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wise_dec4u
01-25-2016, 03:07 AM
Hello. I just designed my first ever cover art and would like to get some tips and feedback to make it look more professional. What did I do wrong or right with the subjects and typeface. Is it conveying the right message? I would appreciate any guidance you can give me.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j6o963drw54cbt4/Loves%20Journey%20Cover.jpg?dl=0

Tavia
01-25-2016, 05:54 AM
Aw, I like the overall concept, with them younger and then older! I'm guessing you're playing around with stock samples for now, yeah?

First thing -- it's not very legible at smaller sizes. When you shrink it down to thumbnail size, the thin lines outlining Journey get all broke up, so I just see "Love's Jaskgjlkdhkk." And I can't read your name at all when I shrink it.

Try having your name go across the entire bottom of the cover. And play around with placement and sizing for the title. It might look nice higher up, across the kids' bodies.

I'm also... not super keen on the font for "Journey" in general. I would go to the Amazon romance top 100 list and see if you can spot any common themes in fonts that stand out and look good to you.

wise_dec4u
01-25-2016, 09:48 AM
Aw, I like the overall concept, with them younger and then older! I'm guessing you're playing around with stock samples for now, yeah?

First thing -- it's not very legible at smaller sizes. When you shrink it down to thumbnail size, the thin lines outlining Journey get all broke up, so I just see "Love's Jaskgjlkdhkk." And I can't read your name at all when I shrink it.

Try having your name go across the entire bottom of the cover. And play around with placement and sizing for the title. It might look nice higher up, across the kids' bodies.

I'm also... not super keen on the font for "Journey" in general. I would go to the Amazon romance top 100 list and see if you can spot any common themes in fonts that stand out and look good to you.

Thanks for the advice. You are correct. I'm just playing around with some stock samples to see if I could even do this properly. I made some revisions and viewed it as thumbnail and it made a major difference. Here's the revised cover:

(https://www.dropbox.com/s/kf31kzkkipjlrxb/Loves%20Journey%20Cover%20Rev2.jpg?dl=0)https://www.dropbox.com/s/kf31kzkkipjlrxb/Loves%20Journey%20Cover%20Rev2.jpg?dl=0

Tavia
01-25-2016, 10:12 AM
Finding stock photos is my favorite part of cover creating! I'm doing a two-week trial with Bigstock right now, so I'm stockpiling for the future :D

Quick question -- this is purely romance, right? If it's at all erotic romance, you might want to be careful about using kids on the cover.

And I like this direction for text placement a lot more! Very rule-of-thirds with the title placement, plus I can read everything at the thumbnail size. Your name at the bottom is a bit harder to read when it's plain across the figures, but you could try experimenting with boxes or gradients behind the words. Or maybe even go for lighter text with a drop shadow?

I'm not super excited about the fonts for your name and the tagline -- I'd suggest playing around with different font faces for those.

wise_dec4u
01-25-2016, 05:52 PM
Quick question -- this is purely romance, right? If it's at all erotic romance, you might want to be careful about using kids on the cover.

And I like this direction for text placement a lot more! Very rule-of-thirds with the title placement, plus I can read everything at the thumbnail size. Your name at the bottom is a bit harder to read when it's plain across the figures, but you could try experimenting with boxes or gradients behind the words. Or maybe even go for lighter text with a drop shadow?

I'm not super excited about the fonts for your name and the tagline -- I'd suggest playing around with different font faces for those.

Thanks so much! To answer your question, the story is romance but deals with child abuse, sexual assault, graphic violence, PTSD, and contains two erotic scenes between the MCs and one brief love scene between the female MC and another male. Should I take the kids off the cover? Go with something more sensual or darker?

Tavia
01-25-2016, 07:29 PM
Ahh. Yeah, I was getting "sweet Christian romance" vibes from this. But I'm not a romance expert, so you may want to see if someone more knowledgeable than me stops by...

ACAuthors
01-25-2016, 07:39 PM
I love the pictures- but I don't think your title really pops. It's almost like there might be too much going on with the cover and that detracts. Consider not having "journey" just an outline, and maybe play around with the size of the bottom picture.

ElaineA
01-26-2016, 08:42 AM
So, first, the theme of the cover is sweet and I reacted to it immediately with "awww". The fonts don't work for me, but that's not what I am here to comment on. As a frequent romance reader, the cover is giving a totally different vibe from what's inside. I really, honestly think thar be trouble...

Romance readers are notoriously vocal about being misled. Often it's about not having in HEA or HFN, but if I picked up this book expecting a light, sweet read and got dark, graphic, and abusive instead, I wouldn't be happy. I'm not one to go on Amazon or Goodreads to voice complaints, but many others will. You could go forward with it, but be prepared for serious blowback. Even if your blurb makes clear what's inside the pages, people sometimes cherry-pick the information they have at their fingertips and then fire the complaint canons.

I sure don't want to see that happen to you.

Abderian
01-26-2016, 09:55 AM
Thanks so much! To answer your question, the story is romance but deals with child abuse, sexual assault, graphic violence, PTSD, and contains two erotic scenes between the MCs and one brief love scene between the female MC and another male. Should I take the kids off the cover? Go with something more sensual or darker?

Wow, I did not get the content from this cover at all. Maybe check out some books with similar subject matter and create a cover with a different feel. Your current cover conveys sweet, young romance to me, not graphic violence and sexual assault, lol.

wise_dec4u
01-26-2016, 11:31 PM
So, first, the theme of the cover is sweet and I reacted to it immediately with "awww". The fonts don't work for me, but that's not what I am here to comment on. As a frequent romance reader, the cover is giving a totally different vibe from what's inside. I really, honestly think thar be trouble...

Romance readers are notoriously vocal about being misled. Often it's about not having in HEA or HFN, but if I picked up this book expecting a light, sweet read and got dark, graphic, and abusive instead, I wouldn't be happy. I'm not one to go on Amazon or Goodreads to voice complaints, but many others will. You could go forward with it, but be prepared for serious blowback. Even if your blurb makes clear what's inside the pages, people sometimes cherry-pick the information they have at their fingertips and then fire the complaint canons.

I sure don't want to see that happen to you.

I get your point. I'm even guilty of purchasing a book based on the cover alone then feeling let down when the book turns out nothing like I imagined it to be. I think so far the consensus is that I need to go with cover that conveys a darker tone. *Back to the drawing board* lol. Thank you for your honest and helpful advice.

wise_dec4u
01-27-2016, 04:02 AM
Wow, I did not get the content from this cover at all. Maybe check out some books with similar subject matter and create a cover with a different feel. Your current cover conveys sweet, young romance to me, not graphic violence and sexual assault, lol.

What? You really can't tell by the loving looks on their faces that my story contains graphic violence, sexual assault, and erotic love scenes? Haha! Seriously though, once I got over how cute the couples were in these photos, I could see why this just doesn't work for this story. Thanks for the input. Your advice was very helpful. Welp, back to the drawing board.