lol, thetimucuan, I think there's valuable info here..and there's things I'd change about my own title next time (mostly font size only). But I dislike to see when people have worked hard at something, only to change it to please another individual, when its all subjective. It's art. As a photographer there are a lot of dos and don'ts I can read about- but for the most part..it's the unexpected that people tend to love..and I wouldn't change my art because someone set rules. Rules are something to consider..but when I see people running to change their own art without thought (just to be in "line") it makes me sad...
If you spend very much time studying the best seller lists you will see a remarkable variety in styles of books that sell well.
Taste is incredibly subjective, and styles vary a great deal from genre to genre.
I just made a cover for my collected ed. and I like it and my husband loved it. The next morning I hated it so I changed it. My husband hates the new one. Several writers like the new one. The new one follows the advice of this thread fairly closely but a publisher friend emailed me privately to advise that I change it because it was no good.
It's day two and no copies have sold yet (I didn't advertise it at all and it is $10 so we'll see what happens with it.) But I think it is a great example of the subjective nature of covers.
One "fun" thing to do is to post covers on facebook and let your friends discuss them...readers are who we are trying to attract after all.
I think that the covers of your books are a little clichéd in terms of the genre ... it's all about standing out from the crowd. I had a little play with your covers. I like the ideas of just a photo upside down - I know this sounds simple and stupid as an idea but I think it sort of fits the bill well. As everything is normal normal normal but for some it's odd. Any way you can have a look at something threw together below:
So I downloaded a new font - bold and sans serif ... like you said - but, (and here comes the stupid part) how do I get it into programs like Photoshop or Illustrator? Can't figure it out. Maybe I'm being dumb.
I think that the covers of your books are a little clichéd in terms of the genre
Firstly, I really like your designs as stand alone, but I think the books that you have chosen to alter really fit the rules you have laid down thus far. Forgive if I am wrong, but if I were looking though the fantasy section in a bookshop (or on Amazon come to that), then surely a little cliche is fine...I really like the originals, and in my humble opinion the one on the right has the edge. It is also on my "to read" hit list...
I think the original images are spot on, myself, but I also think the font could be improved. I wouldn't make them simpler though, I would make them more fanciful...The font of Paolini's inheritance cycle comes to mind...
The writer wasn't paying for them, I just did them as a bit of fun and I guess you didn't really read the brief of what she was after - she was talking about not having them as out and out fantasy. She wanted a sense of unease - hence my messing about with upside down images.
Thanks all three of you for the feedback. I will stay with the original photos as I like to be accurate to the book - however the font could do with some tweaking. Traci, I'll look up that book you were talking about and check out that font.
I need both books to be somewhat similar in style as they are in a new series.
I'm also thinking of adding a 'byline' to the first cover - perhaps a short sentence which states 'Nothing Is As It Seems' and then something else relevant to the second, on the sequel.
The most similar existing book to 'Dark Confluence' is 'Fairy Tale' by Ray Feist, and he has 'This is no bedtime story' on the cover, which immediately takes you out into a 'what if?' senario.