1. NinaW
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    NinaW Member

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    Potential Book Cover

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by NinaW, Jan 26, 2015.

    I was just wondering if people would be willing to give me a bit of feed back for the cover I'm going to be using for my horror novel while I can still tweek things. I don't have the money to actually commission a professional cover (and no, I won't use fiver) so there's a limit to what I can do on my own. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

    The cover is for a ghost story where a serial killer starts being haunted by the ghosts of her victims if that info helps inform anyone's opinions. Thanks for the time.


    page - Copy.jpg
     
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  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I like the title. Some may not like the font but I think it goes with the title.

    However, the razor or whatever that thing is looks too cut and pasted and is incongruent with the font which suggests something more horrifying.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with Ginger that the blade seems a little off. The wood-tone backdrop against the black makes it look very cut-n-paste. I like the title and fontwork. I like the simplicity of the cover. There's something off about the centering of the larger and smaller font at the top. The smaller letters look like they are too far over to the left.

    ETA: I might consider going with a simpler font for your name, though.
     
  4. iEvoke
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    iEvoke New Member

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    I'm going to be honest with you and the font has to change, it doesn't look professional. It sure could fit as a logo for some indie-game but this is a book cover. I'd that you go with something more original, same style perhaps similar but not as thick otherwise title is good.
     
  5. NinaW
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    NinaW Member

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    It's a Stanley knife. I'm not sure how to fix the cut and pasted look, partly because I'm not sure what you mean. Any chance you could explain it?
     
  6. NinaW
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    NinaW Member

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    I'll double check the placing of the font but I think the reason it looks weird is because the space between "of the" doesn't fall in the middle. I might be able to tweek it to look a bit more centred.

    Not sure what you mean by cut and paste, so I'm not sure how to fix that.

    I had been considering a different font for my name, but I wasn't sure what that's do to the cohesion of the cover. I'll see if I can find something and try it out. Thanks.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    What is a potential reader going to see? A tool.

    Your title says horror story. You want the image, whatever you choose, to give the potential reader a sense of fear/creepiness/horror.
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    The fonts a little vampire-ish. Also the blade looks like you put the picture in Photoshop and blackened out everything except for the circle around the blade. You don't want to draw attention to the fact that yes, you are using Photoshop.

    The blade doesn't look very threatening there's no angle, it's just horizontal like something in an ad. If you're working with Photoshop why don't you download some free brushes, something ghostly - tweak some of the levels to give an image a fade out quality and check out best selling books in your genre to get a popular font.
    The good thing is you've kept the cover uncluttered which is something to continue with.
     
  9. NinaW
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    NinaW Member

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    I was using Manga Studio, I've never gotten along with photoshop. MS doesn't have very good blending. I spent ages just getting it to that point, though it was drawn as one image rather than imported and fiddled with to try and avoid that. I guess it didn't work very well, I'll try an smooth it out some more. It's standing up like that because of a clip on the back that stops it lying down. I might be able to fiddle with the shadow a bit more to make it look like it's lying flatter and maybe some of the shading on the blade itself to make it look a little more angled.

    As for the font, it the best one I could find that was free for commercial use. That's the one thing I'm definitely not changing. Most of the other choices were flat out awful or really cartoony.
     
  10. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    The title is good! I like the scale of your title to your name. I don't even mind the small "of the." It draws attention to the important words.

    For the font, it's not too bad. But definitely go with something else for your name. It doesn't haven't to be fancy. In fact, not fancy is probably what you should do. Arial, times new roman, something basic. Keep it in capital letters though.

    The knife is a problem. One, like someone said above, it looks like you found an image online and just slapped it on the page, dead center, without trying to make it blend with the black background. It looks amateur. Two, again like someone else said, it looks like a picture from an advertisement. It's just laying on a table, like someone tried to sell it on craigslist and couldn't figure out a better way to photograph it. Three, there's nothing menacing about it. It's just a knife. I used to carry one a lot like it when I worked at Walmart.

    I suggest taking the knife out all together and replacing it with something different. Either use a different knife, one in an active position (like being held by someone, dripping blood, in motion, something other than just laying on a table like it was a kitchen tool), or use a different image. Maybe a picture of a room, colorized in a soft blue to look like nighttime with the edges blurred and fading into black. Or a picture of a ghostly, almost see through face, either peeking out from a doorway or wielding the knife.

    In my opinion, there's one really good way to figure out if you have a good bookcover. Take away the words. Without the title and your name. Look at JUST the image. Does the image convey the feel of your book?

    At this point in time, if you take away the title, it's just a knife on a black background. It could be anything. But with a different image, it could feel completely different.
     
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  11. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Try several covers. No need to just stick with one. I went through about eight attempts before settling on something.
     
  12. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    Looks neat, but like GingerCoffee said it looks a bit too "copy and pasted" other than that looks cool :)
     
  13. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've always disliked plain black as a background (or any other plain colour for that matter); it looks homemade. I would rather see something, an out of focus photograph of something non-descript that is of a dark colour, so that you lose the uniformity and have some sense of shades of grey.

    I quite like the title and the font, but think you should use a different more standard font for your name.

    As others have said the knife looks a little copy/paste.
     
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  14. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think that is a Stanley knife. It is a hybrid of a box cutter tip and a folding knife body. You can even see the thumb stud on the back end of the blade and the lock release at the back of the handle.
     
  15. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Does it have to be a box cutter? How about something like this? If you like it you can use the picture for your cover (it's mine).

    [​IMG]
     
  16. NinaW
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    NinaW Member

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    It's a Stanley knife, it's just a
    It's a Stanley knife, it's just a fancy one. My dad let me borrow it so I could draw it. I'm glad you can see all the detail though, I spent ages on that damn thing.

    And yes, it does need to be that knife, the killer uses one like it. Thank you for the offer on the picture, but I'm much more of a fan of the simple style of covers that were common on horror books in the 80s and early 90s. I was trying to recreate that sort of feel with the image above.

    Thanks again.
     
  17. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the font. It makes me expect something supernatural, which apparently I'd get from your book. Experiment with a different but compatible font for your name, by all means, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at this cover as it is.

    Good job on rendering the knife. For those of us who remember that the 9/11 highjackers used boxcutters, an "innocent tool" like that can be very chilling. You could ramp up the horror if the blade had just a smear of blood on it. With a tiny drop on the tabletop below.

    What I would really work on, if this were my cover, is the vignette of the tabletop. Right now it looks like your knife is sitting on some odd little tray or cutting board. You're trying to get a spotlighted effect, I presume? How about something that would come off more like moonlight from a window?

    And take another look at the knife's shadow. It's longer than it is in both directions.

    Overall, though, nice going.
     
  18. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    The font is good and I do prefer plain backgrounds. However, the knife looks like it is floating (intentional?) and is off putting. As other people have already mentioned, angle the knife and a splash of blood would not hurt.
     
  19. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am no judge of these things so you can ignore my thought about it. The title would suggest something the victims used to get vengeance should be shown, IMO. Not sure what that would be but maybe something in your story would suggest an image. Hope your book does well.
     
  20. Rachelle
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    Rachelle Member

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    The font reminds me a little bit too much of those B horror movies. Maybe something less shaky and bolder would convey a stronger message?
     
  21. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Realise it's an old post but my thoughts, FWIW:

    • I like the title font. Space between lines could use some fine-tuning - a bit more vertical space.
    • I would use a different font for your author name.
    • The knife looks brilliant - I want one.
    • I do not know the book cover you are trying to emulate, so am not sure if this suggestion is way off, but typically with a weapon like that, you would slash. So perhaps rather than a circle background for the knife, consider a slash, and potentially not show all the knife clearly, but have part of it obscured by the shadow / black outside the slash? If you're going to have knife shadow, I'd be tempted to make it much stronger and dramatic, rather than soft, or remove it completely.
     

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