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Author Topic: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers  (Read 2298 times)  

Offline Al Stevens

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Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« on: August 08, 2017, 01:23:37 PM »
I just finished "Relaunch your Novel" by Chris Fox. He comes down heavy on covers and I've been giving all his strategic layers a lot of thought. I have an 11-book series that need his kind of relaunch. The covers are my first concern. Cost is a big concern because, well, there are eleven of them. I'm not up for spending the thousands of bucks that would rob from my cookie jar. At Chris's suggestion I scanned the best-sellers in my detective, mystery genre. They all have lots of color. Mine don't as you can see on the left below. I went for the noir look from the git-go and that might have been a bad decision. I've taken the crayons to the cover of the first book in the series, messed with fonts and placement and came up with the one on the right. First stab at this. Opinions solicited and welcome.



« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 08:21:38 AM by Al Stevens »

Online Becca Mills

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 01:30:44 PM »
Take this with a Love-Boat-sized shipment of salt because I don't read your genre, but I like the older version better. I think the main thing I like better on the older cover is the typographical presentation of the author name and title.

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 01:33:43 PM »
At first glance I like the second better, but I do see Becca's point about the font and placement. Maybe take that from the first and put it on the second?

Offline Charmaine

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 02:20:06 PM »
I agree with the others. Typography was better on the first cover, but I like the pop of color on the second. I would combine the two. :)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 02:22:23 PM by Charmaine »

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 02:29:48 PM »
I'm not sure I love the red, but I do like that the silhouette is sharper. I agree with others; I think you nailed the typography on the original, and you may want to use it on your new cover.

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 02:31:15 PM »
I agree with the others. Typography was better on the first cover, but I like the pop of color on the second. I would combine the two. :)

*Raises hand* Yep, same here.

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Offline C. Gold

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2017, 02:31:38 PM »
I'm with others - the typography on the first cover is awesome. Combine that with the tinted cover on the right and call it a winner.

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2017, 02:38:03 PM »
IDK how you feel about hiring someone very affordable, but Shayne Rutherford at http://www.wickedgoodbookcovers.com excels at this genre and may be able to work with you on something affordable. She covers Dawn Lee McKenna and Wayne Stinnett, and well, just go look at their ranks :p


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Offline LFGabel

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 02:38:39 PM »
As a quick test for visibility, I look at my covers at thumbnail size and temporarily converted to black & white (grayscale). It gives the overall impression of brightness and it's a good way to see if a cover stands out.

Offline RBC

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2017, 02:57:42 PM »
No.1 is better but instead of just overlaying color over background image, add texture that can make cover more interesting looking (same issue for both covers). No need to go heavy but some grungy stuff can work. Subtext font tho, doesn't work well on it, simplifier font would help. Maybe even the same as title.

You can also hit up designers for premades and just make more out of one you like and serialise that one. It would be time saver and money saver. All designers can do that so you just need to find one for the series and then designer updates them to separate books.

Good luck with relaunch!

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 06:14:54 PM »
I like the first one. :)

Looking at your first few books in the series, I'd put Squad under Rat, so it lines up on the left like the other covers.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2017, 06:28:38 PM by Lorri Moulton »

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2017, 06:29:24 PM »
I like the typology, is that the right word for the font set up? and the color of the second. Best of luck!

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2017, 07:38:22 PM »
I like the typology, is that the right word for the font set up? and the color of the second. Best of luck!

Typography. :)
     

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2017, 08:49:54 PM »
Typography. :)

But typology makes it sound like a SERIOUS specialty :D

Hello, I'm a...typologist.


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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2017, 09:14:55 PM »
Hello, I'm a...typologist.

A font of wisdom, perhaps?

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Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2017, 12:40:38 AM »
Even though the first cover's title looks more classy in style - the second cover is definitely miles ahead in readability and standing out in thumbnail.  I'd give it a try and see how the sales go.

Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2017, 05:08:36 AM »
I'm with others - the typography on the first cover is awesome. Combine that with the tinted cover on the right and call it a winner.

^this^

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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2017, 08:09:13 AM »
New comparison based on everyone's comments and suggestions. Thanks for those. My color vision isn't good enough to know whether the colors work in thumbnail, though.



Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 11:23:04 AM »
Yup, works.


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Offline PiscaPress

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2017, 01:21:14 PM »
New comparison based on everyone's comments and suggestions. Thanks for those. My color vision isn't good enough to know whether the colors work in thumbnail, though.



I think the yellow on red is great.
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Online TromboneAl

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2017, 02:22:48 PM »
Can you change the silhouette? It seems a bit unnatural and not ominous enough.

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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2017, 02:27:01 PM »
Can you change the silhouette? It seems a bit unnatural and not ominous enough.
Yep. Just a dude strolling down the street toting a gun. :)

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2017, 06:55:40 PM »
Trombone Al's comment resonated with piano Al. I took out the silhouette just to see. What do you think? Do I need the guy with the gun?



« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 10:53:35 AM by Al Stevens »

Online TromboneAl

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 11:13:17 AM »
Yes, you need the silhouette, just a scarier one. Let me take a second to see if I can find something ...

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Online TromboneAl

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2017, 11:35:47 AM »
Okay, here are some examples to give you ideas (thanks for an excuse to play around with Photoshop):





« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 11:47:11 AM by TromboneAl »

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2017, 11:42:17 AM »
You could open a whole new demographic:




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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2017, 12:00:47 PM »
I like the third one. The light on his face is from the wrong angle, though. But I could work with it. Do you have a link to where you found that picture? Thanks.

Okay, here are some examples to give you ideas (thanks for an excuse to play around with Photoshop):



Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2017, 12:02:25 PM »
You could open a whole new demographic:




Somebody has too much time on his hands. :D

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2017, 12:06:08 PM »
I found it, Al. Don't need a link. Thanks.

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2017, 02:01:45 PM »
I found it, Al. Don't need a link. Thanks.

Okay. I found all of them by Googling "silhouette man holding gun." and "silhouette man with gun."

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Offline Rachel E. Rice

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2017, 02:03:17 PM »
You could open a whole new demographic:




I too just read the latest book by Chris Fox. I had so many books that I had neglected, and I was tired of writing, so I decided to change the covers. I started with some of my books which are wide and I looked at the cost and that's nothing to laugh at, but looking at this thread, some of my books may look like that picture above.
I didn't know I needed a laugh that much but I did. I can't stop laughing and thinking about my covers but nevertheless, I believe in ROI, and so far I've made my money back many times over just from making my covers for one particular pen name. I need a few more years and a few more fans before I will consider spending loads of money on my back list. 


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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2017, 11:17:37 AM »
I would be very curious if the poster is willing to come back and report his results if he implements these changes. To my eye, and I read a lot of thrillers, the original cover still looks the most professional and the most like something I would pull off a shelf when I didn't already know the author's name.
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Offline willow163

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2017, 11:52:02 AM »
I would be very curious if the poster is willing to come back and report his results if he implements these changes. To my eye, and I read a lot of thrillers, the original cover still looks the most professional and the most like something I would pull off a shelf when I didn't already know the author's name.

I completely agree with this. I think the original cover looks a thousand times more professional than the second. The dark colors scream dark thriller to me. The bright colors, not so much.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2017, 01:23:42 PM »
... the original cover still looks the most professional and the most like something I would pull off a shelf when I didn't already know the author's name.

I think the original cover looks a thousand times more professional than the second. The dark colors scream dark thriller to me. The bright colors, not so much.
Were you looking at the original post or the ones I posted after comments here?

Thank you for these opinions. That's kind of how I feel too. The Chris Fox relaunch and write to market strategies stress the replacement of the cover based on the best sellers in the genre. And those covers are colorful. And mine have been out there a while without the books catching on. The #1 book, which I've used fpr this example, stays in the top 100, and is well-reviewed but only because it's permafree I think. Here's a link to it.


« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 01:27:19 PM by Al Stevens »

Online TromboneAl

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2017, 12:57:13 PM »
Covers are such a mystery. We all comment on them and talk about what's good and what isn't, but we simply do not know what works and what doesn't.

So, I think it's worth experimenting.

I've latched onto AMS ads as a way of answering the question of which cover sells better. I'm running an ad for Contact Us now, and in a few days, I'll switch to a new cover and rerun the same ad.

Good luck, Al!

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2017, 02:01:32 PM »
Covers are such a mystery. We all comment on them and talk about what's good and what isn't, but we simply do not know what works and what doesn't.

So, I think it's worth experimenting.

I've latched onto AMS ads as a way of answering the question of which cover sells better. I'm running an ad for Contact Us now, and in a few days, I'll switch to a new cover and rerun the same ad.

Good luck, Al!

It's so true that nobody REALLY knows. For whatever it's worth, I love the last one with the colors in which you said the light is from the wrong angle. Fix the light and it'll be good. I read thrillers/suspense primarily and the colorful cover is way more eye-catching. The original one is very good, just a bit... dull.

Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2017, 03:06:13 PM »
Were you looking at the original post or the ones I posted after comments here?

I looked at the first cover, and I looked at all the others, and I still personally think the original cover looks more professional.  That's why I'm curious. I feel like you're changing something that makes no difference in your genre, but I've been wrong before.

I'm looking at the list of top 20 Amazon bestsellers, of which I have read several, and they are not necessarily colorful, they are all over the map in terms of color. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store-Mystery-Thriller-Suspense/zgbs/digital-text/157305011/ref=zg_bs_nav_kstore_2_154606011

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2017, 04:34:28 PM »
I looked at the first cover, and I looked at all the others, and I still personally think the original cover looks more professional.  That's why I'm curious. I feel like you're changing something that makes no difference in your genre, but I've been wrong before.

I'm looking at the list of top 20 Amazon bestsellers, of which I have read several, and they are not necessarily colorful, they are all over the map in terms of color. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store-Mystery-Thriller-Suspense/zgbs/digital-text/157305011/ref=zg_bs_nav_kstore_2_154606011
They're either more colorful or more defined or both than his current covers.

Offline Melody Simmons

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2017, 09:39:31 PM »
I looked at the first cover, and I looked at all the others, and I still personally think the original cover looks more professional.  That's why I'm curious. I feel like you're changing something that makes no difference in your genre, but I've been wrong before.

I'm looking at the list of top 20 Amazon bestsellers, of which I have read several, and they are not necessarily colorful, they are all over the map in terms of color. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Kindle-Store-Mystery-Thriller-Suspense/zgbs/digital-text/157305011/ref=zg_bs_nav_kstore_2_154606011



Also please always remember when looking at bestsellers - some of those authors sell their books purely by name alone.  They don't need very attractive covers.  I know I have seen some of Danielle Steel's books with nothing but a name!  So bestsellers cannot be used as a yardstick alone.  You need to look at what other self-publishing authors who are climbing the ranks are doing doing too.

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2017, 09:43:26 AM »
Also please always remember when looking at bestsellers - some of those authors sell their books purely by name alone.  They don't need very attractive covers.  I know I have seen some of Danielle Steel's books with nothing but a name!  So bestsellers cannot be used as a yardstick alone.  You need to look at what other self-publishing authors who are climbing the ranks are doing doing too.
That's part of Chris Fox's strategy. Look at the covers, blurbs, etc. on the best sellers from relatively unknown indies for exactly that reason. James Patterson could sell a hoagie wrapper.

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Re: Relaunch a la Chris Fox - covers
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2017, 10:43:37 AM »
You could open a whole new demographic:



Okay, I know you were going for "scarier," but this is really OTT. You trying to give me flashbacks?? Unkind, TromboneAl, unkind.  ;)

Al Stevens, I do like the combination of the old title/author typography with the new image and new series title.