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I'm guessing that for budget reasons, you want to stick to making your own cover?

The story seems to be about Shelby -- about that one particular character. Which would push me toward putting a solemn-looking woman in a uniform on the cover, because you want the cover to tell the reader immediately what kind of story this is. (It's not about the rescue, it's about Shelby's struggle to regain her position.)

For the same reason, I'd tweak the title to something different.

If I looked at the cover with no background information (no blurb, no genre listing), I'd guess it's about a team that performs rescues in the Everglades, which isn't what the story is -- so readers clicking on your link thinking they'll find a sort of true-life recounting of a series of adventures with this team will end up being disappointed. You want readers looking for the story of a struggling but ultimately successful female soldier.

I hope that helps!
 

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I haven't read any of your other threads so I'm looking at this just as a new prospective reader.

And if I were said reader, I would be completely confused. Nothing matches. First, I have no clue what your genre is. Your blurb doesn't really tell me. And what I suspect you might be wanting to convey in it in no way matches your cover, your title, or even your series name.

As Carol said, if your story is about this woman's harrowing journey to get her position back, the cover is completely wrong. 

As your prospective reader, I wouldn't buy the book because I have no clue what to expect. All the signals that should tell me are sending me in different directions.

ETA. I think this is much different from what you usually write and what your readers have probably come to expect. If that is the case, you really need to lock this down and clearly identify what this book is--cover/title/blurb/series--and that it's different from previous books.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Carol Davis said:
I'm guessing that for budget reasons, you want to stick to making your own cover?

The story seems to be about Shelby -- about that one particular character. Which would push me toward putting a solemn-looking woman in a uniform on the cover, because you want the cover to tell the reader immediately what kind of story this is. (It's not about the rescue, it's about Shelby's struggle to regain her position.)

For the same reason, I'd tweak the title to something different.

If I looked at the cover with no background information (no blurb, no genre listing), I'd guess it's about a team that performs rescues in the Everglades, which isn't what the story is -- so readers clicking on your link thinking they'll find a sort of true-life recounting of a series of adventures with this team will end up being disappointed. You want readers looking for the story of a struggling but ultimately successful female soldier.

I hope that helps!
Thanks Carol. I guess this is all over the place.

I'm guessing that for budget reasons, you want to stick to making your own cover?
I just like making them. I'm willing to get someone to make them, though. On this cover, it signifies a scene in the book. Maybe it signifies more like you say a team performing rescues in the Everglades. But I think the blurb you read is more misleading than the cover.

In a nutshell, the story is about two former Navy SEALs tricked into a rescue mission for the President's "kidnapped" nephew (it's a hoax) to get their SEAL status restored. As the hoax unravels, the president turns on them and tries to kill them.

Here's the blurb I had before.

The US president's seven-year-old nephew has been kidnapped. The nation is horrified, but the crime turns out to be just the break that disgraced former Navy SEALs Shelby Ryder and Earl Bernstein need. If they're able to rescue the boy, who's being held somewhere in the Florida Everglades, the president assures them he'll restore their SEAL trident pins. But something's not right. The president could send massive forces for the boy, but instead he's sending them. Support people don't show. Others won't reveal their names. Many seem more mercenary than military. Shelby and Earl are suspicious, but they're desperate to be SEALs again, and there's an innocent little boy out there in need of rescue. And so, into the depths of the humid, alligator-infested Everglades they go, to start a mission they were never intended to survive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ImaWriter said:
I haven't read any of your other threads so I'm looking at this just as a new prospective reader.

And if I were said reader, I would be completely confused. Nothing matches. First, I have no clue what your genre is. Your blurb doesn't really tell me. And what I suspect you might be wanting to convey in it in no way matches your cover, your title, or even your series name.

As Carol said, if your story is about this woman's harrowing journey to get her position back, the cover is completely wrong.

As your prospective reader, I wouldn't buy the book because I have no clue what to expect. All the signals that should tell me are sending me in different directions.

ETA. I think this is much different from what you usually write and what your readers have probably come to expect. If that is the case, you really need to lock this down and clearly identify what this book is--cover/title/blurb/series--and that it's different from previous books.
Thanks Imawriter. I didn't realize how messed up this is.

you really need to lock this down and clearly identify what this book is--cover/title/blurb/series--and that it's different from previous books.
That's what I'm trying to do. Anyway, I had a vastly different blurb that fit the cover better. Here it is.

The US president's seven-year-old nephew has been kidnapped. The nation is horrified, but the crime turns out to be just the break that disgraced former Navy SEALs Shelby Ryder and Earl Bernstein need. If they're able to rescue the boy, who's being held somewhere in the Florida Everglades, the president assures them he'll restore their SEAL trident pins. But something's not right. The president could send massive forces for the boy, but instead he's sending them. Support people don't show. Others won't reveal their names. Many seem more mercenary than military. Shelby and Earl are suspicious, but they're desperate to be SEALs again, and there's an innocent little boy out there in need of rescue. And so, into the depths of the humid, alligator-infested Everglades they go, to start a mission they were never intended to survive.

Maybe it still needs work but this blurb is my story. I gravitated to the other blurb from several suggestions people made. Think the cover is a fit with this blurb/story? And yes, the cover, blurb and everything is vastly different than the previous series.
 

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Gregg Bell said:
...
The US president's seven-year-old nephew has been kidnapped. The nation is horrified, but the crime turns out to be just the break that disgraced former Navy SEALs Shelby Ryder and Earl Bernstein need. If they're able to rescue the boy, who's being held somewhere in the Florida Everglades, the president assures them he'll restore their SEAL trident pins. But something's not right. The president could send massive forces for the boy, but instead he's sending them. Support people don't show. Others won't reveal their names. Many seem more mercenary than military. Shelby and Earl are suspicious, but they're desperate to be SEALs again, and there's an innocent little boy out there in need of rescue. And so, into the depths of the humid, alligator-infested Everglades they go, to start a mission they were never intended to survive.

Maybe it still needs work but this blurb is my story. I gravitated to the other blurb from several suggestions people made. Think the cover is a fit with this blurb/story? And yes, the cover, blurb and everything is vastly different than the previous series.
Greg, I get why you want to do your own covers. It's a level of control I want with my own books. Although it comes with big compromises the payoff is you get better and better at it and as an indie you can change your cover whenever you want. I messed about with your blurb and came up with this.

The seven-year-old nephew of the president has vanished, kidnapped by criminal forces unknown. It is just the break disgraced former Navy SEALs Shelby Ryder and Earl Bernstein need. The president has promised to return them their treasured SEAL trident pins if they safely snatch back the boy from where he's being held, somewhere deep in the Everglades. Elated though they are at the chance to redeem their status, they wonder why they were chosen, and that's not all that's bothering them. Why does the rest of the team seem far more mercenary than military? Why don't they know any of them? This mission may be one they are not intended to survive, but Shelby and Earl are desperate to be SEALs again, and there's an innocent little boy somewhere out there, in the humid, alligator-infested swamps of Florida.
 

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Isn't there some category for military-themed fiction?  A quick look tells me that under Literary & Fiction there is an Action & Adventure category, and under that there's a War & Military subcat.  I would think that would be the appropriate genre.  And as such, I don't see why the current cover won't suffice.  ??? 
 

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The cover reads to me as a non-fiction book or even a textbook about search and rescue, as opposed to a fictional thriller/adventure. To be honest, the cover doesn't appear competitive with covers on the Military Thrillers bestseller lists when you have a look at what's selling and compare them. If you take a look at the top sellers in that category you'll notice quite a bit more design elements at work; a lot more playing with shading, lighting, which makes them appear more gritty and action-oriented.

As we've all heard time and again, a cover has to translate to a prospective buyer what it is right away without much thought, and if you look at the covers among the top sellers, you see the cover and it's immediately apparent what it is based on title/author font, imagery and how said imagery is presented, etc.

Doing one's own cover is tempting, but if the goal is to compete for healthy sales figures, if you're not as Photoshop/cover design conversant as the designers at the top, you'd likely be better served hiring that part out to make the most of your time/money investment into your career. My two cents.
 

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In a word your blurb denotes this is clearly a ... Thriller

MC wants her star back. President as antagonist, or a mystery competitor to the president stands in her way.

President uses her motivation to get her star back to use her for a mission he, or his competitor doesn't want her to succeed at.

If she can't overcome the obsticles the president or his competitor put in her way, not only will his daughter die, she will also lose her life

These attributes could lead to it being a psychological/suspense thriller as sub genres of the thriller depending on how you have crafted the chapters. You can use keywords at upload to cover other attributes, such as Navy SEAL, Political, Military, Kidnap, Gangs, women's fiction/adventure, crime, etc for secondary search criteria.

Your cover doesn't portray that it is a thriller at all. As much as money might be a problem, you really need a designers help. Sorry.

The title is a problem too, because she isn't a Navy SEAL. It's less of a rescue and more of a chase against the protags. DEADLY MISSION, or LETHAL MISSION, or something of the like would be more appropriate

You know what I recommend from your cover thread for the cover to meet story and genre expectations similar to the last one in your signature Now I've seen your blurb, I am even more sure. The chopper might be the color of a coast guard chopper from a scene, but it takes away from your SEAL inference in the story and title, which makes it confusing and the reader will have to wade into the story to get its significance.

There are a few definitions of psychological thriller, and it isn't always about mental illness as in Psycho the film. It is someone having control over someone using their what they consider superior mental capacity, to use a person's psyche as a weapon against them to destroy them for their own ends. . Your blurb seems to fit this bill, but it's down to how you have crafted the story. Putting "A Novel" on the cover doesn't make it look less like nonfiction.

One possible plot hole, though it is fiction. Navy Seals are just that. Under the command of the navy. Unless its changed women aren't allowed in combat positions.
Sorry about that, I stand corrected. 1st woman Navy SEAL 2019
 

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It sounds like a thriller to me. I’d check our covers in the thriller, political thriller, and women’s adventure fiction categories on Amazon.

Wonder
 
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