Author Topic: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?  (Read 3417 times)  

Online Harvey Click

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2017, 08:49:53 AM »
Really a nice cover. I agree with the others that you should make the title font crisper.

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Online C. Gockel

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2017, 11:12:28 AM »
The title font is still way too smokey. If you're worried about it getting too dark around the eye region, apply a mask so that section fades out.

I also would consider putting it in front of her hair. It's hard for me to read it as is. I have to think about it. I like books that make me think, but not title fonts!


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Online Rosie A.

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2017, 11:19:02 AM »
Op, nice work on your cover. It looks professionally done. I agree with others here about making the title stand out more but besides that it's really good and fits with the genre you're aiming for. Good luck.
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Offline Heather Hamilton-Senter

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #53 on: June 09, 2017, 11:46:42 AM »
Beautiful! Duplicate the text layer and eliminate the blur completely. Then rasterize the blurry one and mask out some of the areas so you just leave wisps here and there, but the titling is clear.

Offline Adria R.

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #54 on: June 09, 2017, 12:54:51 PM »
New version:
And thumbnail:

Again, thank you so much to everyone who commented! You guys must be getting sick of seeing this by now.

What I did:
1. (Hopefully) fixed the blurriness issue enough that it's no longer problematic (Thanks JayandFunGoo, Harvey, C. Gockel and Rosie!). My hope is to make the title look as if it's frozen in mid-disintegration. I'd like it to look like a freeze-frame in a movie trailer.
Heather: I already had the blur, text and glow effects on separate layers, thanks! :) I played some more with the mask, hope it's better now.
2. Tried to fix the kerning -- thank you for pointing that out, emprazeman! And yes, that is Desire. :) I don't have the best eye for kerning and I feel that Photoshop doesn't handle fonts very well, but I tried.
3. Shifted the hair around, though I'm just now noticing that I did that the other way around from what emprazeman suggested. I'll try it the other way in a later pass, right now I'm back from a long day at work and my concentration is shot...  :(
4. Centered the author name and other text. It still looks misaligned even though Photoshop measurements say different. Oh well.

Offline Gina Black

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #55 on: June 09, 2017, 01:00:04 PM »
It looks fabulous. :)

Offline GUTMAN

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #56 on: June 09, 2017, 03:23:56 PM »
Beautiful! A few thoughts:

1. Change the title to LOVE STORY. That book sold lots of copies back in 1970.
2. Instead of smoke, how about adding a chocolate frosting filter? People love chocolate frosting.
3. Put the model in witch hat. I've heard that books with main characters who are witches sell very well. Or, add a space ship. Everyone loves space ships.

4. IGNORE everything I've said and use the cover EXACTLY as it is, because it rocks, big time! 

G

Online Saboth

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2017, 06:57:18 PM »
I like it. The only thing that bothered me about the original was the fuzzy/out of focus title (I think it's a cool concept, but as a glasses-wearer, it felt like I'd forgot to put my glasses on).

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2017, 07:32:22 PM »
Impressive cover. Great title and tagline. It is rare IMHO that authors can do a professional-looking cover, but this is very, very nice. Good job!

Offline MattHaggis

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2017, 07:41:50 PM »
Nice job! Great cover, title and tag. Being professional at all stages really pays off.

Offline Mercedes Vox

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #60 on: June 09, 2017, 08:28:05 PM »
New version:
And thumbnail:

Again, thank you so much to everyone who commented! You guys must be getting sick of seeing this by now.

What I did:
1. (Hopefully) fixed the blurriness issue enough that it's no longer problematic (Thanks JayandFunGoo, Harvey, C. Gockel and Rosie!). My hope is to make the title look as if it's frozen in mid-disintegration. I'd like it to look like a freeze-frame in a movie trailer.
Heather: I already had the blur, text and glow effects on separate layers, thanks! :) I played some more with the mask, hope it's better now.
2. Tried to fix the kerning -- thank you for pointing that out, emprazeman! And yes, that is Desire. :) I don't have the best eye for kerning and I feel that Photoshop doesn't handle fonts very well, but I tried.
3. Shifted the hair around, though I'm just now noticing that I did that the other way around from what emprazeman suggested. I'll try it the other way in a later pass, right now I'm back from a long day at work and my concentration is shot...  :(
4. Centered the author name and other text. It still looks misaligned even though Photoshop measurements say different. Oh well.

Ack, I hate to be so critical of an already awesome cover, but you did ask. :-)

I think you went too far in clarifying the title in this one, because those bright letters are all I see now. The slightly blurry but not totally blurry title in Reply #42 seemed perfect to me.

But it's all opinion, so at this point you should probably just go with your gut.

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Online Doglover

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #61 on: June 09, 2017, 10:41:27 PM »
I love it. Can't say any more, but it would definitely make me stop and look further. Well done.


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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #62 on: June 09, 2017, 10:45:50 PM »
I like the original font you had on the top 'he came to kill her, etc', but it still looks good.


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Offline ShayneRutherford

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #63 on: June 09, 2017, 10:50:46 PM »
I just noticed, there appears to be an extra space between 'He' and 'came'. Or else the kerning is off.
     

Offline Adria R.

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #64 on: June 10, 2017, 11:03:21 AM »
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who commented. I think this version is mostly it. I will tweak it a bit more in the coming weeks once I've gained some distance, but your comments helped make the cover a lot better than it was. I can't thank you enough!

Tweaked version:

And the thumbnail:


I just noticed, there appears to be an extra space between 'He' and 'came'. Or else the kerning is off.

It was the kerning, oddly enough. It was set correctly, so I had to tweak it manually. Thanks for catching that!

I like the original font you had on the top 'he came to kill her, etc', but it still looks good.

Thank you, I'm still debating whether I should try something similar but a little more subdued with the tagline. The problem with the original version was that the character widths don't match. Desire is a lot slimmer than the other font I used. :)

Ack, I hate to be so critical of an already awesome cover, but you did ask. :-)

I think you went too far in clarifying the title in this one, because those bright letters are all I see now. The slightly blurry but not totally blurry title in Reply #42 seemed perfect to me.

But it's all opinion, so at this point you should probably just go with your gut.


I agree with you. While the title is at the top of the visual hierarchy, it shouldn't be so bright that it completely overpowers the background image.  :)

Nice job! Great cover, title and tag. Being professional at all stages really pays off.

Thank you! I certainly hope so!  ;)

Impressive cover. Great title and tagline. It is rare IMHO that authors can do a professional-looking cover, but this is very, very nice. Good job!

Thank you so much!  :)

I like it. The only thing that bothered me about the original was the fuzzy/out of focus title (I think it's a cool concept, but as a glasses-wearer, it felt like I'd forgot to put my glasses on).

And you were right. I hope it's better now. :)

Beautiful! A few thoughts:

1. Change the title to LOVE STORY. That book sold lots of copies back in 1970.
2. Instead of smoke, how about adding a chocolate frosting filter? People love chocolate frosting.
3. Put the model in witch hat. I've heard that books with main characters who are witches sell very well. Or, add a space ship. Everyone loves space ships.

4. IGNORE everything I've said and use the cover EXACTLY as it is, because it rocks, big time! 

G

Those are all excellent suggestions! Calling the novel LOVE STORY is sure to suggest a satisfying HEA ending. Also, I would add a witch hat and several space ships because you can never have too much of a good thing. And now I'm hungry for chocolate frosting...  :D

It looks fabulous. :)

Thank you! <3

Offline loraininflorida

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #65 on: June 10, 2017, 11:51:56 AM »
All I can add is maybe move that "S" a smidge in from the left. The reason is that if you ever decide to go KDP Paperback, they reject it if any text is too near the edge.

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Offline Seshenet

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #66 on: June 10, 2017, 05:53:48 PM »
I love cover threads, and thanks for sharing the development of your cover. It looks great!

Online Rosie A.

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #67 on: June 10, 2017, 06:14:53 PM »
It looks terrific! I hope it does well.
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Offline Penny Reid

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #68 on: June 10, 2017, 07:03:57 PM »
Great cover!! And I love the tagline.

Offline Tstarnes

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #69 on: June 10, 2017, 08:31:53 PM »
I just saw this and was going to say, I really like it but the title needed to be a bit more prominent.  Turns out, you did that and now it's amazing.  Very stylish without being cluttered.  I also like the little bit you added to the "he came to kill her" part.

I am seriously envious of your design skills.

Offline Steve Margolis

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #70 on: June 11, 2017, 11:52:51 AM »
As is, that is an amazing cover.   :D
My only comment would be the "l" in sensual is hard to see.
Make sure to post the final design!
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Offline Adria R.

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #71 on: June 13, 2017, 09:50:40 AM »
Ack, I feel bad pushing this thread up again by replying, but here goes.

All I can add is maybe move that "S" a smidge in from the left. The reason is that if you ever decide to go KDP Paperback, they reject it if any text is too near the edge.

Thank you, I'll definitely keep that in mind should I do a paperback edition. I would do a wraparound cover for Createspace/Ingramspark/whatever I end up using, but I'll definitely adjust the cover accordingly so no text bleeds into the spine.  :)

I love cover threads, and thanks for sharing the development of your cover. It looks great!

Thank you, Seshenet!

It looks terrific! I hope it does well.

Thank you so much, Rosie! I hope so too.  :D It will take a while until it's released though.

Great cover!! And I love the tagline.

Thank you! It seems to me like taglines and blurbs are harder to write than the actual novel.

I just saw this and was going to say, I really like it but the title needed to be a bit more prominent.  Turns out, you did that and now it's amazing.  Very stylish without being cluttered.  I also like the little bit you added to the "he came to kill her" part.

I am seriously envious of your design skills.

I'm terribly flattered, thank you!  :)

As is, that is an amazing cover.   :D
My only comment would be the "l" in sensual is hard to see.
Make sure to post the final design!

Thank you, Steve, I will definitely post it once it's done. It may take a while though. Right now, I'm focusing on getting the novel done and ready for publication, then I'll do the final cover (and website) tweaks.  :)

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #72 on: June 13, 2017, 11:17:12 AM »


I also would consider putting it in front of her hair. It's hard for me to read it as is. I have to think about it. I like books that make me think, but not title fonts!

I tend to agree with this. A first quick glance in thumbnail made me think the hair was actually a line/wrinkle across her face.
Otherwise - a great job  :).

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Offline Crissi Langwell

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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #73 on: August 10, 2017, 07:34:16 AM »
I worry about the title being so blurry. That said, I would totally read this book.


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Re: Feedback on self-made cover - okay, or pay for a professional artist?
« Reply #74 on: August 10, 2017, 08:46:09 AM »
Another vote for you - well done! I agree that you need to sharpen the text, but otherwise, very good indeed.