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Cover Tryout for W.I.P.


Article Team
I think the new version is a lot better. I don't mind that it's less yellow-y as it doesn't clash as much with the glow around the silhouette of the character. Lowering the text to be in line with the other two ones would be an improvement too.

I still think that compared to the other two covers the third one is inferior, but at least it's better than it was.


Myth Weaver
My take, for what little it may be worth:

The image on the cover for book 3 is far and away the most striking.

The first two, not so much. They remind me very strongly of the book covers from the 70's and 80's. The poses (to me, anyhow) look stilted, and there are too many figures. The flying creature (dragon? dinosaur?) in book 2 looks particularly awkwardly placed.


Book One - guy with the green fire from the waist or chest up, hands before him about a foot apart, green fire arcing between them, angry expression. Or maybe leave his head out of it all together.

Book Two - guy with the shield, facing away from the viewer, outlined in green fire, suggestion of mountains in the background. Or maybe just the shield, again outlined in the green fire, with maybe a sword and another weapon or two across it, or in the shadows nearby. Maybe one of these other weapons should look charred or even broken.


I'm not fully finished puzzling.

I have at present the covers (B), but starting with book 4 of this series, I'm going with the upper right images (Grimoires/Vavaun) from series A.
The difference in style between A and B is glaring.

I've made a selection of available pre-made covers to possibly replace the original three (B) as well. It's a slight extra investment, but it would look better.

Besides, I'm not sure the original style is really suitable for the international market, but that's more a gut-feeling.

I would like your opinion on this. Which of the two choices would you prefer?

NB The fonts have to be fine-tuned, but to do that efficiently I would have to buy the covers already.


A. The replacements


B. The present covers
The branding is in the fonts. They should all be the same size and have the same placement; they shouldn't just fit the way they are here. You might give them a metallic outline; the shadow isn't really holding in place. Are your books pale blue in character? Only Connery could pull of pale blue when it came to his terry cloth robe, and then just barely. The series title/book should go on top in a stylized band or box of some sort (like a D&D or Warhammer novel). Your name should go at the bottom. At this point, the series is the selling point, not the author. No offense. I really like that banner on the original cover of Ordelanden. Perhaps you could adapt that.

Can the guy on the new Ordelanden be shrunk too, to the size of the other characters? And Zihaen should have a person too, that being the series look. It'll also look more recognizable when shrunk to a thumbnail.


The font didn't work as I wanted in the previous example.

Now I tried some book cover design software, and after a while this was the result. I'm not fully happy with the text on the spine, but all in all it is a book cover.

And it's another step to independence. :)



My internet is still bad, forgive me if I'm repeating already know information.

Your author/taglines font is Trajan Pro, possibly in the bold weight. Your book title font is Scurlock, maybe bold too. :)

The title has a stroke effect on the top of a soft dropshadow. The other texts have a really soft dropshadow only. The trick here is to use the shadows only enough to make it readable, if it's obscuring the image behind them it's too much already. Try to keep the same spacing and font sizing of the previous covers, and I'm sorry if I'm mentioning changes you've already done, I can't load the last cover here.

I use WhatTheFont for fonts identification. If you have a proper sample–white background, black text in a big enough image–it locates the font family in nearly all the cases. Trajan was easy to find, Scurlock was a bigger challenge, but I identified both with this tool.


Thanks, Nihal, for the search! That opens up other possibilities, so I'glad to have both fonts identified.

At the moment I'm trying out alternatives, like the one in my previous post. Pre-made covers - I'll never be an artist, I'm afraid. I absolutely lack the patience (and the talent).
The title on top isn't as good as the title across the guy's knees and thighs. It actually feels a bit old school YA this way.

Your back cover is upside down too. The copy should go on top with a headline, preferably a blurb next, then the copy. The paragraphs should either be first line indented or all should have spaces between them. Your bio and picture should go at the bottom, and there's no reason for the former to be in bold. Red Rune is taking up too much room as well.

As for the spine, while I'm a proponent for full names on spines, I think you're wasting valuable real estate with your first name. drop it and your middle initial and instead put the face of the guy on the front in a box either at the top or between your name and the series title. Seeing as all but one of your books have a face (and the other should), this will give the spines an identity on the shelf. Similarly, put the 5 rightside up (instead of along the spine) in a box or circle between the series title and the title. Right now it looks like a dingbat. Again that will give the buyer easier info while browsing. Let's face it, 99% of books are sold spine-out, so consider the spine your front cover. Note: this sounds good in my head, but it may look too busy in reality.


Added the head to the spine... The title on two lines makes it a bit compacter. The book will be 6" x 9", so it will be big enough.
Changed around the blurb / bio.
I've tried the no. 5 standing, but that reminded me how publishers used to number their books, long ago. With two lines, the dingbat effect is gone.
Too many lines and indents make the text visually chaotic.

It's getting there. What if on the back cover you made Vavaum the headline, and changed the description to be more evocative: "A pocket-sized dukedom, where illegal magic and corruption have [something or other]." That will give you more room to discuss the heroes' story, which also could be more evocative. They can't just be going home to check things out. What drives them there? Is Darkmouth a recurring character? Essentially, how would you summarize the first third of the story in 150 words to encourage readers to read the other two thirds? And the book's either standalone or it's not.

I think the copy should be in yellow and you bio in unbolded white. And that picture seems pretty large. Do you have any blurbs or review quotes for the previous books that could go on the back?

I like the box around Red Rune.

That's pretty thin for 6x9. Would you bring it down to 5ish x 8ish to give it some more bulk?


Myth Weaver
Not to pick at nits here, but there are a few grammatical errors in your back-cover blurb. You switch back and forth between past and present tense. "Things appear not well", "Damion and Uwella hear stories", "illegal magics that worry them", "they are embroiled". (I'm assuming you're aiming for present tense, as most back-cover blurbs seem to be.)


Apologies for the blurb; I wrote it down as some lorem ipsum filler. Still, I should have taken care of the grammar first :).

Great suggestion, stephenspower, to change the book format. I agree they're looking less than robust and this is the perfect chance. But that's a lot of work, with six titles, so it needs some thought first.

I have more review quotes, I'll add them later.

This particular book isn't finished being written yet. I chose it because I already had bought the cover image and now it'll serve as model for the others.

NB. Just bought the bookcoverpro software I made this cover in, and I got 20% Valentine's Day reduction. Is that a lucky omen?

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Now I can see everything! Write down the old fonts names, you know, just in case you need that info in the future.

Regarding your change in the covers styles, it's a good change. The older ones look dated. That's not necessarily a bad thing, they certainly attract readers interested in a story style of a specific time period, however, it discourages regular readers and I'm not sure if this trade off is worth it. Thinking on international market was a wise move on your part.

Title and Cover

My advice is to experiment with white and off-white colors on the text for your cover. You can't go wrong with white or black. Right now your cover looks a tad too brown/yellow. Another thing that works wonders is to combine a serifed typography with a sans serif (or a more sober serif).

Back Cover Elements

Add a bit more negative space around your photo on the back and make the text wrap around it, the gap underneath it looks random. You can move the barcode and the logo down, they're aligned to nothing and unnecessarily high, also, get them to align themselves on their bottom line. If it's possible to turn off the cropping and bleed marks do it from time to time to verify how the spacing and alignment of elements on the cover really look.

Back Cover Text

The paragraph rules for the content are valid for the back cover, you either indent new paragraphs or add a space between them. The space seems to be preferred by many houses for it makes the blurb readable. If you vary the font size for these sections it'll look more readable as well, also, avoid whole long paragraphs in bold style.

If you, let's say, keep the blurb 2pt+ bigger than your bio then centered this quote and increased its size to something near your name on the front cover it's likely to look fresher due the size variation. You could also try the typography variation trick here, serifed for the blurb, sans-serif to the bio, bigger serif for the quote.


It was more readable on its previous version. You don't have much space here, so I'm not sure if a double lined approach is the best choice. Also, does the series identification really need to have the same weight this particular book title has? A reader looking forward identifying a particular book has to skip all the way down this sub title.

I hope any of these advices helps. I got a little carried away, uh?
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Thank you, Nihal! Get carried away as much as you like; this is great advice,

I was afraid the covers were too outdated. It was on purpose, but if it doesn't work it must be changed.
This will be delicate, though. I just received the third cover (English version) from the illustrator, after pushing him for two months to get it done... He's my Dutch publisher as well, and terribly busy. So I can't change over immediately.

I'll use the time to prepare all the replacement covers and change all manuscripts from 6"x9" to 5.06"x7.81". Then I can change over all at once.

I was thinking of doing the title color (in this case yellow) for every book in another color.

I will play a little with suitable fonts and all your other suggestions. This is a great help!
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For the moment I’m finished making replacement covers. These are all for the Revenaunt-series (I need 2 for Shardfall too, but I’m still thinking on that). All in all I’ve spent money, but much less than I would have on the original covers. To give an idea: I now have 3 replacement covers + 4 brand new covers for the price of one Shardheld cover plus $ 100. I should have done this from the start.

Anyhow, here they are. Though I got lots of great advise already, comments are still welcome.

I added a dark bar behind the main front title. This makes it better readable, and it allowed me to lower the Ordelanden picture, to get the knight’s face from behind the text.


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