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The Untitled History of the Human Condition

The author says:

A werewolf lives through the violence that is human history starting in medieval times and eventually finds himself working for the United States Government, they don’t let him leave when he wants to quit and then he has to team up with other movie monsters, a vampire, alien, demon, and frankenstein monster, to stop an evil robot from destroying the world.

new cover.PNG

new cover.PNG

Nathan says:

No.

This looks like a tumblr meme, or something you slapped together in five minutes to display your makeup FX selfie. This will NOT sell this book, or any book.  You may think I’m being cruel, but that’s the way it is: If you expect readers to spend money on, and time reading, your book, you need to demonstrate that your book is a professional production. This doesn’t do it.

Hire a professional.  Even a cheap one.  The fact that you’re submitting this here for critique means that you do not have the grounding in basic design needs to recognize the deficiencies in your abilities.  Just go pro.

Comments

  1. No. No to the cover, and no to the “blurb” on the back. This MORE than screams amateur. Why would I even consider PAYING to read a book that is so disorganized? The sentences don’t even make sense.

    Here’s what I would assume if I came across this on Amazon: You’re a teenage who wrote a story — your first — and believed you could make money by publishing it. You had no money, though, so you didn’t pay for a professional cover or professional editing of any kind. But you’re certain it’s good enough to sell.

    No. Just no.

    1. What Nathan said. Unfortunately, if you did publish this, it would soon be featured on the Lousy Book Covers site – it really is that bad. The photo is bad, the font is bad, the layout is bad, the concept is bad and you have somehow managed to skew the aspect ratio of your author pic.

  2. I have to agree with everyone else: No.

    There is really no way to fix this cover other than to start over from scratch. If you can’t afford professional help, perhaps you could find an art student at a local college you could help you.

    Remember, too, that the blurb will be the first example anyone will ever see of your writing. If it is not letter-perfect no one will have any reason to think that the book is written any better. If instead it is filled with typos, bad punctuation and bad grammar, a potential reader would be justified in thinking that the book itself is, too.

  3. You’re … Mocking me … Right?

    If so, Nice one I love it. Its perfect. Run with it and don’t change a thing. That way when my book appears next to it on some random amazon produced email they’ll be much more likely to pick mine cos let’s face it, books ARE judged by the cove.

    If your not taking the piss, then seriously, stop what your doing right now. Join a critique group and have you writing torn to bits and re-work it. Then get someone who knows what they are doing to look at your cover art. Then come back later with a much stronger story and much better cover art, and actually have something that you can look back on with a proud feeling, not a cringe.

    Harsh. Yeah, but true.

    Sorry I’m wearing cranky pants today

  4. Hi.

    I figure that you’re hoping that someone will say something more, or less terminal, than “no,” and…well, I wish I could.

    I’m devoutly hoping that the blurb you provided with the cover, and the description on the back cover, are for our benefit, and are NOT what you are really planning to put on the cover. They are both simply deficient. The short description that you provided to us is one big long run-on sentence. The longer one, on the back of the book, sounds like that kind of dreadful stand-up routine that you encounter when you go to local “talent” nights. The short blurb can go, as it’s only for us, and the long thing on the back of the cover should be nuked, in its entirety. It has no place on or near a book.

    Unfortunately, I can’t find a single positive thing to say about the cover. It’s purely awful. Here–this image is free, and even though it’s FAR from great, it’s better than what you have: https://pixabay.com/en/face-vampire-head-eyes-werewolf-800192/ . At least it has color and contrast. AND, people might see it and be curious enough to look. THIS is from Depositphoto, and has a lot of potential, with the right cover designer: http://depositphotos.com/28013507/stock-illustration-eyes-look.html That’s a couple of dollars, to use for commercial purposes.

    You’re making this very hard on yourself. If you try to sell the book with that cover, you are dooming it. Period. It won’t just end up on LousyBookCovers.com, the book will sink to obscurity after it’s released.

    If you cannot afford a professional–and I agree with Nathan and everyone here that you DO really need one–then go to Creativindie.com, and look up Derek’s “Cover Creator Tool.” YOu can a) join for under $100, and use it to make covers for years, or b) download his free book cover templates, and follow his EXAMPLES. Download the graphic of the werewolf eyes, find some cool fonts, and use THAT, if you cannot come up with $$$ for a professional.

    I’ve used Derek’s templates to make a cover or two, that were perfectly fine, even though I am COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY HOPELESS at design. If I can do it–someone as hopeless as I am–you can do it. Just say NO to the desire to put that image you’ve used on a cover.

    Also–if those two descriptions were serious–if you really meant to use that block of text on the back, please get a proofreader and a line editor, as soon as you can. I know that this isn’t “book critics.com,” but, for the sake of your book, please do that.

    I’m sorry, I am. I wish I had something upbeat for you. I hope the pointers to stock image sites that are VERY cheap is helpful.

  5. P.S.: for a few bucks, this one could make a cover: http://depositphotos.com/58057789/stock-photo-bloody-werewolf-abstract-background.html

    Depositphoto has a series of images, of beastie eyes over various roads, backgrounds, scenery, etc. Although they’re trope, again: MUCH BETTER than what you have, and some you could basically title and go.

    Good luck. I hope we’ll all get to see the revised version. I mean that, and I know that everyone else here would like to see it, too.

  6. They’ve already mentioned your front cover and the spine so I won’t touch on those.

    Back Cover

    1. Blurb. Please pull at least 10-20 books (in the horror/paranormal genre) from authors you admire in your personal library or go to a bookstore/library. Do not copy them, but use these as templates for writing your blurb.

    2. “OK ok! Fine!” — Is not fine. “WEll what the hell do you expect…” is that when I read a blurb I am not reading a writer who belittles the reader. It’s not cute and it definitely turns off a reader. Leave any conversation to the reader or passive-aggressive belittling of the story, yourself, or the reader out of your publication entirely.

    3. Photo. Your photo might be fine for Facebook, but it’s not fine for a book jacket. In most towns or cities you can get decent headshots done by a semi-professional or even professional photographer for less than $100.00. Or look for posts on Craigslist, at art schools, and in amateur photography groups (like on Meetup.com) where amateur photographers are building up a portfolio.

    4. Layout. Start over from scratch. See how other books do it. If you don’t intend on paying for a professional to make the cover, at least stick with a shape that’s typical for a book. In genre, readers are looking for something that says, THIS is a book you will want to read. Often that does mean echoing the tried cover designs of the genre. In an indie book with no author reputation your cover is what is going to attract readers to the book.

  7. Oy! Am I the only one here who suspects this is some kind of prank on us? I mean, the designer appears to be trying to earn dozens of tags on Lousy Book Covers. This submission also has me wondering whether the submitter was actually someone else impersonating the alleged author so as to defame him.

    On the incredibly slender possibility that any of this submission was intended to be serious, “revision” is not an option. There’s no point in my usual practice of going over everything that’s wrong with this cover and suggesting fixes, as nothing is even remotely right with it. Based on what’s on this cover, the author needs not only a good designer and proof-reader, but a ghost-writer.

    Even as some kind of reverse-psychology sales tactic appealing to a target audience of “so bad, it’s good” connoisseurs (which is already a terribly limited audience), this cover is not going to work; even the writers of the infamous hoax novel Naked Came The Stranger knew they needed an attractive (if not necessarily professional) cover to pull off their prank. If that‘s the kind of prank this book is meant to be, the cover designer could do worse than what they did, which was to slap a pretty photograph they lifted from some kind of foreign magazine for nudists on their front cover; just be ready to pay royalties when that image’s owner and publisher turns up demanding compensation (as they ended up doing when their hoax sold even better than they’d expected).

    On the far more likely possibility that we’re the ones being trolled, I’ll be the first to offer my congratulations to the troll in question for the success of your prank, but you don’t get any trophy for it.

    1. It does seem likely. The misspelled author name seems like a tipoff.

      Then again, none of this is beyond the pale for things we’ve seen on Amazon for real.

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