Before commenting, PLEASE read the commenting rules. It will make us both happier, you and me. Especially me.

Walking on Air

The author says:

This is the continuation of the book “Breaking the Edge“. Still on the same genre as it is, sport-romance YA-NA, but this time, around dancing. It was said that “Breaking the Edge” was lacking of the ‘romantic’ feeling inside the cover, so I think of something like this?

Nathan says:

Yeah, I’m thinking you’ve definitely got “romantic” covered.

I can see that you deliberately kept the typefaces for both the title and byline, and good for you. That kind of continuity between books in a series is essential for branding.  I don’t know if you changed the position of the byline on the Breaking the Edge cover; if not, you should put the byline in the same place on this cover as well.

Breaking the Edge had a limited color palette — not artificially, but simply because that was the nature of the photograph. I’d suggest that you use a similarly muted color scheme here: have the skin tones be the only vibrant colors here, and desaturate the rest of the cover to a large degree. Breaking the Edge also had distinct grain to the photo; I’d try to mimic that here, to maintain visual continuity.

Other comments?



  1. Very little to add to what Nathan said. I’m not part of the target demographic on this book. Also, just a reader, not a pro designer unlike others on here.
    I’m not a fan of the tilted over look – but that is your series look, so ignore me on that :). I’m a bit of a detail-noticer and particularly because the male dancer’s buttocks are middle of page, middle of text, I noticed how the female dancer’s foot is pressed into them, distorting them a bit. Probably doesn’t matter either, might even be a plus to show extra passion. 🙂 Anyway, that’s my tiny bit’s worth.
    Do like how you’ve got the slants of the texts on the same angle as the female dancer’s leg.

  2. Not a bad job at all! There’s a lot going on with a great many different visual elements. I think you have gotten pretty close to the edge of having a little too much going on…but may not have completely crossed the line.

    There is a granular texture to the type and the abstract, diagonal shapes that I don’t think contributes very much. If this texture were softer it might go toward conveying a sense of “air” better than it does now. (Likewise some of the textural patterns such as that in the upper right corner, which are only distracting.)

    In the thumbnail, the title is perfectly readable, but the image, I think, reduces to a indecipherable jumble of shapes.

    I’d move the subtitle to the bottom, where there is a little less background noise. This would not only keep the line from being tangent with the girl’s head it would also go toward making the cover a little less top-heavy.

  3. I kind of agree with Ron Miller about the texture at the top right. I was trying to figure out what it was as I looked at the cover. But it didn’t immediately distract me, so maybe I only noticed because I was trying to think of things for a critique.

    This isn’t design-related, but I would definitely recommendg revising “The final book of Acts series” to “The final book of the Acts series”. The current wording is jolting to me and sounds like a grammatical mistake.

  4. The great thing is before I even read the description, I looked at the cover and went “That looks like ‘Breaking the Edge’!” So great job!

    My feedback here is going to be similar to “Breaking the Edge,” then. I didn’t really like the broken edge there and I like it even less here, since it doesn’t have the title to explain it. But if that’s what you went with on the other covers, sure, go ahead and keep continuity.

    I like that the romance angle is very clear here, but the figures don’t pop quite as well as I’d like; they’re not where my eye is drawn, because the broken lines and the typography create so much other contrast. (Another reason to lose the lines.)

    Having similar textures on the background and the text makes the title not as readable as it could be; I might lose or minimize the background textures. That would also make the figures pop better.

    But overall, this is very well done!

  5. I like the cover after taking a few moments to view it. The first thing I saw, however, when determining what I was looking at, was the dude’s rear and the twisted waistband of his tights. It’s the brightest part of the cover. Maybe this was intentional?

  6. I was unaware of the earlier book, “Breaking the Edge,” so had to judge the cover on its own merits. Which I think is the right thing to do in any case. It is important to have consistency in the covers of a series, but the success of succeeding covers should not depend on how well they carry through a theme since it is entirely possible—such as in my own case—that a potential reader may not have seen the earlier book(s). I realize that it says right on the cover of this book that it is part of a series, which would surely have someone looking up the first books…but that won’t happen if they are put off enough by a cover to either not read the fine print or not want to bother looking any further.

    Katz’ comment,” My feedback here is going to be similar to “Breaking the Edge,” then. I didn’t really like the broken edge there and I like it even less here, since it doesn’t have the title to explain it,” is a perfect case in point. One would have to have been aware of the broken edge device in the earlier book in order to have it make any sense here. But not everyone is going to have the benefit of that pre-knowledge. That is, you should not depend on what someone already knows in order to have a successful cover.

    I don’t think that any of this is too terribly urgent here, since this cover works pretty well regardless….but I think as a general principal each cover in a series needs to succeed on its own as well as work as part of a group of related books.

  7. And, yet another party heard from: I like most of this, but I really don’t love the ‘edge,’ I guess it is (looks like a sweaty body part? Torso? Complete with belly-button?) behind the dancers. I think if you had the marble texture that I see in the background, and the dancers and the text, it would be enough. If you really need another element, I’d say use a transparent pair of toe shoes, or something. The body part thing gets in the way of the artwork, for me, and I think that the branding is obvious enough, without it. “The edge” has zero relevance, really, to the artwork for this specific cover.

    And the thing is, it’s not as though this is the final book in the “breaking the edge” series; it’s the “Acts” series, so even though the prior book was named “BTE,” neither this nor the series, is. I just feel that it would be a far more effective cover with either a different, relevant (and identifiable) transparent object, layered between the marbleized background and the dancers, or nothing at all, other than the ombre-effect you have around them or their torsos.

    Other than that kibitz, I think for a newbie you are doing really terrific covers. Truly. I even like the font in this setting. 🙂 (And the crew here will tell you, I never like the fonts!)

    Good luck.

    1. I think it’s just supposed to be two uneven lines, but now that you said “sweaty torso,” I’ll never be able to see anything else.

  8. Whoa! Where your previous book looked to be more about sports than romance, this one definitely looks to be more about out-and-out erotica than sports. Yes, once I go from thumbnail to full picture, I can see that the couple’s skimpy outfits are dancing tights… and that the woman is in fact wearing a skimpy outfit (rather than nothing). Anyway, what the imagery on this cover fairly shouts is “This book is about sex!”

    If that’s what you want it to say, well, I guess you’ve succeeded. Still, that’s quite a sudden shift in tone from your first submission on here to be a continuation of the first story. So the protagonist from the first book and her love interest were very successful at breaking the ice (so to speak) with each other, I take it?

    Something else I can’t help noticing: when looking for anywhere the first book might have been published (to see if this book cover’s style is consistent with that of its predecessor), I drew a complete blank on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lulu, and Smashwords. You haven’t published it yet? I can see some sense in the marketing strategy of withholding the first book from publication until you get finished with this one so you can publish them both simultaneously, but do let us know up front if that’s what you’re doing.

    Assuming your cover is meant to be as erotic as it looks, I have only two remaining nitpicks:
    1. The title is a little tricky to read in thumbnail, especially since the tail of the “g” somehow seems to have dropped behind the “break” lines (or naked torso or whatever that’s supposed to be) somehow; you should probably make your title a bit bolder and more opaque all around.
    2. You didn’t mention your first book was going to be part of any series (or duology), but now that it evidently is, shouldn’t that subtitle indicate this is the conclusion of the ACTS series? “Final” is an accurate but some what unusual usage of the term (which most English speakers usually use to refer to the last of more than two of something). As for this being a “book of ACTS” series, the first thing any Christian or just any casual Bible reader is likely to say on seeing that subtitle is “I sure don’t remember reading about anything like this in the book of Acts!” To avoid such confusion, you should definitely stick a “the” in front of the word “ACTS” to let them know this is a part of the ACTS series and not the last of some kind of series concerning the Biblical book of Acts.

    Beyond that, well… dancing in all of its forms has always had some rather sexual overtones and sexuality is a rather necessary part of romance, so you’ll have no trouble convincing your prospective readers of this book’s romantic potential. Just try to make sure the sex isn’t all they’re seeing here. As marketing executives will tell you, some more recent studies show that while cranking up the erotic imagery in an advertisement does make the ad more memorable, people remembering the ad tend to recall mainly the sexy stuff and not much about what exactly it was selling; you might want to go a little bit easier on the sex on your cover if you want your prospective readers to remember this is supposed to convince them to purchase a book.

    1. If its only two books, isn’t that a duology, not a series?

      And you could call it “part” as in final part. Or not. Slightly brainstorming here based on RK’s post.

  9. You’ve come up with much that is good and executed the typography very well, and kudos for carrying across the styling from Breaking The Edge in many ways successfully.

    But I agree that its strikes me as a problem that these covers are so tonally dissonant from each other. Partly that’s the content of the imagery (as other point out, this goes from one extreme to the other on the sport/romance scale – at least at first glance this cover looks not just romantic but almost overtly sexual). But it’s also about the styling for me. The first photo was blurry and action-y, flatly lit and blurry but all the more energetic for it. It’s a bold design choice but one that works because it has been well handled (I did have a few suggestions to make over on that thread along with others, but it largely hangs together well).

    Whereas this dance photo is in an entirely different style – a studio-lit, posed and mannered photo. It’s a lot more traditional (bar the overtly suggestive pose) than your first for a (YA) romance novel image. It also lacks any link subject-wise – snowboarding and ballet are quite dissonant subjects. Producing covers in a series is an exercise in balancing difference/sameness but for me this is just too different to your first.

    As I tend to do when a cover has a lot of good points and the criticisms become fiddling and hard to explain I’ve found it easier to show rather than tell! So here’s my in-depth blog post about what I think the problem here is and how I think it needs to be addressed to produce a really successful cover I’ve mocked up several versions and explained the process.

    All the images are from Shutterstock and I did a quick grab or your typography off the images here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <blockquote> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> <img src="">

Contact Form Powered By :