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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...but I'm afraid the cover for my latest book ("The Convert") isn't working. As much as I love it, I think maybe it isn't the right one. Sales are dismal, despite pretty good reviews. Recent feedback from readers indicated they bought it "in spite of the cover" instead of because of it. :)

Ouch.

Anyway, I sat down this morning and made a new one, with which I am pleased. Hopefully I'll see a boost in sales. It's maddening to sit stagnant while everyone talks about selling hundreds every month!

Here are the old and new, side by side:

 

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Definitely an improvement.

I've just changed the cover for The Whispering Tombs (see below for new version) as the old cover wasn't charming enough people to download the free book.

Good luck!
 

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My dear, you've made a very important step here. It's good to realize when something isn't working and reassess.

But your new cover's not fab. Let's take a look.



It's more readable in thumb, but the title bars are unprofessional, and the green eye tells me absolutely nothing about genre or tone. It's very similar to covers I've seen for popular paranormal romance novels, for instance, and I'm guessing your book isn't paranormal romance.

Making an effective cover is tough, but there are a lot of lovely cover designers on KB who can help you without breaking the bank. In fact, I'm sure one of these kindly folks would be able to get you a premade cover for a reasonable amount of money (often under $50), and an effective cover will pay for itself fairly quickly. :)

I hope your sales improve soon!
 

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Wow, is that the same book? I never would have picked it up with the original cover, but I do have to agree with SM Reine's comments. The title/author bars make it look homemade, and I can't get any kind of reading of what genre it is. By looking at it, it seems like paranormal romance (which might entice me to download it), but comparing it side-by-side with the original I assume it's not. So I think you'll have some problems with the new cover if it conveys a different genre than the book actually is.

But it's already an improvement on the original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Believe me, I've been stalking the premade sites looking for one (to the point of it becoming an unhealthy obsession!). I actually made one with only an author name bar (below), but I liked the one with both bars more.

(this one contains the unretouched rogue eyebrow that's removed from the other one, but that's easy enough to do)

 

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Really great cover improvement. I'm sure that it will sale tons better because of the look of that cover. The author bars may scream homemade but they still look great. Good luck with your sales. :)
 

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smreine said:
My dear, you've made a very important step here. It's good to realize when something isn't working and reassess.

But your new cover's not fab. Let's take a look.
Agreed on this. The new one is cleaner, but the older one had more personality. Ditto on the title bars. I don't like those on any cover.

Oh, and I very much liked the crucifix as the T on your original. That said a lot to me. I'd say find a way to keep that.
 

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When viewed in thumbnail, it has kind of a religious tone to me. I think it is the font/typeface combined with that one word.

Lose the second black bar. ;)

And ... while we're on the topic of beating you up ;D your blurb is a bit vague. There is mention of "powers" but nothing else. I'd like to know if it's ancient magic, voodoo, werewolves, witchcraft, shapeshifters, aliens, angels or demons, or what.

I do like the eyeball and overall concept.

Never admit you went wrong! Everything is an experiment, market research, etc.

ETA: Just read some of the reviews and saw the tags including "religious." So perhaps that is an element, in which case the typeface is perfect. Still want more out of your hard-workin' blurb.
 

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Dam_Good said:
I like the original. It reminds me of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. It's not a bad little tree-er-cover...it just needs a little something so it doesn't look so stiff. When you posted it, I knew my day was fried. 3d and horror is like Texas and brisket, too addicting for me. Here is what I did. Mind you, I don't have access to your original image, just a screenshot I took off KB.



If you like it, let me know and I could do something similar for free. Either way, it was fantastic practice. ;) I do wish you luck in finding something that suits you.
I like it. It's dam good. :) (sincerely)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dam_Good, while I like what you did, I think I'm going to try the less horror-y approach for awhile. It's not really a horror novel, more of a thriller with some fantastic elements (and a touch of horror, I suppose). The green eye is actually a big plot point, so that makes the new cover fit in nicely.

Dalya: the second black bar is necessary (or is to my limited abilities in Gimp) because the source image isn't actually tall enough for a 6x9 300 dpi cover. I could make it smaller, I guess, but I also kind of like the bars, amateur as they may be.

(of course, my skills at picking winning covers might be in question at this point)

The blurb is intentionally vague -- matter of fact, my protagonist spends the better part of the book learning what the powers are. There's a definite religious aspect to it, because he sees lots of things that he attributes to his very religious upbringing. Miracles and whatnot, demons and devils...or so he thinks. :)
 

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I agree the second is a vast improvement, but also agree it doesn't show me anything that helps me identify the genre. Also, the eye looks like a man's eye to me, especially in the thumbnail, and in your description, it says it is a woman who has the beautiful green eyes...

Maybe you could do two images in split screen style? The green eye and title at the top, then below have an image that would show a little more about the story. Maybe a hand holding some kind of symbol like a crucifix?
 

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Disclaimer: opinions here are uneducated; I'm no designer.

Those are two wildly different covers. The first conveys an R.L. Stine-esque mood, but the imagery makes it look like it was thrown together in the ol' Movie Maker of the 90s. Although I think the typography is clever, the overall image looks hokey and lighthearted. This can totally work -- if your genre is fit for it.

My only qualm about the "eye" is that it is very overdone; on the other hand, there is a reason it's overdone and that's because it is simple and to the point! Personally, I like the eye better. Your prose is sharp and of sound quality. The thriller-aspect to the book better suits the "eye" than it does the "Stine".
 

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Sent you a message on an image I saw on BigStock that may be of help.

 

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CaseyHollingshead said:
Disclaimer: opinions here are uneducated; I'm no designer.

Those are two wildly different covers. The first conveys an R.L. Stine-esque mood, but the imagery makes it look like it was thrown together in the ol' Movie Maker of the 90s. Although I think the typography is clever, the overall image looks hokey and lighthearted. This can totally work -- if your genre is fit for it.

My only qualm about the "eye" is that it is very overdone; on the other hand, there is a reason it's overdone and that's because it is simple and to the point! Personally, I like the eye better. Your prose is sharp and of sound quality. The thriller-aspect to the book better suits the "eye" than it does the "Stine".
Agreed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
BJ, I responded to your message. Thanks for the cover suggestion!

I've been playing with the cover a little, and done something someone suggested to give more of a hint of the book. Plus, it helps capture a little of the essence of the nature of the antagonists...

Haven't made my mind up what I think about it. On the one hand, I like it, but on the other, I also liked that the green was the only color in the older version. Plus, I'm afraid that this version might convey the idea that the scary guy is inside or part of the protagonist, which is not true at all.

 
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