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crossword
11-20-2016, 01:44 PM
edited to show the pics:

I plan to self e-pub. Book 1 of my Young Adult paranormal romance series is titled MY DEADLY PRINCE CHARMING.


Book 2 is titled MY PASSIONATE PRINCE CHARMING


here are the covers for both:

http://imgur.com/ENpTRtV


http://imgur.com/ZS8pouL


are they attractive or do I need better ones? Are they just ok or would they totally grab women readers?


in the genre of Young Adult paranormal romance, the covers usually feature a pretty girl in a flowing gown.


A cover designer is going to design a free cover for me to build up her portfolio. Should I ask her to design a new cover for either of these 2 above titles? If the covers are good enough, I can leave them alone and I can ask her to design one for the next book in the series instead.



But the first book should look eyecatching. Would the cover for the first be enough to make people click? Or do I need something more spectacular? I could ask her to design a cover of a handsome guy and pretty girl in each other's arms. The girl would wear a flowing gown.


short pitch for Book 1: Eighteen-year-old Iona captures the heart of a prince and encounters heartbreak, danger, and mystery after mystery when she visits the utopian island of Idylla.


Thanks a lot for any feedback on the covers.

mccardey
11-20-2016, 01:52 PM
I get a "not available" code. No pics. :(

Helix
11-20-2016, 02:11 PM
I get a "not available" code. No pics. :(

Same here.

crossword
11-20-2016, 02:12 PM
I just joined imgur today and don't know how it works. On my page I now see:



“crosswor's images are not publicly available.”


so how do I make them publicly available? Or can I post them as attachments to my post somehow?

Helix
11-20-2016, 02:16 PM
I just joined imgur today and don't know how it works. On my page I now see:



“crosswor's images are not publicly available.”


so how do I make them publicly available? Or can I post them as attachments to my post somehow?

Not on imgur, but I found this: https://help.imgur.com/hc/en-us/articles/201746817-Post-Album-and-Image-Privacy

crossword
11-20-2016, 02:24 PM
Thanks a lot. I did it. Can you see them now?

Helix
11-20-2016, 02:26 PM
Thanks a lot. I did it. Can you see them now?

'fraid not.

mccardey
11-20-2016, 02:29 PM
This is never easy, just so you know. It isn't just you...

crossword
11-20-2016, 02:30 PM
i definitely set my Album Privacy to Public and verified my email. maybe it takes a bit to go through. perhaps it might work if you try again?

Helix
11-20-2016, 02:34 PM
Tried again. Cleared the cache and everything. No luck. Soz.

Maybe ask for advice in the tech forum?

mccardey
11-20-2016, 02:51 PM
i definitely set my Album Privacy to Public and verified my email. maybe it takes a bit to go through. perhaps it might work if you try again? Still not. I'll try tomorrow.

Helix
11-20-2016, 02:57 PM
Crossword, can you see them when you're logged in? If not, it might be because they've failed to upload properly.

crossword
11-20-2016, 03:08 PM
no, i can definitely see them. i guess i better write to imgur.

dpaterso
11-20-2016, 04:55 PM
If you posted both individual links they'd maybe show up okay for other people, that's how it's worked for me.

-Derek

crossword
11-20-2016, 04:58 PM
Is there any other pic hosting site I can post pics on? I had a flickr account but hardly used it and now find it tough to get back into.

crossword
11-20-2016, 05:05 PM
ok. here are the pics:



http://imgur.com/ENpTRtV


http://imgur.com/ZS8pouL

Can you see them now?

mrsmig
11-20-2016, 07:06 PM
I was able to see them.

The figure in the first one seems really "off" to me, like it's been cut out and pasted onto the scene without regard for the laws of physics. The hem of the skirt, the hair which seems to be defying gravity, the weirdness of the fleshy folds at shoulder and breast, and the dark thumbnail which reads like an eye peering out of the hair - all distracted me from the emotion of the figure and the background, which I liked.

The second is a little more pleasing to the eye, but I'm not a fan of "headless" figures, and the top half of the artwork seems super-busy. Also found the odd turquoise-colored nail polish distracting.

A.P.M.
11-20-2016, 07:10 PM
Are these two books in the same series? Because the style of the covers is very different. If it weren't for the title, I would not assume they had anything to do with each other. Within a series, the covers should probably have the same style.

The cover for the first one doesn't scream "YA paranormal romance" to me. It looks more like a cover you would see on a tragedy or a mystery. I would change the style to fit more of the one you see in the second cover.

crossword
11-21-2016, 03:54 AM
thanks, everyone. will respond further. can everyone who couldnt see them see them now?

Helix
11-21-2016, 04:16 AM
thanks, everyone. will respond further. can everyone who couldnt see them see them now?

*nods*

I have much the same opinions as mrsmig. Plus the hair in the first one is super-weird.

MaeZe
11-21-2016, 05:12 AM
I saw them fine from the OP links.

On the first one, the lacy sleeves on the woman's arms make her look odd, like old and wrinkled odd. Also the lettering could be moved up so there's less room at the top and more at the bottom to even it out.

I'm not a fan of the cropped head on the second one but I like the flowing gown and the background squiggly thing. Same with the lettering, just move both the title and author up a tad.

JulianneQJohnson
11-21-2016, 06:21 AM
I like the ideas for both, but I had some issues with both as well. On the first one, I can't get past how her hair looks. It draws my eye because it looks so off. The rest of the figure looks realistic, but that hair looks like fur. I also think the font on the title could be bigger.

On the second one, I like it except that it's a little too busy. I'd like to see it without the added curly cues on the top left and bottom right corners. I don't mind the headless woman. I've seen quite a few headless people on romance covers lately.

Hope that helps! I think you are on the right track.

Sage
11-21-2016, 07:13 AM
I think the 2nd one looks amazing, personally, but the first one has a totally different vibe, and I'm with Julianne that the hair is really freaking me out. I have no clue what I'm supposed to be seeing in the space where the hair is... cut out? Is her eye/face sideways? Is the hair supposed to start again, mid-face? I don't know what I'm looking at, really. It also doesn't say YA PNR to me, so there's that.


and the dark thumbnail which reads like an eye peering out of the hair
Oh, that's what it is! But still looks like an eye to me, and the hair starting again mid-face is still a problem.

crossword
11-21-2016, 09:11 AM
Thanks, everyone. Am mulling over your responses. This is the original pic for Book 1:



http://imgur.com/A2OURad


it was cropped and the hair made blond for the cover. Does the original pic look better? I actually wonder if I should not have cropped it. I read covers can be rectanglar. I like the entire background and did not want to crop it but I thought it should look the size of the real cover. Now I wonder if I should not use the original pic with no alternations but just put the title and my name on it.

MaeZe
11-21-2016, 09:15 AM
Thanks, everyone. Am mulling over your responses. This is the original pic for Book 1:


http://imgur.com/A2OURad


it was cropped and the hair made blond for the cover. Does the original pic look better? I actually wonder if I should not have cropped it. I read covers can be rectanglar. I like the entire background and did not want to crop it but I thought it should look the size of the real cover. Now I wonder if I should not use the original pic with no alternations but just put the title and my name on it.

You have a bunch of extra code interfering with your link, I took it out.

It still has the problem of looking like the woman is cut and pasted in, and it still has my issue, that the lace netting on her arms is problematic. But the face in her hands looks better.

Roxxsmom
11-21-2016, 09:26 AM
I was able to see them.

The figure in the first one seems really "off" to me, like it's been cut out and pasted onto the scene without regard for the laws of physics. The hem of the skirt, the hair which seems to be defying gravity, the weirdness of the fleshy folds at shoulder and breast, and the dark thumbnail which reads like an eye peering out of the hair - all distracted me from the emotion of the figure and the background, which I liked.

I noticed the same issues with the hair (the hair in the original figure you linked looks a lot better, but there are still the other issues), interface, and skin folds and so on. Also, the texture/rendering of the gown is different than the rest of the image (which looks a bit like it was rendered in pastels or something of that nature, which isn't the usual choice for art for romances I've seen). The gown comes off as much brighter and shinier than anything else as a consequence. I don't think the concept itself is bad--a girl weeping by a fountain in a courtyard, but it's kind of off, as if separate images were spliced together. I'm not sure about the font either. Which one are you using?


The second is a little more pleasing to the eye, but I'm not a fan of "headless" figures, and the top half of the artwork seems super-busy. Also found the odd turquoise-colored nail polish distracting.

I agree with this also. Headless figures are a thing with some romance covers, but I find them off putting personally. I get that if you're paying for the right to use stock art, it might be hard to find an image who looks like your protagonist, however, so that's more of a minor concern for me. I like the color of the dress and the way it meshes with the background images, but I agree with mrsmig about the nail polish. It seems out of place for the period and setting (as suggested by the gown and the manor house in the background, I'm assuming it's not modern). The little puffy things on the font with the title are distracting to me. There are a few places where I can see the pale lines where the figure of the woman in the dress was superimposed against the background also.

Sage
11-21-2016, 09:28 AM
Her hair flows more naturally in the original

leifwright
11-21-2016, 09:28 AM
Thanks, everyone. Am mulling over your responses. This is the original pic for Book 1:



http://imgur.com/A2OURad


it was cropped and the hair made blond for the cover. Does the original pic look better? I actually wonder if I should not have cropped it. I read covers can be rectanglar. I like the entire background and did not want to crop it but I thought it should look the size of the real cover. Now I wonder if I should not use the original pic with no alternations but just put the title and my name on it.

Editing the hair was a mistake. If your character is blond, I get it, but you might use an image specifically made for your character.

Here's a quick-and-dirty edit I did just by isolating her hair in Pixelmator (a Mac-only Photoshop clone) and changing the color balance and hue:

http://leifwright.com/hair_thumb.png

Basically, it solves the continuity problem if your character is blonde by at least making her hair yellowish. If you want the original image, it's here (http://leifwright.com/hair.png).

I don't think cropping was a mistake. If you're self-publishing, wrap the whole thing around to the back if you like it so much. But you're not losing anything by cropping it, because even though you love the image, the point of a cover is to sell your book, not the image.

be frank
11-21-2016, 10:06 AM
I prefer the second to the first because it looks more modern, but (and maybe this is just me) it makes me think Mills & Boon, not YA PNR romance. It's something about the combination of cover style and use of the word "passionate" in the title I think. Neither cover gives me a YA vibe.

dpaterso
11-21-2016, 03:09 PM
Good suggestions above!

Maybe try to do something more with the fonts, too, so the DEADLY stands out and contrasts with Prince Charming who's not supposed to be deadly, quickie example over breakfast:

http://imgur.com/8fp6pVo

-Derek

Polenth
11-21-2016, 06:01 PM
The first image has a texture on it, which means it's never going to match the image in the second one. The texture also looks a little too much like it's been scanned from a print. Even if it's the paper texture, it doesn't really have that paper look to me.

As others have said, the second is more paranormal romancey, so you'd be better off looking for another image that matches that one in feel.

JulianneQJohnson
11-21-2016, 10:48 PM
I do like the second one best, so if they need to look similar, I'd try something in that style for the first one.

That said, I really like the cover art for the first one now that the weird hair is absent. I do not mind at all that the figure is a realistic picture on an art background. That's what makes the figure pop and not get lost, in my opinion. the tiny fold in the lace of the sleeve and the shininess of the dress compared to the background doesn't bother me at all.

Toothpaste
11-22-2016, 07:29 AM
I'm with be frank on this, neither look like YA. And I think that's actually a really important issue you need to address as opposed to going back and tweaking the covers you already have. There are certain jobs a cover has and if a cover isn't doing those jobs then it's not a good cover regardless of how nice it looks or how professional it looks.

Job 1 - be eye catching. This seems obvious and is obvious. It needs to be something that will catch a reader's attention and make them stop and read the cover copy.

Job 2 - accurately reflect the market and kind of book.

Both jobs are about getting customers to buy your books. You want a) people to notice it in the first place, but b) the RIGHT people to notice it. You want to attract the readers who will enjoy this book.

So there is a reason why there are trends with various genres and markets. It's not that publishing houses are copying each other, it's that they know that for a certain kind of book readers look for certain clues on the cover. The more obvious you can make those clues the more easily readers who like a certain kind of book can find them.

Right now you aren't appealing to YA readers at all. They will have no idea that your books are meant for them. And that is a big problem. I would highly recommend looking at some YA PNR covers and seeing where you could copy elements into your own.

Then there's the issue of Job 3. Yes there is a Job 3. And that's branding. Right now your covers look like they are from completely different series and completely different genres. You need uniformity if you want readers to understand that they are meant to be read together.

Ultimately covers are about communication. What are you communicating to the readers. They are a marketing tool. And while they can be works of art, that's a happy by-product, not the goal. A cover is advertising. Make sure you are advertising the right message to the right people.

:)

spork
11-22-2016, 08:03 AM
I agree with Toothpaste that they don't look like YA covers. That might be more important for the first one since readers will already be familiar with the series by the time they see Book #2.

CamJMcFadden
11-22-2016, 12:28 PM
Personally, I prefer the second one. It's more pleasing to the eye and the color scheme really entices the reader. The problem, I think, is #2 looks like the cover of a romance novel, not so much a YA book. If you're planning to self-publish, why not head to the bookstore and check out the latest YA bestsellers to get some ideas? That's half the fun of self-pub: designing a book that looks as good (even better!) as the others.

gtbun
11-22-2016, 07:42 PM
Firstly, you need to look at unifying these covers. They look so disparate from each other that they look like they're from different authors. You have very similar titles and an author name, and no other text. So set the titles in the same type and with the same layout on each, same with the author name. That way you're creating a link between covers, regardless of imagery.

The second image is a little too different from the first. Add to that the weird cut-out girl (complete with white border and jagged cutting lines) and you've got cover images that just aren't working. I would go back to the drawing board completely. You have two books in a series, put together covers concurrently, not separately. Both covers feature a girl, so why not commission some artwork of a girl, and play around with the positioning? Maybe look at creating very similar covers, but with different image colours. Also, don't give your type drop shadows. They never work, and if you have to use them it is because you have not selected a striking enough typeface or you've made the image too busy.

Ravioli
11-22-2016, 08:43 PM
1st one is way too grainy for my taste. A subtle film grain can look good, but rarely does, much less on book covers. And, subtle.

2nd one is nice, I'd just get rid of the top left ornament to de-clutter it some. Not sure about the lettering, I'd rearrange it a bit, but wouldn't know how exactly. I like the font choices, but the 2 lines (in the title) look kind of just plunked above each other.

Twick
11-29-2016, 06:56 PM
I wonder if it might be better to find your own artist, show them the image for Book 1, and ask them to create something similar, with a blonde woman of YA age. Also, since your book is set in current time, perhaps she should be dressed to match? (Unless she changes clothes during the story, of course.)

The second image is much better. It's clear, and it looks appropriate for the genre, although you're getting Romance much more strongly than YA.

Sabrina Hartford
01-19-2017, 10:24 PM
I think number 2 is better. However, there are little bits of white around the model, which makes the cover look unprofessional.

If your designer can't clip out the white bits, ask her to put an outer glow on the image. It will hide the white bits and it will look much better!