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Wesley_S_Lewis
10-13-2018, 10:05 AM
West of Sin will be my debut novel. I consider it a crime thriller. The publisher who held the rights for six months before cancelling my contract last week called it romantic suspense. (For obvious reasons (https://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?338983-Is-this-editing-as-bad-as-I-think-and-was-I-out-of-line-in-how-I-handled-it), I no longer put much stock in their "professional" opinion.)

Now that I'm self-publishing, I'm doing my own cover design. Which of these two covers do you like for a crime thriller with strong romantic elements?

http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/printed-cover-mockups-low-res.jpg

You can see a high-resolution version of that image HERE (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/printed-cover-mockups.jpg).

The full version of Mockup #1 is linked HERE (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-1.jpg).

Mockup #2 is HERE (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-2.jpg).

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

--Wes

BradCarsten
10-13-2018, 12:29 PM
They're both great looking. very professional. The only thing I would re-look at is the name at the bottom. It seems a little small- almost inconspicuous.
First Impressions on what I imagined the book was about as soon as I saw the covers-if that helps: Book 1 I imagined had strong erotic elements involving rich people (aka basic instinct). book 2 was about a prostitute either taking revenge on someone or the story was set in a city's seedy underbelly.

kmarcks
10-13-2018, 12:42 PM
I definitely prefer number one. I don't find the colors in number two to be attractive.

Curlz
10-13-2018, 04:18 PM
I liked the first one. The second one looks too much like somebody's backside and that doesn't sit well on the front of a book.

Michael Myers
10-13-2018, 05:40 PM
The first one.

kevinwaynewilliams
10-14-2018, 08:30 AM
I think the question comes down to whether the book features hookers or romance. If romance, the first, if hookers, the second.

Wesley_S_Lewis
10-14-2018, 09:40 AM
There are both hookers and romance. ;)

starrystorm
10-14-2018, 10:52 PM
I have to say the first one, due to the colors.

veinglory
10-14-2018, 11:43 PM
#1 -- but the back cover is too much of a contrast

CathleenT
10-15-2018, 01:18 AM
I'd consider taking off "A Thriller" from the cover. And along with enlarging the author name, consider a font that's not outlined, perhaps in yellow to play off the neon in the upper right of the first cover. Don't really care for the second cover, but it's not my genre, so salt to taste. :)

-Riv-
10-15-2018, 01:55 AM
I'd consider taking off "A Thriller" from the cover. And along with enlarging the author name, consider a font that's not outlined, perhaps in yellow to play off the neon in the upper right of the first cover. Don't really care for the second cover, but it's not my genre, so salt to taste. :)
#1 for me, too. I'm with Cathleen on not using outlining, and I agree with Veinglory on the back cover. To me, it's a jarring contrast, plus the text-in-a-box gives me a less than pro vibe. (Take with salt!)

All the best,
Riv

P.S. Go with what you like! I'm just an opinionated old skull. hehe

Wesley_S_Lewis
10-15-2018, 03:28 AM
Thanks for the feedback!

I agree that the name on the front needs to be larger and not have a border around it. I also agree that the text box on the back looks a little amateurish.

I think the back photo only looks like too much of a contrast with the front because you're looking at the cover flat. When you look at it as a 3D book cover (like THIS (https://youtu.be/9BPrX_3jU0o)), I personally think the contrast works.

HERE (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-3.jpg) is a version in which I changed the name font and removed the text box. I also played with the back image to give it a nighttime/dusk look; though, I'm not sure this is an improvement. (HERE (https://youtu.be/1BEcCjJ84qQ) is a video of a 3D version of this mockup.)

What do you think about these changes?

-Riv-
10-15-2018, 04:56 AM
Thanks for the feedback!

I agree that the name on the front needs to be larger and not have a border around it. I also agree that the text box on the back looks a little amateurish.

I think the back photo only looks like too much of a contrast with the front because you're looking at the cover flat. When you look at it as a 3D book cover (like THIS (https://youtu.be/9BPrX_3jU0o)), I personally think the contrast works.

HERE (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-3.jpg) is a version in which I changed the name font and removed the text box. I also played with the back image to give it a nighttime/dusk look; though, I'm not sure this is an improvement. (HERE (https://youtu.be/1BEcCjJ84qQ) is a video of a 3D version of this mockup.)

What do you think about these changes?
The name is better, but I'm not keen on the beveled effect. I like the back cover better without the box and with the darker blue, though is still strikes me as belonging to a different book because it doesn't coordinate with the front. (Take with salt!)

Hmm. I just picked up a dozen books from my shelf and all have coordinating colors front and back. Consider going through your bookshelf (or google "thriller book covers") and see what you find. On one, there's a contrasting color (red back vs black front) but there's red lettering and details on the front. (I can only offer my opinion as a single data point!)

All the best,
Riv

Wesley_S_Lewis
10-15-2018, 07:18 AM
Thanks again.

I was on the fence about the beveled effect on the name font. I'll try it without it.

I walked around the book store a few nights ago, looking at paperbacks, and you're right that most of the backs coordinate with the fronts. However, it seems like maybe10-20% don't. I'll do a little more research.

dpaterso
10-15-2018, 12:39 PM
Yep yep, everything they said, the first cover has loads more character, the second wasn't even a contender for me. Good luck with the book!

-Derek

Frankie007
10-15-2018, 11:03 PM
if this novel takes place in Vegas, or a similar gambling city...then DEFINITELY the second

veinglory
10-16-2018, 12:04 AM
I understand it is a cover flat, but the front and back cover still need to look like the belong on the same book. IMHO, if the back image fits the book well, why not make is a full wrap cover of that image?

SarahJane
10-16-2018, 01:50 AM
Looks like I'm in the minority here, but I like the second cover better. The colours are more eye-catching. The title stands out better.

But, like others have said, I don't like the font choice/treatment for the author name. I think it's the large white stroke that makes it look off.

aspirit
10-16-2018, 05:54 AM
The first cover art suggests erotica more than romance, and the colors in the first don't give me a sense of a thriller/action story, only drama. I agree with others that the byline font could improve.

Wesley_S_Lewis
10-16-2018, 10:04 AM
Thanks again for all of the feedback. This is extremely helpful.

What do you all think of THIS (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-4.jpg) option?

HERE (https://youtu.be/lQSeTg_tf8s) is the video of the 3D mockup.

dpaterso
10-19-2018, 02:19 PM
What do you all think of THIS (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-4.jpg) option?
Lookin' cool.

-Derek

Chris P
10-19-2018, 02:34 PM
Thanks again for all of the feedback. This is extremely helpful.

What do you all think of THIS (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-4.jpg) option?

HERE (https://youtu.be/lQSeTg_tf8s) is the video of the 3D mockup.

Actually, HELL YEAH! I didn't like the original cover #2 because I thought the reflection on the window and the out-of-focus background out the window were distracting, but it totally works as the back cover with the text covering some of what I was distracted by. I didn't like the original back cover because it looked too much like a stock photo (or a posed-by-the author home job), and the woman on the back of #2 is obviously not the same as the woman on the cover.

I'm sure Vegas has ferris wheels, but whenever I see one I automatically place the story in London. Just a thought.

But visually, I think you've got a winner here. I'd pick this off the shelf for another look, and it's not really my genre.

starrystorm
10-19-2018, 05:59 PM
Thanks again for all of the feedback. This is extremely helpful.

What do you all think of THIS (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-4.jpg) option?

HERE (https://youtu.be/lQSeTg_tf8s) is the video of the 3D mockup.

Yes! I like this one. The spine is also eye-catching and to me that's one of the most important parts.

Wesley_S_Lewis
10-19-2018, 07:19 PM
Great! Thanks again for all the advice. It was a huge help.

Redredrose
10-19-2018, 08:11 PM
Agree with the last version of front and back being the best. I also like the 'a thriller' subtitle bc, if you're publishing this as a e-book on Amazon, readers will often do searches for genres they want, for example, thrillers. :e2paperba

Wesley_S_Lewis
10-29-2018, 12:58 AM
I'm still fine-tuning the cover text, but I think I've settled on the cover images.

I think THIS (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-5b.jpg) will be the paperback cover.

And THIS (http://wesleyslewis.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/mockup-7.jpg) will be the hardback cover.

(NOTE: The white lines are just there to indicate the locations of the folds and won't appear on the final cover.)

Please let me know if you have any thoughts on these designs. The manuscript is still with the copy editor, so I have time if I need to make design changes.

xanaphia
11-05-2018, 10:28 AM
The black outline around the title and author is distracting. I would blur it and tone down the opacity, if you need the contrast. Not sure the fonts are quite right, but it's fine overall.

KBooks
11-05-2018, 06:02 PM
I do not care for the hardback cover because of the "behind-focused image", even if you keep that image on the back. I think the paperback cover, with the lacy panties sets a much nicer look.

Wesley_S_Lewis
11-06-2018, 02:20 AM
The black outline around the title and author is distracting. I would blur it and tone down the opacity, if you need the contrast. Not sure the fonts are quite right, but it's fine overall.

When you refer to the black outline, are you referring to the slight bevel on the front cover text or the bold outline on the spine text?

Also, do both fonts seem off? I'm pretty sure I'm going to change the author font, but I haven't decided regarding the "West of" font.

Thanks.

casiyessie
11-06-2018, 02:34 AM
I love the paperback version! The panties and the gun really sell it for me! I’d definitely pick that up to read!

Wesley_S_Lewis
11-06-2018, 07:23 AM
I love the paperback version! The panties and the gun really sell it for me! I’d definitely pick that up to read!

Thanks!

ecerberus
12-16-2018, 10:02 PM
Latecomer, definitely prefer the 1st.

Not a huge fan of the author font though, somehow feels off compared to the title. Could be just me.

indianroads
12-17-2018, 03:48 AM
I'll go against the consensus, because the first strikes me more as the cover for a romance novel than a crime-thriller.

Your author name could be improved, something larger with a different font perhaps?