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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

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Kindle Edition published 2017-08-22
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INCLUDES BONUS FREE E-DOWNLOADS: TEMPLATES FOR GRANT WRITING!

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
This book is definitely for you if:
•You break out in a cold sweat when your boss mentions the word ‘grant’.
•You’ve been tempted to throw your computer against the wall while writing a grant.
•You happily tell stakeholders there’s plenty of grants out there … but haven’t the faintest idea how to write and get one!
•You think you can send out a bog-standard letter to a bunch of organizations and get funded.
•Your eyes glaze over when you’re presented with grant writing jargon and acronyms.
•Your organization’s grant success A-game has r...

Author Topic: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?  (Read 1678 times)  

Offline gcs

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Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« on: March 20, 2017, 06:45:44 PM »
Hello, I am asking for feedback on my YA epic fantasy cover.
On FB ads to women 25-34 who like Lord of the Rings and other epic fantasy (this is YA+), I had very poor results. I would appreciate it if anyone who knows covers cares to comment on the cover and the book description. 

Offline Kal241

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 06:57:57 PM »
Hello, I am asking for feedback on my YA epic fantasy cover.
On FB ads to women 25-34 who like Lord of the Rings and other epic fantasy (this is YA+), I had very poor results. I would appreciate it if anyone who knows covers cares to comment on the cover and the book description. 

Wrong audience. The cover comes off as more of a WOW/ D&D setting than LOTR, and I don't know many women 25+ who play either games. If the cover doesn't turn them off, the blurb about women wanting to murder each other will.

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Offline HSh

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 07:16:32 PM »
Quote
#64 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Sword & Sorcery
#165 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic

Maybe it's just me but it doesn't sound like a children's book.  Not sure that has any effect on it, just something I noticed.  It doesn't sound like the right category from the story description.

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Offline gcs

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 07:25:59 PM »
Thank you for the feedback!
So maybe I need to target males in an ad, see how it does? Like 25-34 yr olds? Any advice on this is appreciated!

Offline Lauren P.

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 07:26:16 PM »
Unfortunately your cover's very dark, and it's difficult to work out the image, particularly in thumbnail. Also the typography's difficult to read. Sorry, but if I were browsing YA book covers, there's nothing in your cover that'd grab my attention.

Offline RD

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 07:28:28 PM »
The cover really screams 8-16 bit gaming genre to me, which I like, but the typography color isn't working for me. It sort of blends into the art color.

Offline gcs

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 07:46:02 PM »
Thanks, Laura and RD.
OK, so it's easy enough to make the cover brighter, and make the font white or bright.
Laura, epic fantasy, 3 strong women characters, men for each of them, YA 16-18 year old protagonists, many older characters.
Would that make this cover interesting to you, or do I need a new one? If so, what type of cover would pull in readers fast?
Or are women the wrong audience for this? gulp lol

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 07:55:03 PM »
Thanks, Laura and RD.
OK, so it's easy enough to make the cover brighter, and make the font white or bright.
Laura, epic fantasy, 3 strong women characters, men for each of them, YA 16-18 year old protagonists, many older characters.
Would that make this cover interesting to you, or do I need a new one? If so, what type of cover would pull in readers fast?
Or are women the wrong audience for this? gulp lol

Especially in this type of fantasy, a book with women characters does not necessarily translate into interest from female readers, apart from the ones who like violent game-inspired fantasy. A strong woman is not the same as a strong female character. Not the same in the slightest.

So IMO, wrong audience. A better, nicer looking cover would certainly help, too.

Offline CABarrett

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 07:56:37 PM »
On FB ads to women 25-34 who like Lord of the Rings and other epic fantasy

I'm in this demographic and I wouldn't write off women, it just might be a matter of tweaking the ad copy. "Famere hated the war. Yet her enemies called her the wyshea butcher..." is a great opening to the book, and I'd click to read more if I saw that float past. The current Amazon blurb isn't as arresting and I'm having trouble articulating why, but I'm sure these boards have some copywriting experts who can help!

Offline This_Way_Down

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 08:05:03 PM »
Cover looks really good...not great. Needs to be sharper. Check Mike Gauss on deviantart to see what I mean. But that's subjective. Even if you left it, it's still pretty good.
The font sucks. It looks like you took some really good art and slapped amateur font over it.
Teaser - another stinker. Needs lots of work.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 08:28:04 PM by This_Way_Down »

Offline SC

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2017, 08:13:22 PM »
I'm also in your stated target audience. I really think the problem is that the cover is just bad. Poorly designed, hard to tell what anything is in smaller image sizes, just not good. It looks like you did that cover yourself, though I see in your 'look inside' that someone else did it. Hire a different cover artist. That's my advice. Preferably, get some quality original art made. This one looks too cut-and-paste, with mismatched, too-busy fonts. It's just not good. You need a better quality cover. I'd say do that, then worry about males vs. females. Because here's the thing about women: we're generally many things first, and women somewhere down the list. (E.g. fantasy fans first, women second, inasmuch as it relates to the question at hand.) If your new cover is actively off-putting in some way, we can tell you. (Actually, my one tip for making a cover that would be less likely to put off women is to not sexy up your female character. You've done a good job with the pose/appearance of the woman on your current cover.) Honestly, you could even use your current cover as a template of sorts. Hire a good quality professional artist, show them what you've currently got, then just tell them you want the same general idea, but better. And make sure the person who does your text/layout (if it's the same as your cover artist or a different person) knows what they're doing and can do a really professional job of it.

Reading your blurb, it sounds like the kind of book I might be interested in reading. I like that the three leads are all women. It's something rather different than what I normally see in the fantasy genre. I like that they each have a romance. I'd be curious to read it. However, I do think you need to work on your blurb. But since you didn't ask for blurb feedback, I'll refrain.

I guess what I'm saying is that, as someone in your stated target audience, I do see potential for something I'd like to read here, but your presentation needs a lot of work.

Offline D.L. Shutter

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2017, 08:19:11 PM »
I got beat to the punch, was goin to stay the cover looked like a gaming cover; RPG book or shrink-wrapped box type of olde. It's a great illustration but I don't think it's going to hit the mark you want. 

Offline SC

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 08:24:19 PM »
I'd like to apologize to my fellow women for the gross generalization I'm about to make.

If you want to appeal to women with your cover, make the creatures more cool/bad*ss than ugly/gross. Women don't tend to be drawn to nasty, ugly, snarling things.

Offline gcs

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 08:26:29 PM »
Thank you, Lauren--that helps a lot! I appreciate the feedback from everyone!
Shawna thank you very much!
Yes, please comment on the book description! I need all the help I can get.
If anyone knows a good cover artist on fiverr or anywhere, please let me know.


Offline AnnaB

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 08:54:09 PM »
Female who reads Epic Fantasy and played RPGs once upon a time here, though over your intended age bracket and not your intended audience as I'm not much of a reader of YA. Or romance.

Your cover doesn't do much for me. The details of the picture are intriguing enough and the overall layout works, the beasts are fine by me, but the contrast and colors are really meh, and it could use some kind of dramatic (high)lighting to make the girl stand out more. The title could stand out more as well, it's not extremely legible in thumbnail size.
Maybe that's too over the top for a dark world, unless there's a huge fire nearby at some point.
But at least make the girl less... well, greenish-yellow ?

Those sort of rebalancings should be simple enough to get someone to do them quickly with no repainting involved.

Your blurb seems to hint that all three heroines might be saddled with heavy romantic sub-plots so I'm not sure shifting to a male new adult audience would help much. If they're like me they'll be all like "I don't read Epic Fantasy for the drama about who ends up shacked up with whom, back to the other characterization, the world-building and the world-saving, please."

Offline gcs

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 09:09:25 PM »
Hi Annali, thank you!
yes lighter, better font maybe, better description, less about the romance in it..thank ou very much for spending the time on the redo.
I appreciate it!

Offline SC

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 09:17:20 PM »
For the blurb, I'd say start from scratch. Focus on the characters and the story. Currently, the entire second half of your blurb is the sort of rah-rah self-congratulations which I don't even read when I see it in a book description. Don't tell me this book is great. Tell me about the great things in the book. Give me more specifics about the plot. Specifics are more likely to hook people in than generalities.

Also, I saw in one of the reviews that your "draghons" are nothing like dragons. In which case, why did you pick a word that is so obviously going to make people expect dragons? Just imagine reading a book titled "Mohnster Wars" where "mohnsters" are small, furry, kitten-like animals. You'd probably be unpleasantly surprised. It's totally fine to make up a fantasy creature or whatever, but don't give it a name that's so similar to an established fantasy creature unless your creatures are at least similar to them.

Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 09:42:55 PM »
How and where are you advertising it? Did you have a mailing list going in?

As others have pointed out, the cover just doesn't work in thumbnail. It's too monochromatic, and you need some colors to make it pop. The blurb could also use some work. I've read the first few pages, and everything seems well edited and written. So, let me just try the blurb out a bit. Throwing in some stuff from your map here. Obviously, feel free to cut/dice/chop if any of it helps.


----------------------------

War came to the land along with the dark mist, and they both stayed for a hundred years. Untold thousands died as man and orc and beast and wraith fought each other until their souls lingered there in the mist, draining hope as the creaks and rivers drained the blood of the realm past the shores of The Great Blue Water. Three women at the heart of the warring factions continue to fight for everything they hold dear.

Camette, a wild ancient draghon, searches for her kidnapped lover. Jennelle, commander of the Northerners, fights for her people's survival using nothing but her brilliant mind and devoted followers. Famere, the notorious wyshea butcher, seeks vengeance with her loyal shadows, the mythic beasts of yore.

For a century, they've hacked through the mists, seeking each other's throat on the battlefield. But they're not the ones who've brought the murky haze. As generation after generation falls, a new power grows within the Dead Lands. Can Camette, Jennelle and Famere clear the haze for long enough to see the true source? Or will the mists consume them in shadow and carry them back to The Great Blue Water like so many of their loved ones?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 09:44:27 PM by Rex Jameson »

Offline gcs

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2017, 04:46:03 AM »
Hi Shawna,
Yes, There are dragons, that is a mystery and mentioned early in the story, but maybe I just need to go with 'dragons'.
Thank you very much!

Rex, thank you very much for your effort on the jacket copy. I appreciate it! I think the cover needs work, a redo, as does the description.
Yes, had a small mailing list, etc, but think the cover and storyline was a turnoff to prospective readers, or at least did not appeal.
I will look at your work, Rex, and use it to make the cover more appealing.
I appreciate very much everyone's help in this! Thank you!

Offline BrianDHoward

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 05:51:02 AM »
Not in your target demographic, but some quick thoughts without trying to rehash what's already been said...

The title is listed as Wyshea Shadows: Divided Draghons, Book 1
To me, the cover says the title is Divided Draghons, Whyshea Shadows.

Personally, your spelling of dragons is an immediate turnoff. For one, I thought it was a typo until I confirmed that the cover said had the same word. Then it just suggested to me that I'd be likely to find all manner of words with weird spellings. There's an epic fantasy I'm reading now with a ridiculous number of names I can't begin to pronounce. If it wasn't part of a critiquing group I'm in I would've put it down long ago.

"hundred-year war" feels over used to me. Generations-long war, on the other hand, gets me wondering what kind of impacts the war has had on society. And the proofreader in me feels obligated to point out that it should be hundred-year war, not hundred-year-war. Hundred-year is a compound adjective describing the war.

You list Famere first, but she reads more like an antagonist than protagonist. You've got three characters pitted against each other, which suggests at least one "villain" or three characters that we have to decide who to side with on our own. I hope it's the latter, because I love it when authors can make me do that, but if that's the case you've already biased the reader against Famere.

Also, "action-packed thriller" and epic fantasy (as I've understood it so far) don't really go together. Which is it predominantly?
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Offline lincolnjcole

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2017, 05:53:20 AM »
Not in your target demographic, but some quick thoughts without trying to rehash what's already been said...

The title is listed as Wyshea Shadows: Divided Draghons, Book 1
To me, the cover says the title is Divided Draghons, Whyshea Shadows.

Personally, your spelling of dragons is an immediate turnoff. For one, I thought it was a typo until I confirmed that the cover said had the same word. Then it just suggested to me that I'd be likely to find all manner of words with weird spellings. There's an epic fantasy I'm reading now with a ridiculous number of names I can't begin to pronounce. If it wasn't part of a critiquing group I'm in I would've put it down long ago.

"hundred-year war" feels over used to me. Generations-long war, on the other hand, gets me wondering what kind of impacts the war has had on society. And the proofreader in me feels obligated to point out that it should be hundred-year war, not hundred-year-war. Hundred-year is a compound adjective describing the war.

You list Famere first, but she reads more like an antagonist than protagonist. You've got three characters pitted against each other, which suggests at least one "villain" or three characters that we have to decide who to side with on our own. I hope it's the latter, because I love it when authors can make me do that, but if that's the case you've already biased the reader against Famere.

Also, "action-packed thriller" and epic fantasy (as I've understood it so far) don't really go together. Which is it predominantly?

I agree with the Draghons. It feels like a misspelling and then just a distraction.

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 06:39:47 AM »
I'm curious as to your age cutoff. 34. Seriously?
Aside from the age cutoff, I'm also your demographic.

The cover is terrifying. More like horror than Epic Fantasy.
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Since you name three female protagonists, I would expect one (or all three) to be featured on the cover. But for goodness' sake, don't have them scantily clad. Nothing irritates me more than seeing a Hero dressed in battle garb (because he's sensible) and a woman dressed in something that wouldn't protect her from the cold (because she's stupid?).

Women warriors don't have to look like men, either.

As for the pitch-I'll leave that to the blurb experts. I agree with the poster above, something is missing but it's not hopeless.


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Offline SC

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2017, 07:56:53 AM »
Hi Shawna,
Yes, There are dragons, that is a mystery and mentioned early in the story, but maybe I just need to go with 'dragons'.

I would recommend doing so, yes. If they are dragons, just call them dragons.

Also, regarding the text on the cover, usually the larger words are the title and the smaller words beneath them are the subtitle or series name. So, I'd recommend doing the wording so that the actual title of the book is bigger and comes first, and then below that, in smaller letters, you could have the series name--and I'd suggest even adding something like "book 1" so people know that's the series name and not a subtitle of that book. Or you could put the series name above the book title, as long as it's in significantly smaller lettering than the title. The book's own title should be most prominent.

Offline Patrick Urban

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2017, 09:21:22 AM »
Why the heck is the book listed in children's fiction?
Within the first 2 pages of the look inside there are multiple references to the imminent rape of a woman. Whether or not it transpires (I quit reading) or is simply milked for effect repeatedly is irrelevant. It is not children's fiction. Yet...
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Sword & Sorcery

Perhaps you have yet to attend to the categories and it's a Zon default due to your other legitimate children's books (if zon does such a thing, I've no idea)?

Offline gcs

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Re: Bad book cover, or wrong audience?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 10:49:22 AM »
Thank all of you again for the insightful comments on title, spelling, character misleading, genre labeling, blurb.
thank you! I appreciate the grammar check too:) I will redo the cover, change the spelling, make the jacket description appealing, and relaunch:) you have all been great! thank you!

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