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The Burning of Cherry Hill [resubmit]

the author says:

I hope that it’s okay that I’m submitting the THIRD version of this cover! I’ve been working hard on it, and got help from Katie Miller who posted on this site and has been absolutely priceless. I love all y’all’s help, thank you!



[previous submissions and comments here and here]

Nathan says:

Definitely more creative and less generic.  Anything I saw from here on out is not so much “stuff to be fixed” as “stuff to consider”:

If you make the silhouettes larger, to take up more of the cover space, you can increase the size of the type proportionally. I’d especially experiment with overlapping the silhouettes of the two figures — as long as the presence of two separate people is readily seen, you can overlap and then make them bigger, taking up more of the background.  the fact that this would increase the size of the type seems like a plus to me.

Do you really want “OF” to have that much emphasis in the title? I’d definitely tweak it and see if reducing the size of that one word makes it flow better. The same with the byline; maybe reducing the size of “AK” and shifting it upward will allow “BUTLER” to grow into the arm space and thus get bigger.

Other comments?


  1. Silhouettes used properly bring a tear to my eye.

    It is true. This is looking very sharp, and I would say nearly finished. Just a few minor tweaks to take it from awesome to amazesome!

    What I did notice that I think needs to be fixed is the blacks. The figure silhouettes and the helicopter silhouettes are different blacks. Make them all the same colour as the figures, it is richer.

    Glad we got to see this again, I like seeing the progress!

  2. This is totally boss. All your cover designs have been gorgeous, but this one is by far the most genre-appropriate. I’d absolutely expect to see this on the YA shelf at a bookstore. The only tweaks I’d make:

    1. I’d like just a little more of a buffer between the text and the silhouettes around the B in Burning and the R in Butler. This probably means enlarging the silhouettes since you don’t want to shrink the text.

    2. I’d like the drones to be the same black as the figures to emphasize that they’re all part of the same scene.

  3. It’s interesting y’all are saying that about the blacks–I was told to make them not all solid black so they would look like they had dimension. I think I like them better all black. And I will definitely mess with the placement! I was afraid if I made all the sillhouettes too big it wouldn’t be obvious what they were and they would start to bleed into each other. But I will definitely play with it and see what I can do, thanks! 🙂

  4. Ah, yes, I see you finally went with a cover similar to several others Katie Miller also suggested for this. This one definitely gets the job done (bonus points for the subliminal “WE ARE WATCHING. YOU ARE SAFE.” messages in the background, by the way), but I do wish you’d gone with modifying this one or this one, as they looked just a little more balanced with the sister not being so far behind the brother. Still, as I say, it gets the desired effect: big bad government chasing little children across a dystopian urban wasteland with big thundering vertibirds. This is definitely the kind of cover you want.

  5. Very cool. I like Nathan’s suggestion of making the figures bigger. I would particularly try making the girl figure bigger.

  6. It’s worth playing with the relative font sizes, as Nathan described. Reducing OF will let CHERRY move up, where it will have a little more space to grow, and it looks like the L of HILL can still squeeze in without having to shrink as compensation. Similarly, a smaller AK and shifting up provides more room for BUTLER.

  7. I have to say that my only objection to this cover is the huge “AK.” I can’t say I ever saw an author emphasize their first name that way, let alone having ever heard of anyone named “AK.”

    At least that’s what it looks like…

  8. Hey, dudes and dudettes:

    Nathan, not to conflict with your own best interests (natch), but would it be possible, you think, for the cover designers that submit, to have links to their webpages? I ask because when some of my clients who want/need/ask for cover designers ask, I have on occasion seen something go past my eyes here, stylistically, that might suit that particular individual. For example, Katie Miller’s suggested rework on this particular cover–the style–might have suited a client who came through recently. I realize that you, Nathan, also offer cover designs, so I don’t want to ask you to do anything you feel would conflict with that, but…you never know when a passing author might see a cover here and say, “oh, yeah, hey, THAT artist might really work for my book about YADDA.”

    Just an idea. (And yes, I know that Katie wasn’t the submitter. She was the tweaker. No meth jokes!). If you want to strangle me for suggesting this, please feel free to delete the post. 🙂

    I just happened to be thinking about this today, because I have a client that is going to need covers for a boxed set, and his designer has gone out of the biz. {sigh}. IMHO, finding cover designers is like…a giant PITA. For those of you creatives who think it’s easy-peasy for my clients, it’s not. We need a giant website: With comparative galleries.

    Just whining.

    1. Everyone who comments can put a URL in the appropriate blank (as you’ve done), and clicking on their name takes you to their website. That should be sufficient, no? It’s not that I don’t want anyone to compete against my own covers; I didn’t want this site to be ANYONE’S promo site, not just mine. I fear that, if I were to allow cover designers to more explicitly advertise their services, would become a free-for-all version of

  9. Nathan:

    Of course, you’re absolutely right. I completely spaced the “click the name” part. DU-UH.

    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I got so caught up in trying to find a new cover designer for this one client (one of my very FIRST ever clients, from, hell, 2008 or ’09, I think!) that my brain just seized up.


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