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Kristina Taylor
05-30-2017, 12:57 AM
Hi,

Long-time reader, first time poster.

Was wondering if anyone would care to feedback on my eBook cover? Does the concept work? Is it enticing? Would it work better as an actual mask/eyes instead of an illustration? Any other suggestions?

Illustration is low-res as its just a sample comp at this point. I'll also be exploring different fonts, but I think I'll land on something close to what I've used here.

Feedback is much appreciated, happy to reciprocate of course!

COVER: http://imgur.com/5sJaBff

UPDATE: I've uploaded a new cover in post number twelve, if you've got any thought on that one I'd love to hear them!!

stephenf
05-30-2017, 01:13 AM
Hi
I don't understand the link. Look like a scam ?

Brightdreamer
05-30-2017, 01:32 AM
Looks like just an image host site...

I took a look, and it's not quite working for me. Step back and squint (as it would appear in a thumbnail - how most people see eBook titles), and you lose title legibility, with the grayscale in the letters blending into the background. The mask is somewhat intriguing, but detail is lost in thumbnail (particularly the red/blood drop), so it wouldn't necessarily draw readers in - plus it looks a little cut-and-paste at the moment. It just doesn't look finished, IMHO; you have elements, but they're not quite coming together right, if that makes any sense.

Curlz
05-30-2017, 02:06 AM
If I saw this on a shelf, I'd pick it up. On a website, as wisely mentioned above, a gray thumbnail is easily overlooked in favour of brighter colours. In large format the blue eyes do stand out but if it's going to be an e-book, then more colour on the lettering would draw more attention. Blue lettering might work well on gray and will preserve the current theme, too. As a concept for dark fantasy - yep, works alright for me, with artwork being a better choice than "actual mask".

Cyia
05-30-2017, 02:10 AM
The font and placement of the letters is fine, even striking, but the cover as a whole doesn't really work. It's going to get lost at a smaller size, and the lack of real color is going to work against you.

Gradient red/maroon might work better for you than gradient black/grey.

Fullon_v4.0
05-30-2017, 02:37 AM
I personally don't think you need the eyes, and if you do include them, I would say that since the story is dark they should be a little more menacing. Other than that, it looks like a pretty typical cover to me.

Theodore Koukouvitis
05-30-2017, 02:41 AM
I like it, but perhaps you might want to lose the drop of blood (or use more red throughout to make the whole cover stand out more.) Still, I think it works as it is right now.

Unimportant
05-30-2017, 04:38 AM
Hi,

Long-time reader, first time poster.

Was wondering if anyone would care to feedback on my eBook cover? Does the concept work? Is it enticing? Would it work better as an actual mask/eyes instead of an illustration? Any other suggestions?

Illustration is low-res as its just a sample comp at this point. I'll also be exploring different fonts, but I think I'll land on something close to what I've used here.

Feedback is much appreciated, happy to reciprocate of course!

COVER: http://imgur.com/5sJaBff

You'll probably get a lot more feedback if you put the image itself into your post, both 'large' and 'thumbnail' size. I don't go off site.

There is heaps of info in the FAQs here about posting images.

JulianneQJohnson
05-30-2017, 05:19 AM
The fonts work for me, though I'd love to see a touch of color in the title. The art is not working for me. It reads free clip-art and makes the cover look homemade. I do like the idea though. Have you checked out Pixabay? They have quite a few options if you search "mask" and images there are free for commercial use. I found one there that might be an option, but feel free to ignore if I'm way off base.
https://pixabay.com/en/mask-venetian-light-painting-1127156/

Sabrina Hartford
05-30-2017, 05:47 PM
I don't look like the look of the fonts, the gradients or drop shadows. It looks like something made out of Word (sorry).

I like the mask, but again it looks to much like Word clip art.


I would find a stock image photo of mask and use that instead on a solid black background. (It will have more impact than all the gradients).
I'd then look for a more creepy looking font (try Da font).

You could even consider Photoshopping some open blue eyes into the mask.

Mary Love
05-30-2017, 06:07 PM
I'm not a graphic artist, but I do wonder if you could come up with an enticing tagline about the story to replace 'An epic dark fantasy'. If I picked this book up on a shelf, it would probably be in the epic dark fantasy section, so it's rather redunet. But it's a great place to stick a tiny pitch. Here's a good site with examples and tips. (https://thoughtsonfantasy.com/2016/09/20/what-makes-a-good-book-tagline/)

gtbun
05-30-2017, 07:34 PM
We have a rule in graphic design: no gradients. If we had a clubhouse, we'd have a painted sign outside saying that exact same thing.

Seriously, I get you're going for a faux-silver look (I hope) but grey gradients look garbage even in the hands of professionals. There's a reason most self-publishers and non-professional who make their own covers make very similar looking covers - i.e. focus on some stock photography with some lame type - because typography is a very subtle art that you really have to be a designer to understand and pull off well. Type-only covers are great, and not enough self-publishers understand that, so it's great you're looking down that road but you just don't have the skills to pull that off as it stands.

The most important thing about deploying type is that it is readable. Squashing all the type on your cover together is not the way to go about that, it just looks clumsy and, much like the MET logo that uses a similar squashing technique, lazy. Despite the fact there are really three elements to this cover, it is somehow far too complicated.

You have the makings of a striking illustration - perhaps without the weird blood drop that looks like a failed tear - but it gets lost on the dull background. Most other colours would bring it out better.

It needs an author name too. The hierarchy of information goes: title > author > publisher, with any tagline taking the least importance of type elements.

My advice is always get a professional in, because they know what they're doing. Otherwise, back to the drawing board, start again, go smaller and simpler.

Kristina Taylor
06-07-2017, 06:13 AM
Hi,

Thanks to everyone who posted feedback, I got some really insightful comments, literally everyone who responded gave me something to think about! After digesting everything, I've tried a slightly different direction:

COVER 2: http://imgur.com/a/UVfYx
(apologies for the link off-site, it is to an Imagur account, I have not posted enough to be permitted to attach images to posts yet)

Is the tagline too long? How is the readability on the words (I can read it, but I could read this title in my sleep at this point)? I'm also conflicted about the twisted blade - it is the heroine's weapon of choice, and I like getting it on the cover, but does it clash with the mask?

BTW the mask resolution is s*** - I have only mocked this up with a sample image for the time being. I do like the image itself, i actually fits nicely with how the heroine wears the mask in the story.

Thanks again for the feedback, any reaction or comments would be very useful!

MaeZe
06-07-2017, 06:33 AM
Hi
I don't understand the link. Look like a scam ?

Imgur is a popular image sharing site, shouldn't be an issue.

I did have to zoom out to get the whole cover on the screen.

Cover #1: I like it. I think the stark letters contrasted with the intricate mask work well together. The only thing is the lettering doesn't have enough of a margin. Shrink the title down, move the mask up to get better composition. Where's the author name? Maybe add that at the bottom.

Cover #2: Title and the mask, much better. Better composition. But the tagline at the bottom instead of "An Epic Dark Fantasy" doesn't work for me. The tagline belongs on the back or something. Still need to add the author's name.

gtbun
06-07-2017, 02:56 PM
Here's a quick type tip: if you need to add text effects to your type, it's not working. The Word Art look has never been fashionable, and it doesn't matter how post-modern you are you're not going to make it so. Drop shadows and outer glows should only be used very subtly to bring type out of the background - i.e. adding a very faint glow to bring white text out of a lighter background.

You still have no tracking, so all your type is squashing together. When using heavy fonts you want to give it a bit of space to breathe. The tagline, if you want to call it that, is the kind of thing you'd find on the back cover, not the front. What you should be finding on the front cover is the author's name.

I don't even know what's happening with the image. It's a low-res mask with a fire poker?

Take a moment to think about what you want this to achieve. You want someone to be looking through, say, Amazon, and your book to stand out against all the others, right? This cover isn't going to do it. It's difficult to give advice when it's always: if you care about your product, hire a professional to get the best out of it. While it's true that many self-publishers aren't serious, they're just throwing stuff out constantly without thought, if you actually care; actually want people to read your book, you should be taking a hell of a lot more care with the process. That includes not trying to put together a cover yourself. Self-publishers who have actually done well are few and far between, and they universally have used professionals to help them in the areas where they struggle - editing, design, photography etc.

Because the bottom line is, everything in this cover needs to be changed. From the layout, to colour, to the typeface, to the image composition. None of it's really working.