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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I'm just about ready to publish my third short story and would like some feedback about my cover and blurb (especially the blurb) :D



David is a very aggresive young man, in fact he's a psychopath. When he isn't playing violent video games he's daydreaming about different ways to murder his family.
At a run down second hand store David finds Sharpshooter, touted as the ultimate in violence and survival. He knows he must have that game and will do anything to own it-
including murder.
But Sharpshooter is no ordinary game, it will plunge David into a nightmare realm where he must face and defeat the victims of his past crimes and if he fails he loses not only his life
but his very soul as well.
 

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Michael J Elliott said:
David is a very aggresive young man, in fact he's a psychopath. When he isn't playing violent video games he's daydreaming about different ways to murder his family.
At a run down second hand store David finds Sharpshooter, touted as the ultimate in violence and survival. He knows he must have that game and will do anything to own it-
including murder.
But Sharpshooter is no ordinary game, it will plunge David into a nightmare realm where he must face and defeat the victims of his past crimes and if he fails he loses not only his life
but his very soul as well.
I might make the first line: David is a psychopath. The first part seems redundant. And this first line really gets to the point.

Is the fact the store is run down pertinent to the story? If so fine, if not you might edit that bit to make it tighter, if it just isn't that important.

But Sharpshooter is no ordinary game, - I'd put a period after game and make it a sentence.

but his very soul as well - is this important? Is it worse that just being dead? Is there a fantasy element to the game/story? If so you might expand on this a little. I don't write in what appears to be your genre, but in my world it really doesn't get much worse than being dead. But in a fantasy/sci-fi world it might be worse. Perhaps explore the how/why of this element. Do his past victims get to taunt him?

Good luck with it, it sounds interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
AJStewart said:
I might make the first line: David is a psychopath. The first part seems redundant. And this first line really gets to the point.

Is the fact the store is run down pertinent to the story? If so fine, if not you might edit that bit to make it tighter, if it just isn't that important.

But Sharpshooter is no ordinary game, - I'd put a period after game and make it a sentence.

but his very soul as well - is this important? Is it worse that just being dead? Is there a fantasy element to the game/story? If so you might expand on this a little. I don't write in what appears to be your genre, but in my world it really doesn't get much worse than being dead. But in a fantasy/sci-fi world it might be worse. Perhaps explore the how/why of this element. Do his past victims get to taunt him?

Good luck with it, it sounds interesting.
Thanks AJ
your suggestion definitely makes it sound punchier, now you mention it losing his soul does seem a bit redundant lol do you think adding the story's tagline..if you lose it's game over...forever would sound better?
 

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To be honest, the first few lines of the blurb were a turn off to me, and I normally love the combination of psychological and gaming elements. It just felt political with the whole 'violent games for violent people' concept you have going here. If that's not the tone you're going for, and/or if gamers are your target market, I would recommend replacing the term "violent" with a word like "graphic" or "dark".

"Violent video games" is unfortunately a buzzphrase for the 'do games make people violent' debate and ought to be avoided unless you're looking for controversy.
 

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Regarding the cover: It's okay, but I feel it could be better. You mentioned you wanted feedback, even though it's the final version, so as always take what feedback you need and leave the rest:

1. The hands in the photo almost look like a child's hands
2. The Playstation controller, yeah I umm'ed and ahh'ed about this because it feels so dated now. But considering the concept I'm not sure what could be a better alternative because anything you use will eventually be outdated. Maybe instead of using the controller, it's on a computer screen or something?
3. The typeface for the title works, but it would be great if it had some sort of element integrated into it, like it was a part of the background or was more involved in the design. The tagline overwhelms the cover so I'd make it smaller, and the use of slab serif feels a bit strange. I'd stick with another sans serif, to match the title. Or even a decorative font that looks pixelated, to work within the story/genre.Something blocky and computer-ish would be cool. Again for the name and tagline, because it's white it feels so stark.
4. There should be a bit of colour/shade treatment to make it mix well with the rest of the cover. It feels too cut out, too like a collage.
5. What about making the face the same colour of the code around it? That way it would look more 'in the computer'. Also maybe make it a bit bigger? It feels like there's a lot of space beneath it that's wasted, when it should really be our focus.
 

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Hi Michael! Interesting concept!

Not sure why you're asking for feedback on a cover that's already final, but here goes (for the next one :):
* main title font is good; others not so much. Best to stick with clean, modern fonts and not so many of them. Use all non-serif when possible.
* Tagline needs copyediting for better flow. Like this:
If you lose, it's game over. Forever.
(note comma and periods)
* you guys don't add periods to abbreviations down under? ("J", "Mr") Hmmm, didn't realize that. Looks odd in U.S. market.
* Depending on where it's displayed, the small text lines will be unreadable at the smaller sizes (think 88px or 136px tall on Amazon).

On blurb, like others say, several redundancies. Like "run down" and "second hand". And if you use either, you need a dash between the words as they are compound adjectives.

Hope it helps! Good luck!
 
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The cover works, despite me not really thinking the graphics are the most *appealing*, it's certainly of professional quality. That said, if your blurb is any indication of the writing inside, the grammar and punctuation is a total mess. I would not buy a book whose first pages and blurb are not carefully attended to do quality. That said, a lot of readers DON'T care about that, and you may not either. In which case, ignore me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
TheForeverGirlSeries said:
The cover works, despite me not really thinking the graphics are the most *appealing*, it's certainly of professional quality. That said, if your blurb is any indication of the writing inside, the grammar and punctuation is a total mess. I would not buy a book whose first pages and blurb are not carefully attended to do quality. That said, a lot of readers DON'T care about that, and you may not either. In which case, ignore me :)
I'm usually not the slack with puntuation but I hurriedly wrote this post in the middle of the night with very little sleep lol. It was only intended for feedback about the style of the blurb more than anything else but thanks for your feedback :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Scarlett_R said:
Regarding the cover: It's okay, but I feel it could be better. You mentioned you wanted feedback, even though it's the final version, so as always take what feedback you need and leave the rest:

1. The hands in the photo almost look like a child's hands
2. The Playstation controller, yeah I umm'ed and ahh'ed about this because it feels so dated now. But considering the concept I'm not sure what could be a better alternative because anything you use will eventually be outdated. Maybe instead of using the controller, it's on a computer screen or something?
3. The typeface for the title works, but it would be great if it had some sort of element integrated into it, like it was a part of the background or was more involved in the design. The tagline overwhelms the cover so I'd make it smaller, and the use of slab serif feels a bit strange. I'd stick with another sans serif, to match the title. Or even a decorative font that looks pixelated, to work within the story/genre.Something blocky and computer-ish would be cool. Again for the name and tagline, because it's white it feels so stark.
4. There should be a bit of colour/shade treatment to make it mix well with the rest of the cover. It feels too cut out, too like a collage.
5. What about making the face the same colour of the code around it? That way it would look more 'in the computer'. Also maybe make it a bit bigger? It feels like there's a lot of space beneath it that's wasted, when it should really be our focus.
Thanks Scarlett,
I'll see if I can sweet talk my designer into making those changes for an addtional fee. I completely forgot to mention to him that I wanted a "computer/games style font. Your ideas are very good btw
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Holland d'Haas said:
To be honest, the first few lines of the blurb were a turn off to me, and I normally love the combination of psychological and gaming elements. It just felt political with the whole 'violent games for violent people' concept you have going here. If that's not the tone you're going for, and/or if gamers are your target market, I would recommend replacing the term "violent" with a word like "graphic" or "dark".

"Violent video games" is unfortunately a buzzphrase for the 'do games make people violent' debate and ought to be avoided unless you're looking for controversy.
Thanks Holland,
I certainly hope I didn't offend any KBoarder gamers, that certainly wasn't my intent. I'm not a gamer (just have zero eye/hand coordination lol) although I play a fantasy online game Wizard 101. I hadn't even thought about the violent games makes violent people media circus. I wasn't trying to suggest this at all, the main character is a psychopath but not because he plays games with violent games. I like your idea for using dark instead of violent, I don't want to upset any potential readers gamers or not lol. :D
 

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Michael J Elliott said:
Thanks Holland,
I certainly hope I didn't offend any KBoarder gamers, that certainly wasn't my intent. I'm not a gamer (just have zero eye/hand coordination lol) although I play a fantasy online game Wizard 101. I hadn't even thought about the violent games makes violent people media circus. I wasn't trying to suggest this at all, the main character is a psychopath but not because he plays games with violent games. I like your idea for using dark instead of violent, I don't want to upset any potential readers gamers or not lol. :D
No problem. c: And I'm sure they're fine haha. It's wasn't offensive - just a bit disconcerting, as I'd hate to see a good story dragged into the argument over a misunderstanding.
It's a shame that such a simple phrase has become synonymous with nonsense like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Holland d'Haas said:
No problem. c: And I'm sure they're fine haha. It's wasn't offensive - just a bit disconcerting, as I'd hate to see a good story dragged into the argument over a misunderstanding.
It's a shame that such a simple phrase have been synonymous with nonsense like that.
yes! and being a trusting and niave soul I don't see it, the same thing happened with the word terror, to me it's just another word we horror writes use but other KBoarders pointed out that it has become assoicated with terroism in all it's concepts. I find it amazing the world events can have such an impact on words and phrases that we've been using for years. The old saying, no man is an island certainly seems a lot more revelant in 2015! :D
 
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