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Bitcoin, Ethereum… Les Cryptomonnaies

The author says:

Explains what cryptocurrencies are, how they fit in our economic system, how to trade them and the risks/rewards involved. This book serves as a introduction to the world of cryptos and technical trading.

Nathan says:

I understand the “pirate treasure” motif you’re going for, but you need to switch your emphasis around.  Books that explain something usually put the title and subtitle big and clear, with any picture accompanying it as a definite sidenote.

The font you’ve chosen for the title and byline… again, I understand what you were going for here, but “angular” doesn’t always connote technology. In this case, it looks like cheap do-it-yourself painted lettering that you see on roadside-stand signage made by people who don’t want to pay for a professional sign (“Fresh Strawberries”).  And the italics font for the subtitle clashes terribly.

My advice: Let the title and subtitle take up at least half of the cover, in a clear but professional font.

And for Pete’s sake, lose that skull.  You don’t want the subtext of the cover to be “Bitcoin will kill us all.

Other comments?

 

Comments

  1. The treasure chest and bitcoin are quite sufficient to get your idea across. The skull and other elements (the two grey symbols above the coin) are not only unnecessary but confusing…especially when they are obviously tacked on.

    If there is any place in the world where the dictum “less is more” is true it is in book cover design.

  2. Hmm, maybe it’s just me but I don’t get this cover at all. This is a factual book right? A manual of sorts,not a fiction book?
    I think it needs to be much more practical and way less dramatic. Think self help manual not fantasy pirates. It needs crisp lines,easyto read fonts and subtle coloring. I think the only keepable part is the coin

    1. Indeed, those covers aren’t so different from this one. For a simpler cover that still gets the job done, there’s this more 2-dimensional cover, and for those who like a fancier cover, we have this popular example. As I say, other than maybe needing some unique gimmick to set this book apart from those others (such as a pair of scales), designing the cover for this book’s target audience shouldn’t be too difficult. This path is well-traveled in English and shouldn’t be too difficult to navigate in French.

  3. Well, it’s finally happened: a foreign author has finally given us a literal application of Ron Miller’s test of how well the casual viewer understands a book’s cover if all the text on it is in a foreign language. My having studied Spanish in college and having machine translation available to me now makes understanding the French on this cover only marginally easier. Whether this is Canadian French or the original French of France I can’t discern, and it probably doesn’t matter anyway; the main concern is how well the cover’s imagery advertises what’s in the book.

    Judging by the submitted description and the machine translation of the text, this is a lot like one of those Complete Idiot’s Guide To… or …For Dummies books on various topics one sees here in the USA: the title translates roughly as Cryptocurrencies Explained To My Father, and the pitch on the back promises an explanation of cryptocurrencies simple enough for everyone to understand. Assuming that explaining things to one’s father is the French idiom for being able to explain things in layman’s terms, the text is doing its job, then; but are the images doing theirs? Unless speaking the French language produces some unique cultural association between pirates’ treasure and cryptocurrencies I’m just not French enough to understand, I’m afraid not.

    As with many kinds of books, studying what kinds of covers other books on similar subjects have on them is illuminating to the immediate task. Judging by these other covers, the only truly necessary imagery for the covers to guides to cryptocurrencies is various symbols of the specific cryptocurrencies being discussed. Optionally, one may also wish to superimpose these symbols on further symbolic representations of the internet, such as computers or circuitry or a global map with the countries connected by lines of light.

    For this cover, I’d keep the Bitcoin and Ethereum diamond symbols and dump everything else; the pirate symbols aren’t really relevant to this particular genre of nonfiction. If the author wishes the cover to be different so it’ll look a little more original than the others, however, I do have one suggestion: this apparently being a bit of a risk/benefit analysis in addition to a layman’s guide, he could try showing a pair of scales with the various cryptocurrencies being weighed on one and traditional forms of capital (paper currency, gold bars, etc.) being weighed on the other. Well-known as scales are for being symbols of comparison, I haven’t actually seen a cover on the subject of cryptocurrency featuring them as yet.

    1. Indeed, Ron Miller be praised. Sadly, it appears I failed the test.

      My message was “You can make a fortune but there are risks involved” and it ended up being viewed as “Pirates & cryptos”.

      Removing the skull might do the trick, so I am not giving up on the concept just yet.

      You are correct in assuming the title means “Cryptocurrencies Explained To My Father” and that it is some kind of “for dummies” book, save for the fact I would not call my father a dummy, nor a complete idiot.

      It’s not a French idiom per se, but works reasonably well in French and the title generated positive feedback from the few French people surveyed.

      The title can be taken quite literally as the book was written to answer my father’s many questions. No matter how much I explained on the phone, the questions kept coming and he kept asking me to write it down. Eventually, I figured it would be easier to just write a book, and if nothing else, it did answer my father’s questions, so I am already ahead of the game.

      About making a cover similar to the many other covers already on Amazon, nice and neat with just the cryptocurrencies symbols, I have some reservations:

      – It would be no different from the other books on the subject, and as a late entry on the market, I don’t see that as a positive;
      – It doesn’t communicate any wealth accumulation potential, nor any risk;

      The scale idea has its merits, however:

      There is no “get rich” connotation with a scale, the book is not about a comparison, and scales are usually associated with legal matters, to the point that if you type “law book cover” in Google images, half of the covers have a scale of some kind.

  4. If I was the owner of Bitcoin and saw this cover, I’d be dialling my lawyers to initiate action because the imagery could be seen as defaming their brand.

    1. Why do you think that? It seems a fairly straightforward “how to” or “all about” (yadda-yadda for Dummies) type book. The pirate gold chest is hardly defamatory; Bitcoin arose on Pirate Bay and other Darknet sites.

      I’m really curious as to your thoughts? I have no skin in this cover’s existence–I’m just wondering.

      1. Also, what owner? Even the people who invented Bitcoin don’t have much control over it at this point.

        By the way, seems the author already published this book last Tuesday. The Kindle version‘s cover has the skull, and the paperback version‘s doesn’t. With all the volatility in cryptocurrency markets lately, I guess he figured it was publish or perish.

        1. RK said:

          Also, what owner? Even the people who invented Bitcoin don’t have much control over it at this point.

          I meant to mention that, too–what owner, indeed?

          In the GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike) category, I, too, was thinking of the Miller Test the moment I espied the proffered cover. 😀

        2. That, and not receiving the notification mail about my cover being posted.

          I had already wasted a month waiting for a couple artists to produce the cover I ordered from them, and I wasn’t too keen on waiting for comments that didn’t seem to be forthcoming.

          About the “owner”, you are correct. The original inventor released Bitcoin anonymously, and the main point of cryptocurrencies is that they operate without being subject a specific authority (although it could be argued that the development team does have a significant amount of control).

  5. Author/publisher here. Sorry to leave you hanging and thanks for all the comments. I didn’t receive an email notification and thought my cover wasn’t getting posted for review.

    This cover concept isn’t what I had in mind originally for this book, but after ordering the cover from 2 different artists and wasting about a month in the process (one artist delivered a cover worthy of a third grader, the other didn’t deliver anything after 20 days), I ended up having to do it on my own.

    As such, I had to scrap the original concept (I can’t draw well enough to do it) and go for something which I could produce.

    About the various points raised:

    – Scaling down the gold chest and making the title bigger:
    Makes sense.

    – Getting rid of superfluous symbols:
    I can see that.

    – The skull:
    The skull was meant as much as a warning as an attention grabbing element, especially considering it was released right after the bubble burst (great time to buy, poor time to publish), and I agree it’s just too much and too negative for this book.

    – The “pirate chest”:
    The gold chest was meant to communicate the idea of “making a fortune, but not without risks”.

    The subject is certainly not lacking in titles (many of very dubious quality – some are even Google-translated versions of existing English books, that’s how bad it gets), and I figured setting my book apart from those might help.

    Also, just throwing some coins on the cover (like most covers do) does not communicate the idea of getting rich nor the idea that there are risks involved.

    Looks good, but to me it just screams “yet another Bitcoin book”.

    I still like the gold chest concept because it does get the idea across, and because it stands out from the multitude of template-like covers.

    – The fonts:
    The main font used is “Akron”, a “computer/tech” font. I have tried a bunch of other fonts and I haven’t found anything “computer-related” and readable.

    Very much open to suggestions.

    The subtitle script is “French script”. It is typical of the cursives learned in French schools and most French adults would associate it with school & learning.

    I realize it may not have the same connotation for English speakers, but for French readers, it communicates learning and simplicity, which IMHO makes it valuable even if it doesn’t look quite as good as some other cursive fonts.

    Again, thanks a lot for all the feedback. I will submit another (and hopefully better) cover soon.

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