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Month – January 2016

Bethany

The author says:

Experimental literature in the key of science fiction. Are you reading or being read? Are you the character or the author? Are you the created creating their creator? Ponder these questions and more as you are taken through a labyrinth of false memories, alternative timelines with an overly maternal Artificial Intelligence.

bethany cover maybe

bethany cover maybe

Nathan says:

I’m in a little bit of a bind here, because “experimental literature” usually means it’s willfully obscure and isn’t meant to appeal to most people… so a cover that does just that is right on target.  You can’t represent genre, story content, etc. on the cover, because the book is meant to defy expectations.

So by those standards, um… I guess it’s good.

Seriously, I’m gonna defer to the other commenters on this one.

 

November 17

The author says:

When Bre Collins family tells her to leave a week after her brothers death she devastated. They blame her for it. But, the thing is, they’re right.

Cover2

Cover2

Nathan says:

Playing it a little close to the vest, aren’t we?  The CoverCritics submission instructions say:

Tell us where and when it’s set, what the genre is, who the target audience is…

I can’t tell from your description what the story is about, who the prospective readers are, or even what the genre is.  I can tell from your description that apostrophes frighten you, and I hope that the actual text of the book is better edited.

Looking at the cover simply as a piece of design work, it’s clean and well-composed… but again, I can’t tell genre or intended readership.  From thumbnail size, I can’t even see the authors’ names; I’m not one of those people that insists the byline must be readable at thumbnail size, but I should at least be able to tell that the text is there.  Why?  Because if all I can see is “November 17,” I can’t even identify it as a book cover.

I think you need to take another look at the cover and, while keeping the strong and clear aspects of its design, ask yourself: “How will readers who would like the novel know from the cover that it’s for them?”

Other suggestions, please.

Arenia & the Golden Key

The author says:

Arenia is a shy, young woman troubled with fears and insecurities living an ordinary life in a big city. All that is about to change when she falls into an illusive world, where reality is dreamlike and surreal. As she searches for a way back home, she embarks on a journey encountering bizarre and deadly creatures at every turn. Arenia must distinguish between what is real and what is illusion if she is to survive. She must learn to make choices between fear and courage, between risk and comfort . . . or someone else will make them for her.

Blending myths & legends, dream and reality into an inspiring tale of self-discovery and transformation, ARENIA & The Golden Key is for readers, both men and women, across all generations. Whose author’s readers would it appeal to? Paulo Coelho, “The Alchemist”. For readers that enjoy fiction (Metaphysical & Visionary) with inspirational life lessons.

Thank you very much for your help! Much appreciated.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00069]

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00069]

Nathan says:

I have no complaints about the artwork.  (Well, the cobra isn’t obviously a cobra at first glance, but aside from that…)  So let’s work on bringing the type up to the level of the illustration.

I think the biggest problem is that you have the byline where the title should be and vice versa.  The top of the illustration is render in more consistently dark tones, which means that the title will stand out better.  And even if you end up obscuring the cat and bluejay, it’s still a better choice than trying to squeeze the text across her collarbone.

I also think you need to reconsider the font and type treatment.  Spaced type can sometimes work well, but usually when, again, it’s in front of a background with which it contrasts strongly.  Where you’ve got it, you realized that you needed an extra element to help the type distinguish itself from the background so you added the drop shadow, but the end result of spacing and drop shadow is that the letters look too disassociated from each other.  (A slightly — slightly — more ornate typeface on the title wouldn’t hurt either.)

I would also suggest that, as your name is very unlike most names in the English-speaking world, it’s not immediately recognizable as a byline.  Adding “A Fantasy Novel by” just over it will eliminate that confusion.

Since you’ve given us the back cover too, I’ll say that the same drop shadow problem exists here.  My solution would be to put a solid or mostly solid square behind the type, which would allow you to get rid of the drop shadow and tighten up the line spacing, so that your solid square doesn’t overlap onto the peacock.  (There’s a sentence I couldn’t ever predict I would type.)  And of course, put something in that big blank spot at the bottom of the back cover.

I feel like I’m missing something, but that’s what I can depend on the other commenters for.  Ideas?

Time With God

The author says:

The book is designed for the Christian who longs to love God with all their heart but needs a little help. This is the first in a series and focuses on spending time with God in prayer.

Time with God CreateSpace Cover3a

Time with God CreateSpace Cover3a

Nathan says:

There’s nothing wrong with what you have here.  (Well, it does seem like a lot of text on the back cover, but…)  But it would be easy to make it so much better.

If I were to look at the cover without reading the text, I’d assume it’s a nonfiction book (check) of an instructional variety (check) about time management (sorta check).  But I would assume it to be dry and functional.  Where’s the joy?

Here’s what I’d do:

  • Add some slight texture to the blue background.  I’d probably play with it so it was really only visible at the edges.
  • Change the font in at least a couple of instances — the word “God” and the byline.  It doesn’t have to be a big, flowery cursive that’s hard to read, but something with a bit more elegance and beauty.

Other suggestions?

3AM Nightmares

The author says:

A trio of short Stories inspired by my nightmares (hence the 3 AM nightmares). Nothin’ more complicated than that really.

3am_nightmares

3am_nightmares

Nathan says:

Well done.  If I saw this in passing on Amazon, I’d have no criticisms.  Since I’m supposed to offer suggestions, I might throw out things like widening and moving “Nightmares” down so it doesn’t overlap “3AM” and seeing how that looks, but that’s only idle tweaks.

Anyone got a more substantive suggestion?  I think it’s fine as it is.

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