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Whiskey

The author says:

20 years after nuclear war collapsed civilization and unlikely heroes Hood and Whiskey defeated the despotic Kaiser, new kingdoms and factions have arisen in the rebuilding civilization of the Americas. Whiskey’s life as a Ranger for the Sons of Liberty has been thrown back into war again, a war he refuses to fight after the harrowing trauma of the first war so many years ago. When someone from Whiskey’s past makes themselves known in a cryptic message, Whiskey must range far into the borderless lands to try and answers, and some sort of redemption.

Copy of WHISKEY

Copy of WHISKEY

Nathan says:

Because this is the second book of a series, I went looking for the cover of the first book on Amazon:

cover[1]

While I have some complaints on the first one — mostly having to do with the byline font which clashes with the rest of the type — I think it’s generally a solid cover, by virtue of (a) the central image and (b) the color scheme.

Unfortunately, the second cover does away with both of those positives, and brings nothing in their place.

(a) The image: It’s entirely pastoral and uncivilized.  There’s nothing to signify the post-apocalyptic milieu, or indeed any milieu; if I were to guess without the benefit of “a post apocalyptic novel,” I’d think it was a memoir of backpacking or other wilderness travel, or at best a Jeremiah Johnson-style frontier tale.  The rag-wrapped gun from the first cover, which is the visual clue as to genre, has no counterpart here.

(b) The color scheme: I cannot think of a more peaceful, idyllic, conflict-free color scheme — and that doesn’t sound like it matches your novel.  The color that dominates the first cover suggests both military drab (the color of choice for post-apoc cosplayers) and the sickness of vegetation undernourished and past its prime.  By contrast, the second cover could easily be used for a CD of meditation music.

And there’s still the clash between byline font and the rest of the type that was my main complaint about the first cover.

Other thoughts?

Comments

  1. You hit the nail on the head, Nathan. Without the subhead there would be absolutely no way anyone would ever have any idea what this novel is about or what kind of book it is. I think this is an issue that needs to be resolved before anything else is addressed.

  2. All I can say is, if you have to tell the reader what kind of book you are offering, then your cover design has failed in the most fundamental way. It’s my opinion that neither cover fits the genre and I suggest starting from scratch, beginning with a look at the best sellers in the given genre for inspiration. As it stands the cover(s) are a odds with your story and that’s not a very good formula for selling books.

  3. I agree with all above. The picture is nice but tells us nothing about the story, which is one of the most important job of a cover.

  4. Since you’ve already got something of a “brand” going with your first cover, you need to stick with the elements from it that worked. What this cover needs, therefore, is:

    1. A monochrome color scheme; two colors make the landscape look less bleak than it should, and destroy the mood the first cover created.

    2. Consistent fonts; I couldn’t help noticing the H in “Hood” and the H in “Whiskey” are slightly different. Whatever fonts you’re using, only use one of them for the title on both covers and any further covers you do; as old-timers say, never change horses in the middle of the stream.

    3. Some item symbolic of the novel’s post-apocalyptic theme in the foreground; the roughly wrapped rifle on the first cover serves this purpose nicely, so why don’t you have something like it on the second as well? A remaining corner of a burnt ruin, a rusted-out car, a tattered American flag (or a fresh new hand-sewn flag representing one of the new wasteland governments), just about anything would be better than the tranquil lake surface with nothing on it that you’ve got right now.

    I also strongly recommend scrapping the tagline from both covers. If your cover properly shows that this is a post-apocalyptic setting, telling your prospective readers the genre is redundant; and if it fails to show this, your tagline will make them think you’re the kind of lazy writer who tells people things rather than showing them things. Make your landscape a little starker and bleaker, and let the symbolic item in the foreground tell them what the genre is; they can work the rest out for themselves once your cover gets their attention.

  5. Ditto all previous comments. And further: the colour story on the second cover is a bit hard on the eyes. I’d have chosen one of the darker blue/purple mountain colours to keep the monochromatic theme going.

    Finally, the scotch tape approach to the series title is a bit off-putting. I can see why the designer felt it might have been necessary on the first cover, (though there are other, better, ways that can be handled.) since it’s completely not necessary on this new cover, it makes it stand out like a sore thumb.

    Sorry, not too helpful this time… but I’d love to see it again if changes are made.

    Kindly,
    Tamian
    Cover Designer

  6. I disagree somewhat on the monochrome first cover – to me it looks way too monochrome, like someone fiddled with the colour saturation to see what happens and left it at that – having a monochrome picture and text in at least slightly different colour would to me have worked better. But otherwise Nathan is right – this picture is wrong for the book. Also the colourscheme – that includes pink? I have never been in a post-apocalyptic world, of course, and in reality it may turn out to be very pink, but movies etc have taught me that pink ceases to exist afterwards.

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