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Moons Book Cover

Discussion in 'Cover Design' started by Laurence, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    There isn't a law with covers... except to appeal to your target audience if you want to sell books as an unknown author. Once you are big time... anything goes, but appealing to your TA still counts.

    Literary is kind of an amusing notion, if you ask me. Sometimes I think it means "books the experts will heap praise upon even if they only sell 2000 copies to like-minded people." heh heh. IMO they can be praised for zero writing skill but a message that the reviewer agrees with. Catling got praise but his writing is... rrrm... it's good, but not spectacular. It's like a poet turned novelist for the first time, which it is.

    How successful is it? The third book just came out on July 17, it's ranked below Eve of Snows on the overall Amazon sales ranking... but of course, it doesn't the advantage of Kindle Unlimited and sells in stone and mortar stores, but still... for a new release in a "beloved" trilogy that feels kind of lame. PERHAPS that is what makes it literary! As I said, lots and lots of praise, weeee little sales. heh heh.

    And the third book has a blurb from Terry Gilliam, whom I respect as a story-teller (movies, anyhow)... but I never trust an author blurb... LOL.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think Catling's writing is well above the average that you see in the genre. I'm sure the author cares what his sales look like, but I really don't. Much of what I like in books, music, or what have you is outside of the mainstream and therefore doesn't sell as much as mainstream fare. I don't subscribe to the notion that sales figures equate to quality. I'm glad people are writing this kind of thing, even if everyone else wants to read the latest Game of Thrones book (or an imitation thereof).
     
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Literary books sometimes shoot for covers that look like a library edition. Since a lot of literary books are found in libraries, it's an association they can get away with.
     
    Laurence likes this.
  4. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    Absolutely each to their own. Is his writing better than most? Ayup, I can read it. I can't read most fiction. Period, LOL. Is it great? Nope, not IMO.

    Sales do not equal quality, but at the same time... they do, it depends on perspective. I can agree with both sides of the argument, they are just different qualities, heh heh.

    But, I wouldn't recommend his cover to a no-name indie-author who is looking to make money or break even, unless they are going for a more literary crowd.
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    The difference between commercial and literary fiction is that commercial fiction relies on action to play with a reader's impulses to encourage page turning and reading. It's a translation of cheap sales tactics into storytelling. There are many good stories which avoid these sales tactics, and thus don't actually sell. And there's many pieces of junk which sell because of these tactics (just think of all the clickbait headlines - what's the novel equivalent?).

    That said, that's hugely oversimplified. And a lot of "literary" fiction really is garbage, and a lot of commercial fiction really is incredible. The difference is worth understanding, and considering. In my opinion, it's not worth the snobbery afforded to it in some corners.
     
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  6. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    Anti-snobbery is the big thing... but alas, that will not die anytime soon, LOL. Even when I give Rothfuss crap it's mostly tongue in cheek... if it's successful, it must have some sort of quality... EVEN 50 Shades must have... something... I just can't figure it out because I can't get past the writing, heh heh.
     
  7. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    An awful lot of books do that generic fantasy cover #12. Or #100.

    To be honest, if I'm shopping on Amazon, I focus much more on the blurb, reviews, and preview first chapter, than on the covers. I've gotten in the habit of pretty much ignoring the covers, except that I have to see them whenever I view a list of thumbnails or the product page, heh.
     
  8. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    TBH, I still don't see the fox :unsure:.

    Maybe hiding is simply not the right path. I think you could use what you have but tweak it for each book. Add just a little more. You don't need a complete overhaul, imo. A picture of two whispy, dim moons in the background, maybe the fox curled around the bottom right corner's image, looking up as if up at the moons...dunno.
     
  9. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    :bashful: I just realized I never commented on the OP. I had started a thread a while before but I guess I abandoned it and forgot. :sorry:

    I don't think the cover is all that bad. But it's very generic, and there's a contrast between the title and the greenery that's a little jarring. Honestly, I think you could probably find a way to add something in the top right and maybe a subtle lighting effect from top right to bottom left to make it stand out better.
     
  10. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    I admit, I look at covers... if there's a naked man-chest and 6-pack abs or a woman with inflated boobs (or both)... I'm pretty much out of there, LOL. The sample is most important, but reviews and title and cover do count. Those are what help determine whether I make it to the sample. Also, a cover that looks home-brew suggests to me someone who didn't spend on a professional edit... That's a killer.

     
  11. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    I have difficulty disentangling my experience of book cover thumbnails and on the product page. Probably these do affect my initial interest sometimes. Other times, I've done a search or followed the rabbit trail Amazon uses for genres and subgenres to find the sorts of books I like to read (ex. those in the LGBTQ subgenre of fantasy), and in those cases the book cover for finding books I might like plays a much smaller role, if any.

    That said, I am turned off a little by book covers that follow the standard Generic Fantasy Book Cover (tm) design philosophy. Even so, if I have a limited selection of potential "hits" in my narrowed search, I do check even those out for the blurbs, reviews, etc.
     
  12. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    Yeah, I think as you narrow down your hit-list the covers get less important. I tend to keep my browsing broad. It's never a cover for the win... but, good cover and title that implies it might be in my wheelhouse gets my attention. Oddly, the star ratings don't effect me unless the rating is low... a high rating means nothing to me, there is garbage out there with lots of 5 star ratings. The tendency is to over-rate... so a low rating might mean more than a high... and lots of 5 stars might just mean the author has an effective ART. And that's where it's sample chapters for the win, LOL.

     
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  13. Laurence

    Laurence Inkling

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    Which of the following 3 potential routes do you prefer vs which do you think would sell best? Bare in mind these are only general look and feel attempts and each could have fonts and additional elements to make them slightly more 'fantasy'.

    Illustration - Would whack in some fantasy elements and obviously reshuffle things around the additional text. Could represent one or more characters / mcguffins in this style.
    [​IMG]

    Mother - Would give her some kind of accessory that made the fantasy element more clear. This represents the magic system and a crucial scene at the start of the story.
    [​IMG]

    Machete - More fantasy vibes and a literal snapshot of one of the first chapters. Not sure if I want to portray the story as overly gritty though.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    The second options has a bit of a romance vibe to it, while the third one feels more like a murder mystery or a thriller. All three options feel like they're the covers for "serious" books. These are covers for stories with a bit of substance and depth - the first one most so.

    Of the three versions above I think I'd be most likely to pick up the third option to read the blurb on the back.
     
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  15. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    I'm with Svrt: #1 feels Lit, & #2 feels romance. #3 has a machete and general vibe running counter to the happy little title: The Family Yeu... so, that builds more interest for me. So long as the book fulfills that promise, good.

    Now... fantasy? Still, not so much. A machete has a modern feel... so, if you want it to speak to "fantasy" you might look to add another element.

    I'm not big on cover reviews, but that's just me. In the Digital marketplace probably more true.
     
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  16. Laurence

    Laurence Inkling

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    Thanks guys, I think i might try an illustrated version of no.3 plus a few additional fantasy elements.
     
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  17. Laurence

    Laurence Inkling

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    Okay, here's the latest crack. My aim here was:
    1. Go more thriller. Demesnedenoir made me realise that my story does actually have pretty strong thriller vibes so if that juxtaposes nicely with the name, which I like, then great!
    2. Keep illustrated style. I'm a graphic designer and I think it's important to have a piece of me in there rather than going photographical.
    3. Get across a Japanese look with hints of wartime communism.
    4. Show an interesting early scene that also gives a hint of a main character and the magic system.
    5. Be more fantasy.
    As you can see I'm still kinda failing on point 5. Can you think of any ways I could improve here? I'd really like to leave fonts as they are now if possible.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    A Japanese feel with fantasy... Katana, Bamboo cut test maybe, some sort of Japanese demon/demon-mask/face?
     
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  19. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

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    Well I love that cover. But it doesn't really offer the "fantasy" vibe; it could be historical fiction set in Japan. Maybe in a fantasy genre/subgenre on Amazon, it wouldn't matter. I'm not sure what you could add to give it the fantasy vibe, visually.
     
  20. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    It's nice! Much better than the first one and has a real Asian feel to it.
     
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