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


The author says:

This book is about a girl who wakes up with amnesia. She has to figure out who she is and why she feels like someone is after her. It is YA and will have paranormal and suspense elements. Cover is not finalised.

Nathan says:

Give that you can’t tell us anything about the protagonist — what can you tell (and show) about the setting?  Is it a high school in suburbia?  The Old West? Thailand? The moon?  You really ought to give us some indication of the one thing you can tell us about.

Despite the fact that albinos are unsettling to some, I don’t see a lot of suspense or mystery here.  What if her eyes were closed? Or blank? Or black?  Or just plain not there?  I’m spitballing here, but there’s got to be a way to show an absence here, which is one way to describe the story.

(Also, the title font isn’t very suspenseful; it seems more appropriate to a coming-of-age drama.)

Other comments?


  1. I think you did a good job technically making this but she seems really happy. Maybe just changing the background to a dark color to give it a darker vibe? I’d also put the tagline beneath the title and change the title text to something that portrays a feeling, using a funnier one if this light hearted or a darker one if this angsty.

  2. I haven’t much to add in general terms, but a potential minor issue is the ring on her left hand. It is not a stretch that some viewers would surmise she is married, e.g. not literally alone. This could end up miss-coding the story as a book about a loveless marriage instead of a paranormal YA story. It’s not a huge danger, but it does exist.

  3. Technically there isn’t much to rip apart. Good contrast, simple content, engaging eye contact… but it’s not saying YA to me at all. Or paranormal, or suspense. I’m with Kristopher on the ring thing. If it’s relevant, great, but if she’s not a married woman, it sends the wrong message.

    I’d hazard a guess that a different font might help, but that probably isn’t going to get you all the way there. Alien League maybe? Just off the top of my head that font seems like it might help. What if the image were in negative? You’d loose the “albino” factor, but since your subject matter seems a bit darker than this image would suggest, perhaps that minor flip could give it some depth.

  4. It’s nice overall but falls just a little short of the creepiness that would get the theme of paranormal across. Perhaps even more important is getting across the idea of aloneness and alienation. The eyes are startling…but might be even more so if the rest of the face were even more desaturated and higher key in value.

  5. “Despite the fact that albinos are unsettling to some…”

    I do want to point out that Albinos don’t have blue eyes–or brown, or green or hazel. Their eyes are PINK. This looks to me as though the photog or the publisher colored in those eyes, because the rest of the coloring is that of an albino, particularly around the eyes. (The cover image would actually be more arresting, if the eyes were pink, but I do realize that unless the protagonist is an albino, that shan’t be possible.)

    I really like the Alien League font, but not for this, if it’s not sci-fi. AL really has a sci-fi vibe, rather than paranormal/suspense.

    This might be really amazing, if the contrast was switched up or inverted, as someone else suggested. I agree that the feeling of suspense is just not there with the fonts and coloring the way that they are, right now.

    What about…Misproject Font, as a font for the title? Or Dirty Ego? After all, YA or not, there’s a bit of a horror element or suspense element to it, right? Distressed fonts are very good at delivering for suspense.

    I would also revisit the byline font. I’ve used that one myself, and I know it seems tempting, but really, the focus, font-wise, should be on the title, and if you use an appropriate font for the title, to help convey YA/Suspense/Paranormal/Horror, then your byline font should be fairly ordinary and on the plain side.


    1. Actually, depending on the form of albinism, people can have blue eyes. Blue is a structural color in human eyes, not a pigment, so it isn’t affected. (sorry, had to nerd out there a moment)

      1. I don’t pretend to be an expert in albinism in humans–but in bunnies, horses, etc., it’s definitely pink eyes or nothing.

        I must confess, if the girl is supposed to be albino, I would not get that from that image, with the blue eye color. I’d assume, from a mass-marketing perspective, that most people would think the way I do–no?

        Hell, do we know if she’s supposed to be an albino–or was this image just handy?

  6. The cover is very good, technically, but unfortunately it is one that belongs to a ‘misery memoir’ – they are always coded misty white or pale, with a sad big-eyed child in a passive pose (think Boy Called It). I do believe you have the skills to do a good cover for this book, but I would start again – try some dark colours, model who looks more distressed, and a more exiting font.

  7. Mainly, you need to pull back a bit; right now, the cover is (as they say on TV Tropes) basically just a face and a caption. Whether or not the character’s an albino (for the record, I just thought the gal was really fair-skinned and fair-haired)), there’s not much to indicate her emotional state, her situation, or what she’s actually going to be doing in this book. To me, this mostly looks like somebody’s autobiography (maybe, as katz notes, an “inspirational” one about some recent Christian convert gal’s life struggle before she came to Jesus); basically not the effect you’re trying to achieve at all.

    Showing more of the gal against a completely blank background might hint at this being a kind of psychodrama, but isolation on a cover usually points to madness, whereas you seem to be trying more for the effect of an otherwise sane character in a less-than-sane situation. Were I designing the cover, my way to indicate that the story is about amnesia would be to show the character stepping out of (or looking away from) a faded ghostly-looking nothing kind of place and into a real-but-not-too-easily-understood something situation. My inspiration for this is the cover of The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen which, while not on quite the same subject, is a YA novel dealing with the protagonist being pulled out of her familiar contemporary reality and into the real and yet crazy-enough-to-seem-surreal situation of the Holocaust more than half a century in the past.

    You, of course, won’t want everything on your cover to be as historically recognizable as on Yolen’s cover; neither should your protagonist look so ghostly as hers. In your case, I also recommend showing your protagonist more from the side so we can see what’s behind her as much as what’s in front of her. The idea is to visualize how her past (both literally and figuratively what’s behind her) has faded and vanished from her memory, while her present (that which is portrayed literally standing in her presence) is very immediate and real and yet not immediately recognizable to her.

    For what’s behind her, a big blank black or white (depending on your tastes) void should suffice; optionally, if some vague half-memory of her past proves vital to the story, you may include a few relevant ghostly forms or figures. For what’s in front of her, pick something simple but immediately relevant from the story; e.g. since you say she wakes up with amnesia, maybe you could show us where she wakes up. A hospital? A bedroom? A school infirmary?

    Familiar as the “wake up with amnesia” plot is in mysteries (paranormal and otherwise), there doesn’t seem to be a standard template for cover designs for amnesia-themed mysteries (paranormal or otherwise), so if you don’t like my suggestions, feel free to experiment with something else; I’m just telling you what my approach would be 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 :