Author Topic: military thriller cover feedback  (Read 2497 times)  

Offline alhawke

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Re: military thriller cover feedback
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2020, 12:52:09 pm »
I agree with Kathy ^^. See if you can get an Everglade background or, similar, or at least water under the helicopter.

I'd erase a lot of the white around the helicopter. I think it's water, maybe the stock photo is a helicopter crashing in water? Maybe you could manipulate photos and do something with that?

You could always add something military in the background--uniform, insignia. I'm just brainstorming here.


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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #26 on: July 09, 2020, 11:03:11 am »
    I agree with Kathy ^^. See if you can get an Everglade background or, similar, or at least water under the helicopter.

    I'd erase a lot of the white around the helicopter. I think it's water, maybe the stock photo is a helicopter crashing in water? Maybe you could manipulate photos and do something with that?

    You could always add something military in the background--uniform, insignia. I'm just brainstorming here.

    Thanks Hawk. Maybe I can change the angle of the chopper. I don't want anybody thinking it's crashing. Appreciate it.

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    Offline Gessert Books

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #27 on: July 09, 2020, 12:17:25 pm »
    Thanks Phillip. Suggestions for better placement of "A NOVEL"?

    I'd probably just center it under the rest of the text and maybe make a couple other adjustments if it seems to be crowding the image there.

    Offline RBC

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #28 on: July 09, 2020, 01:27:21 pm »
    Thanks RBC for the suggestions. I don't know what the white stuff around the helicopter is either. I'm thinking whatever it is, it gives a sense of dynamism. And the story does have a Coast Guard helicopter in it and many of those are orange and white. I was hesitant to add texture because there's already so much happening on the cover but I will experiment with it.

    No problem!

    The white kinda looks like snow. Probably not what you wanted... Dynamic effect is often achieved by making a movement visual, those lines that are caught when camera captures certain speed of car etc. You could do the same with a helicopter. Just make a copy of it into new layer and apply Motion Blur, horizontally, and that will distort the copy chopper into sides creating movement effect. Make it's opacity smaller and that will look like it's moving fast! ;)

    And as far as textures, you don't need to leave the texture 100% visible. Play around with the blending modes and then the opacity. Sometimes it's best to leave texture on like 15-20%. Gives a tactile 'feel' without dominating the visual. And definitely delete the texture over the chopper etc.

    Judging from your comments, maybe you should stop aiming for 'military' theme and just focus on adventure part. And then you could look at different thrillers for inspiration. Adventure ones would need to be more dynamic. You seem to want to go that direction anyway.

    Good luck.

    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #29 on: July 09, 2020, 02:43:53 pm »
    I'd probably just center it under the rest of the text and maybe make a couple other adjustments if it seems to be crowding the image there.

    Thanks Phillip. I'll give it a try.

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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #30 on: July 09, 2020, 02:47:03 pm »
    No problem!

    The white kinda looks like snow. Probably not what you wanted... Dynamic effect is often achieved by making a movement visual, those lines that are caught when camera captures certain speed of car etc. You could do the same with a helicopter. Just make a copy of it into new layer and apply Motion Blur, horizontally, and that will distort the copy chopper into sides creating movement effect. Make it's opacity smaller and that will look like it's moving fast! ;)

    And as far as textures, you don't need to leave the texture 100% visible. Play around with the blending modes and then the opacity. Sometimes it's best to leave texture on like 15-20%. Gives a tactile 'feel' without dominating the visual. And definitely delete the texture over the chopper etc.

    Judging from your comments, maybe you should stop aiming for 'military' theme and just focus on adventure part. And then you could look at different thrillers for inspiration. Adventure ones would need to be more dynamic. You seem to want to go that direction anyway.

    Good luck.

    Thanks RBC. I knew the motion blur was there but never thought to try it. I'm off to try that and your other suggestions. :)

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    Offline RBC

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #31 on: July 09, 2020, 03:17:03 pm »
    Thanks RBC. I knew the motion blur was there but never thought to try it. I'm off to try that and your other suggestions. :)

    Yeah it's cool and it can be used in many ways. You have seen title made to look supernatural and 'disappearing' with it too, it just distorts text upwards and downwards.

    Enjoy the process ;)

    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #32 on: July 09, 2020, 05:02:12 pm »
    I tried the "A Novel" under the title and it looked kind of stacked. And since that helicopter image is a painting the motion blur just kind of made a mess of it. I know I could remove all the white around it but I like the color and contrast it brings. I did add some texture. Think it improves it?

    No texture:



    Texture:


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    Offline RBC

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #33 on: July 10, 2020, 04:13:51 pm »
    Gotta admit I honestly hate the white lol

    Motion Blur would be best without it at all. Only on the chopper.

    But in the end, you gotta launch at some point. Zero point in messing with it and not get real world feedback. Every person here could give you feedback in slightly different direction and you wont stop editing then. I'd launch to see how  it does for real. You can always change the cover if it's doing terrible. Maybe by that time some inexpensive premade pops up on someone's site.

    Offline Flying Pizza Pie

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #34 on: July 10, 2020, 05:36:44 pm »
    I'll assume you are going away from the humor books and moving to something more realistic. If so, the helicopter is bright and shiny, but as someone who's been around enough Naval bases (from Sasebo, to Guam, to Hawthorne, to Long Beach), I'd love to see some grit and grime to give the Navy Seals their due. You'll probably have more sales and do better with an actual photo or artist's rendition of a chopper moving from the edge of land or hovering over a rescue spot. I think it's worth $100 for a nice cover.

    Beyond that, Navy Seal in the title and tag line right next to it seems a bit much. Might be better to switch with your name and put it at the bottom? Or just "Everglades Rescue?"  Guess I don't really know, but "Navy Seals - Everglades" would do it for me.


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    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #35 on: July 10, 2020, 05:54:33 pm »
    The white looks like water flinging around to me -- like the copter rose from the deeps and is shaking itself off like a dog.  ;D

    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #36 on: July 10, 2020, 08:22:31 pm »
    Gotta admit I honestly hate the white lol

    Motion Blur would be best without it at all. Only on the chopper.

    But in the end, you gotta launch at some point. Zero point in messing with it and not get real world feedback. Every person here could give you feedback in slightly different direction and you wont stop editing then. I'd launch to see how  it does for real. You can always change the cover if it's doing terrible. Maybe by that time some inexpensive premade pops up on someone's site.

    Thanks RBC. I kind of like the white. I think it brightens up the navy blue background. But I hear you. At some point I gotta get it out there. But I still have some polishing to do on the book so it's not like everything is waiting on the cover.

    I made the chopper orange like the actual Coast Guard choppers. (And there is a Coast Guard chopper in the story.) And I added the roundel and the name on the chopper.  I also changed the font on my name to a condensed version of the title font (League Gothic). Hopefully those things will help.


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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #37 on: July 10, 2020, 08:28:39 pm »
    I'll assume you are going away from the humor books and moving to something more realistic. If so, the helicopter is bright and shiny, but as someone who's been around enough Naval bases (from Sasebo, to Guam, to Hawthorne, to Long Beach), I'd love to see some grit and grime to give the Navy Seals their due. You'll probably have more sales and do better with an actual photo or artist's rendition of a chopper moving from the edge of land or hovering over a rescue spot. I think it's worth $100 for a nice cover.

    Beyond that, Navy Seal in the title and tag line right next to it seems a bit much. Might be better to switch with your name and put it at the bottom? Or just "Everglades Rescue?"  Guess I don't really know, but "Navy Seals - Everglades" would do it for me.

    Hi Al. I hear you about getting a designer. Sometimes I do.

    And there's a Coast Guard chopper in my story and so I made the chopper orange and added the roundel and name. And the characters in the story comment that the chopper is orange and white (before they can make out the Coast Guard markings). And my story's not all that gritty anyway.




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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #38 on: July 10, 2020, 08:30:04 pm »
    The white looks like water flinging around to me -- like the copter rose from the deeps and is shaking itself off like a dog.  ;D

    Hey, I thought you liked it! lol

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    Offline baldricko

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #39 on: July 10, 2020, 08:55:55 pm »
    The overall layout I like. The colors work for me too, but as they are perhaps a little blocky. There are three changes I'd consider.

    As mentioned I'd think about adding a water effect so that there's depth to the image. Overlay an image you can find online of flattened water under a chopper. HD from a good photo. Fade it into the background blue. It only need be a little wider than the chppper. Just a patch below and surrounding it, not the whole cover.

    Like RBC mentioned, I'd also lose the white. It could be snow? Or coke. It looks odd and makes me wonder what it is. So I'd call that a pointless distraction.

    I get you want movement and the rotors are the obvious part of the image to look to gain that effect. Instead go for that wide at the ends blurred effect photos of rotors show. I'd try those photoshop tricks RBC mentioned.

    The text could be affected by the rotor movement. Mess about with it. A little is a lot though.

    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #40 on: July 10, 2020, 09:50:34 pm »
    Hey, I thought you liked it! lol
    I do!

    Offline RBC

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #41 on: July 11, 2020, 07:41:03 am »
    Thanks RBC. I kind of like the white. I think it brightens up the navy blue background. But I hear you. At some point I gotta get it out there. But I still have some polishing to do on the book so it's not like everything is waiting on the cover.

    I made the chopper orange like the actual Coast Guard choppers. (And there is a Coast Guard chopper in the story.) And I added the roundel and the name on the chopper.  I also changed the font on my name to a condensed version of the title font (League Gothic). Hopefully those things will help.



    That font is good choice, it's classic in the genre pretty much. The texture helps too. It could be more interesting with some texture applied to text too. Like overlaying grungy texture over text layer with a slight Inner Glow. If you have time, keep playing but even then at some point it can turn into negative perfectionism.

    And I do get you like the white. It does add to cover but only because there is nothing else there. But as you know probably already, it's about readers. If they don't get it, they don't get it. Can't fall in love with anything on a cover. It makes sense to you. It doesn't to many. You can ignore the feedback for now and just test it. No designer or author can tell you what to do really..  Maybe it will do fine enough.

    But you have to be very careful. Falling in love with something on cover is what makes most of DIY terrible and gives our industry black eye. So that's where DIYers need to be super self-aware and honest.

    P.S. And in general, not trying to sell any covers here. My feedback would be the same if we agreed that no one else from Kboards would ever by my cover. :)

    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #42 on: July 13, 2020, 07:25:51 pm »
    The overall layout I like. The colors work for me too, but as they are perhaps a little blocky. There are three changes I'd consider.

    As mentioned I'd think about adding a water effect so that there's depth to the image. Overlay an image you can find online of flattened water under a chopper. HD from a good photo. Fade it into the background blue. It only need be a little wider than the chppper. Just a patch below and surrounding it, not the whole cover.

    Like RBC mentioned, I'd also lose the white. It could be snow? Or coke. It looks odd and makes me wonder what it is. So I'd call that a pointless distraction.

    I get you want movement and the rotors are the obvious part of the image to look to gain that effect. Instead go for that wide at the ends blurred effect photos of rotors show. I'd try those photoshop tricks RBC mentioned.

    The text could be affected by the rotor movement. Mess about with it. A little is a lot though.

    Thanks baldricko. Those are some really good suggestions. I'm going to play with them and see what I can come up with.

    And lol. I'd also lose the white. It could be snow? Or coke.

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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #43 on: July 13, 2020, 07:26:11 pm »

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #44 on: July 13, 2020, 07:33:19 pm »
    That font is good choice, it's classic in the genre pretty much. The texture helps too. It could be more interesting with some texture applied to text too. Like overlaying grungy texture over text layer with a slight Inner Glow. If you have time, keep playing but even then at some point it can turn into negative perfectionism.

    And I do get you like the white. It does add to cover but only because there is nothing else there. But as you know probably already, it's about readers. If they don't get it, they don't get it. Can't fall in love with anything on a cover. It makes sense to you. It doesn't to many. You can ignore the feedback for now and just test it. No designer or author can tell you what to do really..  Maybe it will do fine enough.

    But you have to be very careful. Falling in love with something on cover is what makes most of DIY terrible and gives our industry black eye. So that's where DIYers need to be super self-aware and honest.

    P.S. And in general, not trying to sell any covers here. My feedback would be the same if we agreed that no one else from Kboards would ever by my cover. :)

    I hear you. I have heard a lot of people not knowing what the white was. And you're right--I like it so why can't everybody else? lol

    I don't have the greatest PS skills so I was happy the image did everything for me. I'll grab another chopper (I couldn't find a decent image of an airboat or airboats anywhere--airboats would really fit my story better. In the story, the Coast Guard chopper is pursuing my SEAL protagonists, it's not rescuing anything). Anyway, thanks for making more work for me. lol! But seriously, I appreciate your help. Thanks.

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    Offline RBC

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #45 on: July 14, 2020, 05:39:38 am »
    I hear you. I have heard a lot of people not knowing what the white was. And you're right--I like it so why can't everybody else? lol

    I don't have the greatest PS skills so I was happy the image did everything for me. I'll grab another chopper (I couldn't find a decent image of an airboat or airboats anywhere--airboats would really fit my story better. In the story, the Coast Guard chopper is pursuing my SEAL protagonists, it's not rescuing anything). Anyway, thanks for making more work for me. lol! But seriously, I appreciate your help. Thanks.

    No worries! We're all here to help each other.


    Do you mean this for airboat?

    https://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-262957003/stock-photo-airboat-on-the-river-in-the-autumn-time

    https://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-188348005/stock-photo-hovercraft-on-the-river-bank-siberia%2C-razdelnaya-river%2C-novosibirsk-region%2C-berdsk




    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #46 on: July 14, 2020, 02:00:43 pm »
    No worries! We're all here to help each other.


    Do you mean this for airboat?

    https://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-262957003/stock-photo-airboat-on-the-river-in-the-autumn-time

    https://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-188348005/stock-photo-hovercraft-on-the-river-bank-siberia%2C-razdelnaya-river%2C-novosibirsk-region%2C-berdsk


    Thanks. I'm looking more for an illustration. Here's what I got for this cover.



    And here's (the image) sort of thing I was looking for. (There is an airboat chase in the book.)



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    Offline Gregg Bell

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #47 on: July 15, 2020, 08:06:10 pm »
    New ones. They're very rough mockups but what about the concept? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.




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    Offline baldricko

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #48 on: July 15, 2020, 09:14:31 pm »
    The cover with the red chopper.

    Two further suggestions. Allow the blades to extend past the edge of the bleed on either side rather than cropping them.

    Perhaps do something else with the color of the author name at the bottom. This was a problem I had in my last cover. You want it to stand out but not blend into the image. Perhaps the same red as the chopper, or the same dominant blue would work. The black doesn't quite do it for me.

    All in all though, good work. Much more impact now.


    Offline alhawke

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    Re: military thriller cover feedback
    « Reply #49 on: July 15, 2020, 09:18:52 pm »
    Gregg, I really like this new one a lot better. Having the helicopter come at you is more engaging. Particularly red.

    Can you experiment with superimposing an everglades background under the helicopter? (like in Everglades Assault).


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