eyed and lightly built with thick curly hair, a long way from the headless muscly lumps on most romance covers.

I suspect covers with more of these 'female gaze' images of men might sell more books, but I've yet to see a publisher prepared to gamble and try it.

When they show a BBW I normally feel depressed that size 14-16 seems to be considered BBW.

lol, I agree with this. By doing it in half measures and trying to compromise and not offend anyone, they could also be putting off both their traditional readers and people who like larger persons of whatever sex. I would love to see a cover image with a positive, unashamedly sexy image of a big person, but I've yet to find one.

I think I'm going to stick with 'tame' images on the covers I design myself for now, and see how sales go on a few books I've got coming up before I try anything outrageous, though. :-)

03-02-2011, 01:59 AM
I really like the color/gradient of the title!

For some reason, the girl's arms look too short to me. I like the sword, though.