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mrsmig
11-24-2018, 08:47 PM
Hey gang -

I'm playing around with the idea of publishing a short story collection, partially as a primer for self-publishing and partially to have something else on offer while I figure out what to do with my fantasy series (my rights revert back to me next month). Below is the rough version of my Canva-created cover. I'd appreciate any feedback. Thanks!


https://donnamigliaccio.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/dwindlingdragonsmall2ndattempt.jpg

Patty
11-24-2018, 09:08 PM
I'm impressed and will need to check out Canva.

Which way is the dragon facing? I think to the left, because it looks like a lacrimal gland to the left of the iris, but not sure. Also, are those eyelashes? On the top left of the eye. They are either lashes or wrinkles, but it isn't clear to me which. And if they are lashes, then I feel like the dragon is facing right.

The mouth has more of a lizard vibe than a dragon vibe, but I realize that sounds super-silly.

And I like that the font size increases in the title. Like in stands in contrast to the idea of dwindling.

mrsmig
11-25-2018, 07:28 PM
Thanks, Patty. Does it make a difference to you, as someone viewing the cover, which way the dragon is facing? (Just FYI, it's facing left.)

This is a photo of a lizard that I cropped very tight and tweaked with a filter. There are no eyelashes. Is the lizard-mouth distracting? I could have cropped it tighter still, but I liked the suggestion of a mouth and the slight reverse arc it makes in contrast to the curve of the scales around the eye.

KBooks
11-25-2018, 08:11 PM
I like it.

Patty
11-25-2018, 08:20 PM
Thanks, Patty. Does it make a difference to you, as someone viewing the cover, which way the dragon is facing? (Just FYI, it's facing left.)

This is a photo of a lizard that I cropped very tight and tweaked with a filter. There are no eyelashes. Is the lizard-mouth distracting? I could have cropped it tighter still, but I liked the suggestion of a mouth and the slight reverse arc it makes in contrast to the curve of the scales around the eye.

Nope, it doesn't matter at all. My gut feel was "This cover is great." And as a reader I'd not give it any more thought than that.

Then I put on my critical hat in case you wanted something more specific, and in case it matched your thoughts or anyone else's and the two things I wondered were the direction the dragon was facing, and whether the lips were helping or not. (I'd say leave 'em. But the eye and surrounding orbit is the strongest piece of the photo.)

But as a reader, I would never have made it that far. I would have simply enjoyed the cover for a quick second and then flipped it open to the first story.

Cobalt Jade
11-25-2018, 09:49 PM
I like the cover. It matches well with the three novels without being in the same series. If I would change anything, I'd change the typeface to a bold font to thicken it up a little and tone down the yellow a little.

mrsmig
11-25-2018, 09:59 PM
Thanks, all. Cobalt Jade, I tried the font in bold and it turned clunky. I'll try muting the yellow a hair and see what happens.

kevinwaynewilliams
11-26-2018, 02:42 AM
Stick with the rhythm of the small caps font you are using. "Dwindling Dragon and other Flights of Fancy", rather than "Dwindling Dragon and other flights of fancy". I might also reduce the size of "and other" to bring up the size of "Flights of Fancy" a tad.

tiddlywinks
11-26-2018, 10:08 AM
Nice work in Canva, Donna! It's simple and not too busy, which is good. I'd flip it open to check things out.

My only thought: how would it look if you added a drop shadow to the title? Or at least the Dwindling Dragon part?

CathleenT
11-28-2018, 03:09 AM
I like it, but I have a couple ideas for possible improvement.

The most important is branding. Are any of these stories in the same universe as your Kinglet series? If so, I would make the branding closer to your other covers, in terms of font. DDD always has my author font in the same style, placement, and size. I get why you'd want to change the placement--perhaps you might want to consider sizing the font the same as in your other books.

Other than that, I dislike having the author font and title font being the same. The title font is a bit...staid. Like a missed opportunity. I wish I could give you more specific ideas for improvement, but font is not an area of strength for me. I pay Deranged Doctor Design for it.

However, I can suggest a more fanciful font for the subtitle, which might fit the words better, and make the other similar fonts work better together. I want something with some flow to it. Part of this depends on your audience. In my case, over 95% of my mailing list is female, so a scripty sort of font wouldn't be amiss. Don't know if you have enough male readers that you might want to avoid scripts or not.

mrsmig
11-28-2018, 03:23 AM
I like it, but I have a couple ideas for possible improvement.

The most important is branding. Are any of these stories in the same universe as your Kinglet series? If so, I would make the branding closer to your other covers, in terms of font. DDD always has my author font in the same style, placement, and size. I get why you'd want to change the placement--perhaps you might want to consider sizing the font the same as in your other books.

Other than that, I dislike having the author font and title font being the same. The title font is a bit...staid. Like a missed opportunity. I wish I could give you more specific ideas for improvement, but font is not an area of strength for me. I pay Deranged Doctor Design for it.

However, I can suggest a more fanciful font for the subtitle, which might fit the words better, and make the other similar fonts work better together. I want something with some flow to it. Part of this depends on your audience. In my case, over 95% of my mailing list is female, so a scripty sort of font wouldn't be amiss. Don't know if you have enough male readers that you might want to avoid scripts or not.

Thanks for your input, Cathleen. None of these stories are in the same world as my fantasy series, so there's no need to have them duplicate that look. I like your idea of using a different font for the subtitle, and will play with that.

Undercover
11-28-2018, 03:24 AM
I like it too. Good colors. I think it's pretty cool that you're publishing a short story collection!

SarahJane
11-28-2018, 04:35 AM
It's very nice! I would suggest maybe playing with colour and bevel/emboss on the title to make it look more like gold instead of just plain yellow. Also, maybe it's just me, but the subtitle seems off center?

Marlys
11-28-2018, 04:17 PM
I think it looks terrific.

Coddiwomple
11-28-2018, 06:49 PM
Also, maybe it's just me, but the subtitle seems off center?

It's not just you, Sarah! I see it, too. "The" is centered, and "Other flights of fancy" is ever so slightly off to the right. Otherwise, I like it! Very nice image.

One other suggestion, mrsmig. With the title in all caps, it's important to tweak the kerning and not rely on the font's default spacing. Small fixes to even out the visual weight of the negative space between the letters goes far in making your typography look professional, and it's especially important on a nice simple layout like you have here.