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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted something very particular for my cover. The earth engulfed in flames with the swords crossing through it... it's actually a crest and relevant to the story. To have it professionally done was at minimum $250 from the artists I contacted. So I spent $30 bucks, bought the two images off of shutterstock, and did my best to make it myself.

For starters, I know what I had in mind. Secondly, since it's book one, I wasn't in a position to invest hundreds of dollars into it yet.

Can I get some opinions on whether it's any good or not?

 

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Look at it as the thumbnail image in your signature. Are you happy with the fact that you can't read the subtitle at all and can barely read your name? That's your answer.
 

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It looks okay. The typography is rather 'blah'. It definitely looks 'self-made', which is to say it doesn't have a professional polish. It's not the worst I've seen.
 

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The graphic concept is okay. The black background is too uniform for me. Maybe a star field?  I'd lower the graphic and raise the title a bit. Perhaps make the main title stand out more with a different not italic font. The swords look B/W and distorted to me.
 

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George Applegate said:
The graphic concept is okay. The black background is too uniform for me. Maybe a star field? I'd lower the graphic and raise the title a bit. Perhaps make the main title stand out more with a different not italic font. The swords look B/W and distorted to me.
I second the black background being too uniform and about lowering the graphic. I'd make the title font bigger and keep the other text the same size -- much less important. Also the font looks cheap.

But honestly, it's going to be hard to get this to professional level. As other commenters said, it's so worth it to invest $40 in a pre-made cover. This is the first thing people see, and in a thumbnail no less. If it doesn't look professional then your sales will hurt big time.

Go check out James' work at Goonwrite.com. He does awesome pre-mades for $40 that look 100% professional. You won't regret it.
 

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You can get a pre-made cover for $40 from Melody Simmons. She's smart, professional & so pleasant to work
with. It really is worth it.
True, some writers can do it all. Very few can do it all; others, like myself, would much rather go with
someone who designs covers for a living.

Hope this helps you, Gustavo.

Brownwyn, did you manage to survive that raging storm down there of several months back? (Relatively unscathed, that is.) Russell Blake, who also lives in Mexico, got hit pretty hard.

 

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I would say no.

The concept is good but it doesn't look professional enough. You need someone else to make the same thing for you. Someone who understands balancing the size of the images. At the moment the whole thing is too high, your titles are too stark, your Earth is unrecognisable, your flames don't have enough life. Etc etc. Sorry.

Ask if any of the cover artists on here can suggest tweeks, I am not a cover artist. Or better yet, ask if any of them would like to re-do it for you for a lower fee than their usual work.
 

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Kirkee said:
You can get a pre-made cover for $40 from Melody Simmons. She's smart, professional & so pleasant to work
with. It really is worth it.
True, some writers can do it all. Very few can do it all; others, like myself, would much rather go with
someone who designs covers for a living.

Hope this helps you, Gustavo.

Brownwyn, did you manage to survive that raging storm down there of several months back? (Relatively unscathed, that is.) Russell Blake, who also lives in Mexico, got hit pretty hard.
Raging storm? Hm. I'm in Mexico City so I don't think it came my way. Pretty inland and sheltered here. That said, we have to contend with other forms of disaster. :)
 

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I would hire an artist. You can find many affordable ones on the yellow pages here. I know it's tough to spend much at first, when you have no guarantee of earning it back. But you know what they say about spending money to make money. Look at it as a business investment. Which isn't to say you should get carried away and spend a thousand dollars or anything. But you've put a lot of time and effort into writing the book, so it's worth a couple hundred bucks to give it a fair chance.
 

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Bronwyn, it just dawned on me that I had misspelled your first name. Sorry.  ;)

So are you (otherwise) happy living in such a bustling city? I only got as far as the Fiesta Hotel in TJ many years
before. But the "unusual" rules of the road did make me a bit nervous. Never mind the insane traffic. Seemed far worse than even LA.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for the opinions. Hard to hear, but it's exactly what I needed.

Kirkee, thanks for referring me to Melody Simmons. I checked out her site. I'm gonna get in touch with her today to do it for me. I'll post what the revised product is when it comes back.

Thanks again everyone!
 

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I saw this cover yesterday on a different thread and I can tell you my gut-level reaction after seeing it for two seconds.  "Cool title, can't read anything else, neat swords which don't quite align.]  The swords have a particular association with me; that style of sword makes me think of 18th century naval warfare specifically.  Couldn't really tell what the globe was. 

I think  you have more skill at this than I do, but I figured if I'm going to spend $30 on stock pics, I may as well spend $30 or a little more on a pre-made cover and have it look much more professional than I could do.

I used www.thebookcoverdesigner.com.
 

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Kirkee said:
You can get a pre-made cover for $40 from Melody Simmons. She's smart, professional & so pleasant to work
with. It really is worth it.
True, some writers can do it all. Very few can do it all; others, like myself, would much rather go with
someone who designs covers for a living.

Hope this helps you, Gustavo.

Brownwyn, did you manage to survive that raging storm down there of several months back? (Relatively unscathed, that is.) Russell Blake, who also lives in Mexico, got hit pretty hard.
Thank you Kirk! Though I feel quite shy now...
 

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Kirkee said:
Bronwyn, it just dawned on me that I had misspelled your first name. Sorry. ;)

So are you (otherwise) happy living in such a bustling city? I only got as far as the Fiesta Hotel in TJ many years
before. But the "unusual" rules of the road did make me a bit nervous. Never mind the insane traffic. Seemed far worse than even LA.
In fact, I'm quite happy here. The weather is great, the food is amazing, the city is beautiful and fairly safe despite all its negative press. And it's cheap too. The traffic is crazy but then again I don't drive here and public transport is efficient for the most part.
 

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Bronwyn Kienapple said:
In fact, I'm quite happy here. The weather is great, the food is amazing, the city is beautiful and fairly safe despite all its negative press. And it's cheap too. The traffic is crazy but then again I don't drive here and public transport is efficient for the most part.
In general, driving in Mexico is not that much harder than in the U.S., but Mexico City is another thing entirely. I once asked for the directions to the airport from someone with an accent so thick it sounds almost like a caricature of Mexico City Spanish. I was proud of myself for having understood it all, got back in the car, and started to drive off.

"The guy says we're supposed to turn at the caracol," I said.

"What's a caracol?"

"A caracol is a snail," I said.

"Great, now what the hell does 'turn at the snail' mean?"

"Uh . . . "
 
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