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Renegades at Sea

The author says:

Renegades at Sea is vol one of the Adventures of Chas from Tas. Chas has sailed on racing yachts all his life , racing and delivering them to all the oceans of the world. The book is about the scary,dangerous, amusing,or downright hilarious adventures that he has had.He is a true gypsy of the sea.



Nathan says:

You’ve got a very good, very active illustration. You need to make sure that the type supports instead of conflicting with it.

  1. You’re using very sedate fonts (which is a nice way to say “dull”). These would be great fonts for interior text, but they underperform on the cover.
  2. At the very least, you should be able to read some words from the title at thumbnail size. Here, thanks to the combination of thin lines and color blend, I can barely tell that the title exists at thumbnail size.
  3. You already have Chaz’s face overlapping the main image; you don’t want the second intrusion, the white square with the blurb from Simon Le Bon (!) to clutter it further.
  4. Remember, the point of the cover is to intrigue the reader enough to either flip the book over and read the back or scroll down and read the online description, depending on the venue. Trim down the blurb, the credits for the forewords, etc. so that the impact of the main image isn’t diluted.

Any other comments?



  1. The artwork is crisp, but the fonts are very hard to read, and as Nathan said, boring. “Renegades” gets lost in the sea (ironic, yes), and the tagline outside the box is in danger of getting lost too. I’d say you need a stronger font in a color with a greater contrast. And there’s definitely too much text on the front.

    But that’s just a matter of fine tuning. You have a good base, which is the most important part.

  2. You’ve got some excellent artwork, yes, but your “text and more text” cluttering the front cover is a serious drag on its effectiveness, and your title is suffering “readability” issues (to name two tags on Lousy Book Covers your book cover would earn you if you released it like this). You definitely need to clear out that blurb (which, as katz pointed out, is redundant since you’ve already got it on the back) which is only blocking people from appreciating the artwork. You might also be able to dispense with the tagline, since the artwork pretty well establishes that this is some kind of sea adventure.

    The title and endorsements are good, but again need to be in some kind of more readable font, not to mention more eye-catching. Our resident font queen Hitch will probably be along later to suggest something suitable to both purposes. You might also want to edge those endorsements down just a bit so that they don’t obscure any of the ship’s sail.

    On the whole, however, you’re off to a good start. The back cover I’d leave mostly as it is; just bear in mind that if you publish from many different platforms, that space for the scanner mark will tend to shift around a bit from one platform to the next. (Amazon puts it in one place, Barnes & Noble in another, etc.) So keep the lower half of it open the way you’re doing.

  3. As everyone else here has said, less is more. At the moment, your cover is too jumbled. Loss some of the text. Try the front cover with just the title & author names. The art work should be enough to make readers want to know more. The back cover can be packed with info, they usually are, but likely most of this information would go into your description on Amazon.

  4. There is all of the pages on the inside for text – leave some of it there. The cover would be overcrowded even with just:
    -long-ish title
    -long tagline
    -Forewords by … 2 people (why so verbose? Just ‘Foreword: name, name’is enough)
    -two authors full name
    Otherwise, yes, nice artwork underneath. I fear the white text box is trying to cover some mistake in the sail, but it probably is not too bad or it can be fixed. The white bar at the bottom, under the authors names, makes it seem like the pic ran out, it’s like a slip showing under the skirt. Let the sea down a bit, the names can get a bit sea spray on them.

    Also, I have not heard of any of these people, except Simon le Bon and I have no clue where… if for you readers, boat racing enthusiasts I suppose, these people are familiar by all means stuff all of them in the cover, but then the logical title might be the sub-heading? Maybe the Sirs will not speak to you if you don’t mention them in the cover, but considering it seems their forewords are already in the back blurb, I would restrict them there.

    On to the back: too busy. it’s a very good picture of Chas – I might have gone with that as the cover, but the artwork chosen is good too – I’d make that bigger and lose some of the text (put in inside where it belongs), and the extra boat pictures. There is already a boat in the cover. If you cannot afford to print a picture insert in the book – too bad, still, should not just lob them in the covers. I also seems that you forgot to write a blurb? There is only other people’s impressions about your book. Also, minor niggles, decide between centered and left-lined, please. Top can be different as it is separated by the picture and size.

    Also the spine only needs enough text so you can spot it in the shelf, usually title – author: sometimes only title, so since there is 2 authors, there is already more than enough text there, as the title is not too short on its own. I’d go with white text on blue background, seems a bit more dramatic, and all caps for the title: now it is more text soup with same font and near same size. And yes, I agree font is a tad tame for a Renegade of the Sea. (who are/is the other/s? I just keep wondering, though it is not a cover issue…)

  5. WOW – thassa lotta text! Ditto most of what has been said. Title is totally lost, far too much text, white block is distracting, etc. Though, I don’t think the author names would stand out against the sea spray. Especially as there are two, and as such, must needs be smaller. Unless you stack them.

    A note about the spine… If you have a hard edge it is most likely that edge will be seen on either the front cover or the spine. The chances that it will line up exactly with the spine fold are not very good. If you are printing with CreateSpace, especially, expect shift on press. (years of experience) It’ll happen. Mark my words. If you blend your images with a soft edge, to land half way in the middle of your spine, there’s nothing to line up, nothing to worry about…

    Except the way too wordy text on said spine. Title and author last names are all you really need.

  6. Oooo, oooo, and a couple other notes… Be careful of your margins. Looks like you are getting pretty close to the trim edge. Remember that shift on press I mentioned? If you get to close to the edge, stuff can get chopped off too.

    Upon further reflection, I’m wondering if that sea captains image might work better in the white box position so you could let your title fill the space it vacated. It would give your title a bigger area to stand out against without bumping into the blue area that’s currently making it unreadable.
    That, with a stronger font, could help that title be seen!

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