There is just thing I would like to add. After critiquing one of my covers, an author I know (with a legacy publisher) recommended putting the author's name more prominent on the cover, and even making it larger (and perhaps on top) of the title. It is a branding issue. After paying a bit more attention to what was on the bookshelves at our local bookstore, I noticed it is fairly common. While many of us might not be big names now, I see the point for branding.
Very interesting blog post, thanks for sharing.
There is just thing I would like to add. After
critiquing one of my covers, an author I know (with a
legacy publisher) recommended putting the author's
name more prominent on the cover, and even making it
larger (and perhaps on top) of the title. It is a
branding issue. After paying a bit more attention to
what was on the bookshelves at our local bookstore, I
noticed it is fairly common. While many of us might
not be big names now, I see the point for branding.
Branding doesn't have to be big name of the cover - like on the above examples I messed about with ... the text I've done for the name isn't that big BUT they're all in the same typeface on the same colour strip which gives it a branded feel. It depends on what you're try to achieve really but making something large doesn't always make it stand out ... you can end up with not seeing the wood for the trees.
My point was more about what I'd seen people doing at the expense of other elements on a cover which can entice a potential reader to purchase. It's all about getting sales and NOT putting off people. When you think in this context it makes sense.
Wow, I thought you'd just mention a different font or color, not go to all that work. Thank you so much. I really like the idea of a similar strip across the bottom of each cover to "brand" the books.
Your layouts are definately more modern and dynamic - very attractive. I'll have to do some thinking about setting the mood as you mentioned. The books are somewhat cozy and old-fashioned and so a more classic cover might fit, but then they aren't exactly leaping off the shelves so modern might be better, especially for the finance book. It's like junior high - dress to stand out while blending in.
That is so nice of you to take the trouble to mock up covers for all six books. I really appreciate your help.
Yeah pretty much thought that was the case in terms of the style or writing - cozy and whatnot - I was just showing you how you could have the covers tying in together as an idea. To add some branding. Better pictures could be picked. But I was just messing around.
Excellent article - I especially like your reference to type. So many of the homemade covers out there give all the space to picture and try to hide the title somewhere in the bushes.
I will take a small, and qualified, exception to the use of drop shadows. They are a life saver when the title is placed over picture, especially if the photo is contrasty. But drop shadows are very, very dangerous; they should be, like type fonts for text, quietly unnoticeable, discreet and polite.
I have noticed that bestsellers have simple covers that are covered with the title and author name. There may be something in the background behind the title and author’s name (perhaps a small ship, plane, or gun if it’s a Tom Clancy or Stephen Hunter story), but often there is nothing -- no image. If it’s a brand name author, his/her name will be larger than the title, but the common thing is for the author’s name and the title to cover most of the front of the book. In most cases, there does not seem to be any attempt to have some sort of action scene on the front. The action scenes tend to be used on stories by unknown authors. This is what I find lacking in the CS Cover Creator, it does not allow you to increase the size of the title to its maximum and have an uncluttered cover. If there is a design on their Cover Creator like that, I have not found it.
@ cheapliteraturesmith, if you are able, I'd like your thoughts on the cover of my adult dark fantasy. Personally I like it, but the take up rate via sales could be vastly improved and I'm wondering if the cover is at fault?
I didn't want something outright paranormal on the cover, because the paranormal activities in the book are hidden from most people - what people in the story see is the world as it is, yet their world is changing in a malign way and only a few people can see it. So I wanted the cover to hint at something, have a general uneasy feeling, hint at a growing darkness and malignancy. It's also a book set in a country town, so cityscapes would be misleading, as would vampires/werewolves/zombies etc. The only thing I'm thinking of doing is playing with the colour hues on the photo - to give it a more malign feeling.
I created my first e-book cover on my own, and although I liked the finished product, I still thought it was missing something. I wish I could afford to pay a professional to do my covers for me (maybe someday!), but for now, I've bookmarked your blog post for future reference. Thanks so much!
I'm not saying I agree or disagree, just that I have a difference in taste in this situation. I'm more likely to be drawn to a cover with a character on it and I have discussed this with other readers who feel the same way. I will not buy a book that has hardly anything on it. It really has to draw me in. A lot of the covers the article states are "wrong" I would have bought...many that were "correct" I would have walked right passed. The only time I do not , is when the person is either 1 famous or 2 someone boasted about it so I'll pick it up..but if it is an author who is new and wants my attention..the facts on this article won't work for me though. jmho