Cover feedback, please?

K. Q. Watson

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
717
Reaction score
55
Website
twitter.com
So I'm throwing up a bunch of my old shorts on Amazon and I need feedback on the cover for the first one. It's about a wheelchair bound woman who takes her death into her own hands during the zombie apocalypse.

I like where I am going with it but it feels like it's missing something.

I have limited digital art programs so please keep that in mind. I find GIMP too involved so I use Photopea.

Thanks!
WheelchairSeating2022.jpg
 

Unimportant

I'm Da Birdie! (she/her)
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
12,158
Reaction score
10,612
Location
Aotearoa
I know zero zip zilch about cover art design, but the big empty grey space in the middle looks to me like it's missing something. Maybe something that hints at genre? Or move the wheelchair symbol up so that it's front and centre, and then the author name doesn't have to be so small or squashed at the bottom?

ETA: it's a cool title. Maybe publish a collection of shorts, rather than each story individually? It would save you on creating cover art and might get you more overall exposure.
 
Last edited:

Brightdreamer

Just Another Lazy Perfectionist
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
11,242
Reaction score
2,843
Location
USA
Website
brightdreamersbookreviews.blogspot.com
Agreeing that the design as it is feels... unbalanced. The title feels cramped, and for no reason, because of all the empty gray space.

Either make the title bigger, filling more lines of space and giving the letters room to breathe, or move the yellow handicapped parking image higher so the author name doesn't feel like it's being pushed off the bottom of the image.
 

K. Q. Watson

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
717
Reaction score
55
Website
twitter.com
Thank you both!
I was limited by the actual stock image, and it was a strange angle. I really liked the textures and the starkness of it but the angle made it hard to do much so I switched images.

Here's the latest version.

@Unimportant, my plan is to release the shorts one by one after a time, then collect them all in a book and then release that, so at least I'll have a backlog for when my novel comes out, hopefully by the end of this year.



WheelchairSeatingBlue.jpg
 

Unimportant

I'm Da Birdie! (she/her)
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
12,158
Reaction score
10,612
Location
Aotearoa
For me, the yellow and grey suggests horror/dystopia, and the blue and white suggests comedy/romance/light contemporary. For whatever that's worth?

ETA, admittedly that perception may also be due to the angle of the wheelchair, upright vs tipping over.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nether

CWNitz

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
1,122
Reaction score
1,745
Location
France
Website
cnitzbooks.com
The second version is cleaner but the first image works better.

Since your cover is typography-based rather than centered around an image, you need to really work on the position of the words to make a layout.

Typically, for a long title and a fairly generic image, you can spread the words to use the whole space, like like the Court series from J Maas, Once upon a River or The Girl on the Train.

You choice of font is also too bland for that.

Go on MyFonts, look at how they use the fonts to make designs. Find one that really convey the feeling of the book. (Or Google Fonts if you want to save money)

Unless you're a famous author, your name should be smaller than the title.

I would also reduce the space between the initials, but that's not a hard rule.
 

Undercover

I got it covered
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Messages
10,291
Reaction score
1,795
Location
Not here, but there
Is there any way you can make the black spots red instead? It would look like blood spatter. If it's the apocalypse, it should look that way. Maybe a brown dingy background and the red dots. I think that could work better for the genre.

Good luck with it. Sounds interesting!
 

Brigid Barry

Horse nut
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
3,907
Reaction score
4,759
Location
Maine, USA
Website
brigidbarryauthor.weebly.com
Hey, how goes? I agree with the assessment of the gray-yellow having a different connotation than the blue, including the positioning of the chair.

I fail at art in spectacular fashion and have never designed a cover, but I can say what might be missing. Where is the side line for the handicapped space? I see asphalt that looks like a parking lot, I see a symbol and colors that look like a parking lot, but there aren't any other parking lot things (curbs or lines marking off spaces).

Should you be so inclined to add them in, you could do them in white, but faded and ratty like they haven't been painted in years so it doesn't take away from the impact of everything else but it would stop the "what's missing". Alternative would be road cones, either upright or knocked down that were intended to mark off the space.

Hope you don't mind me weighing in!
 

writer316

hitchhiking across the novel-craft galaxy
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 19, 2022
Messages
653
Reaction score
465
I agree with many of the commenters that the gray/yellow combo works better to signal genre than the white/blue version, and that the empty space in the middle leaves us hanging. I was hoping for parallel "perspective" lines to mark off the parking space that disappear into a vanishing point beyond the book cover, and then maybe you could reorient the title so that the words follow the knife-edge slice effect of a diagonal perspective line, like someone's splicing the words?
 

danneds

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 18, 2021
Messages
56
Reaction score
78
So I'm throwing up a bunch of my old shorts on Amazon and I need feedback on the cover for the first one. It's about a wheelchair bound woman who takes her death into her own hands during the zombie apocalypse.

I like where I am going with it but it feels like it's missing something.

I have limited digital art programs so please keep that in mind. I find GIMP too involved so I use Photopea.

Thanks!
WheelchairSeating2022.jpg
I agree with many comments above. I actually like the colours on your original. Like the idea of red dots and larger letters for the title. Could the graphic be pulled up a bit and the letters of the title made larger, still leaving a bit of dead space between?
 

Maryn

Baaaa!
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
49,251
Reaction score
15,581
Location
Pasture
My eye wants a little space laterally, so there's a left and right "margin" around the title.

I like the colors of the first version but agree with the suggestions about the design elements.

FWIW, if the orientation of the wheelchair symbol in your source material doesn't suit you, it would be pretty easy to go find your own. It might even be better with the symbol showing wear and weathering rather than looking freshly painted.

Maryn, no artist
 

K. Q. Watson

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
717
Reaction score
55
Website
twitter.com
Thank you for the feedback!
Here's version 3. I digested the suggestions, especially Brigid Barry and found a third image.

The orientation of the symbol is bigger, and you can faintly see the outline of the parking space in the upper right corner. There are some blood drops.

WheelchairSeating2022%285%29.jpg
 

Brigid Barry

Horse nut
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
3,907
Reaction score
4,759
Location
Maine, USA
Website
brigidbarryauthor.weebly.com
Thank you for the feedback!
Here's version 3. I digested the suggestions, especially Bridgid Berry and found a third image.

The orientation of the symbol is bigger, and you can faintly see the outline of the parking space in the upper right corner. There are some blood drops.

WheelchairSeating2022%285%29.jpg
This doesn't have the "something missing" and definitely has an apocalyptic vibe to it. My only suggestion would be to bump the wheelchair up (and right) just a hair or bring the title down just a touch but it's really good as is. The texture in the background is great.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Unimportant

Jazz Club

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 18, 2021
Messages
2,128
Reaction score
2,527
Location
Northern Ireland
I think the 3rd cover is the best. With the drops of blood, it's the first one that has any hint of 'apocalyse' in it; the others are basically a disables parking symbol. It would be cool if you could have even more post-apocalyptic hints, but I'm not sure what those should be... šŸ¤”
 
  • Like
Reactions: lorna_w

ajaye

partial to a gum tree
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
3,174
Reaction score
1,103
Location
Australia
I really like the latest version. The title font works well for the genre, and I much prefer it in white with the darker background--a lot easier to read. I'd normally want more space on either side of the title but somehow with this cover and type of story it works for me as a whole. I'd try a smidge more space between the two title lines, just to see how it looked.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lorna_w

Maryn

Baaaa!
Staff member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
49,251
Reaction score
15,581
Location
Pasture
I still want a little space to the left and right of the title, which looks squeezed in.

But the image? Love it.
 

Nether

may be visiting an abandoned theme park
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 23, 2021
Messages
3,568
Reaction score
4,974
Location
New England
The title font is difficult to read, but the photo is killer.