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Hello everyone, I am an unpublished indie author. I was told that the cover is the most important piece in the book sales puzzle, so I followed some guides from the internet and designed one of my own.
I need you to give me some of your time and provide me with constructive feedback, and tell me what feelings this cover invokes from the first glance.

Thanks.
The Juncture concept-O.png
 

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Hi LD,

If I were to glance this in thumbnail, I'd think this is a mystery, thriller, horror of some sorts. It does not evoke sci-fi (could just be me, but I do read sci-fi). It does have thriller elements, but sci-fi part is missing. Not knowing whether this is set on earth, space, other worlds etc. it's hard to provide suggestions, but you'll want to bring in some hints of imagery of the world this is set in, I think.
 

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The most important things for a cover to do, assuming you want to sell as many books as you can, is to convey the genre and be clear at thumbnail size. That is because most people will encounter your books in search results and ads, so they'll be seeing them at thumbnail and they'll likely be moving quickly. That means you only have a couple of seconds to let them know that your book is a book that they might enjoy reading. The main way this is achieved is by strong contrast, both in the image itself, and between the text and the image. Your cover is a really good try for someone who's just getting started, but it's not currently doing either of those things. It doesn't evoke a sci-fi vibe, and the title is so dark that it will be really difficult to read at thumbnail.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The most important things for a cover to do, assuming you want to sell as many books as you can, is to convey the genre and be clear at thumbnail size. That is because most people will encounter your books in search results and ads, so they'll be seeing them at thumbnail and they'll likely be moving quickly. That means you only have a couple of seconds to let them know that your book is a book that they might enjoy reading. The main way this is achieved is by strong contrast, both in the image itself, and between the text and the image. Your cover is a really good try for someone who's just getting started, but it's not currently doing either of those things. It doesn't evoke a sci-fi vibe, and the title is so dark that it will be really difficult to read at thumbnail.
Thanks, I guess I know my mistake. It is the genre, my book is mainly a thriller with Sci-Fi elements. So I will just replace "Science Fiction Thriller" with "Thriller". I totally agree with the title visibility, I will see what I can do about it. Thanks for your feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi LD,

If I were to glance this in thumbnail, I'd think this is a mystery, thriller, horror of some sorts. It does not evoke sci-fi (could just be me, but I do read sci-fi). It does have thriller elements, but sci-fi part is missing. Not knowing whether this is set on earth, space, other worlds etc. it's hard to provide suggestions, but you'll want to bring in some hints of imagery of the world this is set in, I think.
Thank you, sci-fi isn't my main genre, it is a thriller. it is about time-travelling, I just used it to trigger the story.
 

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When I come across the cover, I find it hard to read the title right away. A white-colored title may have been a better option. And the cover doesn't convey a sci-fi vibe to it. The texture is nice though. :)
 

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Contrast. The title blends with the background. Make the title easy to read even form a distance. Perhaps in a shelf at a bookshop, people need to see it easily. Then make sure all the elements tie up with the story.
 

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Contrast. The title blends with the background. Make the title easy to read even form a distance. Perhaps in a shelf at a bookshop, people need to see it easily. Then make sure all the elements tie up with the story.
White shadow on the text maybe. You are right... it doesn't jump out enough.
 

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Make the title font larger, fill the width leaving only a small margin.
Put the title font as the top layer so it's crisp.
+1 use a white shadow to help define the title.

Maybe try swapping the red line and Juncture with the tag line, putting the tag line in a thinner font too.

If the story is primarily a thriller ... try tipping one of the characters in Juncture. Or mirror image the n, c, r, or e. That way people see the title but they also see something is a bit off kilter. I've seen similar treatments where the odd character is a little different color, like the same red as in the cross line.

.
 

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Without considering the genre or its readers - you need to add detail. Like color highlights. Seen as a thumbnail the black title font disappears into the background darkness. The cover doesn't say anything about the main theme of your book, let alone the genre. I can see that it's not going to be a romance. But, it could be a non-fiction cover. Do you see what I mean?

How does it fit with other books in the genre you are writing for?

It needs to fit within the expectations of readers of that genre. It can be as creative as you like but you want to be catching their eye with image-tropes (?) they recognize. For example, if it is SF then those dots should look a little more like planets, or electrons or other forms from the huge (but recognizable) range from out of SF.

BTW Figures or faces even if in the background and silhouetted work really well in a book cover, but you don't have to have them. Going with a cover that does not use a photo or realistic image, that is more painterly, or abstract, can work really well, but it needs to be eye catching. It also needs to contain detail somewhere (no matter how small) that tells the reader something about the story and makes them curious. The cover is best seen as a story in image form.
 

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First, let me just say, I've dabbled a bit in cover design, not professionally, and it's really hard work! So I commend you for giving it the ol' college try.

I really like your cover, and based on the discussion so far, it sounds like the design serves the purposes of the genre, audience, and story quite well. I second the recommendation to increase contrast and to add another focal visual element, like maybe the shadow of a person, or perhaps a smoky skull (? - just off the top of my head, it can be anything that signals a thriller feel).

Might I also suggest, if you'd like to save yourself some time and effort, maybe looking into premade covers, which can be bought for a song and can be of very high quality if you look for it. There's also lots of talented cover designers and illustrators out there, but I'm sure you're well aware. This is not to dissuade you from designing covers, not at all. I'm just offering an idea. I went through like 30 cover mock ups and iterations for indie author friends and myself, and lemme just say... writing is much easier. LOL 😂😂😂😂 Which is why I went and got a premade cover just the other day that's perfect for my needs and didn't take any effort, only a modest investment.

Good luck with your book! It sounds like a good one!
 
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