Poll

What genre does this cover evoke to you?

Romance
2 (3.2%)
Fantasy
4 (6.3%)
Urban Fantasy
34 (54%)
Dark Fantasy
7 (11.1%)
Mystery
0 (0%)
Paranormal romance
12 (19%)
Sci-fi
4 (6.3%)

Total Members Voted: 63

Author Topic: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark  (Read 1553 times)  

Offline AmpersandBookInteriors

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1847
  • Because & means more.
    • View Profile
    • Ampersand Book Interiors
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2018, 05:47:01 PM »


Unfortunately, the cover doesn't work for me. If the book is supposed to be UF, I think it could use a more fantasy-oriented font, and the font should have much more color and 'glow' to it vs. being tall and thick and set to lighten. I'd definitely keep her head behind the font...but also if you change the font to something less action/adventure it will naturally not have to cover the head at all because it won't be taking up so much space. It's really taking up a TON of space, and overall the cover could use a bit less stuff in it overall.

I'm not sure how rough it is, but she definitely needs more overpainting/blending with her background. Similarly, I'd suggest making her much more of the central focus, and keep the animals down to either one off to one side, OR both of them (if they both just have to be there) but behind her and much smaller, definitely not competing for the front focus.

Back to the fonts, the latest version has two very similar fonts (tall sans serifs). I'd make one of those a serif font of some sort.

Good luck :)


Ebook formatting starting at $25.00. Print typesetting starting at $75.00.
Colleen Sheehan | Ampersand Book Interiors

Online C. Gold

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2127
    • View Profile
    • Golden Elm Publishing
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2018, 05:55:05 PM »
I hate the amount of cover space the text occupies. I think it would look much better to shrink the title and subtitle and have it fit above the woman's head. I'm not so much bugged by the head over Marmot as I am the subtitle over the woman's chin, neck, and chest. This reminds me of a magazine cover with text all over the place and even they try to work the text around the main art elements.

The reason the animals look stuck on is because they lack any lighting to show depth perception.

Why is there an asterisk? That kind of bugged me last time, but now it's even more prominent and confusing.

I don't see anything that looks like parody here and definitely nothing paranormal romance-y about it. That's where the typography could come in useful. Maybe if you made a stamp out of 'average teenage girl' and slapped it diagonally across the title it would add a touch of humor and you could get rid of the colon which in that font looks really weird. I'd also stick a full moon in the sky instead of a sci-fi galaxy. That's such a staple of shifter stories that any parody should have one.

Offline ShayneRutherford

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3647
  • Toronto, Ontario
    • View Profile
    • My Website
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2018, 06:57:46 PM »
Just wanted to mention a couple of points. 1) Using two fonts that are too similar but not part of the same font family is generally frowned on. So, like, you could use a tall sans font for the title, and a geometric sans font for the author name, but you don't want to use two different, tall sans fonts on the same cover. 2) Your series title and sub-title are both too big compared to your title. The sub-title should be a bit smaller, and the series title should be smaller than that. 3) The edge of one of your layer masks is visible just across the top of AVERAGE.
     

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2018, 07:49:08 PM »
Just wanted to mention a couple of points. 1) Using two fonts that are too similar but not part of the same font family is generally frowned on. So, like, you could use a tall sans font for the title, and a geometric sans font for the author name, but you don't want to use two different, tall sans fonts on the same cover. 2) Your series title and sub-title are both too big compared to your title. The sub-title should be a bit smaller, and the series title should be smaller than that. 3) The edge of one of your layer masks is visible just across the top of AVERAGE.
These are all good points except that that's a shooting star in the sky (not that that helps, it still looks like a mistake, point taken) not a layer mask, I was planning on buffing it out eventually, but as mentioned earlier, this is an early draft.
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline RJRugroden

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2018, 08:00:02 PM »
I don't think the subtitle "*Average Teenage Girl" is needed. That doesn't tell me anything about the book or entice me to read it, and since there is so much text on the cover already, I think it could help provide space if it was taken out. Also, the asterisk doesn't make sense to me. I don't know what it's there for.

Love the stars and the effects in the sky, and how the title is overlaid on that.

The author name is hard to read with such a thin font. I think it would look better if it was squashed a bit.

I don't know how you are planning to publish, but maybe keep in mind that a lot of people encounter books first in a list, where the title and author are listed next to the cover, instead of getting the title from the cover, so it's not as important to have the text so big. (This is usually how I encounter books as a reader. My apologies if no one else is like this.)

Even with the rough version, though, the colors and the stars drew me in and I felt like I knew what to expect out of it.

Online Jan Hurst-Nicholson

  • Status: Isaac Asimov
  • ********
  • Posts: 10767
  • Durban, South Africa
  • Don't let your emotions overpower your intellect
    • View Profile
    • www.just4kix.jimdo.com
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2018, 06:12:13 AM »
As an author becomes more famous their name takes precedence over the title of the book because their name becomes the main selling point, and it usually appears at the top of the cover. I think readers might assume that Victoria Marmot is the author's name (as I initially did). I think it might work better if the title was in the middle of the cover (or not, as I'm not a graphic artist, but am looking at it from a reader's point of view)  ::)

Fiction, family saga, humour, short stories, teen, children's
Jan Hurst-Nicholson | author website

Offline Carol Davis

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 811
  • Gender: Female
  • New York
    • View Profile
    • Carol Davis Author
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2018, 06:29:50 AM »
I agree with other folks that there's far too much text.

And for me, the girl's expression is very off-putting -- too angry and belligerent. It drives me away from wanting to find out more about her.

I think overall, this cover says to me "Keep out. Stay away."

Carol Davis | blog | facebook | twitter | newsletter

Offline kcole99294

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
    • Kencoleman.co
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2018, 07:29:07 AM »
The common theme seems to be "hard to read" which would defeat the purpose of the cover.

Ken Coleman | Ken Coleman

Offline StacyC

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3931
  • Gender: Female
  • Seattle-ish
  • Run like you have to get to the library
    • View Profile
    • Stacy Claflin, Author
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2018, 08:17:07 AM »
All that text is an eyesore, sorry. Plus you're not doing yourself any favors covering part of the title.
  

USA Today bestselling author of The Gone Trilogy & Dean's List: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Free Books

Offline Herefortheride

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1335
  • Gender: Male
  • Chengdu
  • Loving every minute
    • View Profile
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2018, 08:24:22 AM »
It's a wall of text. Something about it really bothers the eye.

Does all the text need to be that large?
Havenglade Mysteries (Book 1) developmental editing: 75%

Daughter of Dragons(DoH book4) prologue and chapter one: 17%

world-building and conlang for new series: 1%
H.C. Harrington

Offline tdecastro31

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2018, 08:32:25 AM »
I still love the cover, but I agree it has gotten more legible. So maybe if you listen to everyone else it will continue to improve ;)

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2018, 11:57:03 AM »
I still love the cover, but I agree it has gotten more legible. So maybe if you listen to everyone else it will continue to improve ;)

Thanks, TD! It's nice to know that someone likes it. :-)
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Online C. Gold

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2127
    • View Profile
    • Golden Elm Publishing
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2018, 05:28:33 PM »
I agree with other folks that there's far too much text.

And for me, the girl's expression is very off-putting -- too angry and belligerent. It drives me away from wanting to find out more about her.

I think overall, this cover says to me "Keep out. Stay away."
I like the angry girl glare. To me it says she's a bad*ss and is not taking any guff from anyone. I'd probably call it :Angry Teen Girl rather than Average, lol!

Offline VirginiaMcClain

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 558
    • View Profile
    • Virginia McClain's Blog
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2018, 11:05:34 AM »
I like the angry girl glare. To me it says she's a bad*ss and is not taking any guff from anyone. I'd probably call it :Angry Teen Girl rather than Average, lol!

Ha! Indeed. In fact, anyone who is turned away from a book cover by a female that isn't smiling is not my target audience. :-)
Virginia McClain | Blog | Cover Designs & Formatting

Offline C. Gockel

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4529
  • Chicago, IL
    • View Profile
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2018, 02:06:03 PM »
I can't read the title. Which I didn't know was the title until it was explained to me. You've really got to take it out from behind the girl's head and make it legible and more prominent than your name. Is it supposed to say Marmot? Or does it say something else?

 You might want a name that is about the feeling / theme of the book, rather than your main character's name. "Girl's Name: Average Teenage Girl" could be about anything, but most likely YA coming of age no magic.


I write books about Change, Chaos, and Loki
C. Gockel | facebook | tumblr | website

Offline GeorgiaCM123

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Gender: Female
  • Toowoomba, Australia
    • View Profile
    • Painless Editing and Publishing
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2018, 03:01:02 PM »
I'm in the PNR camp because of the wolf and the panther.

I'd try reducing the font size of the title so that the cover doesn't look so busy. Is the asterisk there for a reason? An asterisk is generally used for footnotes or for text breaks.

It doesn't come across as a parody--not to me anyway. In fact, on the basis of the cover alone (without the blurb), it may mislead some readers expecting a book written for either UF or PNR, but finding a book that makes fun of it instead.

Offline klerner

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Testing to see if this cover hits the mark
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2018, 06:16:49 PM »
Yep, agree with the majority: this is problematic for me.

1) The title is waaay too big and made me assume it was the author's name.

2) Also, it's obscured by the gal's head and I had no idea what the 2nd name was (Marriot?).

3) The asterisk is de trop. :)  Asterisks don't do solo acts, they come in pairs--you need another one at the end of "Marmot," assuming it's intended to be a footnote sorta thing.

4) The font choices clash, and the gradient for the subtitle and author name renders them hard to read. They seem to disappear into the background.

5) Agreed that the three figures look unrelated; kinda makes me think of collages I used to make out of magazine photos when I was younger. (Muuuuuuch younger. I'm old as hell! :D) I bet you can do a better job with melding the elements so they seem less random.

6) The girl is bad*ss and that's a good stance for your heroine. The vivid green of her eyes seems out of place, though.  Not sure why. I guess it looks a little cartoony/cheesy, somehow?

7) Let's talk about the title for a sec, if that's okay. With great respect and understanding for how much your heroine means to you as her creator, she doesn't yet matter to your potential readers. So I think emphasizing her name isn't the optimal choice for your title. Until she's a household name, you're not telling your readers anything helpful about the story to draw them in.

It'd be different if the full title were "Victoria Marmot: _____" or "Victoria Marmot and the ______" -- where the words in the blank could offer some hint as to the plot/theme/genre.  With the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series, even before they were famous, the full titles included intriguing hooks. (Respectively: "Ooh, how can someone steal lightning?" and "What's a philosopher's stone, it sounds mystical/ancient!" Okay, some well-read kids might know what a philosopher's stone is, but still.) 

Here, we got nothin' except that apparently Victoria's an average teenager. I fear that's not much of a draw. Heck, it's kind of the antithesis of a draw!  Although obviously you intended it as snarky, especially since you told us that this is a satire. But "Average Teenage Girl" by itself doesn't signpost satire or genre.

Maybe adding "Totally" to that would lean further in that direction?  "Totally Average Girl" seems like someone desperate to fool us or distract us... or it's sarcastic. Either way it's more clear that we shouldn't exactly believe what we're reading.

Still, we're missing the genre. That title could belong to a teen spy, treasure-hunter, super-genius or detective, for example.

So my real suggestion would be to get rid of Victoria's name altogether (maybe make that the series title instead?) and do something punny. If it's clever enough, you'll make it clear it's humor/satire, and you'll let us know the genre.

Like... I dunno, since you're targeting the shifter audience, why not "Shifty-Eyed Girl" or "The Late Shifts" (helps if you've got some deaths in there!), or something along those lines?

Anyway, I'm sorry these are all negative. Honestly, if this were a videogame or a movie poster, and "Victoria Marmot" was a more well-known entity, I think the transparent lettering would be pretty damn cool.  (And if her last name were well known, her head obscuring the last letters wouldn't be such a problem.)  Plus, as I said, I do like the heroine, who looks like a real "don't mess with me" type. She gives me a Faith (from Buffy) vibe.

But I want you to do well--I think the genre is hella ripe for satire! :D--so here's hoping some of these comments help you get there.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 06:25:01 PM by klerner »