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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

My fifth book Teller will be out middle of next month, and I'm finalizing the cover art and design. Teller is urban fantasy set in Monterey, California. Cover design is such a tricky thing. I'd love to hear what you think of the art, titles, composition, anything! (I'm an illustrator as well as writer).

Here's the full view of the cover--front and back (without cover copy or spine titling). This will be the print edition cover (through CreateSpace)
http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/TELLER-CHRISHOWARD-COVER-DISP.jpg

Here's the front cover--what will be seen on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc.



UPDATED COVER:



And one more time--I think this if the FINAL:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Joseph! That's exactly what I'm hoping to convey.

Thanks, Isaac. Great idea. I'll update the post (soon) with the back cover copy--not quite happy with it right now.
Here are a couple thumbnails--at 250px and 150px heights--what is this cover going to look like in any of Amazon's lists

 

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My first reaction was to squint at it for a while until I could make out what was going on. 
I think the background behind the figure is just adding noise, and it is also making it difficult for you to find a comfortable space for your title and author name.

My instinct would be to remove the background, move the title to the bottom so the figure is hovering above the title, move the figure a little to the right so he is moving into the composition more forcefully and not so central. Maybe some of those trails can be cut off by the edge of the book.

I would also consider not trying to fit in the entire figure.  Just having his hovering feet above the title might be very striking indeed!
 

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That's a very striking cover, Chris, and a beautiful illustration! I love the font and the colors.

The only suggestion I would have is to eliminate the dark area under the figure's feet, or perhaps move that dark area up a bit if you can, closer to the feet, so you can then move the entire illustration down a bit. Then move the title down slightly, and enlarge and perhaps embolden your name just a tad.

Added: If the illustration is layered, so you have control over the individual elements, you might want to drop the background rectangle down slightly and see how that looks. It just looks a little crowded at the top overall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks! This is great.  I'm going to play with some of these ideas.

mashadutoit, I love the idea of having him hover above the title.  It's funny, I have an email thread going on this, and there are definite--and strong--preferences for the complete figure or partial. I'm going to lighten the background frame, see if I can get him to really stand out against it.

DreamWeaver, thanks! I don't have separate layers for background, frame, and figure, but I'm going to play with reducing the frame, lightening it, pulling the title up, see how it turns out. 
 

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ChrisHoward said:
Thanks! This is great. I'm going to play with some of these ideas.

mashadutoit, I love the idea of having him hover above the title. It's funny, I have an email thread going on this, and there are definite--and strong--preferences for the complete figure or partial. I'm going to lighten the background frame, see if I can get him to really stand out against it.

DreamWeaver, thanks! I don't have separate layers for background, frame, and figure, but I'm going to play with reducing the frame, lightening it, pulling the title up, see how it turns out.
Yes I think lightening the background may very well work.

I did not want to nit pick - aah what the hell, let me go ahead and nit pick. Something that was worrying me is the way the bottom of the "T" intersects with the top of that background frame. To my eye, it is not a definite enough overlap - it either needs to be a lot more, or not at all. Almost looks accidental, if you know what I mean. And if you could provide a little bit of space around the author name, it looks sort of trapped there just above the guys head.

I like all the different elements, but at the moment they are fighting with one another for attention. And I presume the figure is the most important?
 

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I agree with what some of the others have said about the background and title. I think that as a thumbnail right now, it's not something that would catch my eye. I really do like the art but it might not be conveying the plot of the book as well as if could. Maybe with the changes it would stand out a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mashadutoit said:
Yes I think lightening the background may very well work.

I did not want to nit pick - aah what the hell, let me go ahead and nit pick. Something that was worrying me is the way the bottom of the "T" intersects with the top of that background frame. To my eye, it is not a definite enough overlap - it either needs to be a lot more, or not at all. Almost looks accidental, if you know what I mean. And if you could provide a little bit of space around the author name, it looks sort of trapped there just above the guys head.

I like all the different elements, but at the moment they are fighting with one another for attention. And I presume the figure is the most important?
Thanks, mashadutoit. Nit pick away! Here's the latest with some of the less radical changes, lightened up the background frame (too subtle? I also went around the figure--lightly--with a glow), raised the titling above the frame--author name out of the guy's hair. I've just started to play with lengthening the stem of the T to see what more overlap would look like.

I do think the figure is the most important, but there is this tarot and watercolor painting theme throughout, and I'd rather not lose it.

Update of the front with the spine and some of the back cover:

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
fayrlite said:
I agree with what some of the others have said about the background and title. I think that as a thumbnail right now, it's not something that would catch my eye. I really do like the art but it might not be conveying the plot of the book as well as if could. Maybe with the changes it would stand out a bit more.
Thanks fayrlite! I hope so! I just posted the first update above. I'd love to hear what you think.

Chris
 

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I really like it...

But my one gripe is that in thumbnail it looks like he has pink stuff shooting out of his butt. That's distracting to me and my fourth grade sense of potty humor.
 

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Better :)

I would line up the edges of your title with the frame of the background.  Actually, I would fade that background more - I understand that it is meaningful, but it still makes your design too busy.  But that's just me!

I would also consider dropping the background or making it bigger so it acts as more of a frame for your figure, but I'm not sure if that will work.
 

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Personally I would fade those "pink farts" out a lot more as they detract from the scene, especially in the thumbnail.

Is there any reason you didn't put your name across the bottom of the cover like you've done with your other books?

I definitely think the second image is a step in the right direction but the red grainy bits (blood trails? I can't tell) really distract me from the rest of the image. Perhaps a muted thumbnail and the larger cover art can be the more dynamic version?
 
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