Author Topic: New book cover reveal!  (Read 988 times)

Akaramu

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New book cover reveal!
« on: April 02, 2018, 03:53:30 PM »
Huzzah! My designer finally sent me two drafts for my upcoming new release (in July) and I'm so excited, I just have to share with y'all. I'm still going to request some minor changes, but by and largem one of these two covers will definitely be on the new book. Without knowing the details of the story... which version would you guys prefer if you were readers?

Draft 1



Draft 2


Riev

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2018, 04:34:17 PM »
To me, on first glance, the first one sort of looks like a romance novel I'd see at the checkout line at a grocery store.

The second one looks like a YA book about magic.
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Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2018, 04:39:37 PM »
To me, on first glance, the first one sort of looks like a romance novel I'd see at the checkout line at a grocery store.

What makes it look Romance-y to you? The red circles?

Delirium

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2018, 04:49:13 PM »
To me, on first glance, the first one sort of looks like a romance novel I'd see at the checkout line at a grocery store.

The second one looks like a YA book about magic.

I agree. She looks much "sexier" in the first one, and she's walking away, wind blowing in her hair, light shining on her butt... etc. etc. The second one looks much more interesting, shows her face, and draws you in with a more active pose.
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Lizzie

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2018, 05:00:35 PM »
I agree. The first one is "tidier" looking but has that romance feel going for it. The second one looks more like a story. Who's that girl looking at, and why? I want to know!
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Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 05:03:31 PM »
The second model does look a lot more like the story's MC... the problem I have with it is the strong YA look. The book isn't YA (despite a young cast), and neither is the main series it's connected to. I can still request changes, though, so nothing is unfixable.

Someone else commented that the second cover looks more like a castle than a modern urban setting, does anyone else think so? Because this really is Urban Fantasy, no castles anywhere.

James de Monet

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 05:46:53 PM »
I think it’s the typographic ornamentation that makes the first cover feel romance-y.  If the artist got rid of those little white curlicues and spikes behind the title lettering, I think it would look far less Twilight-y.

I’d rather read the first book, but that might be the young vibe of the second cover.  I agree the first one looks more modern (and more ominous, which appeals to me), but the character’s clothing in the second one makes it clear it’s a modern setting.

Edited to add:  Both look very professional, though.  Very cool.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

James de Monet

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 05:56:59 PM »
If it were me, I’d probably change the color of the rings on the first cover to match the second, also.  Pink may also tie into the romance feeling, and would make me subconsciously less likely to pick up the book, as a male.

The YA feel of the second cover probably has some to do with the apparent age of the character, but more with her attitude.  Everything about her says, “I can take whatever you throw at me.”  It’s a very YA tone.  Everyone over the age of 23 knows there is shit out there that’s going to eat you, either physically or metaphorically, if you aren’t careful.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

Malken

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 05:59:40 PM »
I dunno, I actually much prefer the first one. I don't get the romance vibe that others are getting from it.
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But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.”

Lizzie

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2018, 06:22:24 PM »
If you want the first one to be less romanticky, and more contemporary urban fantasy, here's what I'd do:
Make her shirt less clingy. Not shapeless - just not skin-tight like it is now. The bare shoulders are fine.
Turn those pink rings orange or neon blue.

Change the title font and color; the option in the second cover would work great for the first.

Lower the subtitle (a powered destinies etc. etc.) so it's just a little closer to the bottom edge of the page (that's a stylistic/page balance preference, has little to do with the theme).


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tapas

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2018, 06:25:55 PM »
Hey that's pretty cool. I have also never bought a fantasy novel based on it's cover art. *cough*

I like the second one because of her dynamic pose and the halo effect the circle has around her entire body. I don't know anything about the character but I like the way her attention is shifting to one side, as if she was turning to face an opponent. Even the way she appears to be manipulating the circle with her hands, makes her more powerful.

In comparison, the first one is more male gazey with the full body shot and the butt right in the center. I suspect the artist was trying to occlude it with the title circle, but there you have it. She appears to be walking away from the viewer, which I guess suggests some agency. But it again frames her as something being looked at. So if you're wondering why it might look like it has a romance vibe, that's probably it.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 06:54:42 PM by tapas »

Melkor

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 07:44:08 PM »
I choose the one with the butt.  ;D

Lol.

Serious answer, now. Looking from behind her in the first picture gives the vibe that she is on a journey, leaving things behind. The second picture gives the idea that she is ready for a fight.

To be honest, I love them both. Super proud of you, Akaramu, and totally stoked for you.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 07:46:05 PM by Melkor »
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Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 08:04:37 PM »
To be honest, I love them both. Super proud of you, Akaramu, and totally stoked for you.

Aw, thanks!  :-* Here's an early draft version of the blurb:

Nicoletta Gehring, more commonly known as Wisp, has a gift: she shapes sunlight into floating spheres which follow their assigned target, enable her to travel across short distances and alert her to impending danger.

But her home – a city tainted by the aftermath of a supervillain’s death – bears a curse. Toxic vapors rise from the sewers on hot summer days, snuffing out anything alive they catch near ground level. No one is supposed to keep on living in the Dead City. Wisp and her gang of underage runaways refused the mass evacuations because they learned to live alongside the local calamity and because the outside world scares them even more.

Now, though, their friend Hannah is missing under suspicious circumstances. The deadly Smog becomes increasingly unpredictable, and the crime lord in charge of the rival gang to the north is gearing up for conflict. Wisp is prepared to defend the only home she has ever known, but she and her gang are outnumbered and underequipped and her powers are not exactly suitable for combat...

Thanks so much to everyone who shared their thoughts! You guys are so much more helpful than my fellow authors over at kboards. I think I'll go with the first cover, but request a number of changes based on what y'all said.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 08:06:10 PM by Akaramu »

Pale Horse

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2018, 11:30:41 PM »
Based on the blurb provided, my personal impressions shifted a bit:

- First cover: raise the circles to her back to pull the attention away from her butt.  Put "A Gift" above her head and "Of Light" towards her lower back (which could obscure her butt a little); that would make the over all feel less "eye-candy-like."  Change the color scheme to include more yellows and whites (sunlight, not fire).  The "Death Fog" could be more gloomy and her fire better highlighted against, off and in it.  The fog could be "parting" or being "burned" away by her light when near her; shows she has some form of "power" and significance against the "antagonist" (beyond just being on the front cover).  Change her pose?  She looks as if she's walking away from something/towards something, which is good, but she doesn't look ready for a fight.  Hunch her shoulders and back a little, set her hips and feet a little more to show she's heading into something heavy or stabilizing her weight in preparation as preparation.

- Second cover:  Does feel more fantastic due to the architecture in the background.  Her pose is more dynamic and "fight ready" which fits the blurb; the color of the lights is IMO, better.

- Both covers: she's from a gang that stayed behind after an evacuation?  In a city with Death Fog that raises up out of the sewers?  I assume her gang is mostly youths/young adults?  Both covers are too "clean."  It doesn't give the sense of "struggle" of abandon or desolateness that a (mostly) evacuated city would have.  Her clothing also says "I'm not struggling."
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 11:36:59 PM by Pale Horse »
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James de Monet

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2018, 02:04:43 AM »
The large probability is that small, specific changes to pose, clothing, etc, are not really feasible with this style of design.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

Chettaman

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2018, 05:48:16 AM »
What?! This is sick!
Awesome!!!
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Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2018, 07:15:27 AM »
The large probability is that small, specific changes to pose, clothing, etc, are not really feasible with this style of design.

Clothes can be adjusted to a degree, as can things like hair color. Poses can not since the artist is working with stock photography. However, it's possible she has other stock images that would also work, with different poses.

This is one of the best cover designers in the industry, so instead of giving her precise instructions that would most likely lead to sub par results, I'll set specific goals and leave the details to her. Because I'm not a design expert, she is.

This book actually doesn't contain all that much action, there is tension but next to no fight scenes. Because our characters aren't particularly good at fighting and there's no way in hell they'd survive 5 seconds against organized crime thugs with guns. The story is more about investigation, acting smart, bluffing and running away when necessary. The main series doesn't contain that much combat either... because my supers are smart enough to know they can die to gun bullets. And my villains are smart enough to use things like sniper rifles :P None of my characters throw themselves into combat against near impossible odds, they don't expect to be kept alive by the author. This is something I learned from George R.R. Martin, though lately some of his characters have too much plot armor for my liking.  :-\

As for clothing - there's plenty of it left in a city that was abandoned a year ago.  ;)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 07:25:15 AM by Akaramu »

Riev

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2018, 09:28:39 AM »
I'm sorry I don't have specific tweaks on how to more perfectly fit my style on the books, they were just my first reactions to the covers.

Based on what you're looking for, I think some color manipulation on the first cover might be helpful, and a LITTLE less gothic on the text? It just really felt like it was missing a man with wavy golden hair.
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chrisdcoulombe

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2018, 10:05:18 AM »
If you are trying to stay out of YA I agree the first one is going to be better for that, I also think like James said altering the color of the rings may help from driving away some of the male audience.  You know how we like to judge books by their cover.  Either way congrats on your new book.
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Melkor

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2018, 12:07:04 PM »
I think the hoodie in the 2nd picture is what gives it a YA vibe.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2018, 12:07:43 PM »
Based on what you're looking for, I think some color manipulation on the first cover might be helpful, and a LITTLE less gothic on the text? It just really felt like it was missing a man with wavy golden hair.

This made me chuckle, and I think I see what you mean. Thanks  ;D

Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2018, 08:40:37 AM »
My fabulous American author and English teacher friend helped me make some changes to the blurb, here's the hopefully final version:

Nicoletta Gehring, more commonly known as Wisp, has a gift: she can shape sunlight into floating spheres that can alert her of impending danger - which is fortunate since her home, a city tainted by the aftermath of a supervillain's death, bears a curse. Toxic vapors rise from the sewers on hot summer days, snuffing out anything that lives at ground level.

No one is supposed live in the Dead City, but Wisp and her gang of underage runaways refused the mass evacuations, learning to live alongside the local calamity. The uncertainty of the outside world scared them even more than the dangers of their home.

Now, though, their friend Hannah has gone missing under suspicious circumstances. The deadly Smog has become increasingly unpredictable, and the crime lord in charge of the rival gang to the north is gearing up for conflict. Wisp is prepared to defend the only home she has ever known, but she and her gang are outnumbered and underequipped and her powers are not exactly suitable for combat...

valeria

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2018, 11:29:55 AM »
I haven't read most of the other comments, but I like the second cover better.  Not that I dislike the focus on the butt on the first cover, but I like the fighting stance better in the second.  The architecture in the back does make me think more fantasy than modern superhero novel, though.

RogueGunslinger

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2018, 05:30:26 PM »
They both look good,  I prefer the first one and like Malken don't see the "romance" vibe. I have no idea what type of cover sells well. But I know I personally prefer more abstract and plain designs like symbols or color patterns. I've never been a fan of pictures with people or landscapes in them as they might clash with my vision of a character or atmosphere.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 05:32:12 PM by RogueGunslinger »

Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2018, 06:10:29 PM »
I have no idea what type of cover sells well. But I know I personally prefer more abstract and plain designs like symbols or color patterns. I've never been a fan of pictures with people or landscapes in them as they might clash with my vision of a character or atmosphere.

This is the kind of UF cover that sells best - what really matters, especially for a relatively unknown author, is something that 'pops out' at thumbnail size on the Amazon store. People click things that pop out. They'll also click abstract covers, but generally ONLY if they know and like the author.

Lizzie

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2018, 06:55:28 PM »
The description of the story is incredibly YA. In the same way Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children is YA. It appears designed very specifically with young adults in mind, but can be just as entertaining to older adults, and has some underlying adult themes threaded through it.  Whether that was intended is not the issue. It's what you'll end up with that matters most.  The second cover appears very YAish. The first appears very romanceish. I personally like the second cover better because I, like many older adults, can still appreciate some of the YA novels (Harry Potter, Peregrine's, etc). This would catch my eye. The first one, I'd likely dismiss without even reading the blurb.
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Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2018, 07:30:56 PM »
I've already asked the artist to modify the first draft, so the second is out of the equation, but I think the modified version will turn out great and I'll post it here when it's done  :). I'd really rather not target 13 year old girls who'll cry their eyes out whenever I kill one of my characters. My books are really kinda sorta dark... or did you think Transition & Escalation would fit into YA?

The Bibliosanctum blog said this, which is why I'm trying to avoid the YA tag...

"Rising’s storytelling and worldbuilding was excellent. But it is very much a New Adult story, which may be a bit of a turn-off for some readers."
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 07:33:43 PM by Akaramu »

Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2018, 07:53:49 PM »
Actually, I JUST received the updated version... is this better? Imho the thumbnail version in particular looks much better. No more hula hoop.


Grapes

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2018, 08:25:42 PM »
I like the updated version, but I also liked the butt version. I don't feel qualified to criticize.
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James de Monet

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2018, 09:14:42 PM »
Your artist is crazy Photoshop talented.  She does things I would never, because they wouldn’t turn out well, but she makes it work.
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.

RogueGunslinger

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2018, 09:18:10 PM »
I have no idea what type of cover sells well. But I know I personally prefer more abstract and plain designs like symbols or color patterns. I've never been a fan of pictures with people or landscapes in them as they might clash with my vision of a character or atmosphere.

This is the kind of UF cover that sells best - what really matters, especially for a relatively unknown author, is something that 'pops out' at thumbnail size on the Amazon store. People click things that pop out. They'll also click abstract covers, but generally ONLY if they know and like the author.

That makes sense, considering those are the sorts I see most on books. In that case I think they're probably perfect. They are clean, interesting, colorful. You found a good artist.

I think the updated one is the best.

Pale Horse

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2018, 09:33:52 PM »
That's a very nice cover, there.  Props to your artist!
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Akaramu

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2018, 05:28:59 PM »
Final final final version...


Grapes

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2018, 08:03:36 PM »
Ah, that's cool, it still has the overall ring without a campy fixation on the butt. The enhanced contrast really works well, imo.
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RogueGunslinger

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Re: New book cover reveal!
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2018, 07:28:35 AM »
Definitely looks awesome.