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Guns, Religion & Robots

The author says:

Guns, Religion & Robots is a horror & sci-fi anthology. The stories vary from tales of death and recovery to making living agreements with artificial intelligence.




Nathan says:

You mean a collection, don’t you? An anthology is normally stories by different authors. (Yeah, I’m kind of a bear about that.)

The great thing about anthologies/collections/compilations/whatever is that you can use ANYTHING on the cover, as long as it fits the mood.  And you’ve certainly got anything!  Here’s what I would tweak to make it better:

1) Even though there’s a lot of detail everywhere, there’s still a sense of “white space” — an impression of blankness — probably stemming from that upper right corner. You could plug in just the edge of some other diagram there. I also wonder if a slightly off-white or creamy paper background to all of the white space wouldn’t tie it together better.

2) Is there a reason that “An anthology [grrr] by Brady Koch” doesn’t fill that purple space better?  Similarly, with how far in from the margin “Guns” and “& Robots” start.  I think you should expand your byline text to fill that purple, and move “Guns” and “& Robots” further to the left — especially “Guns.”

Other ideas?


  1. Whether it’s an anthology (in which case the byline should read “Edited by Brady Koch”) or a collection, we prospective readers would like to know how many stories we’re getting. So have the byline say “X Stories of Horror and Science Fiction [Edited] by Brady Koch” or something similar.

  2. The first thing that jumped out at me (particularly in thumbnail size) was the skeleton image. It gives off a strong horror genera feel, and not sci-fi. Not sure how you’d balance this out. Perhaps experiment by replacing the skeleton with a schematic of a robot? If anything, it would fit much better with the book title.

    While I like the color highlight splashes behind the title, I’m not a fan of the font. I think it’s too neutral. It doesn’t really give me a feel for the genera.

    1. that’s a tough one. I want something skeletal in there. Maybe an animal just to throw it off kilter enough as some of the stories take a turn for the grotesque. Maybe a skeleton with a classic robot head.

  3. Mostly I have issues with the text.

    The text margins are not symmetrical; the left-justified text is farther from the edge than the right-justified text. It’s also odd that “Religion” doesn’t quite fit in its patch of color; make the patch bigger so it fits and can be farther from the edge.

    Also, I notice some weird artifacts on the text at the large size. Some of the letters in “Guns” and “Religion” look lighter than the rest of the text, and those two words look like they have a slight drop shadow that the other text doesn’t have.

    1. This is literally a photocopy from a print out, so there’s a lot of image artifact throughout. Final version will definately have that take care of.

  4. I like this cover quite a lot! Nice job! The main thing that jumped out at me is the way “An anthology by Brady Koch” is snuggled into the corner (and I agree that it is a collection, not an anthology).

    You could make the background art a little more science fictional by combining images. For instance, by incorporating bits and pieces of woodcuts of machinery into the skeleton.

    I like seeing “Religion” being overlapped by the shape it is in. It might be nice if this occurred to one or two of the other words. I would’t make the text line up evenly at the right and left…instead, I would make them line up much less—say, by moving “& Robots” further to the left.

    1. Yeah, making the different words be indented by varying amounts would also work. You just don’t want the text on the left all indented one amount and the text on the right all indented a different amount.

      1. I was thinking of using freehand instead of the block text to give it more of a spontaneous feel. Do you think this could help with the indenting issue.

        I worry that freehand in the wrong artist could come off as a little too sloppy.

  5. Thanks for all of the feedback so far. Keep it coming! I like to make these drafts for my book covers so that I can turn this over a a real pro to make these concepts look presentable.

    I made this one in Word and with a printer and scanner. The rips are real. I’m wanting the solid colors under the rips to be a punkier neon and the font to be something less Rockwell Extra Bold.

    Well noted that this isn’t an anthology, but a collection. Consider that fixed.

    I welcome more thoughts from the group. Every thought really helps me refine this concept to get it to a final product.

    1. Yo, is that you? [For everyone else: “Yo” is a drive-by commenter on who swung in, accused everyone else of stupidity and jealousy, and then disappeared.]

      Let me explain something to you: Covers on this site are submitted BY THE AUTHORS/DESIGNERS to get helpful critiques and feedback before they publish them. Thus your suggestion of “jealously” [sic] is not only nonsensical, but brands you as an ignoramus suffering from the delusion of competence.

      1. I know this off-topic, but maybe giving “Yo” his/her own special post on LC wasn’t such a good idea? Now we have crap like this (AAJ) springing up over here.

        1. disappeared? When? So a mod deletes a post, and makes a sok effort to pretend he just went away…just a old trick.

          1. Yo, you’re a liar. I’ve deleted nothing, because displaying your ignorance and stupidity is the best refutation of your comments. However, I am getting tired of catering to the “beans up the nose” crowd, so I’m just going to ban you. You may now gloat about how smart ol’ you got the best of the immature chuckleheads here. Or something.

          2. AN old trick. If you’re going to post on a site where mostly writers gather, please try to spell correctly. It might be rude to point out proper grammar on the rest of the internet, but when you’re among writers, it’s rude not to follow proper grammar. If you even know what that is. No offense, but with spelling like yours, I seriously hope you’re not a writer too (and if you’re not, I don’t even know what you’re doing here, besides trolling).

            And what is sok? Too bad you’re banned and can’t answer, I’m really curious.

  6. I really like the basic idea of the cover, I would pick it up based on it.

    I don’t get a ‘horror’ feel from it – one suggestion might be to invert the picture so it’s white lines on black, and maybe add a faint texture to the dark areas to sort of tie the different image elements together (books with mostly white covers tend to “disappear” on sites with white backgrounds, like Amazon. If you keep the black on white look, consider adding a border).

    1. It’s hard for me to categorize this into one category other than “weird tales” o I’m hoping to strike a balance with horror and sci-fi imagery.

      Good idea on inverting the colors. I was thinking of making the all white more of a manila so that it stood out from web pages.

    2. What about white on blue, so it looks like a blueprint? Too cliche? Old paper texture would look nice, but it wouldn’t fit with a sci-fi theme.

    1. I’m not really wild about the color, but it absolutely did eliminate the “too much white” issue with the one posted here. It’s slick-enough looking, so the author/cover designer should be pretty happy. Well done.

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