Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 58 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Working on this cover... (Yes, I did it myself. I plan to continue doing covers myself, because I enjoy doing so. Any comments to the effect of "Hire a designer" will be collected and made into a wordle, which I can then distribute to anyone who wants it. It will seriously cut down your time on cover critique threads, because you can just post a link to the wordle.)

Right then. So, the book is YA action-adventure with paranormal elements. I'm kind of going for a sort of mix of The Vampire Academy covers with a more Maximum Ride/Maze Runner/Enclave kind of feel?

Um, my questions would be...
-Random larger letters--make you feel deliciously on edge or just make you go, "Why?"
-Does the girl match the background? I fear she looks "cut out."
-Does the clouds on the lettering look good or just make it seem like there's a hole in the background?
-Does the style of the cityscape match everything else?

And anything else anyone feels like throwing out. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! I really appreciate it. (I ask my boyfriend, but he always just says, "That looks good!")

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
I think that's pretty spectacular. The one thing I'm not crazy for is the random big letters. That always suggests some kind of hidden puzzle where I'm trying to build an anagram out of them or something. Other than that, I love it. The clouds, girl and cityscape all work, because they fit that style with each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
valeriec80 said:
Um, my questions would be...
-Random larger letters--make you feel deliciously on edge or just make you go, "Why?"
-Does the girl match the background? I fear she looks "cut out."
-Does the clouds on the lettering look good or just make it seem like there's a hole in the background?
-Does the style of the cityscape match everything else?
Just an opinion of a n00b here, but random larger letters bother me. Maybe make it the first letters instead that are larger? Also, while I like the city, I'm not sure I like the girl. She seems like such a strong focus, but she's not really doing anything YA/Paranormal like. Maybe something else paranormal like can happen above the city instead of her? By clouds, do you mean the Toil and Trouble font? If so, I like that font as is.

Hope that helps.

Jodi
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,676 Posts
I think the biggest problem you have is the font sizes. The text seems all jumbled and crushed together. The girl seems dominant even with the large font sizes. I don't know if that's what you intended or not.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
-Random larger letters--make you feel deliciously on edge or just make you go, "Why?"
-Does the girl match the background? I fear she looks "cut out." Yes I don't think she is necessary.
-Does the clouds on the lettering look good or just make it seem like there's a hole in the background? Hole in the background. These would look better in another color.
-Does the style of the cityscape match everything else? I believe so.

My thoughts would be to take away the girl, move the title or author name to that blank area and then use bottom for the other.

Maybe try an accent color in there.

Good luck. Thanks for being willing to share and let us all give input.

Caedem
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,085 Posts
I like the cover, I think the girl fits the background well (not cut out), but somehow she looks more like a woman too me, not a young girl. What is her age in the story?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,468 Posts
I don't like the "J M O O Y" random big letters (the M was especially irritating, and I have no idea why), but the rest of the cover (including the title font) I like.

Though I do agree the lady looks like a grown woman, and not a youth or girl - is that intended? It's not a huge issue for me, but I agree with the point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
I quite like the cover except for a few nitpicks:

- the woman's head does absolutely nothing for me. For one it's not YA, it's definitely too old. It also tells no "story": it's an emotionless face so unless you have a sociopath for a main (or whoever she represents) a little emotion or action would do well
- I like the cartoon look you're going for. If, however, you do end up with a more realistic human model you'll need to change the cityscape to something less cartoony
- your font choices are great (I'm quite taken with the title font) but I'm very turned off by the random size variations between letters. Looks as though the typecaster hit the Shift key accidentally

I think if you change the model pic to something more dynamic and even out the font sizing you'd have a real winner here. What's the story about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
I like it! What the others have said about the girl is accurate in my opinion. She looks older. If that's what you're going for then I would suggest toning her down a bit so she doesn't stand out as much. If you have her on a layer, lower the opacity just a smudge, then "burn" the top of the image ( including the top corners) just to give it that extra POP.

The random letters could work if the bigger ones were just a little bit smaller too. Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Laura Lond said:
What is her age in the story?
She's 17 or 18. And the model I drew her from is about that age, but somehow, she did come out looking mature. I've tried to play down the shadows on her face to make her look more youthful, but I think it's mostly her expression. Is this a bad thing...? Maybe. I'll muse over it a bit and see if I can play with the image more. (I think she has a very mournful expression...not emotionless. Anyone else think she's blank?)

Burn tool! Yay. Thanks for the tip. Mind blend her better too.

Thanks for the comments thus far. Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
644 Posts
Hi there!

My first impression: lose the floating head. It looks completely out of place. Plus, she looks too old to be your MC.

Now, about the rest...
I like the cityscape okay.
I like the title typography.
Not a huge fan of the random big letters but they don't bother me either.

My biggest concern is the lack of a WOW moment in the cover. If you take out the head (which really needs to go), you're left with a cityscape and a title. Meh. Nothing that says, "Action, Adventure, Excitement!" Maybe you should take a look at some competing titles and see what kind of covers they have? I'm thinking you need a stock photo of a girl running, jumping, in some kind of active pose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,676 Posts
valeriec80 said:
She's 17 or 18. And the model I drew her from is about that age, but somehow, she did come out looking mature. I've tried to play down the shadows on her face to make her look more youthful, but I think it's mostly her expression. Is this a bad thing...? Maybe. I'll muse over it a bit and see if I can play with the image more. (I think she has a very mournful expression...not emotionless. Anyone else think she's blank?)

Burn tool! Yay. Thanks for the tip. Mind blend her better too.

Thanks for the comments thus far. Cheers!
If you drew the woman yourself, then maybe you could lose the severe hairstyle. I think that's what makes her look older.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,468 Posts
valeriec80 said:
She's 17 or 18. And the model I drew her from is about that age, but somehow, she did come out looking mature. I've tried to play down the shadows on her face to make her look more youthful, but I think it's mostly her expression. Is this a bad thing...? Maybe. I'll muse over it a bit and see if I can play with the image more. (I think she has a very mournful expression...not emotionless. Anyone else think she's blank?)

Burn tool! Yay. Thanks for the tip. Mind blend her better too.

Thanks for the comments thus far. Cheers!
I don't think she looks emotionless. Stoic, possibly, as if she is distraught but strong.

Perhaps a little more of a lock of hair (instead of just strands?) falling to one side of her face might soften her, make her look younger and less collected? The strands as they are now make her look more like a 30 year old jogger than a youth in distress. Fading her a bit, as Kpfowler suggested, might also be an option.

As an aside, she actually reminds me a bit of Audrey Hepburn.

ETA: She also comes across as pretty heavily made up, so maybe toning down her mascara-look eyelashes a tad would make her look younger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You may be right about the girl running. Here's the two cover styles I'm trying to kind of "merge":





Originally, I was going to have a girl standing with her back to the cover, looking over her shoulder, but I got all Vampire Academy about it... I may be going back to the drawing board. We'll see.

Re: Hairstyle. Important to the character, but noted. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
If you wanted her to look younger you could make her eyes seem less hollowed under her brows. I think cartoon-styled drawings can work with YA book covers but, like the others have stated, an evocative photo could contain more information in it.

Have you considered gradiating the cityline from the current brown to a darker brown? So that the buildings are brown at the top and a darker shade  at the bottom? This might provide a darker backing for the words, as some contrast between the title and the bg could be great. Or maybe a faint all-around shadow around the text?

The book title is nice, but I find the uneven sizes of the letters in your name and the subtitle (Book One: Gray) to be distracting.

My first thoughts on the title letters did not scream "hole in the background"--maybe it's my eyesight, but I thought they were made of chrome/metal and that the highlights were glints upon uneven metal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,468 Posts
valeriec80 said:
You may be right about the girl running. Here's the two cover styles I'm trying to kind of "merge":





Originally, I was going to have a girl standing with her back to the cover, looking over her shoulder, but I got all Vampire Academy about it... I may be going back to the drawing board. We'll see.

Re: Hairstyle. Important to the character, but noted. :)
FWIW, I think the ponytail is perfectly acceptable for a teen girl (as one who wore exactly that style for her entire teenhood). I think the issue is her severity, between her taut face and strict hair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,676 Posts
On Vampire Academy, she looks late 20's early 30's. On your cover, she looks on the wrong side of 40.

Okay, the hairstyle is important to your story but your cover doesn't have to be completely reflective of the book. It has to indicate what the reader will find inside as far as the story goes, but needn't be exact.

I know this illustration isn't right but I wanted to suggest a style more indicative of her age.



And I don't think she looks emotionless. I think she looks like someone who doesn't know what she's feeling and she's withdrawing into herself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
About your cover:
girl: to make her look more girlish reduce nose size, widen eyes, fuller lips, hair more loosely pulled back with some strands hanging down - also maybe less strong/elongated jawline - also I agree, head appears to be floating

cityscape: Too generic and not at all scary or suggestive of toil and trouble...

Lettering: I'm okay I guess with different size letters but they are all too big and dominate cover

Honestly, I think one of the biggest problems may be the overall color scheme.  And now that I've given my opinion... sorry I offered mostly what not to do instead what to do... I'm part of the problem:)

 
1 - 20 of 58 Posts
Top