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Irreversibility [resubmit]

The author says:

The newlywed Don and Denise Richards get their minds swapped with those of his son Jackie and her daughter Jaymee respectively while their Caribbean honeymoon cruise is lost in the Bermuda Triangle. No matter what they try, they can’t seem to find a way to swap back! Now what will they do? This is a paranormal romance novel. Again, this is just a scratch cover. After all the helpful suggestions for the first scratch, I’m very nearly committed to hiring a professional to draw the final product.

Irreversibility Scratch Cover

Irreversibility Scratch Cover

[original submission and comments here]

Nathan says:

It’s certainly a much clearer and easily read image this time, and I think it will avoid the “creep vibe” that so many commenters were getting from the original cover. (I didn’t get them myself, but it might be because I’m as pure as the driven snow.)

I think you can more easily see from the thumbnail the issues that remain:

1) Having the title slightly smaller than the byline seems odd. Obviously the length of the title word determines some of the sizes used; I’d try using exactly the same size of type on the byline, thus making it slightly smaller, and see if that looks better.

2) The Caribbean islands become nothing but a confusing green blotch in the thumbnail, and the Bermuda Triangle is lost completely.  I’d say there’s no benefit to leaving the starry sky to the left and right of the islands unused; expand the map and thicken the lines of the triangle.

3) The contrast is kind of murky at thumbnail size; I know it’s a night image, but you can still accentuate the brights and darks more to make it more easily readable.

Of course, this is a cover that will probably receive plenty of divergent opinions in the comments. Have at it!


  1. I’d get rid of the Bermuda Triangle, partly because it’s unclear but mainly because I don’t think it’s a good selling point.

    I also have reservations about magenta as a title color.

  2. You have a bit of twinning there in the hands, they look mirrored. It should generally be avoided because it makes the image look static (much like any symmetry does). In this particular case it looks confusing, so my brain stopped interpreting it as two hands and I started seeing it as a cross or an M instead. Brain is weird like that, it needs queues to interpret stuff, particularly black silhouettes. I’d suggest making the hands less symmetrical, perhaps make the back ones slightly smaller and shift them down a bit, so to suggest that they’re further away. Just a slight visual queue to give silhouettes some 3D depth.

    The font type is much better, but pink? I might be bias because I’m not a great fan of pink, but it doesn’t feel like it fits well. It draws attention nicely, like a neon sign, which is good, but it’s just so… pink.

    I second Nathan’s suggestion to enlarge the map and the triangle in the back and make better use of that sky, but… When I first saw it I thought the silhouetted people were on a spaceship looking down at earth and this was some kind of sci-fi story. So, I don’t know, I’d rethink that particular idea. Maybe there’s a way to make it so it doesn’t look like it’s seen from space.

    1. Working off this idea, you can just remove the second pair of arms. It gets confusing muddled together like that. The other can be ‘implied’ at their side.

      Would make the image stronger.

  3. My advice is to let go of the original image. I’ve seen many authors cling to their first image ideas, but where abandoning that may have paid better dividends.

    At first glance, I saw a green fish in the sky along with some algae. When I realized the islands were part of the Bermuda triangle, then I had the confusion of an island in the stars. The triangle in the stars more readily seems like it should be a constellation.

    You don’t want confusion in your cover. Instant clarity of the genre is what will attract customers.

    This is about the Bermuda triangle. That has a target audience all its own, so I’d want this to be a major component of the cover. The other main aspect is the romance, but not a romance between children, right? So I’d want an adult romance scene and the Bermuda triangle on the cover. Anything else can go, including the night sky, the rails, and the child couple.

    If you start over with these two cover components, letting everything else go, you might discover that you can pull off something more effective. If not, you could use those two main components as a mock-up to send to a cover artist. (Definitely, if you go pro, you want to offer the freedom to abandon the aspects that don’t need to be there.)

  4. See, I told you we needed to see the new version to pick font colours!

    So my advice is… Not this. Go high contrast complimentary with the black/blue background. That would mean yellow or orange. Try those and see how it works!

  5. I find online color scheme generators really helpful for color challenged people like myself. There are those where you can upload a picture and it will generate a color scheme off it, and you can feed that color scheme into an “ordinary” scheme generator (Adobe has a nice one to find the right value of the complementary color.

  6. This comes pretty close to being in the “kitchen sink school” of cover design: giving in to the urge to include everything relevant to the book.

    The Bermuda Triangle map is little more than a blob of green that looks more like something had been spilled on the cover than anything else (I had no idea what it was supposed to be until I looked closely).

    If the Bermuda Triangle is in fact an important element in the story, then enlarge the map until it fills the background. At the moment it looks like an oversight or last minute addition…or even something included by mistake.

    I usually don’t like silhouettes under any circumstances, but black on any dark color is an even worse mistake. One good test for a cover is to take a look at it in greyscale. It should look as good in B&W as it does in color.

    The silhouette itself is not well-thought-out in any case. It’s difficult to understand at a glance what the children are actually doing.

    The bottom line regarding all the elements of the cover is that they require a pre-knowledge of the book in order to be understood…which is putting the cart before the horse.

    Finally, unless your name is immediately recognizable to readers—that is, it is a selling point in itself—I would not place it in a point size larger than the title.

  7. Yay! Finally, another chance to do a helpful analysis on Cover Critics!

    Are you guys sure the title and byline are different sizes? My analysis of the font suggests that both are done in bold Narkisim font at approximately 239.5 points. (It’s a little too small at 239 points and a little too big at 240.)

    The color on the title and byline is apparently some kind of gradient between magenta and hot pink. Very… feminine, I guess, but it looks out of place against a background of cool blues and greens. Something a fiery-golden-yellow-ish (colored like a sunrise) would probably look better against all these cooler night tones.

    I seem to remember the author saying something in the comments for the original submission about the Bermuda Triangle not really being that significant to the story, except as a bit of magic/science fiction to move the plot along. Let’s see… Ah, yes:

    When going over what the title should be, I kept thinking maybe “Bermuda” something, since anything about the Bermuda Triangle tends to get people’s attention. The more I looked at it, though, the less relevance the Bermuda Triangle actually had to the central story; it only serves as a convenient excuse for all the paranormal stuff to occur.

    Waffles, I’ve been carefully considering what you say about needing some indication on the cover that this romance is indeed paranormal, and I’m at a bit of a loss for what to do. The problem is that what causes the body swap wouldn’t be a meaningful visual to anyone who hasn’t already read the story. Would layering a map showing the Bermuda Triangle into the background do the trick? (The Bermuda Triangle is a recognizable symbol, and at least indirectly responsible for the swap.)

    That doesn’t sound like it’ll have much to excite the Bermuda Triangle fetishists to me. That said, though, the Bermuda Triangle map here looks like it’s hiding behind the title. If at all possible, it should be expanded to fill the entire sky behind the loving couple.

    I agree with gp that you should be able to ditch any peripheral elements on the cover, but disagree which ones those are. That silhouette could use some tweaking, maybe, but don’t ditch the kids. Romance novel covers are already awash with adult couples showing off a lot of–as I believe you said–“breasts, beefcake, or both.” You go showing yet another adult couple with (as the Honest Trailers narrator would say) “bewbs” (cleavage) and “mewbs” (pectorals) on your book cover, and yours will be lost in the flood.

    If you have a big map of the Bermuda Triangle behind the kids, however, you probably can ditch the night sky, the ocean, and the rails. A map implies sailing, and everyone knows the Bermuda Triangle is in the Atlantic near the Caribbean. That the couple are on their honeymoon cruise you can leave your readers to discover from the blurb on the back cover/synopsis on the seller’s webpage.

    Finally, the glow behind the kids is still too faint, looks a bit uneven, and still leaves a lot of details obscured. The girl’s ponytail, for one, is practically vanishing into the background on my monitor, and I’ve got the contrast turned up all the way. Punch it up and even it out so we can see the silhouetted lovers better.

    1. At second glance, the font size does seem like it may be the same.

      But it’s an optical illusion. The first 4 letters of the author name are capitalized (and the title letters are mostly thin). I think it’s important for the author name to “seem” no more prominent than the title. Most of us apparently fell for this illusion, even those of us who should have known better. (Resizing the font isn’t the only way to remedy this.)

  8. Helpful tip: Don’t place any type or important parts of graphics within 1/8″ of the outside edge. While that is for printing purposes it still applies here. Your title and name look crowded.

    Your name doesn’t need to be as big as the title. I suggest scaling it down, making it in caps, adding some kerning (space between letters) and maybe changing the font. Maybe even try it in white as opposed to the title.

  9. In the revamping, I initially thought that the BT allusion was a constellation, as well, with some type of greenish-ectomorphic goo around it (a la paranormal stuff). I think it’s really problematic for a thumbnail, and it wasn’t even that instantly clear to me in larger size (n.b.: I sail, boat, and spent most of my youth on the east coast, a chunk of it in FLA. The BT should instantly be recognizable to me. I think it’s the triangle, oddly enough, that threw me off seeing it.

    I have to concur with gp. Even ignoring my original reaction to the cover and the concept, this cover just ain’t floatin’ my boat (unintended pun). And I’m a big reader of supernatural/paranormal type stories. (Don’t do romance, admittedly.) I’m glad to see that you’ve upped the contrast, by using the magenta, although again, I think it’s the wrong neon color. I’d be more interested in this cover if it were just a foggy island, and that, to me, means it’s headed in the wrong direction. I guess what’s wrong, to my eye, is that contrast is supposed to be used to draw the eye to the main element, and it’s not. The main element, the kids, are the least visible things on the page. They’re lost in darkness, which may sound cool, textually, but isn’t, visually. If you look at fabuloso movie posters or book covers that really rock, like this one: , and compare it with this one, which I think we would all agree is far less successful: , the difference is, the eye isn’t going to the main image/concept (unless Batboy’s utility belt is the end-all/be-all). Brave’s poster: again, uses contrast to make the lead character stand OUT (that yowza hair!), against a subtle blue background that’s fading behind her, specifically to boost the visual POW! of that hair.

    I’ve kind of mooched the images from one of the best blog posts on the topic I ever read, which sadly, is on a website you can’t get to any longer. But if you can use the Wayback machine, try to find this: (if the site’s back up, READ it–great article).

    The author, Derek Murphy, explains far, far better than I ever could the issues around your main characters and that background. I have the article saved, in Evernote, because it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a designer, explain in words/images, to non-designers, all the “right stuff.”

    I hope that’s helpful. I know you thought I wasn’t helpful, before–that much was obvious–but I think that you need to let this cover go. That, or put the kids’ silhouettes, in front of an island, with dawn breaking over the island/ocean, so you can blast them with a lightened sky, maybe. I still don’t like the actual silhouettes–they are too clip-arty for me; but that would still help a lot. Put the eye where it belongs.

    If it were me: I’d find a new concept, overall, for the cover. I think even a really talented, from-scratch, drawn-to-order artist is going to have a tough go of it. That’s my take.

    And yes–the author name is, IMHO, FAR FAR too large. I don’t think it serves to balance the page, or anything else.


  10. I’ve been thinking some more on this cover. I remembered someone suggesting on the old version to put the silhouettes of the grownups being the kids, and someone else noticed that it might look incestuous. But what if the grownups weren’t holding hands, but being pulled apart? As if reaching for one another, but being pulled in opposite directions. If you think about it, the older versions of the characters really are being separated by this event.

    I agree with the others that it’s too dark. I’ve put the image in an editor and clicked “auto correct” and it made it much brighter and more contrasted. Try it.

    Also, are you sure about the title? It’s a really big word with lots of Rs, not very melodic and doesn’t roll off the tongue very easily. It’s also visually long, which makes it harder to put on the cover properly. And it’s either telling too much about the plot, or not enough.

      1. If you’ve read the original discussion, this was mentioned.

        I could maybe have used “Irreversible” instead, but there’s already a cyberpunk romance novel with that title listed on, and a really disgusting film with that title by the pretentious French film-maker Gaspar Noé. (Remember him? As I recall, you once tore another of his pretentious films–to which this is a kind of sequel–up one side and down the other in one of your more hilarious reviews. I Stand Alone was fittingly advertised right on the cover as being set “In the bowels of France!” That’s where Irreversible originates as well.) “Our Love’s Irreversibility” it is, therefore.

        He’s talking about this, specifically. Also, this. They’re not associations everyone could make, but I can see why he’d want to steer clear of that particular title and anything else associated with Gaspar Noé.

          1. Agreed on the Gaspar Noé, but I also concur that the title is just lying there like cold flapjack. It needs something. (Maybe that should be part of our critiquing process–working on titles, as well as design. Arguably, the titling is part of the design.)

            I wonder if he could use the word “triangle,” itself, in some clever play on words…y’know, triangle implying a lover’s triangle (I know, I know, it’s not REALLY a lover’s triangle, it’s inadvertent body-swapping), the Bermuda Triangle, yadda…but “Irreversibility” is just tough, I think, to sell. If you’re going with one word, it should simply leap off the page. The former title was far too long, gotta agree with that, though, too. But 7 syllables is a hard way to go, unless the word is effectively magical.


  11. Title Brainstorm Stream of consciousness session.


    Body swapped

    Getting younger
    Fountain of Youth
    The Water of Life
    Eternal Youth


    If we try mixing some of those words up we can get
    Irreversible Youth
    Permanent Switch
    Substitute Rapture
    The Fated of Youth
    Eternal Devotion

    Just some ideas!

  12. The silhouettes just aren’t doing it for me. Paranormal romances only usually use vector images like that when they’re light-hearted comedies. You seem to be going for something more epic and dramatic.

    I whipped up something real fast to illustrate where I think you might want to go with this (REALLY fast, don’t judge my skills by this!):

    It’s got a limited color scheme (blue/gold), with adults smooching in the background to suggest romance and the kids’ hands in a watch-shaped locket in the foreground obscuring their faces to suggest the body swap aspect. It’s much more typical-looking for the paranormal romance genre.

  13. Of course, this is a cover that will probably receive plenty of divergent opinions in the comments.

    No kidding! I’m not seeing a lot of agreement about anything here, though this back-and-forth is giving me a lot of ideas for taking the cover in a new direction. Before I submit another cover though, I’d like to make an odd request: Mr. Shumate, you may notice while I was waiting for this one to be posted, I put another of my scratch covers in your queue. Is there any chance you could put it up next to this one for comparison’s sake? I believe it may answer some of the complaints here, though by no means all.

    Concerning the silhouettes, the main reason they’re on the cover (aside from my not being able to draw photo-realistic humans) is to keep the characters somewhat mysterious. Unlike a lot of romance writers, I do not feel compelled to describe the characters’ physical appearances in very much detail; to the contrary, I actually went to some effort to keep these descriptions out so that my readers could imagine them to look any way they please. That’s why nearly the only thing distinguishing the girl from the boy on this cover is her ponytail (which is also there because, well, I like ponytails).

    Viergacht, that is a rather elegantly drawn cover you’ve got there, and it would certainly be a good cover for some romance novel, but it’s just a tad too generic for mine. You don’t see that those are children’s hands in the locket until you look at them up close, and then you can also see that they’re both white. What race the characters are in the story, like the rest of their appearance, is deliberately obscured; I’d like it to be that way on my cover as well.

    Hitch and Waffles, while your brainstorming didn’t quite yield a really fitting original title, it did give me an idea for a simpler new title that goes together with the new concept art to produce an especially apt visual pun. Look for that soon on my next scratch. Ron Miller, gp, and RK, from all your various contradictory suggestions, I’ve come up with a compromise involving the Bermuda Triangle I think you’ll (mostly) like.

    Catie: well, when I put the kids in a less ambiguous pose, people got creeped out. Give those clasped hands a second look, though, and you should see that I did make one pair a bit smaller than the other to add depth, and they’re not twinned; they actually came from two completely different sources. The idea of this pose is that they could either be pushing or pulling each other, since they’re struggling with love. (Get it? As Mr. Shumate put it in one of his reviews, “It’s all symbolic ‘n’ subtextual ‘n’ stuff.”)

    In addition to my artistic skills not exactly being professional grade, the various publishers to whom I’m considering selling my book have their own cover artists, so I think whatever I show everyone here, my cover will definitely be getting a professional makeover one way or another. Consider these all concept art, therefore, including whichever one turns out to be the “final” cover.

    1. I did notice one is slightly smaller, but I still see a cross when I look at it. It’s one of those things you can’t “unsee” once you’ve seen it. But a good artist can correct that, so it doesn’t really matter.

      Just keep in mind that with some publishers you won’t even have a say in what goes on the cover 🙁 Does anyone know if that’s changed over the last few years?

  14. Catie:

    No. That hasn’t changed one whit. Unless BRLC means self-publishing “publishers,” by which I mean pay-for-play, he’ll have no say in a cover in any trade-pubbing deal. I strongly suspect it would end up being a moderately generic romance-y cover.

    It’s a complaint we hear pretty often (we do a ton of backlist books for authors that still have publishing contracts with companies like RH, Soho, etc.). So, other than the self-pubbing arms of the companies like S&S, there won’t be much of an option for him. He may get to choose from a selection of 3, but even that is unusual.

    My last comment is: if the book is being submitted to an agent or to publishers, why are we discussing the cover at all? Not that that’s necessarily our business, but as noted, that means that once accepted/published, etc.–2-3 years from now–this won’t even remotely be the cover. ???

    1. Makes me wonder why so many authors are still bent on going traditional, but hey, it’s not my place to tell people what they should do with their writing.

    2. Why shop my cover around? Publishing is a tough business, as you of all people should know, and everyone needs a backup plan. In my case, I need several backup plans. There’s certainly no guarantee that any traditional publisher is going to accept my story.

      Smashwords, regardless of all the justifying factors, won’t accept any writing with underage people in “sexual […] situations” in it. One may argue over whether this applies to people who are only physically underage, but even leaving that aside, there’s a primal scene in this novel, i.e. the children walk in on their parents doing the deed, thus “witnessing such situations” as the TOS puts it; so no Smashwords publishing for me.

      Amazon, for its part, had that uproar a few years ago over its self-publishing arm producing pro-pedophilia books, including some creepy guy publishing a wretched typo-riddled “how to” guide for child molesters. The subsequent purge swept away a lot of self-published books that had nothing to do with pedophilia simply because their titles sounded suspicious. Meanwhile, as Selena Kitt and other sleazy self-publishing erotica authors whose books had been evicted from Amazon noted, truly terrible stuff such as Alissa Nutting’s book Tampa, Paul Ruditis’ Rainbow Party, and books from the notoriously standards-free pornographic Olympia Press continued to be available for sale there. No matter: Amazon is still not a friendly place for self-publishing anything that deals with underage people in sexual situations, no matter what socially redeeming importance it may have; so no Amazon publishing for me either.

      Nevertheless, I want to have my book available on Amazon, just like Alissa Nutting and Paul Ruditis and Vladimir Nabokov and all those perverts at the Olympia Press; yet I don’t want my labor of love associated with sleazy pornographic no-talents such as, well, the perverts at the Olympia Press. Obvious solution? See who published Nutting, Ruditis, and Nabokov (among others), and try to publish with one of them. Simon & Schuster does indeed count as one of those publishers, as does Harper Collins. These companies have varying policies concerning covers and cover art.

      If that doesn’t work out (and I can see a lot of reasons why we might not be able to reach an agreement), well, there’s still at least one place where you can buy a thoroughly terrible book of pedophilic poetry published by an openly pederastic guy who used to call himself “Viamund the Rake” without any hint of irony (before he was outed). If they’ll publish that, they’ll publish my story, controversial elements and all. Publishing there won’t associate my work with “Viamund” or any of his kind, and can allow for my book to be available on Amazon as well. Oh, and the standard contract indicates that whatever cover my book gets there, I’ll have to supply it myself or pay someone to draw it for me.

      Should something go wrong with that plan, to be honest, I don’t know what I’ll do. Nevertheless, I’ll keep looking and working to get this published. In the meantime, some of my backup plans require me to come up with a cover, so that’s what I’m going to do. If the final cover to this novel ever ends up on Mr. Shumate’s Lousy Book Covers site, I want to make him really have to reach for any justification for putting it there. That’s why I’m submitting the cover here and will continue to submit revisions until it’s acceptably done.

      Is that all clear? Don’t snipe at me for hedging my bets, Hitch, especially if you’re with one of the publishers refusing to allow authors any input about what goes on the covers of their books.

      1. I wasn’t sniping at you. I was asking, as you said you were submitting to publishers. It seemed like a pretty reasonable question. And I’m not “the one with publishers refusing to allow authors any input about what goes on the covers of their books.” Catie asked; I answered. I happen to know the answer, so I told her.

        I don’t know if the latest incarnation of S&S’s self-publishing arm provides for author input on covers or not. The question was about trade publishers, and that’s what I answered. Given S&S’s track record in self-publishing endeavors, I’m fairly certain you can find a spot there. That’s not directed “at” you; it’s simply a statement: it’s self-publishing.

        You can, in all likelihood, do the SAME thing by simply self-pubbing in print through Createspace, and having them make the MOBI file thereof. I’ve seen some incredibly brutal stuff make it through CS, and not end up in the porno or pedo filter. I saw a book about abuse that was SO bad, I actually emailed Amazon about it–something I’ve done exactly once, in over 2500 books that have gone through my shop, and probably twice that, that I’ve seen to quote. (I also refused to make the book–I still can’t get the first page out of my brain, and I wish I could. It was THAT bad.) Yet, Amazon pubbed it via CS and, AFAIK, it’s out in MOBI, as well. So, I don’t see any reason for you to go the S&S route, if that’s the only reason you’re talking about a “publishing deal.”

        As far as what you write–obviously, that’s your choice. It’s not really relevant to the discussion here, which is about the cover. I gave you my feedback on it several times. I still don’t like the cover, and I’ve done my best to explain WHY I don’t like it, and don’t think it does the job it ought. I’m not your target reader for the content, so my opinion on that is utterly irrelevant. I wouldn’t be your target reader for the content, even IF the children weren’t involved. Just not my bag.

        The pre-emptive strike approach to LBC is fairly amusing.

        1. You were asking why anyone should be looking at my cover scratches at all if they weren’t even going to be used; which implies that I’m wasting everyone’s time. I thought it necessary to give the long explanation for why there’s a very good chance one of them will be used. Also, I’m going to submit the manuscript when it’s finished (I’m getting close now); nothing’s been submitted anywhere yet.

          Yes, I guess it’s fair to say I’m taking a “pre-emptive strike approach” to Lousy Book Covers. It might amuse you to know that running across Lousy Book Covers is what inspired me to try designing a cover in the first place. Before I found these sites, I hadn’t even considered what should be on the cover; and my electronic manuscript still doesn’t have a title yet. (It’s just called “Story” in my computer’s literary files folder.) Hence the room for radical revision.

          From all the suggestions here, I’ve decided to take out the background altogether and expand the Bermuda Triangle map to fill it instead. Look for that next scratch, um, eventually. (Mr. Shumate must have quite a queue of covers waiting ahead of mine, since he took some time off from posting on here for a couple of weeks to attend to business. What a crowded schedule he must have!)

      2. Hmm, I haven’t really thought about all that. Maybe you should just make the title and the cover look innocent then put it on Amazon and see what happens. If it gets taken down, then I’d start looking for alternate routes. Who knows, it might just fly under the radar.

  15. Advances, if the book really gets one. I do have some pretty heavy-hitting clients (we’ve been very fortunate), and they get fairly hefty amounts. The newer authors get $1K, $1500, that’s about it, but the old-timer players, even higher-end midlisters, still command decent money. Fantasy and sci-fi, though–man. Hard to make good ducats there. Action-Adventure, Men’s Fiction, and of course, Mystery–big earners. Only the George RR Martins, Elizabeth Bears of the world really pull down bigger buckeroos in that/those genres.

    Oh–the other reason: marketing. A lot of newer authors don’t realize that the old marketing machines have gone the way of the dodo. If they don’t want to do their own marketing–I see this a LOT–they strive for publishing deals. Not discussing this author specifically, to be clear; just telling you what I see often enough to be mentioned in a list of reasons. But even my clients pubbed by, say, Soho, still do 99% of their own marketing nowadays.

    The other thing that needs be noted is that one of the first questions that agents and publishers ask new authors is about the size of their social media “machine.” (Platform) How many blog followers, subscribers, followers on Twitter, FB, etc. Nowadays, unless you’re the next Gillian Flynn, man, you really need to have thousands of followers, critique groups, alpha and beta readers, some freebie stuff up on GR…the whole enchilada. And my view on that is, hell, if I were an author with all of that, why on earth would I give any portion of my hard-earned to a publisher? For doing what, at that point?

    Just ruminating. Hey, Nate, can’t this commenting doodah allow previews, so I can see if I’ve screwed up tags? Or…could you switch to something like Disqus? Just file it under “request.”

    1. I’m surprised to hear about fantasy and sci-fi. I thought it was selling more than ever. I’ve read somewhere that the most popular genres on Amazon were erotica way on top, romance a little underneath it but well above everything else, then speculative fiction, then mystery, thrillers and such, with literary fiction being way on the bottom. Certainly seems like there are more fantasy books around than ever before.

      Yeah, I’ve heard already that the writer’s platform is a big thing now. But I’ve read a book about being successful on Amazon where the guy did the math, and he calculated that you’d need thousands and thousands of blog followers for it to have any impact on your sales, and I believe he’s right. It’s even worse when you realize that most authors on Twitter just hoard followers by follow-back and very few of them actually read each other’s tweets. It feels to me like wasted effort. But yeah, if you already had all those fans, who’d need a publisher?

  16. Since I’m doing a reverse image search analysis on other covers, I figured I might as well do one on you too. Here‘s “similar results” comparison for your cover. That’s quite a variety of genres I’m seeing that use your color scheme: everything from animated kids’ flicks to action, adventure, and horror movies, as well as advertising posters for nightclubs and school theatrical productions.

    I suppose these aren’t bad if being multiple-genre is the effect you’re seeking (and your synopses suggest that it is); just keep in mind that multiple-genre works tend to have a slightly harder time finding a target audience.

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