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The White Raven

The author says:

The White Raven is contemporary fantasy/magical realism with just a splash of romance about a cursed witch, set in modern times, who is shadowed by a white raven. The main plot deals with the mysterious connection between the heroine and the white raven, and whether it’s the cause of her curse or the instrument of her release. It’s an adult novel targeted to women mostly. **This cover is a draft to replace my existing cover that I already know is not working.**

Nathan says:

I love it.


The only things I would be tempted to do are (1) find a way to make the byline clearer in thumbnail, either by increasing the contrast or enlarging it a little bit, and (2) making the white raven emerging from the back of her head (now there’s a phrase I never expected to have occasion to write) just a little bigger, so that it “reads” as a bird easier in thumbnail.

But I love it.

Other comments?


  1. You’ve nailed it. Great work. Perfect for audience and genre and classy as heck. Like Ed says, up there with the better stuff coming out of publishing houses.

    The one thing I would suggest for sure is I’d maybe upping the brightness and shine effect on the title. I’d like to see the whole title a little brighter generally, and in particular, I’d up the point of highlight on the word ‘WHITE’. I think the implication of the metallic type reflecting the white glow of the illustration would sell the artiness of this even harder. And with the bright white in the illustration, I think you need a small echoing touch of equally bright white in the title. It makes the elements speak to each other more.

    I would brighten the byline too, but personally feel that any increase of the byline’s size will upset the balance of the cover.

    Onto things I’m less sure about but I think are worth trying just to make sure you’ve got the absolutely best version of this great cover:

    I’d suggest shifting up the byline a little and the illustration with it. I think they’re just sitting a tiny touch too low on the page for me. Maybe also increasing the title size just a little, but keeping in on the same baseline. I don’t know for sure, but I think the elements might balance just that tiny bit better for the adjustment upwards. Maybe try it and take a straw poll of which one friends like best when you show them!

    I’m not convinced about the fact that the lettering of ‘RAVEN’ is smaller and more closely spaced than ‘WHITE’. I think I’d prefer them to have equal eight or, if anything, for the word ‘RAVEN’ to be the bigger word. For one thing I think enlarging ‘WHITE’ stresses and element you’ve already made very clear in your graphics, whereas the raven element is not so obvious (see below). For another I always think title treatments should echo the way one would say the phrase: if a word is bigger it should be for emphasis. I would stress this phrase as ‘the white RAVEN’, so seeing it presented as ‘the WHITE raven’ just jars slightly at me. I don’t know about anyone else!

    I think Nathan’s right about the raven image reading better if a little larger. It doesn’t bother me massively because your title has the word raven in it, so it’s not a part of the illustration that needs to be immediately identifiable at thumbnail for a browser to get that information.

  2. It’s very nice. I’m honestly jealous. Out of curiosity, what filter treatments did you use on the text to get it to look that way? There are any number of ‘metallic text’ tutorials on the web, but the localized whitening on the ‘I’ and ‘T’ I can’t figure out. Was it a separate application or just some nuance of the settings for the metallic effect?

  3. I concur with everyone–it’s great, it just needs a tiny bit more tweaking. I wouldn’t have the first clue how to increase the size of the bird, so…I’ll stay out of that one. But what about limning the Title text with a subtle–very subtle–glow, around the lettering? An icy white limn should do it–make the title far more readable, without changing the cover too much. I’d be very careful, and start with the smallest possible limn/glow, and increase the size–go that way.

    I’m also scratching my head about whether white is the right shade…I’d try a few other tints. The blue-green shade, on the woman’s neck/shoulder–you might be able to use that, tinted with some white. I’d stay in the white-gold/dark zone that you already have, it’s quite striking.

    And yes–increase the size of the byline too.

    Good luck to you. That’s a cover that I’d pick up, too. πŸ™‚ (And thank you, thank you, thank you for using a nice font.)

  4. I think it’s superb. My only suggestion is probably more of a pet peeve of mine. I think you should lose “A Novel”. It looks out of place and I find this kind of gimmick to be just that. I could see adding this description of there could be confusion. In this case, no such abiguity exists in my opinion. What’s next? Will covers include the phrase “A Book”?

    In short, beautiful job, so why gild a lily by pointing out the obvious?

  5. I’m curious to know the name of the designer. If the author did this cover herself, then she should be designing covers. This new cover is great work from a professional artist.

  6. This is great! It’s eye-catching, polished, and just good. I’d lose “a novel,” but that’s really personal preference. Otherwise, don’t change a thing.

  7. This looks like something I would find in Barns and Noble great job πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€β€οΈ

  8. That’s pretty much how a mature fantasy novel cover should look. Only two improvements I can suggest:

    1. Dump the “a novel” line; I didn’t see it at thumbnail size, and didn’t need to see it to get what kind of book this was just from looking at the thumbnail, which proves you don’t need it either. It’s nothing but redundant clutter.

    2. Beef up your byline; not as big as the title, since your name isn’t famous enough to increase sales, but big enough to let everyone know you’re not ashamed of your name and not shy about slapping it on this book.

  9. Wow, I’ve been lurking on here for the last month or so and have looked at some covers in the archives, but this one stands out to me above all others. Looks incredibly professional and classy, great job! I personally don’t see anything that needs changing other than making your name more noticeable by brightening and/or increasing its size.

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