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View Full Version : Could I get votes on these covers?



PeteDutcher
03-24-2016, 12:40 AM
I am asking for votes mostly. The wider images are front and back covers. I actually have a preference, but I want to see if it coincides with everyone else. Please tell me which number you feel is the best design.

Please, keep polite.

#1
I went for an old school look for this one...really old school.
(Edit: Logo will be in white area up top, author in bottom white area)
http://www.petedutcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/STORM-OF-DRAGONS-6x9-Cover-001_CLEAN-e1458766262954.jpg

#2
More modern.
(Edit: title goes on top, author on bottom)
http://www.petedutcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/STORM-OF-DRAGONS-6x9-Cover-002_CLEAN-e1458766283393.jpg


#3
More modern.
(edit: Title and author name go on the bottom)
http://www.petedutcher.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/STORM-OF-DRAGONS-6x9-Cover-004_CLEAN-e1458766302952.jpg

* Images are hosted on my website

Roxxsmom
03-24-2016, 01:06 AM
Artistically, I like the first one best, though I don't see a good place to put a title that wouldn't cover the dragon or castle up. I'd prefer the colors to be a bit muted too, but that's likely my own taste.

The second doesn't have enough contrast in color between the figures and the dragon behind them. Shrunk to thumnail size, they'd disappear. The guy's neck angle seems off to me also. Plus the different elements in the picture have that "edges too sharp" clipped and pasted together appearance that screams "this book is self published" to me. I like it the least of the three choices.

The third has a nice open area for lettering, but again, the human figure looks too-sharp-edged and thus I know it was clipped and pasted in. Plus, her head is cut off at the top. The lettering will likely cover some of the dragons up, but they're smaller and so this would probably be less noticable.

If these are your three choices as is, I'd go with the first one, as it looks like it was painted instead of spliced together from separate photos, but I'm not sure what to do with the big dragon. The third has some potential, if it's possible to soften the contours a bit and make the figures look like they belong in the same image.

Ravioli
03-24-2016, 01:06 AM
3.
2 has the best idea, but the people blend in poorly. First off, you can tell that they're photographed whereas the dragon is painted, and second, it's clear on the dude that the photo was shot indoors, so the pic is very unharmonic.
I also love 1, but I don't understand if it's front and back or only the front and if the negative space is where the text goes.

L. OBrien
03-24-2016, 01:07 AM
I'm completely in love with the first one. The bright colors and the washed out look are gorgeous, and I've always had a personal preference for covers that don't show the character's face so that I'm free to imagine them however. That said, each of these covers has a different tone (the first one is sort of whimsical and fantastic. The other two are darer) so it does depend on what kind of expectations you want to set about your story.

PeteDutcher
03-24-2016, 01:13 AM
I edited to tell where the text goes go clarification. :)

alleycat
03-24-2016, 01:22 AM
I started to say Number 1, but the more I look at Number 3, the more I favor it. You might work on the color balance a little so that background and foreground seem more natural together. I dislike Number 2.

Another possible suggestion (according to which design you finally choice), think about about using an alternating text color (that is, light where there is a dark background, and dark where there is a light background). Sometimes something like that helps and sometimes it doesn't.

Edited to add: Ignore my suggestion above. I tried it on Number 3. It didn't look as good as a solid color text.

Kerosene
03-24-2016, 01:28 AM
First one. The artwork (as far as I can see in the thumbnail) is nicely done. The only problem is how you would throw text on it.

The other two share a similar problem: There's too much of a disconnect between the characters and the background. They're just plastered on the scenery, but not placed in the scene. Just a thought: The third one's character profile could work by itself with little to no background to support it--you'd just have to work the text for it.

Diver
03-24-2016, 02:09 AM
I like the first one, too. Also the fact that the character's face is hidden.

A couple of humble suggestions, if I may (and please ignore if I may not :)):

In order to increase the contrast for the text, and give the cover a grittier look - if it is something you’d look into – maybe you could wash the colors in sepia?

Also, in keeping the theme along the lines of the other covers, you could add a weapon coming up from the right hand of the character.


Anyway, love number one!

satchmo
03-24-2016, 02:25 AM
I vote for #3. The design is simpler and bolder.

#1 is too vague, and #2 is too busy.

kevinwaynewilliams
03-24-2016, 03:39 AM
Unless you can fix the obvious superimposition layers of 2 and 3, go with 1. It's not that I like it so spectacularly, but at least it's well done.

Maggie Brooke
03-24-2016, 04:54 AM
I like #1 the best. #2 is my least favorite. I find #3 intriguing and, depending on the plot, I might favor that one. Both #1 and #3 communicate a strong female protagonist, if that's what you're after.

Marlys
03-24-2016, 05:10 AM
I strongly prefer #1. Dislike #2; #3 is meh.

Tavia
03-24-2016, 05:38 AM
I like #3 best, with #1 at a close second. Depending on the overall mood of your book, one or the other might be a better fit. But #3 is the one I'd want to pick up and look at.

T Robinson
03-24-2016, 06:11 AM
#1

EMaree
03-25-2016, 02:54 PM
#3 is the most modern cover, and I believe it would get you the most sales, but the Photoshopping is obvious and jarring. It could use a bit more work, and if you have the budget, it wouldn't break the bank to improve it.

#1 is beautiful, and by far the most artistically proficient of these covers, but your ideas for the author and title placement are going to give it a very homemade look. If the artist could extend those purple clouds up top, it would create a 'bleed' space where you can put your title without disturbing the art and hiding the dragons. The bottom of the image, with the black cuff and foliage, is already neutral enough to work well as a space for author name.

One of the key differences between professional and unprofessional covers is that, even to the untrained eye, professional covers take composition and layout into consideration, leaving bleed around the edges for titles, author names, review quotes. Less professional covers don't do this, and need to center an image around a thick border (as you have) and put the text there. In good cover composition, the text works organically as part of the cover as a whole, it's part of the art, not something jarringly placed outside of the art.

This all sounds very technically, but it's easier than it sounds. If you're still in contact with the artist they could add bleed space around the image, and if you don't have contact with the artist, a skilled Photoshopper could possibly add bleed using content aware fill -- it's hard to tell from the given thumbnail size, but it should work.

Undercover
03-25-2016, 03:34 PM
#3

Kevin_R
03-26-2016, 01:16 AM
#3 for me. I also like #1, but found the dragons to be indistinct and the whole thing seemed too 'animated' or 'cartoonish' unless that's what you're going for. $0.02

Richard W. Fairbairn
03-26-2016, 01:07 PM
Definitely prefer the first one. Looks like a professional and unique cover. The second and third ones don't seem to have the same originality feel that the first does.

Just my thoughts!

warm regards

R

Siri Kirpal
03-27-2016, 06:46 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I like the first one. The second one is clever, but too obviously mixed media. I would like the third one, except that the lady's head is sliced.

EMaree's thoughts about the type graphics for the first one sound right on.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Reginleif
03-27-2016, 10:32 AM
I like the third one, but it looked very familiar - the background is my Mac desktop wallpaper! So not sure if that's a plus or a minus in terms of potential sales...

Jane

randi.lee
03-27-2016, 03:40 PM
Could you provide information about the actual story? It's nice to pick out pretty artwork and all, but if it doesn't correlate to the story itself, there isn't much point to it.

Consider text placement, as well. These images are all quite busy. Is your title and possible message going to get lost in the artwork?

InkyQuill
03-29-2016, 03:32 AM
I would have to go with the first one (which I think I would like even if it wasn't up against the other two) because anything with what appears to be photographs of real people on it would be an instant turnoff to me. In my head, it screams "low brow" and "unprofessional." Something close to #3, with a more artistic rendering of the figure, could also work well. #2 strikes me as too busy.

Southpaw
03-29-2016, 03:58 AM
#1 is beautiful, and by far the most artistically proficient of these covers, but your ideas for the author and title placement are going to give it a very homemade look. If the artist could extend those purple clouds up top, it would create a 'bleed' space where you can put your title without disturbing the art and hiding the dragons. The bottom of the image, with the black cuff and foliage, is already neutral enough to work well as a space for author name....

I agree with this sentiment. The first thing I thought when I saw the white border was "homemade".

The other two have a similar feel to homemade only because they haven't been finessed. There is also no clear space for titles.

PeteDutcher
03-29-2016, 08:04 PM
The background is part stock photo...actually multiple stock photos layered, so you can't have this precise background on your computer...as with the layers it combines multiple images creating a new look.

The dragons are from shutterfly...reduced in size.



I like the third one, but it looked very familiar - the background is my Mac desktop wallpaper! So not sure if that's a plus or a minus in terms of potential sales...

Jane

PeteDutcher
03-29-2016, 08:09 PM
Well, everyone helped me eliminate the second cover :)

I'm finding it a toss-up between #1 and #3.

The point that #3 might sell better is striking home. Unfortunately, I don't have the means to pay for a cover design or improvements.

#1 was assembled with the old Dungeons and Dragons pulp novels in mind...sort of a tribute to that old style that I used to read.

Tavia
03-30-2016, 01:26 AM
#1 was assembled with the old Dungeons and Dragons pulp novels in mind...sort of a tribute to that old style that I used to read.

If you "assembled" it, is there any easy way to move the dragons around a bit? If it's possible to move the dragons, you could try a composition along these lines:

http://i.imgur.com/QbyJzeq.jpg

With the dragon in that blank space of sky below the name. (Obviously this is a three-minute hack job, and neither of these fonts are good ideas. I also still like the overall mood of #3 better for my personal reading preferences.)