Does This Cover Pop?

Does this cover catch your eye? I'm at the point where I've been staring at it and working on it for so long that I don't know. I've attached a copy of the cover, and here's a little background info:

 

It is for a novella that will be published as an ebook only. I've pasted a rough draft of the blurb below if that helps give you an idea of the genre (please note: rough draft! Smiley Wink It is not perfect yet). A huge thank you goes out to anyone who decides to take a peak at it! 

 

I just wanted to see Berlin. I just wanted to vacation and tour the empire's hub of technological progress. I heard it's a beautiful place.

 

But the Lafayette snatched me up for a crazy mission because I was the closest agent who could investigate their fabled portal. Talk about being at the wrong place at the wrong time. The moment I set foot in Berlin, my existence as I knew it slapped me in the face. They revealed a secret that only the emperor's inner circle is privy to.

 

Y.E. 419 is not the only universe that blasted into existence billions of years ago. There's another reality running parallel to ours, a violent parody of a world without the protection of the empire. The Second World War sang a different tune there.

 

When I found that their portal was nothing but a handful of crusty cryogenic tubes from A.D. 19-something, everything went haywire. I disobeyed a direct order and let the sole survivor live. My attempts to hide him uncovered an underground insurgency in Berlin.

Comments

  • Cover - 

     

    I like the color scheme and the choice of font Very clean and eye catching. The overlap of the silhouette and the title band doesn't quite flow for my tastes though.  Might try a smaller silhouette to lessen or remove the overlap or try resetting the framing of the silhouette for a smoother effect.

     

    The writing.  Please understand these notes are more from the perspective of a helpful friend than an experienced mentor.

     

    Very striking, sharp points in your wording seem to give excellent action and draw to the reader.  Your blurbs do, however, seem choppy. While each section flows, they do not seem to flow together as well as they should. There are several ways to do this, but I think some short segue parts would help or possibly a lead in step at the end of the subject set.

     

    I hope this helps.  I know how starved for unbiased critique this process can often be. Smiley Wink 

  • Your cover catches attention.

  • Thanks for the input! I was actually wondering that about the silhouette myself, but when I shrink it, I can't tell if it makes my name/eagle look weird or not. Here's two different sizes where I shrunk the silhouette a little:

     

    And don't worry! The blurb is going to get the rolling pin treatment where I smooth the living daylights out of it. It's still in the first stage before I take it apart and rewrite it. The advice is very much appreciated. 

     

  • No...not really.


    The eye naturally goes to the center of a cover---something encouraged by the radiating lines.---and there is nothing there. The profile is simply a large black hole. There is absolutely nothing of interest in the space


    The raygun provides a hint of science fiction...but it is crowded off to the margin, just as your name is crowded into the bottom of the cover. Doing both of these things only serves to focus attention on the blank black area in the center---where there is no visual payoff at all, nothing that tells the potential reader anything meaningful about the book.

     

    The little eagle attached to your name seems like a pointless addition that only adds to the random nature of all the picture elements and the way none seem to relate to each other.

  • I have to admit making the silhouette smaller didn't help.  

     

    I took the little eagle as a subliminal Nazi draw, while the ray, the title, and the author name, corral the rays from the silhouette to lead the viewer to open the book.

     

    Then again I looked at it several times before I realized the red line was from a ray gun and not a tassel.

  • Agreed, WWDowd. It still looked a little off with that layout. I made some other changes to it and kept the smaller silhouette. I moved it to the side. And yes, the eagle is a subliminal nazi/fascism image. 

     

    In case anyone is wondering, the image I used for the Brandenburg Gate is in public domain.

  • You don't want to get subliminal with a cover since most people will A. see it only for a heartbeat and B. often in the form of a thumbnail-sized image. A cover is, in a real sense, a miniature poster. It needs to get its message across with immediacy.

  • I am sure Ron does not mind me replying within his reply this way, because his observations are interesting.

     

    The eye naturally goes to the center of a cover

     

    True.

     

    ---something encouraged by the radiating lines.

     

    To be honest I never noticed them greatly until I got my eyes off the black hole.

     

    ---and there is nothing there. The profile is simply a large black hole. There is absolutely nothing of interest in the space

     

    It is indeed far too large, but there's no reason an actual photo or painting of Hitler cannot be placed there instead, and even at the same size. I doubt anyone will moan about copyright of his face.


    The raygun provides a hint of science fiction...but it is crowded off to the margin,

     

    Is that what it is? Then it would be better grasped in a hand and pointing across the page perhaps, or corner to corner. I actually thought it was a radio mast or something.

     

    just as your name is crowded into the bottom of the cover. Doing both of these things only serves to focus attention on the blank black area in the center---where there is no visual payoff at all, nothing that tells the potential reader anything meaningful about the book.

     

    The text does seem to have been put on as an afterthought, and the font is more Oriental than European.

     

    The little eagle attached to your name seems like a pointless addition that only adds to the random nature of all the picture elements and the way none seem to relate to each other.

     

    Indeed. The colours are a good choice though. It may be a good idea to study some Nazi posters all the same.

     

     

    41090.jpg (867×1200)

     

     

    To the OP >>  BTW: Have you read Harry Turtledove's Colonisation series? About the Earth being invaded by alien lizards during WW2, who's information about Earth is 500 years out of date. Some alternative histories can be a good read. They don't have to be set in another dimension. Another example >> 

     

    9780345444226.jpg (170×280)

     

     


  • MLCrabb wrote:

    Agreed, WWDowd. It still looked a little off with that layout. I made some other changes to it and kept the smaller silhouette. I moved it to the side. And yes, the eagle is a subliminal nazi/fascism image. 

     

    In case anyone is wondering, the image I used for the Brandenburg Gate is in public domain.


    It looks better, apart from the gun, and it does not help that the ray does not look like a ray but like a pole. Take a look on line at things like plasma rays, They do not look solid. While you are at it take a look at some ray-guns.   Smiley Happy

  • It has no effect. It needs to move, stun , shock, seduce. Something.

     

    I recommend you start over.

  • Rather than try to salvage the cover, I think you should abandon it and start over from scratch.

     

    In spite of the changes you made, you still have the problems of key elements being shunted into the margins, a tiny eagle that for some unaccountable reason is attached to your name, a ray gun (I imagine) that is rendered in a style completely alien to the rest of the cover and a silhouette that, while no longer a featureless black hole, is now made obscure by the background. By the way, it didn't occur to me for a very long time that the silhouette is supposed to be Hitler! That's another problem. His profile is simply not that immediately recognizable---I don't think anyone is going to realize who that's supposed to be at a casual glance---or even after a second look.

     

    I think you might want to follow Kevin's advice and try to emulate the style of original Nazi poster art.

     

    http://www.newthinktank.com/2011/08/nazi-propaganda-posters/

    http://www.bytwerk.com/gpa/posters2.htm


  • MLCrabb wrote:

    Agreed, WWDowd. It still looked a little off with that layout. I made some other changes to it and kept the smaller silhouette. I moved it to the side. And yes, the eagle is a subliminal nazi/fascism image. 

     

    In case anyone is wondering, the image I used for the Brandenburg Gate is in public domain.


    I think you really need to start from scratch rather than try to salvage this cover.

     

    You still have the problems of key elements being crowded to the margins, a tiny Nazi eagle that, for some unfathomable reason, is attached to your name, what is apparently a ray gun rendered in a style that is completely alien to the rest of the cover and a silhouette that at least is no longer overwhelming, but is instead made obscure---and, frankly, even less obvious as to who it is supposed to be. I simply don't think that Hitler's profile is so immediately recognizable that anyone is going to realize who it is---certainly not in a casual glance. The addition of the Brandenburg Gate at least helps establish place and time...but you still have random elements with no graphic connection to one another. And I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but the colors make the cover look murky and dull. That needs to be worked on as well.

     

    http://www.bytwerk.com/gpa/posters2.htm

    http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/his/CoreArt/prop/propmain.html

    http://www.newthinktank.com/2011/08/nazi-propaganda-posters/

  • I took some suggestions and changed the font and gun (hopefully it looks better. If it still looks goofy, I think I'll just delete it). I changed the placement of the gun and its shooting effect. I haven't changed the font of my name yet because I want it to match the title font, and I haven't decided on that yet. 

     

    I attached three updated images (the only difference between them is font). 

     

    Kevin,

    I haven't read that book, but I am a huge sucker for alternate histories (especially when WWII is involved). 

  • To be absolutely honest, the typeface is literally the least of the problems.

  • The font picked does matter because of course it gets read almost as soon as the cover is looked at, but I get your point Ron.  

     

    I cannot recall what the story is about now, but I will assume it has a raygun in it, and to be frank just placing a silhouette on the cover to depict it's a WW2 story with a difference is not enough. It's as if you have looked at a few book covers of stories about WW2 and just stuck that, to be frank, annoying, raygun blank on it.

     

    You cannot copy this of course, but it is an example of the 1000s that can be found on line to be inspired by.

     

    4_raygun1.jpg (720×432)

     

    Here's some other examples of covers >>

     

     

    Milkweed.jpg (578×303)

     

     

     

     

  • Thank you for the input and example covers, Kevin. I think I'll shelve the project for a few weeks and come back to it with a fresh set of eyes. I'll look at more covers to get a better idea in the meantime. Getting a cover just right is no easy business Smiley Wink

     

     

     

     

  • It really is not as easy as people think, that's why some self-publishers pay people to create one, and all publishing houses do.

     

    I do my own but I am sure not everyone likes them.  Smiley LOL

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