Cover art done, next step

Which one?

  • 1

  • 2

  • 3

  • 4

  • 5

  • 6


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#1
I'm getting ready to release a 99 cent ebook novella and while most of the work for that is done, one last but crucial detail is the cover art. Julie is going to paint it, because she is wonderful and talented (AND generous). She's already painted a gorgeous cover for another project that I don't know when will ever get finished because I'm not as wonderful and talented as she is.

But for this project, we're having a hard time figuring out an attention-grabbing cover. I haven't shown these crummy Photoshop mockups to her yet, though I have a favorite already, but I thought I'd run them by you guys. None of these will be the final cover, but it'll essentially be the source image for her eventual painting that'll be the cover. All the placeholder images within were from Google.

1, 2

3, 4

5, 6
 

Dave

Staff member
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#2
Anything other than 2 or 5 has too much unused space and makes the cover look sparse. In my opinion, of course.
 
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#3
Anything other than 2 or 5 has too much unused space and makes the cover look sparse. In my opinion, of course.
To counter, I think 5's too busy and full, and I prefer a more clean, tight look for a cover. I do like 2 too, though.

Between 3 and 4, I think it depends on what kind of skull is implied/used/suggested in the story. Is it about a werewolf, or an attack dog, or whatever? :p
 
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#4
To counter, I think 5's too busy and full, and I prefer a more clean, tight look for a cover. I do like 2 too, though.

Between 3 and 4, I think it depends on what kind of skull is implied/used/suggested in the story. Is it about a werewolf, or an attack dog, or whatever? :p
I've learned over time that the cover content and the story relationship can be near zero. What matters is to get the mood across. That's nonsense to me as a story teller, but that's advertising.

I'm glad I did a poll. My favorite was 3, but no one's voting for it :p. Dave seems to have the right of it for 2 or 5. For an ebook cover, where all you have is that tiny space on Amazon, that little bit counts.
 
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#6
I voted 2 and 5 for much the same reasons that Dave did. I wanted to also include #1, but the poll only allows for a max of 2 selections. 2 and 5 look like the best ones for a single-cover picture BUT #1 lends itself to wrapping from the front cover around the jacket to the back cover. Not as important if it's just going to be an e-book, but something to consider if you decide to do a print copy.

--Patrick
 
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#7
I voted 2 and 5 for much the same reasons that Dave did. I wanted to also include #1, but the poll only allows for a max of 2 selections. 2 and 5 look like the best ones for a single-cover picture BUT #1 lends itself to wrapping from the front cover around the jacket to the back cover. Not as important if it's just going to be an e-book, but something to consider if you decide to do a print copy.

--Patrick
No print book unless some time in the future I plan to collect multiple novellas together, and if I do it'll be a different cover, so no worries for this particular one.
 
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#8
I didn't look at the pics very closely.
I quickly scanned them and then chose the one that would most likely make me want to click it if it were on amazon (which is pretty much how I, and I think most people, impulse buy on Amazon).

So, #5
 

Dave

Staff member
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#9
That is an excellent way of doing things. I still like 2 better as it leaves more to the imagination than 5, but that's just me.
 
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#10
That is an excellent way of doing things. I still like 2 better as it leaves more to the imagination than 5, but that's just me.
My own book covers fail that test, incidentally. But I like them too much and I'm not yet willing to shell out $600 to have it redone to my liking that still fits within marketing goals.

But, when I (finally? ever?) finish book 3, I'm having all of the covers redone.
 
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#11
Sadly the days of the elaborate detailed cover are gone since on Amazon it will just look like a small rectangle of messy colors.

I'm pretty sure I'll only be showing #2 and #5 to Julie at this point, but my feeling is we'll go with #5 for her to paint.

Thanks for the input, everyone! :D I'm hoping to get it up on Amazon by the start of October.
 
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#12
My own book covers fail that test, incidentally. But I like them too much and I'm not yet willing to shell out $600 to have it redone to my liking that still fits within marketing goals.

But, when I (finally? ever?) finish book 3, I'm having all of the covers redone.
Just make sure it physicially fits with the other two, yours and Nick's are all the same size and I don't want one book that's just a quarter of an inch taller or shorter :p
 

Dave

Staff member
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#14
That's an interesting idea. See what happens when you merge 2 & 5?
 
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#17
Welp, things went in a different direction than expected. Julie didn't really care for any of them and felt that bones/teeth were outside her wheelhouse, so either I come up with a cover that works in her comfort zone or try to do this myself. I'm kind of stumped on what else to come up with (she'd feel better if it was something abstract, a landscape, a house, so maybe a moody house like The Haunting of Hill House), but for the moment this is my WIP based off #2.

Haunting on Amazon.jpg

My vector skills aren't too advanced, but it being just teeth and text, I think I can manage. Any feedback is super appreciated!
 
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#18
If she wants something like a landscape, but you want a skull, then see if you can find someone to put together one of those "It's a landscape but not really" kind of compositions, like this:
skullscape.jpg


--Patrick
 
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#19

My vector skills aren't too advanced, but it being just teeth and text, I think I can manage. Any feedback is super appreciated!
I like how this turned out. The tighter crop and slight abstraction of the teeth turned out great imo. My only suggestion would be to work on the word spacing/placement and try for a font that’s a little less generic-looking.
 
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#20
I like how this turned out. The tighter crop and slight abstraction of the teeth turned out great imo. My only suggestion would be to work on the word spacing/placement and try for a font that’s a little less generic-looking.
Word spacing as in tighter together or farther apart?

If she wants something like a landscape, but you want a skull, then see if you can find someone to put together one of those "It's a landscape but not really" kind of compositions, like this:
View attachment 27585

--Patrick
That's brilliant! I'll have to run it by her and see if she wants to.
 
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#21
Of and Natalie could be on the same line on the right side of the House with the last name beneath at the same length, actually.
 
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#22
I like how this turned out. The tighter crop and slight abstraction of the teeth turned out great imo. My only suggestion would be to work on the word spacing/placement and try for a font that’s a little less generic-looking.
Word spacing as in tighter together or farther apart?
Probably a bit of both. Also maybe experiment with overlapping the text on the image a bit if you haven’t already. You can use outlines or drop shadows if legibility suffers.
 
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#23
Probably a bit of both. Also maybe experiment with overlapping the text on the image a bit if you haven’t already. You can use outlines or drop shadows if legibility suffers.
I'll play around with it, especially since I need to make my base image larger, but I want to be careful not to obscure the minimal imagery so much that what is is becomes unclear.

PatrThom's idea may have to wait for a future cover for something as Julie and I are struggling on any other concept, so what I'm doing off #2 will most likely be the cover.
 
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#27
I dig the hell out of #2. I like the way the jaws wrap around the title. It's the most eye-catching to me.
 
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#28
I dig the hell out of #2. I like the way the jaws wrap around the title. It's the most eye-catching to me.
Well, we're going with the jaws, but the image is less the placeholder and more the permanent now.

It's going to be one of these. I'll figure out which soon based on either input or not feeling my eyes burning out from staring at Photoshop the past five hours (weeeee!)




F:

I will really need to buy a copy of The Red Brain after using it for all these mock-ups :p.
 
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#29
The placement of the text is better in the first two (they don't intrude over the canine on the lower left), but I almost wish the "The" could be moved up and left somehow, so the red-tipped canine in the second one would fit better into the pocket formed by the H and A in "Haunting," but I can't think of a good way to do that without either making "The" vertical or enlarging/widening the H enough to tuck the "The" between its uprights (though maybe that would be a little too much Sue Grafton?).

--Patrick
 
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#30
The placement of the text is better in the first two (they don't intrude over the canine on the lower left), but I almost wish the "The" could be moved up and left somehow, so the red-tipped canine in the second one would fit better into the pocket formed by the H and A in "Haunting," but I can't think of a good way to do that without either making "The" vertical or enlarging/widening the H enough to tuck the "The" between its uprights (though maybe that would be a little too much Sue Grafton?).

--Patrick
I can move The over the H; most of the words each have their own layer. I don't think I'd sit The between the prongs of H when the image is going to be so tiny. That said, some people like everything nestled and clean, others like it when the letters cross over/interact with the image, so no one design will please everyone. But no harm in moving it around and seeing how I feel about it.

In the morning, when I haven't been staring at it for so long.
 
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#31
I think next time I'll browse this place for my own sanity:

https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/

They have pre-designed covers that will insert your title and name, and from then on you own that design and it won't be sold again. The prices vary, as you'd expect, but even some of the lower end ones are pretty nice.
 
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#32
Well, we're going with the jaws, but the image is less the placeholder and more the permanent now.

It's going to be one of these. I'll figure out which soon based on either input or not feeling my eyes burning out from staring at Photoshop the past five hours (weeeee!)




F:

I will really need to buy a copy of The Red Brain after using it for all these mock-ups :p.
I like number 3 the best. I think the red added to the teeth looks kinda cheesy. I'm also not a fan of having your name in between the upper and lower jaw, feels awkward to me.
 
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#33
I like number 3 the best. I think the red added to the teeth looks kinda cheesy. I'm also not a fan of having your name in between the upper and lower jaw, feels awkward to me.
That's where Julie and I have come to. I wanted to break up some of the white with more red, but I haven't been able to get it ... probably because it looks cheesy.

Last round of editing will be this weekend, and then I'll release the novella before October.
 
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#34
Welp, it's up in its way. The actual release day will be October 2nd.

I can't help feeling I'm being too hyperbolic in the book blurb, but from what I'm told, if I don't feel like I'm going too far, then I'm not going far enough.

But the cover looks good, and I want to thank everyone for their input. I know it looks a bit different from #2 in the original poll, but the source of it was there. I appreciate all the help :)
 
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#35
If I sent anyone the novella, would you be willing to write a review on Amazon when it releases? It's about 50 pages. Two or three sentences would be a big deal (honest sentences, even if you didn't care for it).

At this point I know I'm asking a lot, but if anyone's up for it, please let me know here or PMs and I'll send the file (Word or ebook or whatever format).
 
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