A Cover, for comments...

This is a work in progress: There's a blue line on the back cover, and I haven't installed the blurb on the back cover yet.

 

This is actually the second round for this book: Some of you will remember the cover design I started with, and you were right, it really doesn't work. I'm hoping I've hit closer to the mark this time.

 

Some specific questions:

1. The crosshairs in the title -- does this convey action/adventure? Crime drama?

2. Bigger crosshairs, or not over the title, or none at all?

3. Does the front need a background color?

4.Does the overall design work in principle?

 

Of course, as always, any thoughts or comments are welcome.

Comments

  • Em_PressEm_Press ✭✭

    The images give the impression of a religious non-fiction book rather than a mystery novel. I would find something else.

     

    Look for a cover you love on Amazon and use that as an idea template, from fonts to colors, to image styles.

  • I don't think it works at all. The tower is non perpendicular and the resolution of the image on the front cover is not high enough. The building at the base of the tower should have been cropped in line with the tower. The cross wire detracts from rather than adds to the text; perhaps move it below the text if you must retain it.

     

    Are those bullets in the background? They look like smudge marks. Perhaps you don't actually need to show the bullets, even if they are in the title. I don't think white is a good colour for a cover; it gets lost against the white background of the page it is displayed on.

     

    If it's action, adventure and crime drama you want to convey then perhaps all you need is a picture of a detective striking a pose. A religious artefact could be added to link to Father Jake.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Thanks, Maggie and Daniel. That's great feedback.

     

    I'll scrap this one and work on a more crime drama cover, with a religious overlay. And those were smudges... still working on learning photoshop.

  • I'm probably weighing too late, but I think I might have to add my vote to the consensus that you probably should start from scratch.

     

    One thing you might want to try to do in the next attempt is have a little more overall focus. At the moment, you have a number of visual elements more or less floating around with nothing tying them together: the tower (which is inexplicably cropped on the left), the crosshairs, the little transparent rectangles (whatever they are) and the typographic elements.

     

    You can use most of these same elements---there is nothing wrong with them intrinsically---but tie them together. For instance, a larger image of a church with a very large crosshair superimposed over it, with these together filling the cover space.

     

    You might want to rethink, too, the emphasis placed on the author's name, the title and the subtitle. With the author's name centered and at a larger point size than the title, the eye goes directly to it. You might try to get a little more attention directed to the title of the book, either by point size or position.

     

     

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Good points.

     

    The author's name and the subtitle placement were driven by trying to fit onto the page  around the bell tower. The transparent rectangles were attempts to hide distracting artifacts... better to reshoot, I think.

     

    Okay, back to photoshop...

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay... So, another candidate -- this one, I think I need work on the back blurb, distracting elements in the lower left corner of the back, and possibly a reshoot on the sunlight-through-the-belfry picture.

     

    But is this general composition more like it?

     

    Maggie, as suggested, I did look at several covers of other books, and they almost all involve art that has been drawn or composed without photographs. Unfortunately, that's a resource not available in this project. I will be trying to do more with layers and transparency in photoshop as I move forward with the next book... but one book at a time...

     

    (Ooops. One second while I save in the right format... Argh...)

  • What title is all this about? Smiley Happy
  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭
    Bell, book, and bullets. It's the link at the bottom of my prior post. You should see a church in the crosshairs... I'll post it again this evening with the photo in the post.

  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    Okay... So, another candidate -- this one, I think I need work on the back blurb, distracting elements in the lower left corner of the back, and possibly a reshoot on the sunlight-through-the-belfry picture.

     

    But is this general composition more like it?

     

    Maggie, as suggested, I did look at several covers of other books, and they almost all involve art that has been drawn or composed without photographs. Unfortunately, that's a resource not available in this project. I will be trying to do more with layers and transparency in photoshop as I move forward with the next book... but one book at a time...

     

    (Ooops. One second while I save in the right format... Argh...)


    A great improvement! Smiley Very Happy

     

    Only one or two small suggestions. The title in black against the dark grey background is not too easy to read. You might consider giving it much more contrast.

     

    With such a strong vertical symmetry to everything else, it looks a little odd to see the author's name flush left. You might want to center both of its lines.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay, looks like the third time was the charm.

     

    It's always a bit tricky making covers because they make sense to me. Thanks, Ron; I'll make those changes and go with this cover.

     

    Jean-Paul, this is the cover we were talking about:

     

    jake_cover_557 1.jpg

  • Looking at the current cover, I might try removing the blue box around the back cover blurb, and maybe shrinking the text a little.
    Its possible the text will get lost without the independent background, but I always find covers with wrap around images most appealing if the text sits right on the image.
  • Thanks. Now I see what you are talking about.

    To me your cover is amateurish for the following reasons.

    1) Your blurb is not justified.

    2) The letters of your blurb are too large.

    3) You repeat the title on the back cover.

    4) The background picture is too pale, too delicate. Given the meaning of the title, a sinister parody of "bell, book and candle", one would expect a sunset view with the red of the setting sun heralding blood, etc. Also, a darker background would make it possible to use white lettering.

    5) Paradoxically, your ISBN looks fake because of the very large rectangle in which it is set.

     

    In other words, your whodunit needs a cover with punch.

  • Skoob's cover doesn't look all that amateur.

     

    This is what amateur covers look like.


  • Ron Miller a écrit :

    Skoob's cover doesn't look all that amateur.

     

    This is what amateur covers look like.


    Thus our friend has two conflicting opinions. Smiley Happy

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Paul_Lulu wrote:
    Looking at the current cover, I might try removing the blue box around the back cover blurb, and maybe shrinking the text a little.
    Its possible the text will get lost without the independent background, but I always find covers with wrap around images most appealing if the text sits right on the image.

    Thanks. I'm still learning Photoshop, so I have a ways to go. I had trouble inserting the text without the background unless I used ALL CAPS. Otherwise, I would have done it that way. I may still revise this cover, but for now, I'm pleased with it.

     

    I did lighten the color of the title on the back, and I did center the first and last name of the author on the front (as you'll see on the actual book page).

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    potetjp wrote:

    Thanks. Now I see what you are talking about.

    To me your cover is amateurish for the following reasons.

    1) Your blurb is not justified.

    2) The letters of your blurb are too large.

    3) You repeat the title on the back cover.

    4) The background picture is too pale, too delicate. Given the meaning of the title, a sinister parody of "bell, book and candle", one would expect a sunset view with the red of the setting sun heralding blood, etc. Also, a darker background would make it possible to use white lettering.

    5) Paradoxically, your ISBN looks fake because of the very large rectangle in which it is set.

     

    In other words, your whodunit needs a cover with punch.


    I see your points... I had considered 1,2, and 5, and I may revise the cover later because of those. On point 3,  good point: Many of the books I compared with do not have the title repeated on the back.

     

    As for point 4, I can see where that would be an interesting stylistic choice. In fact, my story is not nearly that dark and sinister. I considered working with a dark photo of three burning candles, but it would have been hard to work in the crime drama element -- Or perhaps I should have chosen a less sinister title: the working title was "Pastor Jake Studies Physics" (which would have been a fairly horrible final title).

     

    When I go back to revise the back cover, I'll give some thought to the front as well.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Ron Miller wrote:

    Skoob's cover doesn't look all that amateur.

     

    This is what amateur covers look like.


    Thank you. I'm very pleased with the front, and less so with the back.

     

    I imagine that I'll revise it to correct the deficiencies in the back cover. In the meantime, I'll only show them face up. Smiley Happy

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Okay, final cover.

     

    Once I get the proof copy of this one, I'll approve distribution.

     

    jake_cover_600a.JPG

  • I hate to say it, but the author's name looks odd being so far off the center line.

  • Skoob_ymSkoob_ym ✭✭✭

    Point taken. I would have centered it on the page, but with the change in contrast, I was afraid that it would be partially illegible.

     

    One drawback to using actual photos is that it's not easy to put text on top of them. I'm thinking that I should start making images of the words with a tight-fitting border around the letters... It'll take some experimentation...


  • Skoob_Ym wrote:

    Point taken. I would have centered it on the page, but with the change in contrast, I was afraid that it would be partially illegible.

     

    One drawback to using actual photos is that it's not easy to put text on top of them. I'm thinking that I should start making images of the words with a tight-fitting border around the letters... It'll take some experimentation...


    I don't think the options were entirely equal. The author's name would certainly have been at least legible enough centered...and if contrast is an issue you might consider simply putting a dark "glow" around it to set it apart from the background. The point is that the dramatically asymmetrical name probably does more to negatively affect the cover than having part of the name overlap onto the sky.

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