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Pink Strawberry Blossoms

The author says:

Pink Strawberry blossoms is a harem / coming of age story about a guy, Julius, who finds himself as the only guy in an all girls boarding house for the duration of his college course in animation. Being a playboy, Julius finds himself having to manage multiple simultaneous relationships while facing the uncertainties of his future…

Main title page

Main title page

Nathan says:

Now, part of the assumption behind critiques on this site is that the covers are for books to be marketed through mainstream platforms: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.  Thus, a cover designed to appeal to a small niche market might hit all the bases for them, but still garner plenty of criticism on this site.

With that said, it’s strong typography. The type does become pretty unreadable at thumbnail size, though; you should consider a stronger outline around “strawberry” at least, so that something is readable at that size.  Also, as most ebook sites have a plain white background to their pages, the edges of your cover are going to be invisible on those pages just like they are here; you should include a border of some kind simply for demarcation.

More substantively, I’d say that for a book with an “Art and Story by” byline, the cover should feature some of that art.  If you want the type to still be the most prominent thing on the cover, you can reduce the contrast of the image you add, fading it to the background. (I’m assuming, with the anime influence shown here, that any such image would be line art, which fare much better being used that way than photography or full illustration.)

Regarding the author’s name as given: I think that using a screenname for a byline would be a definite turnoff to potential buyers on the mainstream sites; it screams “fanfic” or “messageboard fiction collected into an ebook.”  This is another of those areas where the expectations of a niche market and the expectations of the larger potential market are in conflict.

(And by the way, the huge space between the katakana hi and the maru is really odd.)

Other comments?

Comments

  1. Ouch, why are they using fixed-width katakana characters? If they really want to include Japanese in the title, they need to use the proper character set. Here: ピンク.

    That said, ピンク苺の花 sounds clunky to me. I’m not a native speaker so maybe I’m wrong, but I would expect something more like ピンク色の苺花.

    1. Well, ピンク色の苺花 might work but the main idea is not emphasize the fact the the strawberry flowers are pink colored, but just to say that there are pink strawberry blossoms….its a rather ambiguous title that will get justified as the plot progresses.

      As for the font, I never noticed that error….thank you for the correction.

  2. Okay, so the font and word arrangement is nicely artistic, appropriately colored and all, but to me this isn’t a book cover. It’s a title with a byline. This “cover” doesn’t in any way give me young guy, boarding house, animator, or mismanaged multiple romances. Just from looking at the cover and reading the title, I get no vibes at all for what the book’s about or what genre it might fit into. It’s as blank as the all-white background, which I don’t mind in a cover (the white space) as long as what’s there suggests something about the story.

    I agree with Nathan that the byline and screen name business aren’t working. It makes it seem too casual and not to be taken as serious reading that you want someone to pay money for.

    Sorry, but while there are nice things going on with the font work, I just don’t think this cover is good sales material for the story you’re describing.

  3. Unless it actually takes place in Japan, the Japanese seems gratuitous and unmotivated. Yes, the poor handakuten is orphaned. And the outline and/or shadowing of the の is odd.

    But I rather like the English typographical treatment.

  4. The title treatment is nice, though at thumbnail size it looks like the title is “Strawberry”. The cover gives no hint at all as to what the story is about, other than possibly that it takes place in Japan.

  5. I’m assuming the book is erotic and requires a cover without explicit reference to the story. But, given the title, it could at least include some actual strawberry blossoms. I was puzzled by their absence.

    I was also puzzled by the inclusion of Japanese. Is there a strong Japanese component of the story that we don’t know about? Could this space be better used to house a descriptive phrase like “an erotic novel”?

    The book vanishes at thumbnail size, and even at large size. As Nathan said, it needs something to distinguish it from white page background. Just making the background a pale pink wash instead of pure white would help a lot. The title art would have to be strengthened to stand out.

    I was badly jarred by the contrast between the delicate lines and colours of the title followed by the stark black and harsh font of the logo and byline. That bottom line really spoils the feel of the cover. A more sympathetic font and colour would go a long way. Or put “by xxx” in the space where the Japanese is now.

    Which brings up another point, the name. If you want to use a pseudonym, that’s fine. But pick one that sounds like a human name, not a forum handle. Also, there’s no need to say “art and story by” when there’s nobody else to credit. Just say “by”, at most.

    1. Indeed a pale pink wash will work…added to the improvememts to be added. I appreciate the critique, Thank you.

      I will also make the title more distinct and do a thumbnail check ( never though it was THAT important )

  6. I like this simple design. The type works for me as it’s not distracting from other artwork; i.e. this is the only art. I don’t like the “by”-line. And I don’t understand the numbers following the (last? or probably pen?) name; it looks almost like an email address. I think it can work for the right market. The bigger concern is probably conveying what to expect from the content.

  7. Wow, thanks for all the input guys. originally when I uploaded the cover I could not find it on the site and so I though the site glitched me out, then a google image search for my logo( for fun ) returned my old post. I will definately add the recomendations and my real name. The book is actually a manga( japanese styled comic ) and the katakana was not THAT polished, I’ll admit that.

    The final cover I have in mind will actually feature a bit more on the cover though I will try to add a border and keep the minimalist style which is my signature.

    You guys have no idea just how much your input means to me. I truly appreciate the time you invested in the critique.

    I’ll upload the improved cover when I have it done.
    Currently I intend to release it as a webcomic on http://www.inkblazers.com then I’ll arrange to print it and also sell it in the digital stores.

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