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The Hunt

The author says:

The Hunt is the second book in a fantasy series. This one is based on the varied legends of the Wild Hunt. The main character, after suffering a betrayal by her fiancé, is found and enslaved by the Hunt and forced to labor while trying to stay alive. She eventually forges a life with them, thanks to an elderly pair of slaves and one particular hunter, Zephyr, who at first seems annoying and later, more than appealing. Set in modern times, it is part of a five book series dealing with different myths that tie together in the last book with a fight to keep magic itself alive.

The Hunt Ebook remake-001

The Hunt Ebook remake-001Nathan says:

It’s certainly a dynamic image. I’m at a little bit of a disadvantage here, in that it’s the second volume of a series and I don’t know what design elements are common to both covers.

[searches Amazon]

Oh. Eep. I’d say forget the cover to Book One, finish the cover to Book Two, and go back and redesign Book One to match it.  Because ew.

So anyway, blank-slating for Book Two:

The biggest problem I see is that, while the image is eye-catching and energetic (by definition), it doesn’t tell us anything about the book: genre, setting, etc. I’m assuming that if the books revolve around the Wild Hunt, there’s at least a bit of celtic folklore to the books, right? Why don’t we see that?  Even just a knotwork border (or even a semi-transparent border that disappears as it gets behind the firewood) would help.  Same with the text; maybe you want to leave the title as is because it’s easily readable, but how about something uncial-flavored (while still easily readable) for the byline and/or series title?

The placement of the tagline bothers me — it seems to be moved over so as not to obscure something noteworthy in the cover image, but what’s beside it isn’t really that noteworthy; why not have it run the width of the cover?

Other comments?

 

Comments

  1. I disagree that the title is easy to read. That black and Red combo is distracting and the gradient isn’t helping your legibility.

    I would Place Book 2 on a separate line, and ditch the colon. It will give you more room to breathe.

    I am also having trouble reading the tagline and series name. That light blue really should be just white to help.

    Finally, Enchanter’s Endgame is a rather famous David Eddings Book. As this has fantasy elements, and would likely be placed near fantasy books, I would change it. For example, I googled while trying to find your first cover, and ended up redirected to his book via suggestions. Which is not what you want at all! I would consider changing it.

    1. What about gold instead of blue? Or silver? I might have mentioned somewhere before that I’m not good with colors, I can generally tell when I see something that doesn’t work, but I lack the visual imagination to imagine how things might look, so I can’t really tell. But I feel like white might be just too, um, white for this much red.

      1. White and red have excellent contrast! (For the same reason that red and black have such poor contrast)

        I did a quick play around with colour. Gold was passable, silver worked better, but white was striking.

        I still think now though, after sleeping on it, that there shouldn’t be fire on this cover at all. It makes this cover feel about meat hunting, not wild hunting.

        1. White would certainly be visible, but… With such an intense red, I kinda feel like white text would look like someone had cut out the real letters and left blank space instead… I’m probably wrong :/

          But if it was a torch, that might suggest looking for someone in a forest in the middle of the night, which is a small step away from hunting. And maybe add a tiny running silhouette in the distance. Might work.

          1. Yes, to me as well white can look like colouring book left uncoloured: but it does not need to be white-white, of course. Either textured or slightly tinted, cream-white, would still give a good contrast.

  2. Um… No, sorry, doesn’t work for me.

    Firstly, fire. It’s a great image in itself, eye-catching, dynamic and very beautiful, but it doesn’t ready show anything. This might as well be a boy scout camping manual for all I can tell. You want something that says hunting, not camping. Maybe it can work, I don’t know. These are just my impressions.

    Secondly, that blue, cyan or whatever you call it. It does not go well with the red. The title color is better, it looks really nice, but it could stand out a bit more, it needs just a tiny bit more contest. For the tagline font, I’d go for something sans serif. I agree with Nathan, the placement is weird.

    Also, since this is a series, think about giving it some very distinctive elements so you can have them on all the books. I’ve just finished reading one of Jack Reacher novels, and I really like how all the covers have almost identical elements https://www.google.com/search?q=jack+reacher+book+covers+bantam&tbm=isch&oq=jack+reacher+book+covers+bantam
    I’m not going to get into whether they’re good covers or not, but they are very defined and recognizable. Something every series should be.

    Finally, what format is that? Shouldn’t a cover be a bit more taller? Or is there a reason why it’s this format? I’m not really up to on height and width of different ebook readers.

    1. Also, I’m with Waffles on losing the colon. Maybe break it into two lines, that way you can enlarge the font to be readable on the thumbnail, like:

      BOOK ONE of
      ENCHANTMENT’S ENDGAME

      (Doesn’t necessarily have to be in caps lock, but it’s a way to make the “of” look less significant.)

  3. Readable as the title may be (even in the thumbnail), dimmer hot colors on brighter hot colors is not really a winning combination. Also, as Nathan says, the fire may be pretty, but it’s not telling us much about what’s in the book. If this is supposed to be something about a blood sport like hunting, shouldn’t we be seeing some hunting implements? By itself, a camp fire is just a camp fire; show us some meat on a spit roasting over that camp fire, and then you’ve got something that makes us think of hunting.

    For the title, well, here is what your cover brings up the Google reverse-image similar pictures search. Observe what the numerous fiery book covers on there do with their titles and bylines, and follow suit.

    Since you’re doing this as part of a series, a good strategy is to show exactly one element of the story on each cover. I don’t know whether roasted meat as a symbol of the hunt is important to this story, but if it is, that’s what you show: the meat roasting on a spit over a fire. In book one (Nathan’s right, by the way: that needs a new cover too), maybe a rune-inscribed standing stone is what’s important, so that’s what you show: a closeup shot of the rune-inscribed stone standing by itself in the woods. In book three, whenever that rolls out, maybe it’s e.g. a fairy ring of mushrooms that’s important, so that’s what you show: a fairy ring of mushrooms standing on a grassy plain.

    If this were a single novel, you might want your cover to be more complex and have more elements on it, but for a series, simplicity is the way to go. Don’t give us a whole seemingly random smorgasbord of stuff the way you did on that first cover. You’ve got the right idea showing just the one element (the camp fire) here, but make sure that one element is meaningful by having it symbolize something important to the story, e.g. meat on a spit over that camp fire symbolizes the rewards of the hunt.

    Then, once you’ve perfected the font and placement for the title, byline, series line, and (maybe) tagline, put them in the same place on each book in the series with different colors as necessary to contrast with whatever is behind them, and you’re done.

  4. The title seems readable enough…in fact, it seems more so in the thumbnail than larger, oddly enough.

    The main problem is that the cover simply doesn’t read “fantasy”…this is especially so given the title combined with the image. Someone coming to this book cold (and you cannot count on everyone already being familiar with the previous book) would have no idea of the place, time, setting or genre. In fact, the subtitle could easily lead someone into believing it’s a horror story.

    I took a look at the first volume in the series only to discover an additional problem. Aside from that cover not being very good in and of itself, there is no visual relationship between the two books. Looking at the covers side by side, no one would ever think that the books were related in any way. The only clue is the series title at the top of each. Otherwise there is no continuity. I would strongly recommend revising not only this cover but that of Book 1 as well, coming up with a style or theme that suggests a relationship between the two books…one that also tells the reader something about the nature and character of the novels.

  5. This is a series. Nobody will read volume 2 unless they first read volume 1. So you want to perfect volume 1’s cover, get that selling, and then have volume 2’s cover match volume 1.

    The cover submitted for volume 2 doesn’t say anything about fantasy. It needs a restart. Volume 1’s cover has too much going on. Lose the eyes, as that’s been overdone, makes the cover too busy, and doesn’t indicate the genre. Really, the best thing is to start over, look for a visual design that will clearly say fantasy and relate to your book.

    I’m looking at the Kindle edition of volume 1. Perhaps it would help to include the word Dedication on its own line above the dedication paragraph and another heading (Introduction? Preface? Excerpt? What is that text?) above the text preceding Chapter 1.

    I like Shakespeare quotes, but I’d remove the Shakespeare quote from the cover of volume 1. That one isn’t helping the cover say that this book is a fantasy; and too much text is a problem on the cover. You want the customer to look at your blurb and, ultimately, inside.

    You might want some suggestions for the blurb for volume 1, too. Focus on getting people to look inside and that will give your writing its best chance.

  6. If you really love the flames, how about cropping out the coals & wood and just having the fire, with the silhouette of a rider and hounds coming through them to sell the idea of the wild hunt?

  7. Reading the comments here leads me to this conclusion:

    People will think due to the fire shown here that this is about hunting and cooking the meat, not the Wild Hunt.

    You may want to work with an image or idea that works with the Wild Hunt more than cooking meat. 🙂

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