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The Lost Soldiers of Thera

The author says:

Set 200 years in the future on a massive spaceship named the Aldrin. Obviously it’s Sci-Fi. The target audience is sci-fi fans that enjoy Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. Do I need a picture of the Aldrin on the cover?

Lost Soldiers of Thera 2

Lost Soldiers of Thera 2

Nathan says:

Short answer: Yes.

Or people inside the ship. Or outside the ship.  Does it all take place aboard the Aldrin?  Are there space battles?  (The title has at least the implication of military SF.) Do they explore alien planets? Is there something you could show that’s more than just space?


  1. Yeah, buy yourself a nice royalty-free spaceship image off DA or wherever.

    And while you’re at it, get a good sci-fi font instead of gray Arial or whatever that is. Metallic text and a horizontal bar separating the title from the subtitle would evoke your comp titles very well.

  2. I like the white focus on the center of the cover – it draws the eye in. However, it doesn’t appear balanced. Author name should be centered, larger. I’d like to see the title bigger and in a Sci Fi font. Lots of free ones out there.
    Try adding something else, even if you can’t find a star ship you like. A planet, a map, a destination, perhaps even as the focus. If you go to European space observatory ( all their pictures are royalty free and free to download, as long as you give them credit in your front matter (links).
    Good luck!

  3. The font and they way you are using it needs work. Try centering it or taking out ‘The’, is having it in the title necessary. The background needs something else as Nathan said. I’m on a mobile and all I can really see is blue & a bright white circle.

  4. The stars you have (with a bit of color correction and contrast) would make a nice background, but they don’t work well enough on their own to hold the cover together. A futuristic space book cover really needs to feature a spaceship and/or planet (both is better!), stylized text in a non-generic font, a strong color scheme, and some sort of cosmic background.
    The cover of this boxed set of novels is a great example of a futuristic space cover that really captures this genre-

  5. This is about as generic a cover as a science fiction book can get.

    Your art needs to convey to the reader something of what the book is about, its characters or its themes. You need something that sets your book apart from the countless other SF books out there…something that shows why your book is different.

    To answer your question about whether you should depict your spacecraft on the cover, the answer is “absolutely!” But even at that, you still need to involve it in something specific to your story. There are hundreds of books featuring a spacecraft on the cover: what sets yours apart? Does it encounter an unusual planet? Strange aliens? A hostile enemy?

    As others have already pointed out, the typography is not only boring but haphazardly placed…and much too much overwhelmed by the image. But, frankly, until you replace the image there’s little point in worrying about the type.

  6. You can leave the empty space as far as I’m concerned, but please change the font. And center it. And arrange it.

    If you do put a spaceship on the cover, don’t use a bad 3D render, please. I’ve seen so many of those and they all look bad.

  7. Drat. I had a spaceship image, freebs, that I’d stumbled across, somewhere, and I thought it was fairly nifty. I wish I could remember, now, where I found that. I’ll put some braincells to it, and see if I can recall.

    Font: Well. If you’d done nothing but swap out the old reliable SPACE MARINE font, it would be better. SM is an instant “tell.” Anyone who looks at it will know, without needing anything further, that it’s Space/Sci-Fi. Using shortcuts like that equals smart design on your part because it saves you from having to do things like put a subtitle (“A Space Fantasy,” or what have you), on the cover. Space-saving. As it were.

    Nova Round is another one. Omnibus Ova another, although they are used on different types of sci-fi books (generally).

    I’d also urge you to AMP UP the color. You can do some really remarkable things for lettering by taking a color that you like, and blending it down with white. Add some, stir, see what you got, try it, lather-rinse-repeat. In yours, you might actually get the best alternative with either a) yellow or orange, blended with white, or b) a blue, ditto. You take them down to the point where you can only tell that they aren’t white if you stare at them, and see the droppersful of original color you put in there. I’ve had some really spiffy results with that–getting solid contrast that draws the eyes, and gives the title some…I dunno what word I’m seeking…body? Give it a try and see what I mean.

    The rest? I’ll go with the rest of the gang. Spaceship, planet, or..something. Right now, it is just entirely too boring. If you have a space battle, better yet. Lots o’ firing lasers and other bright yellow/red/orange things, to draw the eye.

    Good luck!


    Wait, girl–are you saying that there’s a GOOD 3D renderer? 🙂

  8. Not sure that I can add anything more at this point that hasn’t already been said. This is like the long version of “me too.”

    I think the font is fine for this cover. It says that this is a book about astronomy. But that isn’t what you’re going for, so you’re going to have to change it.

    Yeah, if your sci-fi novel is about a spaceship, you have to have some kind of spaceship on there. I like this background. If there was some way to have the spaceship headed towards the glowing orb (star? galactic center?), that would be great.

  9. It’s a start: you’ve got a decent background. Now, all you need is a foreground. In addition to the various suggestions of spaceships or people on the bridge of a spaceship or the like, maybe you should have a planet or two? In space, planets are likely to be the main setting for people’s adventures and politics, just as islands and continents are the setting for people’s adventures and politics here and now on Earth.

  10. Boring!

    Yeah, sorry, a bit crass that. But really, this is a good cover for a textbook, especially a very specialised one. But those do not have to impress anyone by being exciting and interesting: competent is enough, and somewhat boring is preferred as it looks serious.

    It’s good you have an idea of the fan-base, it is a good starting point: what would a person want to see in the cover of novelization of either Babylon 5 or Star Trek? Apparently, according to the existing covers, lots of floating heads, I may have shot myself on the foot here – but still, it is easier to imagine what would we like for a GOOD cover on the series nowadays. Take a look at movie posters too, for inspiration, not that you should copy anything directly of course.

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