I know your opinion about book cover design is highly valued around here. I would submit my two (so far) for your review, if you are so inclined. Your opinion is invited. Are these too simple in nature? Flame away, please!
Well, yeah, I am afraid that you are right. It is pretty simple. There is nothing wrong with simplicity...after all, I have often preached that "less is more" is a very important thing to remember when designing a cover. But there does come a point when less becomes a bore. A book cover is like a miniature poster...or, perhaps an even better simile, like the label on a can of peas or box of breakfast cereal. It needs to attract attention from among a crowd of similar products and it needs to inform the potential purchaser something significant about the contents. I am not too sure that this design accomplishes these things.
A starkly B&W cover is perfectly OK...but the equally stark symmetry is a little off-putting. Symmetry by its very nature is balanced and safe...and consequently uninvolving and unexciting. Asymmetry suggests something going on, something about to happen: action.
Your cover also needs to convey something meaningful about the book itself: its story, ideas or themes. Other than a vague suggestion of fantasy, that is about all that the present design accomplishes...and that is much too broad. The cover should go beyond suggesting the general genre of the book and say something specific about it: what sets it apart from the thousands of other fantasy novels out there?
Here, for example, is an equally simple, stylized cover (there are only three colors: red. blue and black). An asymmetric design was used, along with strong shapes, to suggest something about the nature of the story, even if not illustrating anything specific that takes place. (In other words, it is symbolic of the book's theme rather than a literal depiction of anything that occurs.)
Something to perhaps experiment with might be making the heart a solid red shape with the dragon and sword reversed out in white---then enlarged and placed off-center, with the title, tagline and your name also staggered above and below. There may be room to make the title a little larger and in two lines...that would add visual interest as well. (And no need to be so shy about your name! You could make that larger, too!) Finally, browse around a little and see if you might find a more suggestive typeface, one that might be more evocative of the nature of your story.
But even with all that said, I am not sure that the shield is informative enough all on its own. I think you either need an additional visual element or a different one entirely, so that the potential reader takes away some idea of what your book is about.
Post by Retread-Retired-Cameron on Dec 28, 2019 19:25:44 GMT
Remember what Ron said, and consider what can grab the eye. A person reaching for that shield against a background distant castle perhaps? A smaller shield hovering over a battle scene?
Simply put, what do you think will get a reader's eyes to gravitate toward the cover?
Covers aren't simply about graphics, psychology is at play as well.
**** Edit 15:10 CST ****
Here is an example of what I mean. The original image didn't have the two half figures at either end -- these and the other tweaks which make the cover work are courtesy of Ron Miller [though as busy as I assume he is he may not remember this one].
The background is fairly monochromatic in a neutral color which tends to make the almost identical figures stand out.
Next up is the second full figure from the right edge, the only one with open eyes.
If you look closely her eyes are green, which is a bit different.
While each individual detail may be subtle, the overall impression of 'what's different about this image' should grab the eye of a potential reader who likes speculative fiction.
I may not be great at writing or graphics, but I do have at least a basic understanding of psychology.
Simple deigns can work, monochromatic backgrounds can work, but the kicker is a design where just enough to get the eye to gravitate toward it. I've read enough books by fairly famous writers where the cover was better than what was inside, so getting the cover right is most of the battle.
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