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View Full Version : Please give me your opinion on my cover [moved from Novels]



Searching
01-10-2012, 03:05 PM
Since I'll be self-publishing this, I had a go at a cover. I think it looks eye-grabbing enough, but it doesn't fit with the genre, which is literary. It looks like a cover for a horror/thriller book, I fear. I would like to hear your thoughts. I wasn't sure if this is where this should go, anyone in charge should feel free to move this or tell me where I should post. Thanks!

http://imgur.com/nLvqQ

(The dimensions are still undecided)

Edit: you need to click the image to go full-size.

Dr.Gonzo
01-10-2012, 03:16 PM
Hmph, can't view it at work.

Cyia
01-10-2012, 03:17 PM
Keep in mind that your cover needs to be eye-catching at thumbnail size and in grey-scale. I don't think what you have there will be.

Searching
01-10-2012, 03:27 PM
And another question: is it terrible to represent a collection of short stories as a novel, if there's a (very) loose narrative thread tying them together? There is in fact a progression in the form of a change of writing style, from realism to surrealism, which compliments said narrative thread.

I'll try to be clear: the book's narrative thread is the approach of Mobius, a planet that will colide with Earth. This collision is merely a metaphor however, and as such it reinforces the postmodern themes present in the stories: realism before the collision, surrealism after.

I guess it would be a lot easier to market the 'hostile planet collides with Earth', but is it ethical? Will readers object? Will they feel they didn't get what they wanted?

Thanks again.

Dr.Gonzo
01-10-2012, 03:33 PM
And another question: is it terrible to represent a collection of short stories as a novel, if there's a (very) loose narrative thread tying them together?

Chuck Palahniuk did it with Haunted. Terrible book, heh, but it's been done.

MsDashwood
01-10-2012, 03:38 PM
It does look a bit like it is in the thriller/suspence genre. Maybe even fantasy..? It has a haunting quality.
I like it. I like the colour and the way the writing goes on the colour.

But no idea if it fits the story :)

Orchestra
01-10-2012, 03:41 PM
And another question: is it terrible to represent a collection of short stories as a novel, if there's a (very) loose narrative thread tying them together? No, it's not terrible. I've seen several such works and enjoyed a few as well. You as the author get to decide if your work is a short story collection or an episodic novel. The line is fuzzy. Obviously you can't decide how your work is read, but if you think it's a novel, you can say so in the cover.

I think the cover is decent. I'd drop the tagline, make your name slightly bigger and bolder and use the same gradient as you did with the title. The "a novel" bit should not be bigger than your own name, methinks.

NeuroFizz
01-10-2012, 05:43 PM
And another question: is it terrible to represent a collection of short stories as a novel, if there's a (very) loose narrative thread tying them together? There is in fact a progression in the form of a change of writing style, from realism to surrealism, which compliments said narrative thread.

I'll try to be clear: the book's narrative thread is the approach of Mobius, a planet that will colide with Earth. This collision is merely a metaphor however, and as such it reinforces the postmodern themes present in the stories: realism before the collision, surrealism after.

I guess it would be a lot easier to market the 'hostile planet collides with Earth', but is it ethical? Will readers object? Will they feel they didn't get what they wanted?

Thanks again.
You have to play fair with the readers (always). If it's a novel, call it a novel. If it's not a traditional novel, don't call it a novel without some explanation. Your cover has "A NOVEL" in large font. Reconsider this.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
01-10-2012, 05:45 PM
I wouldn't pick it up because I'd assume it would be horror or sci-fi or something.

I read literary, but I'd think it wasn't. Sorry.

quicklime
01-10-2012, 06:08 PM
You have to play fair with the readers (always). If it's a novel, call it a novel. If it's not a traditional novel, don't call it a novel without some explanation. Your cover has "A NOVEL" in large font. Reconsider this.


this.

If i thought I was getting a novel, and wound up walking away convinced you tried to bait-and-switch me into buying a collection of shorts, even if I LOVED the book, I would walk away with serious misgivings about you as an author. they would taint my views on your work and likelihood to buy again.

That doesn't mean I would never buy again, I might or might not. It just means I would start out thinking you were somewhat shady, and I could only guess what the hell I was buying. I don't like guessing.

jjdebenedictis
01-10-2012, 06:10 PM
Well, I think it's very nice looking, but I know zero about what goes into a good book design. Best of luck with your book launch, anyway!

StaceyJaine
01-10-2012, 06:15 PM
Ditto, get rid of the "A novel" bit... personally as a reader, I hate covers that showcase the word "novel" across the front cover, as if it's not already apparent.

Torgo
01-10-2012, 06:17 PM
It looks like a thriller or more likely horror/dark fantasy title. I would also say it looks a little amateurish? Not bad, as such, but you can tell it is self-published and you would guess self-designed. The type is not great.

The book sounds interesting! Difficult to have the word 'novel' on the front in big type if it isn't quite a novel. The strapline isn't great, either.

("But aside from that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the show?")

brianjanuary
01-10-2012, 06:25 PM
My first impression is that it's a bit sterile. And I then I realized what it is--it's just too symmetrical. I would stretch out the title so that it reaches past the red image (not sure what that is?) on both sides. Make the author name bigger, and maybe in a different type face ot color. "A Novel" is way too big and perhaps unnecessary--maybe "An End Times Novel" or whatever your genre is. Your cover should easily identify your genre--to me this looks like a red giant sun about to go supernova, so it looks like sci-fi or end-of-the-world.

elindsen
01-10-2012, 06:45 PM
I may not to be helpful but I do like the cover. Like said above, it has a haunting quality. Literary can be haunting depending on your story.


Hope this helps

Phaeal
01-10-2012, 07:20 PM
Red + black does indeed = thriller/horror in the publishing business. Though lately I've been noticing a lot of thrillers that go with orange/umber + black. Innovation! ;)

The little "They said it would happen" blurb reinforces my impression that this is thriller/horror, possibly SF. Literary would be one of my last guesses, based on the cover alone.

The colors I associate with literary fiction are black, white, gray tones, sepia tones, perhaps some muted or grayed-down color. For images, I think photographs, often black and white, often interestingly cut or skewed or distorted. For texts, maybe "hand-written" or graffiti-style.

Your signature describes this project as a collection of flash fiction. It's not terribly uncommon in literary fiction for a string of shorts to be labeled a novel. Not impossible you could get away with it, but I'd resent being led to expect a novel, then getting shorts. Especially very short shorts.

As for throwing out lures that scream mainstream science fiction/fantasy, don't. You'd be making a promise you couldn't keep.

Mark W.
01-10-2012, 07:39 PM
Looks Thriller/Sci-Fi/Fantasy rather than Literary.

But as a T/S/F novel it would rock. :)

Rufus Coppertop
01-10-2012, 07:54 PM
I would pick it up because I like the cover. The they said it would happen thing is also enticing and I would open it, expecting sci-fi, an urban fantasy or a thriller.

Then I'd put it back upon realizing that it's literary and I might even feel a bit annoyed with you and become suspicious about books having tricky covers.

fadeaccompli
01-10-2012, 08:10 PM
The image you've chosen is very pretty, but does, as people say, suggest horror, or maybe paranormal romance.

The font you've chosen is pretty, but the way it's working on that image? Noooo. It's far from the worst I've seen, but it does not look like a professional combination, and when browsing thumbnails, it'll look even worse.

I don't know enough graphic design myself to explain why the font looks amateur (or at least like a cheap designer handled it); I only know enough to look at the cover and know that my first reaction would be "self-published".

Buffysquirrel
01-10-2012, 08:43 PM
Looks like an apocalyptic novel with angels, to me.

GFanthome
01-10-2012, 08:53 PM
I wouldn't pick it up because I'd assume it would be horror or sci-fi or something.

I read literary, but I'd think it wasn't. Sorry.

I'd unfortunately have to agree.

IceCreamEmpress
01-10-2012, 09:25 PM
That's attractive as a design, but it doesn't work for its intended purpose. It's not going to be legible in grayscale; it is in the style of horror, thriller, and paranormal suspense covers; and if your book is a novel in stories (a respected genre in literary fiction), putting "A Novel" on the cover seems odd.

Back to the drawing board, alas. Be sure to look at the design as a grayscale thumbnail to make sure it works, because that's how up to half of the people shopping for it will see it.

dangerousbill
01-10-2012, 09:31 PM
http://imgur.com/nLvqQ



Print it out in color at 6 x 9 inches. See how it looks from ten feet away.

On a store shelf, it wouldn't look that bad. In an online catalog, you'd need to increase the contrast of the title, or make the font lighter and bold, so it can be read when it's the size of a postage stamp.

Darkarma
01-10-2012, 10:03 PM
Um... sorry but color/design wise it has me thinking Demon: The Fallen. If you made it green and a rose thrown in it would be a loose clone of Vampire the Masquerade.

Not sure I can provide more feedback than that without knowing the specific of its contents.

Artistically its good but I'm not sure if the above is what you were intending.

Lseeber
01-10-2012, 10:10 PM
Personally I like it. The red swirly effect is really cool looking. It would definitely get my "oooo.... shiny" attention at the book store.

But does it say literary? Eh, not really. Personally, I would keep the swirly effect, and change it to a more subdued color. If you want to present it as a literary novel.

just a thought Laura

Dannica
01-10-2012, 10:44 PM
Well I kind of agree that the word Novel should probably not appear on the cover if it really isn't a novel. I might descibe it as "A glimpse into x people's lives as the planet Mobius travels on a crash-course with Earth" -- the x being the number of different stories.

And sorry if this is a dumb question, but what exactly makes it "literary" fiction as opposed to simply fiction.

heyjude
01-10-2012, 10:47 PM
I love the look of it (though I can't quite read your name on the bottom), but I'd definitely pick it up thinking thriller/horror/something like that.

Darkarma
01-10-2012, 10:54 PM
Well I kind of agree that the word Novel should probably not appear on the cover if it really isn't a novel. I might descibe it as "A glimpse into x people's lives as the planet Mobius travels on a crash-course with Earth" -- the x being the number of different stories.

And sorry if this is a dumb question, but what exactly makes it "literary" fiction as opposed to simply fiction.

If that's the case, possibly a darker muted color like twilight blue with a landscape blended in that reflects your novel? The swirls would be more like a fog?

Old Hack
01-10-2012, 11:06 PM
Since I'll be self-publishing this, I had a go at a cover.

Hmmm. Since this is about a book which is going to be self-published, and it's about that book's cover, it really belongs in... self publishing's subforum about covers! Yep. That'll do. Hang on, I'll drive the thread there. Give me a minute.

Darkarma
01-11-2012, 12:41 AM
Hmmm. Since this is about a book which is going to be self-published, and it's about that book's cover, it really belongs in... self publishing's subforum about covers! Yep. That'll do. Hang on, I'll drive the thread there. Give me a minute.

Ensign, Warp 9 heading 4408, engage.

Gale Haut
01-11-2012, 12:27 PM
Is there absolutely no way for you to work images, symbols, words, etc into the design? That texture begs my eyes for some kind of focus or meaning. I think when people look at it they like me will immediately search through and stumble on some indication of what kind of content it represents. As is they won't find the focus and will more than likely put the book back on the shelf and grab something that delivers what your cover is missing.


EDIT: I should point out that the way you styled the title's font looks great and the lighting and use of color is also very nice.

LaneHeymont
01-13-2012, 09:06 AM
Since I'll be self-publishing this, I had a go at a cover. I think it looks eye-grabbing enough, but it doesn't fit with the genre, which is literary. It looks like a cover for a horror/thriller book, I fear. I would like to hear your thoughts. I wasn't sure if this is where this should go, anyone in charge should feel free to move this or tell me where I should post. Thanks!

http://imgur.com/nLvqQ

(The dimensions are still undecided)

Edit: you need to click the image to go full-size.

I like itóreminds me of a stormy Mars, but as others have said, it's gotta look good as a thumbnail.