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View Full Version : Feedback for Mystery Suspense Cover (new in 38)



JulianneQJohnson
01-12-2017, 03:45 AM
I'm working on a cover for Epublication. The book is an adult paranormal mystery. I have no budget for this project, so I'm working on it myself. This is my first stab at it. It's made from one of my own photos. Please let me know what you think work's or does not work. Thanks!

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WH%20cover%201smaller4d.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WH%20cover%201smaller4d.jpg.html)

Marlys
01-12-2017, 03:58 AM
I don't care for the two different fonts in the title. But otherwise, it has a 1970s Gothic vibe that I rather like.

MaeZe
01-12-2017, 04:19 AM
I like the cover itself a lot.

I'm not a fan of invented words or spelling that might make a reader hesitate.

Wired
Word
?? How do you pronounce Wyrd?

I agree using two fonts in the title isn't great.

cmhbob
01-12-2017, 04:25 AM
Love the vibe as well. The fonts are also not clicking for me. Probably not liking the italics. I would go however with a more "old English" style of font. Maybe take a look at IM Fell English (https://fonts.google.com/specimen/IM+Fell+English).

HaleeW
01-12-2017, 04:45 AM
You could look into Gothic fonts as well. It would probably bring up some of the same as "Old English" style but I have learned that different search terms can bring up different fonts/pictures etc.

MaeZe
01-12-2017, 05:03 AM
I like the cover itself a lot.

I'm not a fan of [invented words] or [spelling that might make a reader hesitate].

Wired
Word
?? How do you pronounce Wyrd?

I agree using two fonts in the title isn't great.
Sorry, my bad on the parsing.

If Wyrd were an archaic word most people recognize, that would be different.

Anyway, don't take me too seriously, I'm just one little opinion in a sea of much more experienced writers. It wasn't criticism per se, it was my reaction seeing the word, Wyrd. That's all.


I like the idea of gothic font, something from the era the book is set in.

Loverofwords
01-12-2017, 05:15 AM
I definitely like the cover itself and the mood it sets, but I also agree that I'm not a fan of the words. I don't like the color or that they're two different fonts. I like the font used for "Wyrd" much better than the one used for "House."

Hope something of this helps!

Southpaw
01-12-2017, 05:16 AM
The image works nicely. I, too, am not found of the font. I also don't think the title should overlap the tower.

Southpaw
01-12-2017, 05:17 AM
I definitely like the cover itself and the mood it sets, but I also agree that I'm not a fan of the words. I don't like the color or that they're two different fonts. I like the font used for "Wyrd" much better than the one used for "House."

Hope something of this helps!

Yeah, keeping Wryd and House the same font might be better.

JulianneQJohnson
01-12-2017, 05:22 AM
Next try, with same font for the title. Love all the advice, and will play more after I've studied it all. You guys rock!

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHsecondcoversm_1.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHsecondcoversm_1.jpg.html)

JulianneQJohnson
01-12-2017, 05:31 AM
And here's take three, where the title doesn't cross the tower.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcoverthreesm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcoverthreesm.jpg.html)

Dragonairis
01-12-2017, 05:48 AM
I like the font/spacing for the author's name better in take three. There seems to be a lot of empty space though below the title. I'm not sure what else you could possibly put there....

JulianneQJohnson
01-12-2017, 06:13 AM
I have another try. Stronger color for title, new font for author name, added drop shadow.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcoverfoursm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcoverfoursm.jpg.html)

veinglory
01-12-2017, 06:59 AM
I hate to be contrary but I prefer the first version. I think the title font and color in that version are very well balanced and harmonize with the image. The author name font could use a little finishing--IMHO a little bluer and less bold. Just my 2c.

cmhbob
01-12-2017, 07:45 AM
I like the new alignment. Wonder if the same font would work for author name, just with different kerning?

Cindyt
01-12-2017, 08:29 AM
The original rocks. Love the image and color play. The title font works for me. The only thing I would add is a tag line or blurb in that empty space below the title.

MaeZe
01-12-2017, 10:21 AM
I like the image in post #10. But maybe move "Wyrd House" down a tad, not centered vertically, but a little lower than it is. It doesn't bother me if the title goes over the tower. I'm more of a balance composition person myself.


You do know you'll never please everyone, right? :tongue

JulianneQJohnson
01-12-2017, 10:20 PM
Lol, I know! Everyone likes what they like, and that's how it should be. Still, I'm no graphic artist, so it's good to know it doesn't totally suck, and all advice given is helping me make stronger choices. I'm not sure I'm pleased with the title font yet, and I am seriously considering adding a tag line. I liked the font for "Wyrd" in the first try, but the H in that font is horrific. I'll keep playing, and I'm very grateful for all the help!

JulianneQJohnson
01-12-2017, 11:25 PM
Take seven! Toned down sky slightly, added moon and a few stars, new font for title, added tag line. I'm pretty pleased with this one. It was good to see it with fresh eyes today.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcoversevensm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcoversevensm.jpg.html)

cmhbob
01-13-2017, 12:14 AM
I like the tagline. I liked the deeper yellow in 13 as well as the font. I like the added stars, but I kind of liked the darker image in 13.

But you're much more talented at this than I am!

Cindyt
01-13-2017, 12:23 AM
[QUOTE=JulianneQJohnson;10064601]Take seven! Toned down sky slightly, added moon and a few stars, new font for title, added tag line. I'm pretty pleased with this one. It was good to see it with fresh eyes today.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcoversevensm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcoversevensm.jpg.html)[/QUOTE

Cool font, great tagline, moon and stars bring it together. Love!

MysterySpot
01-13-2017, 12:33 AM
So, I really loved that one:

Take seven! Toned down sky slightly, added moon and a few stars, new font for title, added tag line. I'm pretty pleased with this one. It was good to see it with fresh eyes today.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcoversevensm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcoversevensm.jpg.html)

With the font colors on this one (For both the title and your name):

I have another try. Stronger color for title, new font for author name, added drop shadow.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcoverfoursm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcoverfoursm.jpg.html)

Also I have to say the cover art is beautiful. If I saw it in a store, I'd definitely pick it up.

Curlz
01-13-2017, 12:56 AM
I liked the first font for "wyrd", along with the use of two different fonts - that added to the idea of "weirdness", although I'm not sure what the actual book is. In that first version, the second font was not a great choice though, it was too "squat" and that was in discord with the tall/slim spire in the picture. The font for the author name was also too small in proportion. If those are fixed, the first version is most suited for a "scary" type of book.


In the following versions: Version in #13 made me think of lighthearted and sort of romantic book while version in #19 seemed more of a YA. They are both good, but give different vibe. The inclusion of a tagline is definitel a plus, but it takes away the "weirdness" and makes it more of a lighthearted read. So, depends what hint you'd want to send out. In the last version the font sizes and position of lettering are perfect. I like the general look of the book and I'd definitely pick it from a shelf. :Thumbs:

DarienW
01-13-2017, 12:57 AM
Hi Julianne,

All the versions look pretty cool, though I agree on the first one's fonts and i don't like the yellow one. I'd say you're almost there! Very impressive!

I don't know how much you know about photoshop, but I know a lot. One suggestion would be to play around with that moon. Is it on a separate layer? If so, dupe and play around with making it bigger. The tangent with the D is a little awkward.

Also, I think you could lower the title closer to the tag line so it's more centered. Feels a little top heavy.

I love the vibe and color scheme! Really awesome shot! Great on you so far. I can't help thinking a little more stormyness in the sky might help pop the title and tag line more. I know an easy way to do so, but I won't bother with the blah-blah unless you want to try it. PM for details if you'd like to try. :)

Another thing you could play with is blurring the drop shadow some.

When you have your top selections, view them at the size they will be displayed on site and see which one pops most!

Hope this helps!

:Hug2:

JulianneQJohnson
01-13-2017, 04:38 AM
Thanks everyone! I know not everyone agrees on which they like best, but that's part of the fun! Every single comment is giving me good things to think about. I know I've got a little more tinkering to do, but I feel I'm getting close!

Cmhbob- I think when I toned down the sky I accidentally lightened the edges. Thanks for the heads up, I like the darker too!

Cindyt- Thanks!

Curlz- I still have some tinkering to do with the title font. I liked the first 'Wyrd" as well, but I did not like the two different fonts, and that font had a sucky "H." I'll try for one a little more like that and a little less "Goosebumps." And it is a more lighthearted read, though it's a mystery. My writing style is more Buffy than Nosferatu. I think the tag is doing it's job.

MysterySpot- I liked the icy blue on the author name as well, but I think the majority did not.

Darien, I am a rank amateur at photoshop, lol. That moon is a filled in circle with some texture thrown over it. I've got some other tinkering to do, so I'll play with making it bigger. The other suggestions might be beyond me, but I'll look into blur on the drop shadow.

DarienW
01-13-2017, 04:45 AM
Moon looks great if that's so!!!

To blur drop, there's options in the layer effects (make sure you highlight the one that says DROP to see them.)

If it's copy of title, dupe and play with FILTER: Gaussian Blur

You can do it! :hooray:

JulianneQJohnson
01-13-2017, 06:13 AM
Here we go again! Closer and closer we creep. This one, toned down the sky a tad without loosing the darkness. Bigger moon. Less precious font, and played with size and placement. I like this one. Oh, and I totally blurred the drop shadow. I'm fancy!

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcovereightsm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcovereightsm.jpg.html)

DarienW
01-13-2017, 07:02 AM
It's looking good! Glad you got all fancy--I told you you could do it!!!

Here's where you can make a few alts with the different fonts, and see which pops the most. (you can copy the layer FX and paste on each one. I don't have photoshop open, and it's so automatic to me, but I think it's under LAYER at top, or a right click to find copy layer style, then paste layer style. You can also just dupe layer and change font.

I liked the precious font--LOL, but totally go with the one that pops!

If you want to get fancy again, dupe layer of art at bottom of file. Hit the symbol at bottom of layer palette that looks like a square with a dotted circle and hold alt. If it doesn't put a black square beside it, select new square and FILL with Black. Where it says NORMAL at top of layer palette, check drop down list and pick MULTIPLY. Where it says 100, try 20% or so. Then with a big, soft airbrush, paint in the black square with white behind the tag line. You can undo and try again if you're mousing it. (It's harder without a wacom tablet.)

I think just a bit of darkening there will help the tag pop. You can change the 20% after to whatever works.

Have some fun and get down with your bad self!!! :hooray:

JulianneQJohnson
01-13-2017, 07:12 AM
Well, it looks like English. I'm certain it is English. Sorry, Darien, I only vaguely understand what you are talking about. I only recently figured out what layers are, and remain clueless as to the difference between the types. I am truly a beginner when it comes to PSP. I promise you that I will continue my journey of discovery on what all the bells and whistles do! I haven't even saved this in layers. I know! I never think to do that! I basically have a couple versions of the artwork saved, and start from there each time.

DarienW
01-13-2017, 07:50 AM
Hee . . . I understand. Do try a version with layers though. Imagine it as each piece building up. If you've been making alts without layers, you'll quickly see how much flexibility it gives you. Just start with art, hit that square with the folded corner on the palette, and put your next move in the new layer.

You can hit that symbol over and over, change fonts, play with drops, and perhaps after that, the english will look clearer--LOL!!! I do tend to be brief in explaining. I'm sure it's me!!!

Great work for a novice! I'm super impressed!

:Hug2:

cmhbob
01-13-2017, 09:16 AM
Really like 27. And props to DarienW for the advice.

I can say from my limited experience with layers in GIMP that he's right. Using layers will be a huge help in any piece of artwork. It may take you a bit to wrap your head around it, but once you do, you'll be amazed.

Cindyt
01-13-2017, 10:48 AM
You're welcome, Julianne.

JulianneQJohnson
01-13-2017, 09:07 PM
Thanks everyone! You know, I'm not sold on having a tag line at all on the front cover. How important is it?

Southpaw
01-13-2017, 09:36 PM
I'm really liking the latest version. I like that the moon is totally visible. I don't know about the tagline, but did a look up and sure enough most book do have them. If you keep it, I suggest nudging it up off the trees.

Dragonairis
01-13-2017, 10:03 PM
I think the moon and stars are a great add, as well as tagline. Although I think I was the only one who had a problem with empty space. But if you want a moon, could you try getting a stock image and layering it in? That way you don't have to worry about it looking right when making it larger. Right now it looks good, but if you try and put just a circle over a real photograph (an awesome one btw) it will probably look out of place.

Southpaw
01-13-2017, 10:21 PM
Julianne, you might like this article: http://www.creativindie.com/100publishingquestions/

He has a little blurb on his thoughts on subtitles.

Siri Kirpal
01-13-2017, 10:48 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I'd keep the tagline. The cover (27) looks great!

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

JulianneQJohnson
01-13-2017, 11:14 PM
The jury is still out about the tag line. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but most digital books seem to have them. I've made two versions of take ten, one with and one without. I've also simplified it, and moved it to a more traditional placement.

This is the one with the tag.

http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac261/plaidpooka/WHcovertenwtagsm.jpg (http://s906.photobucket.com/user/plaidpooka/media/WHcovertenwtagsm.jpg.html)

Siri- Thanks!
Southpaw- great article!
Dragonairis- I think for now I like the look of the moon I "painted." It matches the painted look of the sky. I'm not sure I could layer an actual moon in there and get the same effect. Not with my limited skills.
Darien- Excellent advice as always, but I think I've reached my brain limit with the PSP skills for the time being. I need to play with what I've learned a bit before I go further. You rock!

DarienW
01-14-2017, 04:01 AM
The tagline reads better over the dark area! Soon you'll be a photoshop Goddess!

:Hug2:

cmhbob
01-14-2017, 06:20 AM
I'm with DarienW. I like it up top, and the newer version of the tag.

Cindyt
01-14-2017, 06:45 AM
I'm with the last two posters. It looks good at the top.

DarienW
01-14-2017, 09:18 AM
I agree with cmhbob on the new tag too. Leaves more mystery.

Great work!

:Hug2:

JulianneQJohnson
01-14-2017, 12:27 PM
You guys all rock! Thank you so much for the help!

Southpaw
01-15-2017, 05:14 AM
Yuppers! Me too. Like the new position and the simplified tag!

Alessandra Kelley
01-15-2017, 06:25 PM
Room Mod beams with approval at helpful posters.

Also the cover is looking good.

MysterySpot
01-17-2017, 02:15 AM
I know I'm late but I just had to say I love the finale cover :)

JulianneQJohnson
01-17-2017, 06:00 AM
Just another post to say how pleased I am with the final cover, and to thank everyone who helped. It's so much better thanks to all of you!