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View Full Version : Request feedback on draft cover TARNISHED GOLD



Snowstorm
06-12-2017, 05:40 AM
Howdy all, I'm finally closing in on publishing Book #3. This book is to be self published. I studied what seems like hundreds of romance covers and I hired a cover artist I found here on AW. We've worked together and are really close. It's not yet final.

Once I say it's done, he'll tweak for clarity (I'm going to recommend lightening the title font). I thought I'd ask for any thoughts for any tweaking.

The novel is a historical romance with a mystery. The blurb is: Placer City, Wyoming, 1933 - Em Olson struggles to operate her beloved family hotel in a busted mining town after her fatherís abandonment and her motherís death. A new lodger, a handsome geologist searching for gold, brightens her lonely life. Her troubles resurge when he makes discoveries of murder and swindles embroiling the family hotel and her fatherís gold mine. Stressed to the breaking point, she must examine her past to find her fatherís killer and decide her future while the man she has grown to love prepares to depart on his next assignment.

Thoughts? Thank you!

http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b527/Sybillewyo/520-2016_zpsi7gqvumr.jpg (http://s1290.photobucket.com/user/Sybillewyo/media/520-2016_zpsi7gqvumr.jpg.html)

Toothpaste
06-12-2017, 06:59 AM
Ooh I really like it! It's perfect for the genre and I think captures your story well. The only thing I'd say is maybe brightening up the title a bit. I get the idea that it's meant to reflect "tarnished" but I think it's a little too dark and hard to distinguish from the rest of the cover. I think it'll especially be tricky when in thumbnail size.

cornflake
06-12-2017, 07:17 AM
I'm not in any way an artist of any kind, so giant salt boulder. I'm just bored, so clicked, heh.

I think it looks really good, like professionally-done and all. There are two things though that caught my eye off the bat -- the border is overlaid on the top and under the pic on the bottom, and the pic of the woman is just ... odd? There's something unnatural-seeming about her hands, though I couldn't tell you why it seems that way, but the oddness overall is mostly the direction of her gaze. It looks like she's looking at her own butt, or she's pulling up her skirts with her hands like 'ew, what'd I step in?'' looking down at her shoes.

Snowstorm
06-13-2017, 05:10 AM
Ooh I really like it! It's perfect for the genre and I think captures your story well. The only thing I'd say is maybe brightening up the title a bit. I get the idea that it's meant to reflect "tarnished" but I think it's a little too dark and hard to distinguish from the rest of the cover. I think it'll especially be tricky when in thumbnail size.

Thank you so much, Toothpaste! I completely agree. I'll pass that on. Thank you.


...I think it looks really good, like professionally-done and all. There are two things though that caught my eye off the bat -- the border is overlaid on the top and under the pic on the bottom, and the pic of the woman is just ... odd? There's something unnatural-seeming about her hands, though I couldn't tell you why it seems that way, but the oddness overall is mostly the direction of her gaze. It looks like she's looking at her own butt, or she's pulling up her skirts with her hands like 'ew, what'd I step in?'' looking down at her shoes.

Interesting thoughts, cornflake. I liked the female model on top of the bottom border, as if she's gone away but still being pulled back (overthinking it, possibly). I'll rethink it.

I agree with you about her hands. They are odd. I'll mull over the sight of her skirt. I know Dan, the designer, has really struggled to find an appropriate model. There's scads of models from the 1800s or earlier and modern, but a "Waltons" era model is pretty rare. In fact the model's photo really depicts the 1800s, but it's plain enough to work for the 1930s. I'll bring it up to him about adjusting her hands and her skirt. I think that'll collectively settle the issue of where she's looking. I take her look down-back as if still thinking of going back. Thank you so much for your thoughts!

writeonleanne
06-13-2017, 06:12 AM
I really like this cover as well—the only thing that jumps out to me is the way the D in TARNISHED overlaps her hair. The colors are similar enough that it kinda blends together. I do like the way the gold contrasts with the red on the title. Interesting sounding book, too!

Undercover
06-13-2017, 06:14 AM
I think it's great too. I agree to lighten up the title font.

kevinwaynewilliams
06-13-2017, 08:23 AM
Is this print or e-book only? For e-book/ad work, I'd probably lighten all the fonts a tad just to improve contrast, and bump your name up a bit (it disappears completely at thumbnail dimensions).

For a POD version, I'd work on the tarnish: he's used a fairly straightforward shadowing technique to suggest tarnish, but in print, at 6"x9", you've got the room to put a more realistic tarnishing effect that would really stand out.

gtbun
06-15-2017, 06:34 PM
Whoever has done this for you has fallen into the same trap most on here do, which is to just throw so much onto a page. The very best covers, regardless of the genre they exist in, are simple and do not rely on over-ornamentation to make up for average typography and composition. This simplicity also aids in a) standing out against a sea of similar covers, and b) means that the cover is usable in most contexts (digital, print, thumbnails, etc.)

The border, the weird belt texture, and the conspicuous text effects are all unnecessary. If text needs such obvious effects to show up on the page, then the type isn't set correctly. This can be seen in the author name which is slightly washed out by the image behind it. The issue may well be the texture that seems to be laid over most of the image, as it's difficult for any colour text to show up when overlaid on a texture. The belt - I'm going ahead and assuming it's supposed to be a belt - looks very artificial, and doesn't really help the text stand out. If nothing else the title needs to be lightened. And that border is just completely unnecessary, it doesn't add to the cover, it doesn't actually do anything, so I'd lose it.

MaeZe
06-15-2017, 09:29 PM
I think it's great, and not too busy. Making the title brighter makes sense.

Toothpaste
06-15-2017, 10:01 PM
gtbun - normally I'd agree with you about the too busy but this is actually a very standard kind of busy-ness for romance covers. And I really think for that reason it suits its genre well. I know you said you want the cover to stand out, and of course one does, but there's a very different set of "rules" for romance. You almost want it to look as similar as you can to everything else because you want romance readers to feel like they can trust this will have all the expected tropes in it. So yeah. I think in this rare case, such a cover is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Though I do agree (as I stated above) that the title needs to be way brighter.

veinglory
06-15-2017, 10:21 PM
What size of hotel are we talking, in a large town? I would guess this was more of a mail-order bride goes to the frontier sort of story based on the background? It's a nice cover but as someone who likes businesswoman historical and not farming/frontier ones, it wouldn't "ping" my interest.

ecerberus
06-22-2017, 11:58 PM
Not a romance reader or writer, and I've seen romance books seem to have these types of covers. What caught my eye are
1. Feels like there's a halo on the woman's head... doesn't suit.
2. The dude in the hat next to the car looks tacky to me (kill the dude, from the image of course, not your story) and maybe make the backdrop a bit more "mining-y" rather than what looks like a barn or something.

The designer seems to know their skill, so this is a matter of taste I suppose.

Stephen Palmer
06-26-2017, 02:14 PM
That's a really good cover.
The positioning of the model, the text and the car are all excellent.
I'd go with it for sure.
The only oddity is the bottom border disappearing to the right.