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Gabby

The author says:

When Bo, a grieving widower, meets Gabby, he’s struck by her beauty, grace and laughter that wash over him like the sweetest song in heaven. Gabby is unlike any angel ever dreamed of—evil has no strength against her and the dark one and his minions are no match for this warrior of God.

What if You Knew Your True Love Was Meant for a Higher Calling?

Bo is a widower, trying to raise two kids by himself. His life is changed forever when he meets an angel in a black dress and a pair of killer stilettos. Little does Bo know at first that his new love, Gabby, doesn’t just look like she’s from heaven, she is God’s messenger. Gabby isn’t just a pretty face. She can also be an avenging angel, striking down anyone trying to block God’ plans. But, when the biggest obstacle to Gabby’s mission surfaces things get dangerous and complicated fast. As Bo and Gabby race forward on a crucial mission, Bo learns the healing power of love, but also becomes more attached to Gabby. She is everything he has always been looking for. Will Bo’s determination to get what he wants ruin not only his future, but also all of mankind’s? This story of peace, love, and hope will show every loss has a purpose and that no sorrow is forever.

Gabby Cover

 

Gabby Cover

Nathan says:

It’s a very pleasant image. That said, I’m getting more than a little bit of “suspense thriller” vibe from your description that I don’t see reflected in the cover.  Would a cover with more contrast help convey that?  Maybe not quite so broad a smile on her face? I dunno, because I can’t really tell how much of the appeal of the book comes from the suspenseful part.

The only technical issues I have are:

1) The selection edge on the top of her hair is too distinct; blurring that out will keep it from calling attention to itself.

2) The title looks fine at full size, but fades out for the thumbnail. That might solve itself if you use more contrast in the art behind it.

3) I have bad reactions whenever two different script fonts are used together.  In this case, I’d say to keep the ornate font for the title, and change the byline into something non-italic.

I have to admit, I’m not really the target audience for this kind of book, so I’ll have to supplicate other input even more than usual.

Comments

  1. Hmph. OK, firstly, I’m probably not your target audience. I like supernatural fiction, but this feels, from your description, a bit romance-oriented, and that’s definitely not my bag, as they usually aren’t quite surprising enough for me. Now that you’ve been warned on that front:

    1. The colors are certainly pretty, for the girl. It might be a bit over-saturated. Not sure.
    2. I think that the image of the girl/angel might be better served if you blurred or even eliminated the hard line between the curve of her trapezoid against the wings. Have it pick up where the trap curves up to the neck.
    3. I agree with Nathan that the vibe feels all wrong. If it’s supposed to be an action-adventurer, then it needs more something. Right now, it feels like…see, I’m not really sure, and that’s a problem. I don’t know if it’s a religious book, a romance,or…?, if I solely look at the cover itself.
    4. Please lose both fonts. The title font is not doing you any favors. If the story is more whimsical, go for more whimsy, rather than merely foofy, curlicue. And I’m with Nathan about not putting two script fonts on a single cover. If you want something soft-ish, what about…I don’t know, I’d have to see it, but WaterBrush, for the title? Maybe in all-caps? And yes, I’d use a simple, not script font for the authorname… I like ClassicRoman, but I would have to see it against whatever you choose for the book title. (Other Book Title possibilities: Metamorphous or Morpheus, both of which can have that “Angelic Script” kind of feel to them, depending on how you use them). As the title is short, you can really get some POW! from it, if you use a strong font–not a weak one.
    5. I think that both the book title and the author name need to NOT be in goldy-yellow tones. At this point, I’ll stop, and leave those suggestions for colors up to the real graphic designers here, Emma, Viergacht and the gang. I’m not good at picking colors (just ask anyone who’s seen my house). But, I can say that the ones on the cover are not helping you. You want far more powerful colors, to contrast strongly with that goldish-background. If it were me, I’d possibly go for a brownish-black. (n.b.: Volkswagen has a deep brown-black color for the CC that might work, or possibly a POW copper or bronze/metallic?) BUT, if you want color, I tend to think maybe…blue?…for the booktitle. Maybe try to get something that complements to or works with the eye-shadow blue. The author-name brown is too greeny, to me. Too last-year’s faded brass. Because that section of the cover is an ivory/white with orange on the left, you will need to find something just right for that.

    Those are my thoughts. Not as clear and organized as I should have liked, but…is there any chance that the entire image might be visible somewhere, so we can see what else there might be to work with? Overall, I think that the face is good, and I like the wing-tips; I just think it needs a LITTLE tweaking to really pop and leap off the page at a possible buyer. And as I said, some font choices that do the book the justice it deserves.

    Hope that helps. When the designers get here, I think that their suggestions will be more useful in a tangible way.

  2. I can’t speak to the technicals, just the vibe. Your cover doesn’t match your description. It’s too bright and cheery, especially the fonts. When I look at this cover, I see a lighthearted “an angel came down to earth” story where we see how she fits in to everyday life in the city/suburbia/contemporary society. Along the way we learn something about ourselves and the protagonist and the angel fall in love and live happily ever after.

    It’s not a bad cover; it just doesn’t match your description. It should be darker. There needs to be elements of danger and suggestions of violence (real or elemental).

  3. I agree that there’s a tone mismatch (or else a misleading blurb) and that the typography needs to go. As for technical aspects, this is another cover where the art looks great in the thumbnail and gets dodgier the larger it gets. Notably:

    -The wing is very soft and looks like it has a filter on it, watercolor or something similar, but the face is so sharply focused that you can see her individual pores.

    -There are little black artifacts outside the edges of the wings.

    -At full size, I can see that the edges are aliased. I can see the individual pixels. And it looks like they were done algorithmically with an area-select tool, so there are some very jaggy edges on her forehead and nose. Smooth those out. Also, the sharp edge to her hair makes it look greased down. You’ve really got to carefully cut figures out by hand with the eraser tool to make the edges look nice.

    -While we’re talking about hair, lose that one stray hair over her eyebrow.

    -The use of the darker-color setting on the title outline is really strange looking; you can see bits of hair through it, but only bits. Just make it opaque.

    -The outline on the author’s name also looks algorithmic, hence those weird thin lines connecting some of the letters. Make a uniform-width outline, and seriously, antialias the edges.

  4. In addition to what Nathan said, I have a problem with the angel (or whatever it is…the wings seem utterly inadequate) staring so intently into what turns out to be pretty much empty space. The viewer’s eye goes directly toward the area she is looking at…and there is nothing there.

  5. Not a whole lot to add but I’d definitely agree that you want to lose that title font. It looks a bit too much like Curlz, which gets used a lot on things like party invitations, nursery school announcements, that kind of thing. I’d almost never advocate its use on a book cover unless you were able to get very, very clever with it. But even then, it’s not the right fit here.

  6. I showed this to a couple of my sorority gals, and here’s what we think:
    1) Christian fantasy romance? We dig it. And our analysis assumes this is the genre, not a thriller like what others are commenting.
    2) More Bokeh! The girl is super soft and glowing, so make the background “sparklier”, but don’t make the circles any smaller than what you’ve got.
    3) We totally agree with Nathan about the hair edge.
    4) Needs more contrast in the art. The title is much too light for the background.
    5) We actually like the Curlz font, but we don’t think it’s bold enough to read at a distance, even with a color contrast. Go for a thicker, but still girly font.
    6) It desperately needs something in that open space. Maybe a really cool typographic blurb? Or Bo?
    7) Photoshop her eyes to look at the title. Viewers will naturally follow her gaze, and whatever she looks at should be what you want remembered. As of now, her gaze is emphasizing the empty space. Alternatively, you can solve 6 and 7 by having “Gabby” stretch vertically down the entire left side of the page in a very thick font, with your name below it in a smaller font.

  7. By the way, I ought to add that it really takes more than sticking an entirely inadequate-looking, out-of-scale wing onto someone to make them appear “angelic.” (And who knew that angels wore eye shadow and lipstick?)

  8. I think that the things that bother me most about this cover are
    1. The fonts and title treatment
    2. The wing
    3 The tone

    The font used for the title is Curlz, which, honestly, will make any designer cringe. Also, the colors for both the title and color seem odd, and I’m not sure exactly what is going on with the borders, but they need to go.

    The wing looks small, but decent in the thumbnail. At a larger size, however, it looks plastic, pixilated, and out of place.

    Finally, the tone of your cover does not seem to match the tone of your story at all. While the cover reminds me of a sweet and playful young adult or juvenile fantasy romance, your story seems to be a young adult or adult fantasy that deals with some darker themes and heavier material.

    I did a quick mockup of what might be a more appropriate cover for this book. It has a darker tone, while still feature the angel. I think it would also appeal more to your target audience, as it is similar to some of the more well known angel romance novels.
    (obviously this cover is still rough around the edges, but hopefully it will give you some inspiration.)


    Click to see it larger!

      1. Hi:

        You know, Emma? I think I’d lose the fleurons on that one, (for those who don’t, fleurons are the doodahs above/below the title), because I think that they conflict with the wings, but other than that, yeah, I like that a lot. I might consider amping up the background, for a wee squoosh of color, but…yeah.

  9. The image you’ve chosen is eyecatching, but I think it needs more support from the other elements. In general, I agree with the most common comments above.

    Here’s what I suggest:

    Image – extremely sharp, adding some blur would soften it.
    Wing – larger, more substantial, feathery
    Type – a simpler, more elegant font that complements the image.
    Technical stuff – get rid of the hard edges, etc.

    I shuffled some things around on your cover as a sort of visual description (don’t do the ham-handed ‘shopping, though).

    http://i.imgur.com/wVJDL1L.jpg

  10. I think the others have covered the technical side of things: the image has been contrasted and sharpened to within an inch of its life and the fonts need to be replaced. Based on the genre, I recommend soap-opera-style soft lighting and the slightest motion blur to give the picture a “dreamy” quality. Hard edges and glow-in-the-dark color saturation doesn’t really suit any kind of romance novel, and particularly not an inspirational supernatural romance of the kind your description suggests.

    Moving on to the theme of the cover, what strikes me about the female model of “Gabby” (aside from the aforementioned technical issues with her color saturation and sharpness) is that woman or angel, she’s wearing an awful lot of makeup. It’s not quite Tammy Faye Bakker levels, to be sure, but that much facial paint is far too much makeup for a respectable lady. Being that heavily painted makes people think a gal is hiding something: physical abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, discolored skin from narcotics use, or just a lot of wear and tear from being the town bicycle. Put mildly, I don’t think that’s quite the message you’re wanting your cover to send. I’d suggest getting a picture of a gal who looks just fine without any makeup, or with very little makeup.

    Another point worth considering: is Gabby actually portrayed as having wings in the story? The cliched and cartoonish idea of angels looking like beautiful people who just happen to have wings is actually based more on the symbolism in old Renaissance paintings than anything the Bible actually says angels are like. Does Gabby really go around displaying a pair of wings all the time? If not, it would probably be better to show her in an incognito form: a modestly and tastefully dressed young woman with a half-transparent set of wings sticking out of her back to indicate that she’s an angel in disguise.

    Finally, the shot’s too close up: Gabby’s staring off the cover (into oblivion), and all we can see is the side of her face and a bit of wing. Let’s have a wider shot of her: her upper half if not her full body. Let’s also see more of her face: I wouldn’t mind a full frontal shot with her staring right at us, but if that’s too much, you could show us at least three quarters of her face at an angle.

    In short, if you want to do a romance featuring a gal who’s literally an angel, tone down the sex appeal to avoid sleaziness and try for a more chaste kind of beauty. Also, try to make her look a little more intimidating: aside from your description’s indicating that she’s a warrior as well as an angel, the angels in the Bible usually were indicated to be a rather terrifying sight to behold when they weren’t going incognito. For Gabby, I recommend starting with Galadriel as portrayed in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as your template, and proceeding from there.

    1. Yep, that angel doesn’t seem to fit the description. Judging JUST from the cover pic I’d expect a pretty steamy story with a standard romance genre plot and some fun twists on the classic “angel” stereotypes just to mix things up. Tighten up the fine details and I’d expect a quality bit of guilty pleasure behind that cover that is well worth a few dollars and a day of my life reading.

      But for a suspense thriller with a strong romantic plot – that cover needs to be quite a bit darker and less sparkly. I’m not getting any kind of “warrior” vibe from that woman. Nor any hint of that “higher calling” you mentioned in the description.

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