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True Colours of the Chameleon

The author says:

True Colours of the Chameleon is a modern crime/romance novel. An unemployable research scientist ‘Doc’ becomes a drug producer and forensic advisor in a criminal gang and befriends master of forgeries and disguises ‘Chameleon (Cam)’. When the Birmingham Seven’s heist of the Blue Moon Casino goes wrong, Doc and Cam end up on the run together with the spoils. They’re pursued not only by the police, but by two of their old comrades who want Doc and Cam out of the picture on account of them being witnesses to a murder. Doc is pushed to her limits when she is called upon to kill to defend herself and Cam, and it becomes apparent Cam is keeping a dreadful secret about his past from her that threatens to shatter her trust in him. As the law and their other enemies close in on them, they must overcome these barriers if there is to be any hope for their survival.



 Nathan says:

I’m okay with all the elements. I don’t like where they are.

The way things are arranged now, you’ve got a top half with plenty of detail/texture, and a bottom half in flat silhouettes.  As you can see in the thumbnail, the bottom two thirds ends up looking dull by comparison.

The first thing I’d try is moving the silhouettes up to the middle so they overlap into the top image, and move all of the text to the bottom. You’d have a visually intricate top and bottom, and the silhouettes in the middle, by virtue of them now being a focal point, won’t seem like an afterthought. (Without actually doing it, I’m not sure how well that would work — I’m a tinkerer when I design — but it certainly seems like it would be worth doing.)

Other thoughts?


  1. This cover is really close to being final.

    I basically agree with Nathan—I like the elements, I would just play with the positioning. But I think the title should move up a little into the mountains. The silhouettes can move up too. The author name I’d like to see at the bottom. Get rid of some of the space between “of” and “the” in the title (not crazy about that script font either). The plane can be toned down some or eliminated altogether.

  2. I would agree with Don, I don’t like that swirly font much, I think something a little simpler would work better. I’m not too sure about the top image either, I think together it’s all a bit ‘busy’.
    I do really like those silhouettes, it reminds me of those mystery/crime thrillers from the seventies (think opening credits to ‘The Avengers’, ‘Randall and Hopkirk’, etc).
    Again, I would agree that you should move the silhouettes up to the middle and have the author name at the bottom.

  3. There is too much. Pick one image that best represents what your novel is about, or what kind of book it is. In this case the silhouettes seem to work best: they seem to reflect something of what the title suggests and they also seem to get across the idea that the book may a thriller.

    The background, the cityscape and the airplane are all irrelevant. They really add nothing…aside from being jarringly different in style from the silhouettes: photo vs graphic. (I am sure the airplane, for instance, makes sense if you’ve read the book, but the potential reader won’t have had that luxury.) The background behind the figures is especially bothersome since it’s difficult to tell what it is and only serves as a distraction.

    Frankly, I would eliminate all of the elements other than the silhouettes and text…even to the point of using either a solid color or gradated color background.

    The rearrangement of the art and text that Nathan suggests is very good.

  4. I agree with Nathan and Ron. However, if the plane is left in the picture, it should point INWARDS and not lead the eye off the page.

  5. The color scheme doesn’t work for me. The mixed colors especially in the top line of the title have me feeling seizure-ish.

    The title speaks of colors, but the cover doesn’t have any. To me, that’s just a big Huh? Effective covers send a clear, unified image quickly. This mixed message is a problem.

    If I were browsing books in this genre and came across this thumbnail, these two factors would deter me from being a customer.

  6. This cover confuses me. Between the change from detail to silhouette mentioned by another critic and the odd font combination, it’s a bit overwhelming to take in. I guess I would take a different approach. I’d be glad to post an example if you would like. I’m not sure how to post images here. Does the posting feature here accept the following html code?


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