1. daven85
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    daven85 Member

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    Cover for Book

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by daven85, Nov 7, 2011.

    I am getting near the final parts of publishing a Detective Book I have written. Was wondering if people could tell me what they thought of the cover?

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place. First time posting a cover.

    Lazarus Rising.jpg
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Daven85,

    Consider what it will appear like as a thumbnail pic. Much of the writing at the top will not be visible. Plain black and white with a sort of skull picture--overall, the cover would not interest me much, but maybe that's just me.

    That's my two cents.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's a ditto for me...
     
  4. daven85
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    daven85 Member

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    So what would you suggest is a better style cover.

    The book is about a Detective trying to stop a killer. The skull mask is what the killer wears which was why it was put on the cover.
     
  5. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not an artist or cover expert. Hire an artist or graphic design specialist? Study the covers of other novels, the layout, font size, how the titleworks is incorporated with the art. Creating a great cover isn't easy. And while cover's don't necessarily sell a novel, they are the first thing that will catch many reader's eyes, encouraging or discouraging them to look further. There is a lot of competion out there.

    What the artist and my publisher came up with for my novels I could never have accomplished in a million years--okay maybe before a million years, but at least a few long centuries would be required.

    Sorry I cannot really help you more.
     
  6. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I think there's something odd about the skull. The top of the head looks a little flattened and the eyes look like it's wearing sunglasses. Not sure if this is intentional or not. I didn't realise it was supposed to bea skull mask. I have no problem with the cover being black and white, I made a cover for one of my books, 'The End' which was also black and white and I think it looks good. The others are correct that the top line will not be readible in thumb nail, but I don't think that matters so much as the key words of the title, 'Lazurus Rising' are large enough to be readible.

    If you want to get some ideas of what I've done for my covers, I have an album of them in this forum which you can check out. One cover is terrible, the rest I think are ok. I also touched on how I created one of the covers in my blog on my author site.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it didn't look like a mask at all, to me...
     
  8. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I'd also add, that your cover design is only important if you're intending to self-publish. If you're planning to go the traditional route then the publisher will almost certainly hire a professional artist to design the cover.
     
  9. Prophetsnake
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    Prophetsnake Contributing Member

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    I have been told, and I have no idea if it's true, that if you supply a cover to a publisher it screams "amateur" and your piece is less likely to get published.
    Not an issue if you're self publishing I would imagine.
     
  10. ghostwriter14
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    ghostwriter14 New Member

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    Reminds me of one of the variations of a Donnie Darko cover, maybe this:

    220509.1020.A.jpg

    Must be the teeth.. :p

    As for my input, I side with Ervin on this one. It's not quite something that would catch my attention, I suppose it could be said that not all book covers have to try to achieve this, because then you'd probably end up with masses of covers that are all generic, in-your-face, colourful - you get the idea.

    For me I would say a good cover reflects the content and the mood of the novel. I'd say that just a plain white mask on a black background doesn't say enough about the story, and at first glance a potential reader doesn't really know what they could be getting. But again that's just one opinion, and of course novel covers can vary greatly...
     
  11. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    Did you create this yourself? Don’t get me wrong, I can see artistic talent there and it is better than anything I could draw. But it isn’t something that would catch my eye. I agree that covers won’t sell your book but they can lose you sales.

    I am assuming that you are self publishing (otherwise you don’t need to produce a cover). In the event that I ever self publish a book there are two kinds of professionals that I will pay good money to for their services: an editor and a book cover artist. There are artists out there that specialize in book covers. Perhaps consider hiring one of them.
     
  12. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Agreed on the "hire someone" thing. You don't have to hire a cover artist specifically; if you want something rather basic, find a freelance graphics artist -- something like that really won't break the bank. If you *really* want to cut costs, find a high school or college graphics art student who has a good eye. If you do end up hiring someone, make sure to get your legal ducks in a row. Unless you want to pay royalties, you will likely want whatever contract you sign to give you exclusive rights to use the graphic, including for commercial uses. I'm not a lawyer, and you probably don't want to pay for one, but finding a template for such an agreement on a legal site can save you a lot of headaches.

    If you want specific feedback on this: The drawing isn't bad. It's a bit stylized, and looks kind of like some kind of ape skull. I'm actually not sure what effect you're going for, so I'll leave that part alone. That's not really the part that makes this cover stick out as not professionally done.

    The part that catches my eye is the font choice and the typesetting. The font, while I can't quite remember its name, is one I recognize from doing lots of graphic design. It's overused, and immediately screams that you put this together yourself. As much as I hate to admit it, even a good-looking font can be ruined by overuse by graphics designers, especially amateurs. The font choice would otherwise be a good one, for part or all of the cover. The proportions are also off. It looks like you stretched the main title vertically, giving the cover a very disjoint feeling to it. While you use the same font, the eye immediately judges the stretched out version to be different.

    In addition, while this might seem strange to say for such a basic, low-key cover, you actually don't have enough negative space here, or at least you don't make proper use of it. The skull graphic is squashed up against your name, and abbreviating "detective" as "det." makes it look like you really tried to squeeze it in there.
     
  13. daven85
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    daven85 Member

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    Thanks to everyone for their comments. I agree with what you all said. I have since spent hours redesigning it to be more interesting an not just black and white.

    Let me know which one you prefer in terms of the image withe cover.

    And to those asking about the reason for the skull, it is a mask that he wears to frighten his victims. The knife is the style of knife he uses as well.

    I am planning on publishing this myself hence why I am creating the cover.

    Thanks to everyone for their honest answers.

    Cover - Knife.jpg
    Cover - Skull.jpg
     
  14. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    The knife one isn't bad, but pay attention to your text -- your title is still stretched, and it does weird things to the eye.

    Fo you own the rights to that knife image, or is it under a license that you can use for a book cover? You need to be really careful with these kinds of things.
     
  15. Bob Magness
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    Bob Magness Senior Member

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    For me, it is a definite improvement over the first one. Knowing that the skull on the front cover is the mask worn by the villain does make me view it more positively but perspective readers won't know that. They'll think "that is an odd looking skull". So I tend to lean toward the knife image. But I agree with daven; if you didn't design the knife make sure it isn't copyrighted.
     
  16. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Something to consider. Usually when the author's name is at the top, it's because the name is recognizable--going to attract the reader's attention. Otherwise, it's the title that normally goes across the top of the book cover. Along the spine, often the title is near the top with the author second. Looking at my bookshelf, about 3/4 are that way, with well known authors and on a shelf where I have lesser known authors.

    As others suggested about the images used for the cover...it's best to have permission or the right to use the image if you didn't create it.
     
  17. JSLCampbell
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    JSLCampbell Member

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    This is just a line of thought here. Maybe you could think about adding a strap to the back of the mask that's visible "floating" off to the side. (this isn't the greatest example but you get the idea): paper_mache_plain_masks.JPG

    The strap would be clearly visible on the full image. On the thumbnail though, you might have to ask a psychologist, but wouldn't the "slightly odd shaped skull" perception actually be what catches the eye of somebody browsing? If that's the case, they'll click the thumbnail to get a better look, and then realize it's a mask due to the strap (and so won't hold it against you as some kind of poor attempt at creating a skull image). Just a thought.

    I like the idea of the mask on the front because it's seems more personalized to the story, as opposed to a fairly random knife image. However the cover with the knife on does look more professional - in fact I think it looks very good. It reminds me of the artwork for "The Subtle Knife" a little bit.
     
  18. lornamarie
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    lornamarie New Member

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    i agree that the edited one is a big improvement, also, i rather like the skull.
     
  19. daven85
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    daven85 Member

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    I have chosen to go more with the skull personally. The manuscript is going to a agent soon.

    Originially I created the cover since I was planning on releasing it as a Novella myself online. But since some agents have shown interest in a full Novel which features the same characters I am holding off. Just finished my final edit on the novel myself. A completely different story however uses same characters.

    Let's hope they like it.
     
  20. Devrokon
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    Devrokon Senior Member

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    I think it's kinda cool, to be perfectly honest. Very appealing.
     
  21. daven85
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    daven85 Member

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    Updating one taking in all of your comments. Hope you all like it?

    Cover - LR Front Skull.jpg
     

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