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Blood Diva

The author says:

What if Paris’ infamous party girl didn’t die of consumption at 23 in 1847? Blood Diva is a sometimes humorous, erotic look at love, sex, romance, celebrity, destiny and the art of seduction, that asks a simply question – Can a one hundred ninety year old French courtesan find happiness in 21st century Brooklyn without regular infusions of fresh blood?


Nathan says:

I like both the concept and the artwork chosen, but the resolution is too low; you can see the fuzzy pixelation that’s a dead giveaway for an image found on the web and blown up.  The contrast is especially obvious when comparing any straight lines in the artwork with the lines of the font.

And speaking of the font… Too, too dull. You don’t need something ornate — the artwork takes care of that — but explore try to find either something period or, for contrast, something very current and edgy to indicate that the story takes place in the present.  (I’m not sure how well my second suggestion would work; it would depend a lot on the specific font.  You’d have to try and see.)

Also: The modifications to the art to make the fountain flow red are really, really primitive. Take the time to do it right.

Here are other things I’d do:

  • Reduce the unused space at the top and bottom of the poster, either completely or to a symmetical border.
  • Play with the color balance, upping either the green or blue, to give the image a slightly unsettling/otherwordly aspect — you don’t want the cover on a vampire story to be too warm and sunny.  (But make sure that the blood still looks like blood.)

Anyone else?



  1. Except for the title font, I can imagine this cover on a trade paperback in a bookstore. However, the image doesn’t quite pop; the artistic treatment could probably be improved to give it a little of that pop. You can really see how plain the title font looks in the thumbnail. Also, the uneven borders at the top and bottom bother me (and now I notice it at the left and right, too).

  2. I agree that image is lovely – that definitely works. 🙂 I don’t care for the typography (not that I’m an expert by any stretch). Maybe play around with some other fonts on Font Squirrel (free fonts) or My Fonts (some free, mostly paid). Yet another free site is Font Space.

    For instance, on Font Space, typing in Romance brings up a number of fonts, like Love Is Complicated Again, etc. Just be aware of the licensing; some are free for personal use only.

    Also, the author name gets lost in the thumbnail; might want to make that bigger once the font is decided on.

  3. Based on the book’s description, I’m not sold on the appropriateness of this art. It seems too Greek revivalist in an Art Deco way–granted Greek Revival was popular in the mid-19th century, at least in architecture, but her dress doesn’t have a mid-century vibe where sexiness ran at odds to propriety.

    Also, I don’t get hints of the more obvious elements of the story: French, mid-1800s, seduction/erotica, moved through to modern NY vampire tale. The cover approach seems muddled, as if you’re settling for something that might be suggestive of the story or character. There’s a sexy “posterish” girl in “costume” and a bloody fountain. Eh. The imagery might have relevance to the period she was born into, but I’m not getting it easily. I have to reach for it and then it’s tenuous rather than striking. And since your story blurb doesn’t mention the early 20th century (Art Deco period), I’m having trouble inserting that as a significant period or part of the story (could be wrong!) you’d want to represent in the cover. I am getting that a large part of the book is probably set in modern Brooklyn and the cover doesn’t suggest that at all either.

    I just realized what this cover reminds me of: a Phryne Fisher novel–those are set in the 1920s-30s. Good reads if you’ve never indulged. And while Phryne stories can be sexy and filled with liberal characters and views, they’re detective novels, and not erotic or vampire or fantasy.

    Totally agree with Nathan. The quality of the image seriously detracts from the few positives it might have and the font choice is bland as unsalted saltines.

  4. The cover doesn’t really work for me, mainly for reasons already mentioned: the feel is too bright for a vampire novel — even a humorous one — and the period looks to be jazz age/deco, whereas it apparently opens in 1847 and seems to take place mostly in present day NY.

    Also, ahem, there’s this.

    Even so, I think there’s still a lot of potential here, so following everyone’s suggestions, I thought I’d see what I could do with a stronger font and a darker take on the same artwork.

    1. I like most of the changes you made. I would get rid of the blood coming out of the fountain though, because that’s all the eye can focus on. But nicely done.

  5. I agree about the font and the way the blood has been drawn on. The artwork is OK, but the statue with the jar… well… the positioning is kind of unfortunate and the jar looks like the statue’s other boob at first glance. I would crop the pillars off the side of the image as they’re not particularly well drawn and detract from the image focus.

  6. I was visiting a book review site when I saw this cover. I knew that I’d seen it before. Not seeing it on LBC, I checked here. Figured that some of you might be interested.

    Here’s what’s live today. The author chose to change the font and make the illustration less grainy/blurry. I think the color of the blood in the fountain has been made a shade lighter.

    1. Hobo font. *shudders*

      Sorry VM, but I dislike Hobo font with a passion that would make the better looking blood in the fountain boil over.

  7. This is La Fontaine de Coquillages, by Georges Barbi, from 1913. Surely, a better copy of it can be found, which presumably is now out of copyright. It’s a pretty famous image. Most of the versions available for, um, borrowing, online are smallish, though–too small to be used for an ebook cover in today’s marketplace (which needs certainly not less than 1,000 pix on the horizontal plane). Sirona is right-it’s highly reminiscent of the Phryne Fisher novels, rwhich are, of course, set in that time frame (the 20’s).

    As much as I like the Barbi image, the author should buy one of the larger-sized posters, scan it or have it scanned at the correct resolution, and then have the resulting image tweaked. It’s a shame to ruin the idea behind the image with the crap resolution.

    I concur that the tweaking–the red for the fountain, etc.–needs a surer hand and some effort put in to make it more viable.


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