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whistlelock
05-29-2016, 11:33 PM
Hey, Y'all

I'm about to launch some self-pub books. Here's the first cover.
Let me know how you feel about this- all notes are good notes.

Thanks!

http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i58/whistlelock/New%20Czars%20Egg%20E6b%20Watermarked.jpg (http://s69.photobucket.com/user/whistlelock/media/New%20Czars%20Egg%20E6b%20Watermarked.jpg.html)

Toothpaste
05-30-2016, 01:32 AM
Is this erotica? I ask because that's what I thought it was with the colour choice and the naked man, but then I read the tagline and realised that maybe it wasn't and that the mask was a superhero mask and not something more Eyes Wide Shut. So yeah, first of all, what's the genre?

Second, the title isn't working at all for me being just on the left and on that odd slant. I think a different font choice too would be better.

veinglory
05-30-2016, 01:36 AM
IMHO the concept is overly complicated with the symbolic shadow, mask etc and the assemblage looks very photoshoppy. My personal suggestion would be to have maybe two main symbols and look for a way to blend them more naturally. Like a police badge and a mask. Or a cop-looking guy holding a cape.

Cyia
05-30-2016, 01:40 AM
My first impression was Spanish Inquisition, even with the title. It definitely doesn't read superhero in any way, so I was surprised to see that tagline.

Small detail, but your guy's chair is floating, not part of the image as a whole. The shadow only attaches to one leg of the chair, so the rest looks pasted in.

Likewise, the hulking shadow is off. The way it's positioned, the person casting it should be either right in your guy's face, or directly at his shoulder, but there's no one there. If you're going for imagined or metaphorical shadows, then it's a miss, mainly because the shadow involves the chair. If you're trying to make that shadow look like it belongs to the man in the chair, then it's a definite miss. The head and shoulders are out of proportion and look like they're looming over the chair, not sitting in it.


The font's a definite no-go. You've got to be mindful of your angles, and that weird down-to-the-right float is off-putting. There are superhero fonts that might work better, or even something more ornate to go with the Faberge egg.

kevinwaynewilliams
05-30-2016, 02:42 AM
I will repeat the advice I give pretty much anybody starting out with their first cover: better a simple cover done well than a complicated cover done poorly. The shadows fall into the category of poorly-done complication.

I'll also second the notion that the cover looks like some kind of torture porn, not a superhero story.

I'd go back to first principles on this one. Judging from your tag-line, what you've got here is a noir story with the conceit that the city is riddled with superheroes: kind of a superhero riff on "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?"

The first edition of that book actually had a great cover: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/43/CensoredRabbit.jpg

Note how it worked: it gave us a classic noir image (the detective consulting with a shadowy client) and then twisted the hell out of it.

I'd be thinking the same way: a classic image of your genre, like the office door, the office itself, the shadowy alley, the trenchcoat, something, and then add a superhero element that makes the reader say "huh? I want to look at that."

EMaree
05-30-2016, 02:57 AM
It definitely reads as erotica on first glance due to the nudity and strong black/red contrast, and it's got a 'Fifty Shades'-esque feel (the mask, the black chair). 'A Jack Story' also reads like a erotica hint to me, but it probably wouldn't bother me if it wasn't for the other elements.

Reading the tagline and the series name gave me no further clue as to what the genre is. I think the top-right shadow is a Bishop's hat, and I had no idea what the top-left shadow is.

The slight texturing on the red background (visible especially above the black bar) is distracting and doesn't seem to add anything to the overall image -- if you want a grungy, distressed effect, ensure you're covering the vast empty-space on the top-right as well. As it is, I keep trying to puzzle out why only the area below the shadows is textured.

If you crop the image tighter at the bottom, shifting 'A Jack Story' higher, you can hide the fact the chair is floating and avoid unnecessary puzzlement to the viewer.

kenpochick
05-30-2016, 03:22 AM
It definitely looks erotica to me, and I would assume it was a BDSM story. This made the tag about superheroes pretty jarring.

Edited to add: Also the "A Jack Story" definitely reinforces the erotica feel. I would also change the spacing on your name. I read it as WhoLock (Dr. Who, Sherlock mashup).

whistlelock
05-30-2016, 09:24 PM
Thanks everyone for your feedback, it has been taken to heart. I really appreciate the time you took to offer a response.

whistlelock
05-30-2016, 09:33 PM
I
I'd go back to first principles on this one. Judging from your tag-line, what you've got here is a noir story with the conceit that the city is riddled with superheroes: kind of a superhero riff on "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?"
Pretty much, yeah. Roger Rabbit (both the movie and the book) were works I read heavily when I was building the idea for the world. I was also influenced by Venture Brothers, Despicable Me, and others. I've got 4 novellas ready to go, I just need some quality covers. After several attempts on my own, I'm gonna hang it up and enlist a pro.

We judge a book by its cover, after all.

kevinwaynewilliams
05-31-2016, 02:07 AM
Judging from your tag-line, what you've got here is a noir story with the conceit that the city is riddled with superheroes: kind of a superhero riff on "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?"


Pretty much, yeah.

On the bright side, your tagline did exactly what it was supposed to do: it conveyed the essence of your work to someone that was unfamiliar with it.

EMaree
05-31-2016, 02:11 AM
Looking forward to seeing the end result, Whistlelock! I'm loving the sound of a Roger Rabbit-esque story about a detective in a superhero city, that sounds absolutely fantastic. You could get some great commissioned covers mixing Marvel comic book style with a noir style -- I loved the recent cover reveals for HEROINE COMPLEX (http://www.amazon.com/Heroine-Complex-Book-One/dp/0756410843/ref=pd_sim_sbs_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51tcUA2zxsL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR98%2C160_&refRID=1GJNPFM7M0PQ44HMDVBA)and NOT YOUR SIDEKICK (http://www.amazon.com/Not-Your-Sidekick-C-B-Lee/dp/1945053038?tag=thelesb-20), but those are YA, not adult.

Can't wait to see what you come up with. :D