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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, spinning this off the old topic where various advice was kicked out related to the covers (and a bit about the blurbs as well) . . .

These are the new covers. (Follow the text link for the old ones.) A 200x300 resolution image of each (slightly larger than the Amazon product page) is displayed below. Click the links under the images for medium and large versions if you want to see more detail.

For Day Breaks (Dire Calls):

When his first day on the Job in Homicide Unit turns up a body in a warehouse, it's time for Detective Third Class Griffon Dire to start asking questions. His partner's advice? When in doubt, start with the Goblin Court...

Detective First Class Hargold Thief, veteran HU investigator, is Dire's new partner. With over twenty years on the Job, he knows what it takes to get things done. Now it's time for Thief to pass his skills on to Dire, one of the most promising new detectives on the force.

Together the detectives uncover a plot behind the murder of their victim which endangers the lives of thousands. The only way to stop the threat is to bring a sadistic killer to justice. Even if it means going through one of the most violent gangs in the city-state to do it.

Dire Calls Shorts offer readers a quick fix of police procedural action situated in the fantastic world of author Mathew Reuther's Thousand Kingdoms. Perfect for lunchtime, commute, or similar quick reads, the stories focus on the men and women of New Dagonia's finest. New tales of bravery and duty are available every two weeks, ensuring that fans are never stuck waiting too long for new episodes.

Reader Advisory: Dire Crimes stories contain themes which are appropriate for young adult to mature readers. Parents are encouraged to read the story before deciding if their YA readers are mature enough for the subject matter.

(Story length: 7,500 words; Story Reference: DC 1.0.1)



medium (600x900)
large (1667x2500)

For Noon High (Dire Calls):

After a year on the Job in Homicide Squad, Detective Third Class Griffon Dire is up for promotion. All that remains to be seen is if the review board sees fit to bump him to second class. Yet Dire soon discovers that simple interviews can be anything but...

Detective First Class Hargold Thief, Dire's partner, is waiting with a case as Griffon emerges. The call leads to the scene of a brutal, bloody murder complete with a vindictive sexual overtone.

Dire and Thief have an idea of who killed their victim, but the question is: why? In the end, seeking the answer to that question will cost Griffon more than he expects as he discovers that some motives for murder seem far too reasonable...

Dire Calls Shorts offer readers a quick fix of police procedural action situated in the fantastic world of author Mathew Reuther's Thousand Kingdoms. Perfect for lunchtime, commute, or similar quick reads, the stories focus on the men and women of New Dagonia's finest. New tales of bravery and duty are available every two weeks, ensuring that fans are never stuck waiting too long for new episodes.

Reader Advisory: Dire Crimes stories contain themes which are appropriate for young adult to mature readers. Parents are encouraged to read the story before deciding if their YA readers are mature enough for the subject matter.

(Story length: 7,500 words; Story Reference: DC 1.0.2)



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You've got the same blurb for both stories.

ETA: I like the texture that you added on the background, and the castle looks a lot more like a castle and much less like pants. :) I like that the pics are bigger now, too.

On the downside, I can't read the subtitle very well where the red font overlaps the black font of the title. And the i/wand in the bottom 'Dire' looks like a slash to me. Kind of like this - D/RE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Shayne said:
You've got the same blurb for both stories.

ETA: I like the texture that you added on the background, and the castle looks a lot more like a castle and much less like pants. :) I like that the pics are bigger now, too.

On the downside, I can't read the subtitle very well where the red font overlaps the black font of the title. And the i/wand in the bottom 'Dire' looks like a slash to me. Kind of like this - D/RE.
The "subtitle" you're referring to is actually the series indicator. It's irrelevant, so reading it isn't really overly interesting unless you're looking at the full cover version. (In essence, we know it's not legible in the small sizes. We don't care.)

Now, the 3 elements which are important are the title, author, and "crimes short" bit. Those should be relatively legible. (And I think they are, fairly far down. Eventually you lose the battle, everyone does. We do better than some, worse than others.)

As for the "slash" . . . we tried the wand without tilting it. It looked pretty awful. So we kept it tilted. The "A Dire" part of the line is less important than the "Crimes Short" part in any case. As long as the "Crimes Short" shows up, the information is conveyed that a) this is in the crime genre and b) this is a short story (or a novelette, which get labelled the same way) . . .

I am happy to hear that we have defeated the whole "pants" problem though. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So the new versions are live in Amazon (with covers uploaded to a couple of other catalog sites) and I there seems to have been no horrible mangling (still crossing fingers that the 3rd story, which is red, will not suffer like the 2nd did before the orange update) during the process. As near as I can tell readability is perfectly fine on the store page, and the store browse (search, top lists, etc.), and the branding holds firm on the also-bought. (The readability is minimal at that point.)

(Again, this is not for the series element at the top. That's not really meant to be readable.)

We wanted to thank people for their suggestions. We're overall happier with the process, and it wouldn't have happened without the collective declaration of "pants" . . . (and other stuff) . . .
 

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I think those will serve you much better.

I liked your original covers a lot (they seemed very retro to me and I love retro), but agreed that they probably did not work well in thumbnail. These are a little more eye-catching and give a better indication of genre mashup.

Best of luck with them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
bmcox said:
Looks good. :D
Thanks, Bernard!

Keri Knutson said:
I think those will serve you much better.
We're hoping. :D

I liked your original covers a lot (they seemed very retro to me and I love retro)
Which was the whole point. The feel of the writing is a little pulpy/graphic novel/noir while still being modern-ish. So we went with a more retro look. We're hoping that the retro is still there with a little more genre-nod (both UF/PP can be "dirty" so we went with the grunge instead of the tartan, changed up the fonts to have one be more "fantasy-esque") . . .

Best of luck with them!
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Amanda Brice said:
Those are much better. I, too, had thought the image on the second book previously was a pair or pants. This one is clearly a castle.
I've decided that I'm going to name a tower in the world 'Broek' in honor of KB. (That's pants in Dutch.)

Also, there will be a bird on a cover eventually.
 

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Mathew Reuther said:
I've decided that I'm going to name a tower in the world 'Broek' in honor of KB. (That's pants in Dutch.)

Also, there will be a bird on a cover eventually.
;D

I like the "grunge" you added, too...

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Adam Poe said:
Is there a specific reason why the yellow on the second cover is darker than the first? I think they are good, but it was something that had me take a double-look :p
The colors are actually yellow, orange, red, gray. Each of the four in series one has a different color. I can show you the prelims (subject to change) for the next two, I suppose, since it illustrates the whole set:

Sunset Ride:



Gloaming Deeps:



And apparently the "dreaded slash" will be vanishing. See, you think you have it all nailed down and then someone goes and fiddles with the element. ;) (The wand will be at like an 85 degree angle.)
 
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