I think your style of design is amazing for certain covers. Option 2 an 3 above, for instance, look really cool. The thing is, that there is never one true answer for design for all types of books.
The main warning you give in this thread is against people being on the cover. I realized all my covers have people on them (or at least an apparition of a person, in one instance). Check out my site: http://www.breezyreads.com/ They all look really nice in my opinion and grab attention. Others have complimented them a lot and I trust they were serious. What do you personally think, when you see my covers, taking into consideration the types of books they look to be? I just want to see if you believe the rule of no people always holds true, or if there are loopholes. I think by speaking in some absolutes, others here are upset. And they see books they love that they find intriguing besides certain standards.
With the romance cover I am designing, I am having a harder time than ever, because it is a clean romance, so I can't have a guy with rippling abs grabbing onto a half-naked woman... . The guy has to be intriguing without all that and it is really difficult. I've designed one cover and the author's wife and my partner both didn't like the guy. The new guy I found was "too pretty" by some opinions. So, I see your point about people having different tastes. We'll see what I finally finish with.
What genre is Humble Nations under? The description sounds like a comedy suspense. The cover doesn't convey that feeling to me. It feels techy or textbook to me. Feeling beyond anything is what I think makes a cover. If the feeling doesn't match the book, then it can confuse people. What are your thoughts there? I am just wanting to be open, since you have been open with your thoughts in regards to others' work here. I haven't graduated with a design degree, but I have taken many design courses and fine art courses. I think what we are taught can influence a lot of what we will think and do.
ed to add:
Lol on the previous charge of stalkerism...I've been known to stalk Sax...that's true. But until you find me liking all your facebook posts, retweeting your tweets and telling my friends to buy your books you haven't really seen my gift for stalking in action. : )
The thing I do though, in this particular case, is reign myself in so that I [i]don't[/i] find all of Cheaplit's posts and follow them with a "QUIT BEING SUCH BUTT!" kind of response. The constant running down of other people's opinions and designs drives me completely batty.
However, I will wait with baited breath to see Humble Nations be the next Shades of Grey. When it is, I will eat my hat and my words and realize the superiority of The Humble Scheme.
And for Cheap's peace of mind, and so he can get my face to quit haunting his nightmares, I will work harder to ignore him. Even when he acts like a big mean design bully.
Sorry about the format of that last post, but, though I had several paragraphs, beginning with a quote from another, when I looked at the preview, it always showed as one paragraph. I re-spaced it several times, to no avail.
Replying to CheapLit's earlier post, part of which is quoted here.
You must have been looking at some other person's
book because ... erm ... there is NO look
inside for that story. Either that or you are lying.
There is one simple way though to see if I'm a good
writer or not. Put your hand in your pocket and buy
the book. Honestly, I'm a little annoyed there is no
'Look Inside' because the first few lines of the
story are quite arresting. And it would sort the
wheat from the chaff in terms of reader.
(Trying to correct the above post, which Amazon's system would not let me correct in their "edit" mode)
Look at this:
"IN ENGLAND, time-itself, majestic and malevalent, pissed down the walls in golden-glass sheets, gathering around a Bose radio alarm-clock until ... until ... it shat into the morning; eddies of faecal matter and sound clattering into the space-silence."
Does that look familiar? It should. It's the first paragraph of "Humble Nations", WHICH I READ ON MY COMPUTER, FREE. I DID NOT, AND WILL NOT, buy your book.
I did not find your first few lines arresting. I found them ... well, I won't say, in this public forum. But so you will know, that one paragraph convinced me to close the book immediately.
Sorry, your writing is not for me. As far as sorting the "wheat from the chaff in terms of reader": do you mean that only readers who appreciate your style of writing is "wheat", thus have more value as a reader? If so, that goes a long way to helping us understand where you are coming from.
I believe you owe Traci a heart-felt apology. If I could find and read your work, so can anyone else.
I’m afraid I would stick with the original on this. Space or no space, it’s darker and gives off an eeriness that I would expect from a murder mystery, which I assume from the blurb is the book’s genre. I haven’t read it.
I might change the color, size and location of the author’s name if I were the designer, but that’s just me.
Your first one is too bright, might be okay for a light feel good beach story or romance or even religious text - I must admit my first thought was of a church program until I put it in the context of a book.
The next one is just too blah, doesn’t really make me feel anything. The photo is good. it’s dark and heavy, it could give off the same nuances as the original if the font weren’t so overwhelming that it obscures the scene. I feel like a am wresting with the title to get a feel for the book.
The next one looks like a children’s book and the one after that looks almost identical to my son’s fourth grade science text. The last one looks like the menu at our local coffee shop. None of them make want to stop and look at this book.
As for the cover of your book, I am with the other poster, it doesn’t work for me. I thought I was on the wrong page. My first thought was that it was some sort of instruction manual then after visiting your page, and exploring your other covers, I thought perhaps they were travel guides.
I’m sorry Cheaplit but what you call design I call very confusing.
I was never against putting people on covers. On the original post that I did on my humblenations.com blog it was saying - Don't be too literal. The Suzy Q? cover on your website is perfect because it's abstract enough not to put too much into a readers head. Also the Cuise to Murder. All the covers I see on there are nicely designed to my eyes.
Does that look familiar? It should. It's the first
paragraph of "Humble Nations", WHICH I READ ON MY
COMPUTER, FREE. I DID NOT, AND WILL NOT, buy your
David ... you have either bought the book or pirated it. I suspect the former. And there's no need to get angry with me and shout. If you had been as keen to read this thread as you were the first few lines of the book you bought (maybe) from me then you would have seen that she corrected herself - and said there was no 'Look Inside' - she was confused and she apologised. That I can totally accept. I'm about to write will apologise to her - so keep your hair on.
Thanks for the sale. Even if it were just to prove a point. You should continue on - it's a pretty good story once you get past the tasteless opening. You never know you might just get past your own prejudices about the writer, the horrid cover and enjoy it.
If it's not a sale you have done to see what's inside my book (I'll check in the morning - I don't get any at all - zero - the bad cover, you see) then something is wrong with Amazon's security or the security of my computer - because it's the only place that it exists on the internet. So I have a big problem don't I?
As for the cover of your book, I am with the other
poster, it doesn’t work for me. I thought I was on
the wrong page. My first thought was that it was
some sort of instruction manual then after visiting
your page, and exploring your other covers, I thought
perhaps they were travel guides.
Bang on! They are Travel Guides - I'm writing one for every country. You're not confused - you've got it completely right!
But Travel Guides in the form of stories - so each story is a guide to the sort of people that come from that country - a little story that sums up the culture and the feel of the place, though, rather than what food to eat and what hotels to stay in.
See it does make sense in context doesn't it.
Instructional, pah, I'm far too modest to go that far, entertaining I hope, at the very outside.
But the vibe of my design start to make sense now because really you sort of got it first time!
As I said in that tips thing - it's all about mood. The covers of my books are purposefully bland - like erm the Haynes Manuals or something - but a collectable set.
You are my new best friend. You understood it first time.
Thanks for you apology, I accept it. And I apologise too. I knew there had to be a logical explanation but got wound up when that other person butted in. So sorry about that. Look to my post above about why my book's cover is designed the way it is. It sort of explains it.
I'm not really too bothered about making loads of sales of this book, or the other ones to come out. It's just sort of something I'm doing as a hobby really. Which I guess why I've been drawn into more sort of design type discussions - as that's my stock and trade really.
Thanks for complimenting me on my writing even if it is just the blurb you have seen - now I guess you've seen the first paragraph of the story some one bought or pirated (will have to look into that) then I guess you can see it's not really a commercial venture (lol) and I will gladly allow you to change your opinion of my writing.
Good luck with your stuff.
I try and be helpful but I guess I must come off like a bully.
David ... you have either bought the book or pirated
it. I suspect the former. And there's no need to get
angry with me and shout. If you had been as keen to
read this thread as you were the first few lines of
the book you bought (maybe) from me then you would
have seen that she corrected herself - and said there
was no 'Look Inside' - she was confused and she
apologised. That I can totally accept. I'm about to
write will apologise to her - so keep your hair on.
Thanks for the sale. Even if it were just to prove a
point. You should continue on - it's a pretty good
story once you get past the tasteless opening. You
never know you might just get past your own
prejudices about the writer, the horrid cover and
If it's not a sale you have done to see what's inside
my book (I'll check in the morning - I don't get any
at all - zero - the bad cover, you see) then
something is wrong with Amazon's security or the
security of my computer - because it's the only place
that it exists on the internet. So I have a big
problem don't I?
You've got me worried now.
Once again, you jump to a wrong conclusion. No, I did not buy or pirate your book. I used the completely legal and available service found on the product page for your book. There is another way to sample your work. The "look inside" feature is not the only way.
Amazon offers a free reading app people can use to read kindle books on their computers. When you look on the product page of every kindle book, while dialed into Amazon.com, the UK store, etc., the following is displayed on the page:
Try it free
Sample the beginning of this book for free
How sampling works
Available on your PC End quote:
Anyone with a computer can read the first part of any kindle book, whether is has "look inside" or not. All they need to do is download the free app, look up your product page, and click on the link. A sample (the first part of your book) is sent, just like all other kindle products are sent.
There is no issue with security here.
I don't have any prejudice against any writer, you included, but I know what I like to read, and what I do not. Sorry, but I won't read more of your work. It has nothing to do with you. It has to do with what I have already read of your work. I did not enjoy what I found in your opening paragraph. Nobody reads everything available. There is far more material out there that I like to spend my time reading instead of reading something I do not like. It's that simple. Yes, maybe your story might be good. And maybe if it were written differently I would like it. But you lost me as a reader in those first few lines. Your style is not for me.
Apology accepted, I will try to back off more. I don't want you to feel like your posts are being hounded by a detractor.
I do think you are a good designer and in particular I like the style of your Humble Nations books the simple illustrations and color combos are very striking. Personally I would have given them more traditional titles and used Humble Nations as a subtitle, but my books aren't flying off the shelf either so it's not like I know everything. I just like to act like I do. ; )
Make sense? Ummm Not really lol. Based on reviews this is obviously a short story set in a specific locale.
I understood what it was because I spent the first three years of my 26 in design making those exact same covers- except they had drawings of heat pumps on the covers.
Either way your cover missed me as a consumer because it looked out of place with other books of it's genre - so much so that when the page first loaded I Xed out of it thinking I had the wrong thing.
Looking out of place is different from standing out and while you may feel the cover fits what you are trying to do it didnt draw me, the buyer, to the book.
Book Covers are in many ways our billboards and often the one and only chance we get to sell and market a book. I can not speak for all authors, but I know that many do not have the time, funds or skill to spend countless hours and dollars marketing. Our covers need to communicate as much as possible in the blink of an eye - because in the ebook world that is often all we get as the readers scroll through at lightning speed. Something on your cover better jump out and grab them or the next one will. And the reader’s appreciation of a cover, no matter how poorly designed to the professional eye, should never be discounted.
Romance is the number one selling genre and with good reason. Romance novel covers have been (over) populated with lusty women, gorgeous men, lush landscapes, southern mansions, city skylines and satin sheets for decades - probably centuries - because the readers like it that way. They like the imagery as much as the words and they lay out a lot of money for it.
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
While I appreciate stepping outside the box, I might recommend that if you truly are trying to go for the travel guide thing that you market it that way because honestly, if I were not looking for your book I would have never stopped to look at it at all. I would have assumed it was just some screwy mistake and moved on. There are just too many other intriguing covers presented in a familiar and informative way.