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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had many conversations with writers and friends about how opinions on books and films are subjective. I'm a firm believer that (barring poor formatting, grammar, non-existent craft) one person's book to die for is another person's idea of desiring death before having to read it again. The same goes for books covers. I've seen covers that other people love that do nothing for me and vice versa. So I should know not to get upset about a harsh opinion. I've talked others out of letting subjective opinions get to them. I've had my one-star review, and while it ticked me off, I did not crawl into a ball and die over it. But tonight ... while in the hell of final edits on book two, I took a break to do some mindless internet surfing. I was searching for something under my pen name when I came across a search result that included my name with the title of Book Two, Risktaker. It was an entry in a long list (one of many long lists) of book covers that the blogger runs in order to make fun of and rip apart people's work. She takes the cover and makes sarcastic and arrogant comments, as if she is the definitive opinion on what's good and what's not. I won't link to it here, since that's not allowed and really, why give it any promotion? But the caption beneath my cover and some comments from readers of the blog really got to me. And what they said about my cover wasn't nearly as bad as what they said about other covers. Wow. I seriously wish I had the time on my hands to locate that many covers and be that creatively nasty. I would certainly use that many hours to do something less toxic.

Fortunately, I've had great reactions to the 2nd cover by some readers of the first book. Still, it's really taken a toll on me tonight. What if it does suck? What if my readers have lousy opinions? That blogger really had to be spending a lot of time to hunt for covers....mine isn't all that well publicized yet. Before the release, I had planned to change the typeface because I was never completely satisfied with it. But, other than that, I love the art. The artist did exactly what I wanted and it follows the style of book one's cover.

So why can't I move on and get back to editing tonight? I'm not much of a drinker, but I might just chug back a glass of Bailey's and call it a night.

 

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I like the warm colours of your cover.
Thematically, it says "sci-fi romance" to me, with great emphasis on the romance. Probably a bit more romancy than I would read, what with the sparkles, but I think it would definitely appeal to readers that are looking for something sweet.

The only thing I don't like about it is the font for the title. A bit too much sparkly stuff for me. But again, if it suits your target audience, I would not put any stock into what this person had to say about your choices.
Like you said, many of us can only wish for that much time on our hands. If I did, however, I'd find something positive to do.
 

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The cover looks fine to me. It might be a little better if you changed the typeface (I think something a little more..."mystical" would suit the warm and whimsical colours), but it's fine as it is. I don't read romance, but if I did, it would certainly catch my eye if I saw it while browsing through the Kindle store.
 

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I'm so sorry.  I would find that so hurtful.  I really love the cover personally.  The image is nice, I love the color.  It does not deserve that derision.  I know how hard it can be to keep working, so maybe just take a break and cool off and come back in a better place.  And no more looking at search results!  Have some tasty things and get some hugs, because that kind of toxicity is really tough to shake off.
 

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Why is it that the negative/mean comments always seem to have more weight than the nice ones? Hang in there. If you love your covers and your readers do, too, I don't think you've got anything to worry about. :) Chocolate helps, too...
 

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Fzik the critics.

The only real issue I have with your cover is the typography. You said yourself you were not satisfied, so perhaps think on what you'd like to change about it.

My thoughts are that I wouldn't go with the odd text effect and I would probably make use of the space between the lovers and the planets. Personal preference there would be to bend the text like the bridge and either place it directly under (and move the author name up) or have it arc over their heads.

Bear in mind that some people seek out covers from genres they hate anyway and slag them off. If someone likes the covers of illustrated fantasy but hates romance covers, they may pan ALL romance covers.

Stay strong. These people are unable to do what you do. It makes some of them bitter.
 

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I tracked down the blog in question to get a better perspective before commenting. The blogger isn't as vitriolic and nasty, as say, the other cover blogger discussed here a couple weeks back. She doesn't slag on all covers, as I did find some complimentary comments, and she has an "outstanding cover of the week" at the end of the post (which I don't think was any better than a lot of the other covers she criticized, but subjectivity and all that). I won't quote her comment on yours since you seem to want to keep this anonymous, but I will say that it was fairly innocuous compared to her other comments. Almost like she couldn't bring herself to like it personally, but couldn't come up with a legitimate criticism on quality, so she just kind of brushed it off. Given the long list of covers she posts, she doesn't strike me as someone who thinks very hard about what she says.

I really like the cover for what it's worth and certainly don't think it sucks. I enjoy the symmetry of the piece, as well as the color. If this book is sci-fi romance, it conveys that perfectly. I will say that the galaxy/moon/planet arrangement does look a bit odd. I'm no astronomer, but even assuming this is another planet, the three objects look to be the same distance from the scene, which I think would be impossible. But there could be some in-world explanation I'm not aware of, or maybe it's not meant to be an exact depiction of the sky in this particular scene.

If you want some feedback on typography, try all caps for your title and author name, or at least faux-ercase (make it all caps but increase the size of the first letter of each word so they appear larger). Move RISKTAKER up to the treeline just above the water so the bridge in the background doesn't fudge it up at a smaller size. This will allow you to increase the size of your name as well. I don't know if that will make it look better or not, but give it a try and see if it works.
 

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Have that glass of Bailey's (and don't mind me if I join you with some moscato wine because my toddler has been a pill today and my hubby has had to work late 3 days in a row now....)!

Yes, one person's 1-star is another person's 5-star. Always. Forever. Will never stop. I hate Tolkien, Hawthorne, and Faulkner with a passion. As in I'd rather endure nails in my eyes than read them again. Does that make them poor writers? Nope. Just not my cup of tea....

I LIKE your cover. I think it's sparkly, space awesomeness. I think the title might be neat in the tree line so only your author name is under the bridge all big and best-seller like. Fake it until you make it, no one will ever know the difference.

Ignore the chick with the blog bashing covers. It's the same girl we hated in 4th grade who started the Slam Books and didn't invite us to her birthday party at the skating rink.... they never grow up.

You are writing. You are publishing. Just think about how many people TRY to write a novel and fail...and here you have accomplished great things!

This is just like the other thread(s) about bloggers wanting to bash indie books. Well exccuuuuuse me, but what National Association of Brilliant, Bestselling Bloggers gave them the nod? Oh, none? There is no blogger association handing out legitimate awards, not those sparkly jpgs people make up with Photoshop and spam all their friends with blogs to post and tag 7 other bloggers in? d*mn. Guess we should consider the source, huh? :)

Take care Kea. Here's to your second book being more awesome than the first and may we all be so lucky. ::raising my cup of tea to you::
 

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I like it.  Especially from the trees down.  But there are a few niggles.  Something feels off about the top--I guess it's the sparkles coming down in front of the trees when the sources/objects are behind the trees.  The other is the location of the words--they are all at the bottom, so it feels off.  Though I'm no artist, I'd say cutting out the items at the top would help (probably not even have the full top of the trees).  And then see where the words can be balanced.  So in short, it's pretty and sets up a nice atmosphere, but it feels just a little off.

ETA:  Hmmm, I take it back on cutting part of the tree tops.  That makes for a big blackness at the top.  Maybe just removing the satellites?  Or something.  Like I said, no artist, but something feels off up there.  Not much, just a little.

Hope that helps.

Jodi
 

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Hi Kea! I feel for you. I'm definitely more sensitive to criticism than I should be and it eats me up inside. But... I like your cover. Scr*w 'em. Those sites are nothing but internet drivel and petty meanness. I know that probably doesn't help much - and I'm staying away from that site because I'm sure my covers are on there, too and I don't need toxic words and opinions clouding my life. I like your idea of having some Bailey's. I don't tilt one back often, but I will tonight in commiseration and solidarity  ;D. Keep writing...maybe I'll have my assassin take out an internet bully or two tonight for you. (Fictionally, of course. I don't know any real assassins ;))
 

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When I first looked at it, I thought it was reminiscent of a sci-fi version of my own cover, so you know I like it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay, so I had my Bailey's (over chocolate ice cream) and I'm feeling a bit better ... but the Baileys didn't have as much to do with that as all of you did. Thank you soooo much. Not only have you cheered me up, but you've validated my own jitters about the font/title placement. Thanks so much for the ideas on fixing that. I will be trying them all. Yes, the series is science fiction and this second book has a strong romance element to it.
Going to bed now to get some sleep before waking early to get back to editing. You know, people can nitpick at kindleboards/writer's cafe all they want, but there is NO better writing community for real helpful advice, empathy, and people who know the value of indulging in food and drink for celebration and/or commiseration! Thanks again for fixing my mood! My own husband was at a loss trying to "fix" me.
 

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I can only imagine how much that must have hurt you.  I'm so sorry.  I think the cover is interesting and bright and warm and happy.  Certainly not the worst, and certainly not mockable.
 

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If I found the right cover breakdown then I don;t think I'd worry if I were you.

They made a comment on a SCI-FI cover that the font (pure, unadulterated SCI-FI style font) was killing the cover.

In other words? They don't actually know anything about design.
 

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Man, that is rough. I'm very tender when it comes to feedback, even though I seek it every day. I think you've taken this magnificently, really taken it in your stride and I commend you for that.

So as ever- take what you need from my advice and leave what you don't :)

I think the cover is good, but I think it needs work. There are two things that really stick out to me:

1. The sparkliness above the silhouettes. It looks really cheesy and could be much more effective with a better, softer sparkle brush. One that isn't so 'stars', you know what I mean? More like star dust.

2. The typography. I'm not sure what your first intention was when you were working with it, perhaps a sci-fi sort of texture? The way its set at the moment really conflicts with the rest of the images. The way you've put the images together is really good, and there's no part (except for the sparkle) that throws me off because it looks wrong or doesn't fit etc. This is a very good thing btw. But with the type I think you should go for something simple and clean at the bottom to balance out the intensity of the planets above.

If you like I'd be happy to look at it for you, just to tweak the typography. But it's up to you, and I personally don't like people inviting themselves to remake someone else's cover when it's not invited so if you'd like me to check it out just email/pm me :)

I think you have a lot going and it won't take much for this baby to really shine. Go with sans serif for the title, a serif for the author name. And work with colours that will compliment the design, as the blue feels very overpowering on your name and the gold competes with the colours of the river.

Good luck with it! Very excited to see how this happens.
 
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