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The Party Line

The author says:

Attached please find the cover of my YA thriller THE PARTY LINE, about a young American girl in midst of Iranian Revolution. I designed cover with a little help from a desk top artist at CreateSpace.



Nathan says:

I like it.

(What, you were expecting more than that? Fine.)

If I were looking to improve this cover, I would say that the contrast is a little dull.  If the thumbnail were displayed alongside several others (such as it is commonly on Amazon and other sites), I don’t know if it would catch the eye long enough for the viewer even to notice the interesting elements. I’m not saying to make it stark and saturated, but a little more bright and dark couldn’t hurt.

Other than that, I think it looks fine. Anyone disagree?


  1. Is there a way to make the title bigger? I understand your composition with the passport, but the title almost gets lost in all the type.

  2. Well, the passport and accompanying papers did suggest a political theme to this story right from the start, so you’re most of the way to your goal. Boosting the contrast would help, yes, particularly if you can saturate the green of the background a little more. (Iran does have some history with the color green, doesn’t it? I seem to recall there was something called the “Green Revolution” there a few years back.) Apart from that, maybe you could throw in a passport photograph of the girl in question? Even if the story’s more about the revolution than the characters caught up in it, we readers always appreciate getting a glimpse of the protagonist on the cover.

    1. I think RK’s onto something. If you had the passport open to the page with the picture, we’d get to see what the protagonist looks like, and it would make the age category clearer. (It’s always challenging differentiating the covers of YA thrillers from their adult counterparts.)

      1. I agree with RK and katz. A photo of a girl would help. The cover is nicely done, but I don’t see it as YA or Iran/Middle East. I also don’t like the author font, which completely gets lost in the thumbnail. Maybe use something sans serif and larger.

  3. It doesn’t grab me. It’s a thriller? The cover doesn’t seem thrilling. The passport suggests travel, but to where? Maybe the rest conveys that, but I didn’t see it (and buyers won’t study a cover to find the message; it has to be instant). I do like the text treatment, though the color scheme is dull. On the other hand, I don’t read many political thrillers, so maybe this fits in more than I realize.

  4. I like it, too. It could use a little more contrast…not only in color but in the size of the objects. The passport tends to overwhelm the title a little I think. I might want to consider another visual element or two to better get across the idea of “thriller”…a couple of bullets lying on top of everything or something like that.

  5. Howdy:

    I debated long and hard about whether or not to comment, because I think that if you don’t have something useful to add, why say anything?

    But here’s the thing: I like the layout, I like the composition (a lot), and I like it as a piece of artwork. But I don’t love it as a book cover. It’s professional, but I’m not sure it’s commercial.

    And the entire point of a cover is not to be great art (although that’s nice, of course); it’s to draw in buyers and shekels. I’m not sure that this quite does that. It’s lacking that “grab ’em” contrast, which we all know is practically cover Holy Grail-ness. It has contrast, yes, but it’s dullish, rather than reach out and pick-your-pocket-ness.

    That’s my sole comment. I really, genuinely, like it, artistically. I’m just not certain it’s a big DRAW, no pun intended.

    That advice is worth what you’ve paid for it, but after equivocating about saying anything for two days, I felt compelled to add that $.02.


  6. I’m the author of THE PARTY LINE.

    Thank you everyone for the terrific feedback – I genuinely appreciate all your comments. I will reference when working on my next cover!

  7. Hmm layout wise I think it’s fine. But I’m not getting political/revolution here. I’m getting travel with a smidgen of feel good. I suspect that isn’t what you were aiming for hey.

    So what can you do. With out knowing your story, but knowing its a revolution setting. Perhaps a gun or better still a couple of bullets sitting on the table? That would immediately set it up as NOT travel related and that there is some kind of tension/conflict to be expected within?

  8. Ah, a book on travel! That’s what it looks like, anyway.

    Nicely detailed design. Must have taken a lot of time. Good work.

    The passport is an old one (not sure what year, but definitely old). I suppose you checked to see if this is the passport used during the Iranian revolution?

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