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Trying a stab at my own cover

Discussion in 'Cover Design' started by deilaitha, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. deilaitha

    deilaitha Sage

    I'm trying to design my own cover for my novel "Charybda." It's a fantasy novel (which I suppose goes without saying on this site).

    I'm just wondering if this is a passable cover or whether I should shell out the big bucks for a designer. I'm wondering if this is something you might pause to pick up in a book store or click on Amazon to learn more about it.

    Thanks for your help!

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  2. AngelaRCox

    AngelaRCox Dreamer

    I'm impressed! This is better than most self-made covers I have seen--I can't tell it wasn't done with a professional's input. As long as you have the rights to use all the assets involved, I would so go ahead and use it!
  3. Michael K. Eidson

    Michael K. Eidson Archmage

    "It's a fantasy novel" is not enough of a description to assess a potential cover. Need to know the age group of the intended target audience and the subgenre. If you're targeting an NA or adult audience and the novel has a contemporary setting, is a retelling of a Greek myth, and has a fair share of action scenes, then I'd think you're spot on. If you're targeting an MG or YA audience, you probably need to make the portrayed character look younger. If the novel is not set in a contemporary setting, you may need to add some elements to the cover that emphasize the time period / place. It's difficult for me to tell much about the woman's outfit, so it doesn't suffice as-is to tell me much about the time period / place. If there isn't a fair number of action scenes in the story, then maybe you need to not have as much movement in the cover.

    I find the most interesting aspects of the above cover to be the book and series titles. Together, they pique my interest, so kudos for that. The image doesn't detract from the titles, which is a good thing. The question is how much it adds. The image implies to me that at least one important character in the novel will be female, and the image is also what implies to me that the story has a contemporary setting and action scenes.

    Judging only from the cover, the story could be fantasy, but it could also be a modern day thriller or sci-fi. There would have to be a context that tells me the story is fantasy, such as my finding it when doing a search for fantasy novels on Amazon. If I don't have any external context, I wouldn't know by looking at this cover that it's for a fantasy novel. The titles would make me wonder if maybe it is fantasy, but the titles alone wouldn't clinch it for me. That is probably the biggest drawback for this cover, imo. That being said, if I did find this in a search for fantasy titles on Amazon, the titles would tempt me to read the book description, and the image is professional-looking, so even though it isn't the main draw for me, the image wouldn't make me pass on reading the book description, as an amateurish cover image might do.

    Lastly, I like your style, and think that even if you don't go with this cover, you are capable of creating your own cover art. I think it would be worth it to go through a few iterations if necessary, before shelling out money to someone else to do your cover. I hope you get lots of feedback, to get a good idea of how your cover will be received by a wider audience.
    Heliotrope likes this.
  4. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    It doesn't convey fantasy genre to me. I'd say your skills are capable (more than passable) but the cover will do best if it matches others in its genre, or subgenre specifically.

    Take a look at the covers of books like yours. Study commonalities. Then make your cover unique but similar. For example, one thing missing from it is glowing magic of some sort. We fantasy readers love flashy covers for the most part so keep that in mind as well.
  5. rhd

    rhd Troubadour

    First off, the book title font is very clunky, were you going for a gothic font? 'Worldstrait Book I' is not centrally aligned, you need shift it towards the left by a couple of spaces, and I'd suggest a small caps font for it. Your name could stand out more by increasing the contrast.
    Is this the only one you've made? I don't believe you have to shell out anything for a designer, but you won't get any better at it if you just do one cover, spend a at least a month of your time improving it, your book deserves that attention after all that hard work. I suggest you make at least five before narrowing down or putting together what you like best from all five. Also from what I know Amazon book covers need to stand out when they're tiny thumbnails so I recommend zooming out to see if your cover stands out. Your name in this case will surely be difficult to read on a thumbnail.
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    It's not a bad attempt--certainly better than anything I could put together. But to me it immediately identifies the work as self-published. You're competing with everything else that is available, including from big publishers. I think having a professional cover is very important, and given the amount of time, sweat, and tears that goes into a novel there is no reason to put yourself at an immediate disadvantage in the marketplace by not having a professional cover, or a properly edited/formatted product, etc.
  7. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    I like the cover, but I don't know if it fits your story.

    By looking at it I imagine the story to be some sort of gothic/cyberpunk mystery tale. The woman portrayed is the central focus of the story either by being the protagonist or a missing person who the real protagonist is looking for. She seems to be mid-chase, running away from something that is possibly magical or supernatural.

    If that description fits than I applaud the cover.

    EDIT: This thread is older than I thought it was, whoops
  8. rhd

    rhd Troubadour

    Hahahaa, 2012, i wonder what happened finally :)
  9. psychotick

    psychotick Auror


    For me my main concern would be that it doesn't tell me anything about the book. I don't know what sort of story it is from looking at it. Also while I understand the desire to go monocolour, I don't think it grabs the eye. I'd suggest putting in another patch of colour that stands out somewhere in the image. Maybe that glow of light is golden and it catches the highlights in her hair? Also I'd second the advice to increase the contrast on the titles etc.

    Cheers, Greg.
  10. Eric Hawke

    Eric Hawke Dreamer

    Not sure what fantasy subgenre the font is trying to convey, same with the woman. It's much more important to be clear on this rather than choosing something that you think looks cool. There's practically no color contrast going on. The titles just kind of melds in with everything else.

    Not that it's bad or anything, it's actually quite nice to look at, but it definitely needs some improvement.
  11. Addison

    Addison Auror

    It's a beautiful cover. My only critique would be on the woman's right side of her face there's the shining circle thingy. I assume it's hair but it's hard to tell. The "Charybda" title is kinda flat against the colors. Maybe a brighter color or highlight can help it pop.
  12. Marcus D. Quatas

    Marcus D. Quatas Acolyte

    Just a tip for giving to cover even more life than it already had; go into a drawing/photo-editing application of some kind and ad some colourdodge to the hair and eyes. Cheers! :D
  13. deilaitha

    deilaitha Sage

    Hi everyone, OP here.

    I want to thank everyone for their opinion on the cover. I did make some changes (I made it look more magic-y) and centered the subtitle font because I noticed it was off. Unfortunately, many of these posts did not reach me until today because I didn't receive notifications and I stopped checking the thread after April. I did go with this (modified) cover for my book which will be released in November. Perhaps it won't win any awards, but I hope it won't drive people away at the very least. I got some positive feedback from an actual graphic designer in terms of aesthetics.

    But I want to thank everyone for their opinions! Have a great day!
  14. Marcus D. Quatas

    Marcus D. Quatas Acolyte

    Where can we find your book? Just on here?
  15. ShadeZ

    ShadeZ Sage

    Impressive! The only down side I can see is it comes of somewhat gothic with the black, white, blue, and purple which may or may not be what you are looking for. You may also want to add a background depending on what your going for.

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