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No, it doesn't really look like a military thriller anymore. (I'm familiar with the prior thread about this cover.)

It now looks like an adventure book surrounding a coast guard rescue.

You'll be dependent on the blurb. As you probably know, this could hamper ad conversion with a poorly targeted cover, "good" or otherwise. Proper genre signals tend to trump "pretty".

You previously leaned heavily on Navy Seals in the series name and I'm not sure why you moved away from including that.
 

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To me, the cover says.. "Everglades Rescue."

Seeing such a cover, I would assume that the book is about.. a helicopter rescuing some people in the Everglades.

If your question about the 'military thriller' genre indicates that your book is about.. thrilling military guys going pew pew pew at one another, I'd recommend a more telling title. Like.. "Operation Explosions!" And a cover with guns, and tanks, and explosions! Or at least a dude wearing camo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
J. Tanner said:
No, it doesn't really look like a military thriller anymore. (I'm familiar with the prior thread about this cover.)

It now looks like an adventure book surrounding a coast guard rescue.

You'll be dependent on the blurb. As you probably know, this could hamper ad conversion with a poorly targeted cover, "good" or otherwise. Proper genre signals tend to trump "pretty".

You previously leaned heavily on Navy Seals in the series name and I'm not sure why you moved away from including that.
Thanks J. I am looking for the proper genre signal for the cover. That's exactly what I'm trying to do. I tentatively lost the "Navy SEAL" part of the title because my protags have lost their SEAL status and are trying to get it back. A more accurate title would be "Ex-Navy SEAL Everglades Rescue" but I don't think that works.

I'm going to make another post asking about genre.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
boba1823 said:
To me, the cover says.. "Everglades Rescue."

Seeing such a cover, I would assume that the book is about.. a helicopter rescuing some people in the Everglades.

If your question about the 'military thriller' genre indicates that your book is about.. thrilling military guys going pew pew pew at one another, I'd recommend a more telling title. Like.. "Operation Explosions!" And a cover with guns, and tanks, and explosions! Or at least a dude wearing camo.
Thanks boba.

To me, the cover says.. "Everglades Rescue."
Yes, agree.

I'm open to making a new cover. I just have to figure out my genre first.
 

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Gregg Bell said:
Thanks J. I am looking for the proper genre signal for the cover. That's exactly what I'm trying to do. I tentatively lost the "Navy SEAL" part of the title because my protags have lost their SEAL status and are trying to get it back. A more accurate title would be "Ex-Navy SEAL Everglades Rescue" but I don't think that works.
You're right, it doesn't work.

FWIW, I still think you're vastly overthinking this. Book 4 in your previous series is best. Book 1 in a new Navy SEALs series is second best. And removing Navy SEALs entirely is 1 millionth best.

Readers can wrap their head around "ex" SEAL part in the blurb. But your target reader remains someone interested in SEALs and that's what your cover needs to attract.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
J. Tanner said:
You're right, it doesn't work.

FWIW, I still think you're vastly overthinking this. Book 4 in your previous series is best. Book 1 in a new Navy SEALs series is second best. And removing Navy SEALs entirely is 1 millionth best.

Readers can wrap their head around "ex" SEAL part in the blurb. But your target reader remains someone interested in SEALs and that's what your cover needs to attract.
Thanks a lot, J. You're right. Vastly overthinking. This is the cover I'm leaning to:



You like this cover best?



Then this one second best?

 

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The bottom cover has a better helicopter, in my view. The insignia on the copter, as well as the appearance of slamming into the water, indicates military activity of some sort. FWIW.
 

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Yes, I like the first of the 3 best, but my hunch is that the second would convert better overall because of the success of the series. The only question is whether your core readers will be disappointed by the shift in tone.
 

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Sorry, but as good as the mockup cover/s look and they do, to me they say True Story and not fiction. Even the title lends itself to a True Story and not fiction.

There isn't much distinction between what you have designed and your other covers, which if I have it right are farce, whereas this is a thriller. While I can appreciate clean looking design is your brand style for what you have done, but a more grunge approach for an actual thriller would denote the genre better.

The best cover you have that has a thriller look is the last one in you signature {The Find}

I'd make the image more military than the title, maybe with an image of a someone in uniform in everglades type long grass and say a helicopter small as if searching, maybe with a beam. Then you could scrub the title for something like Hot Persuit, Deadly Persuit, Lethal Persuit, or the like.

There are lots of Navy SEAL images and military choppers on stock photo sites that might inspire you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
jb1111 said:
The bottom cover has a better helicopter, in my view. The insignia on the copter, as well as the appearance of slamming into the water, indicates military activity of some sort. FWIW.
Thanks jb. I think the way you do about that bottom helicopter, but several people said they thought it was crashing (it's not in my story) and didn't know what the white was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
J. Tanner said:
Yes, I like the first of the 3 best, but my hunch is that the second would convert better overall because of the success of the series. The only question is whether your core readers will be disappointed by the shift in tone.
Thanks J. Good. I like the first one too. I'm not worried about the previous readers. (In fact, those readers probably won't like this new, toughened up version. The first three books were basically farces.) I'm starting this book as Book #1 of a new series.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Decon said:
Sorry, but as good as the mockup cover/s look and they do, to me they say True Story and not fiction. Even the title lends itself to a True Story and not fiction.

There isn't much distinction between what you have designed and your other covers, which if I have it right are farce, whereas this is a thriller. While I can appreciate clean looking design is your brand style for what you have done, but a more grunge approach for an actual thriller would denote the genre better.

The best cover you have that has a thriller look is the last one in you signature {The Find}

I'd make the image more military than the title, maybe with an image of a someone in uniform in everglades type long grass and say a helicopter small as if searching, maybe with a beam. Then you could scrub the title for something like Hot Persuit, Deadly Persuit, Lethal Persuit, or the like.

There are lots of Navy SEAL images and military choppers on stock photo sites that might inspire you.
Thanks Declan. I see what you're saying. I think "A NOVEL" on the cover helps a little. Plus the blurb but I can still see it having a non-fiction feel. Maybe having a series name that is more clearly fiction will help?
 

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To my knowledge, in the US, "Rescue" is a specific military mission, part of "Combat Search And Rescue," (CSAR) not routinely performed by SEALs. Navy CSAR personnel do support SEAL ops and vice versa, according to sources like this:

https://work.chron.com/us-navy-combat-search-rescue-training-18914.html

If you write military thrillers, you have to get the military details right, or you will get killed in the reviews. Just like if you write football stories, you better know football details, or auto racing, or horse stories, or whatever. Even if they are "former" or "ex" SEALs (two different things, by the way) you will have nitpickers looking for things to gripe about.

Niche readers especially want a feeling of authenticity and verisimilitude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
David VanDyke said:
To my knowledge, in the US, "Rescue" is a specific military mission, part of "Combat Search And Rescue," (CSAR) not routinely performed by SEALs. Navy CSAR personnel do support SEAL ops and vice versa, according to sources like this:

https://work.chron.com/us-navy-combat-search-rescue-training-18914.html

If you write military thrillers, you have to get the military details right, or you will get killed in the reviews. Just like if you write football stories, you better know football details, or auto racing, or horse stories, or whatever. Even if they are "former" or "ex" SEALs (two different things, by the way) you will have nitpickers looking for things to gripe about.

Niche readers especially want a feeling of authenticity and verisimilitude.
Thanks David and thanks for the link. I'm trying to amp up my authenticity because I did get killed on earlier novels for a lack thereof. And it was pointed out to be that no active duty armed forces (except the Coast Guard) can take part in missions on US soil. Fortunate for me, my characters are ex-SEALs.
 

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Gregg Bell said:
And it was pointed out to be that no active duty armed forces (except the Coast Guard) can take part in missions on US soil.
That's flat wrong. That would mean every USAF airplane that took off from a US base carrying cargo, and every ship that sailed from a Navy base for training, would be in violation of law, since that's a mission. Tons of missions take place on US soil.

I think you're referring to the Posse Comitatus Act, which sets limits on the military for use within the US: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act.
 
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