I’ve done three possible covers for SUZEE DELIGHT. Posting them below, and would very much appreciate a vote on the one you like best.
I’ve done three possible covers for SUZEE DELIGHT. Posting them below, and would very much appreciate a vote on the one you like best.
I like the colour of cover 1,the text of cover 2 and the image on cover 3.
But the text on 1 and 2 is the same…
All three say “romance novel” to me. If I didn’t already have some idea of what it was about, I would immediately dismiss this book based on any of those covers. The design of #3 looks the least amateurish, because you can actually see the artwork clearly, but your name is still covering up the middle of her face. That just looks sloppy to my eye.
There should be some other artwork on the cover besides the model to indicate that this is a sci-fi story in the Cadence Drake universe. That’s my opinion as a reader who is already interested in giving you his money.
I definitely like no. 3 the best out of them, it is the most eye-catching. The first two reminded me too much of many of the automatic book cover makers lay-outs. Seeing the imagine of the girl definitely is more intriguing. That said, I have no idea at all what this story is about, and I saw someone mention it was SF. From the cover I immediately through it would be able the selling of a prostitute/human trafficking type book. If that was the look you were going for, then it is spot-on, but I am not sure how/if that connect to SF…I suppose now I will have to read the story to find out!
Geez…lots of typos, sorry. That’s what I get for trying to comment while stopping the puppy from chewing my laptop cord, and the baby from eating a flip flop! I live in a crazy house.
If the story takes place in the 40s or 50s, I would definitely use #1. It has that film noir feel to it.
I would like to see smaller text to uncover her face. This would make me want to check out the book.
Out of the options, I like #3 the best. The colors really stood out in that image. I like the idea of #1 too – with the female figure half on, half off the page. But I don’t like that the text covers so much of the artwork that I can’t really appreciate the artwork. If you could go with the #1 concept while changing where the type appears, that could work better.
I like cover #3 as the graphic isn’t overwhelmed by the text. The graphic bothers me a bit as the lips and under the lips look grungy and I don’t think that is what you want to convey. Could be my settings but I have a high quality graphics card in an iMac and it is showing black streaks on the lips, under the lips and on the chin. I’m also not sure about her cheek and neck – is that supposed to be a tatoo or hair whisps?
The character portrait pulled me in and makes me want to read the story because I wonder:
1. Who is this woman?
2. Why is she being sold?
3. Is there a special meaning behind her makeup?
4. Is the feather and the emblem beneath it a symbol of something that’s pertinent to the story? (As a reader, I hope so.)
Obscuring her face in the other covers does nothing to make me want to know more about her, nor does the color have an impact.
For the other two covers with the smaller images of Suzee, my logical mind notes the author and the story title and thinks, “Meh.” My emotions are not evoked by those covers.
The cover needs to make me care about Suzee as a person, if that helps. The character portrait does that much more than “The Selling” title does. For me, no mystery at all is created by the lower part of her face being obscured in Covers #1 & #2.
Holly’s name being laid over a portion of Suzee’s eyes/nose in #3 isn’t a problem; my brain fills in what’s missing.
1) got me right away. She is entering the page bringing some anticipation. Not fully seen adds mystery. The color adds warmth which feels more inviting to care about a living person (whether she is alive or not). The blue is too cold and the black and white too —- OK so it’s not black and white but you see how I registered it.
I totally agree. Me too!!
Something about her being in the background and the title at the forefront…the title is compelling, intriguing…especially with all the human trafficking stories in the media and entertainment lately. Then seeing a face behind it all…there’s a live human being behind the headline. I want to find out more.
Definitely No.3. The lady’s face is what attracts the reader. The title is secondary, although obviously important. I like the balance of the two in 3.
I like the text best on 3. Covering her eye didn’t bother me in the least.
Also, I should mention that I WILL BE buying this based on name recognition. I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for the book, I’m hooked on the series, and I read extensively in the genera.
Of course, you could put it in a plain brown wrapper and I’d still buy it.
*Genre (darn auto correct)
I had to go with cover #3, because we see the face clearly on who the book is about; her emotion, her looks, the style of who she is. One thing I’m not too fond of is how large the author’s name is compared to the actual title of the book. Being at the top, it adds emphasis, when really the first thing the reader should be looking at is the title, then the author.
But as for looking at covers to automatically buy something, definitely #3.
A) Lose the humongous name covering her face. B) The soft blue feels too laid back, casual. Red or warm tones would reinforce the assassination/danger theme. C) It conveys porn instead of science fiction. Adding a small “techie” element like a stylized piece of jewelry that’s obviously not from a feudal japan or even the modern era may be subtle enough to hint at the futuristic time period.
I like the third one best (the order of preference is 3, then 1, then 2). But I voted for “Other” because I thought that the text on 1 and 2 might look good on the #3 cover–IF you tried it without the curve. I don’t like the curved text on 1 and 2. Also the girl’s image on 1 and 2 is too small–it’s swallowed up by the text. I do think it’s a good choice of image, though.
I love the art on cover 3, although the arrangement of the text seems a little awkward – the author name partially covers one of her eyes, and the title text seems artificially narrowed.
I would say that #3 is the most eye-catching, but the text over her eyes is killing me, and it feels like a romance cover. I’m worried that anyone who bought based on just that image would end up getting something other than what they expected.
I really like the idea of echoing the design elements of the Enter The Death Circus cover, so I would suggest going with #2 or #1 and adding a second image in the currently blank space–a relevant landscape, the Longview, just something to balance her out.
I agree that since it’s a series, it should have the same look as the first book. Because that book was done in blue tones, I’d go with the red for this one to distinguish it.
Agree with the type over the face. It just looks wrong.
I voted for cover one. I thought it would be better to glimpse the main character rather than show a detailed “photo.” First, it allows the reader to complete the description of her once they are within the book. Also, as this is Episode 2, it is likely that readers of Episode 1 already have an image of Suzie in their minds. In both cases, it would be better to avoid having the reader think “That’s not what she looks like.” From a marketing POV, I would not want a potential buyer to skip the book because they did not like the way she looked.
I also preferred the dark coloring of the first cover as a contrast to the name of Suzie Delight.
I liked the third one best, partly because the other two were TOO MUCH typeface and not enough picture. Though I appreciate the title of the book and the name of the author have to be big in today’s publishing market, there is such a thing as overdoing it.
Definitely #3 for me. It’s the only one that concentrated on Suzee and not the color overlay.
Personally I don’t think you need heavy background color to draw in your readers. Good luck with the decision, although it looks like most of us so far have chosen in a big block for #3.
I liked the first one. Really wild how you did the font. I have never seen it done quiet like that before.
Three is more visual. I left a comment in the other voting section about the font design.
Number Three, and it wasn’t even close. One and Two bury Suzee in big print so that you have to hunt for her. Three looks like a sales offering, and I’m tempted to buy…
Best of luck with her!
It’s a toss up with cover #1 and cover #3 for me. Although cover three stood out the most because of the image, for me the title usually captures my attention. I find the word “Selling” to be the most intriguing part of the title, but in cover #3 it seems to fade to the background. Perhaps other, with a decently large image but the title more bold like in the first cover.
I would definitely tone down the author name. Guidance I was given was that if the author’s name alone sells the book, then by all means make the author’s name bigger than the title, otherwise, unless you have already topped the NYT best-seller’s list or won your Hugo or Nebula or whatever (oops I gave away my genre), make the book title bigger than the author’s name. I love what you have done and the service you provide but honestly, for the first time when viewing this cover, I thought “Who does she think she is?” And I was vaguely annoyed at having the author’s name hide the magnificently peacocked eyes of the girl. Nonetheless #3 is my favorite.
I definitely liked #3 best. I don’t like the curved fonts at all in the first two, and the words take up the whole space. However, I have to wonder since you used the face in the left half of the first two covers, why you don’t do it in a similar way for #3, but put it in the right corner/half instead? That way little of the wording will overrun the picture, and the eye will have that full circular, “read the words then see the picture at the end of reading” kind of thing that all my art teachers always told me to do. Just a thought.
I know I commented when I submitted my vote, but just in case it was too long and the system hiccuped.
Love the closeness of the girl’s face on #3, but the text overlapping it detracts from the whole cover, at least for me. I think the girl needs to be more predominantly featured here, less so Holly’s name. Not to knock you down, Holly – love you, your books, your courses – but the cover in my opinion is supposed to sell the story, not the author. With that in mind, smaller font for ‘Holly Lisle’, so it’s all on one line – preferably above the eyes, let the potential buyer see her eyes and connect with the girl. Just below chin line and in the same font size, ‘The Selling of’. This leaves her face fully visible and slightly more vulnerable, particularly with the idea of her being sold and the second part of her name. Then ‘Suzee’ and ‘Delight’ on two rows below, same font size as currently is. I would suggest the text go straight across, no warping. Anyways, good luck with this book, Holly. Cheers!
Also, the popup ad when I came to this page, that pops up again after leaving the comment, is really annoying.
True, the pop-ups are kinda annoying. And the font is… a bit bold. 😀 sorry, Holly, but your name is wayyyy too big.
3 is way the best from a design perspective, but they all look like geisha porn, not like science fiction, and the title reinforces that. And text shouldn’t cover the face – the face is what draws me in.
I really like cover #3, but would bring the font size down to give more of a feeling of space on the cover.
I voted for other and wrote a lengthy explanation. Don’t know if you got it though cause it doesn’t show up in the results.
3 jumps out the most but they all seem to need something more in the background.
I like #3. The first one made me think it was a Chinese historical book from the red dress in the background. The second one gave me the chill of horror. The third one let me read all on the cover and want to read the flap to find out more. Hope this helps. Good luck and congratulations!
I like three because of the drama of the image, the pale skin tone and forlorn expression, caught my eye immediately. the alignment of the typeface is bold without dominating the power of the image. I would be drawn to this on a webpage or a bookshelf. The only suggestion i could possibly offer would be to slightly darken the over-all image of her face, and pehaps hilight the reflections more strongly in her eyes, so that they draw you in… but hey! I ain’t one o them fancy art critic types…I just know what makes my cork pop ya know? best of luck, and good fortune with the book holly! p.S. Did you paint this? It’s
#3 hands down for me! Loved the use of colour against such a dull background. The subconscious message I get from this cover is your possible theme; that Suzee stands out and is not afraid to be different. Another reason it’s #3 for me is the font – it looks organized. The curved font throws me off and I’m not sure what the intended message is, however it seems ‘really’ important. My only other comment would be, you could dilute the picture of Suzee perhaps, but I find it intriguing just the way you have her and would buy it with this cover. 🙂
I very much like the third cover, although what if you modified it somewhat, so that your name is a little smaller and sits on the woman’s forehead/eyebrows instead of partially covering her eyes, as it does now? Don’t know, maybe I’m just being nit-picky about the aesthetics. I really love the colors, and the larger image.
While I voted on 3, I think there is something more lurid about 1. I think that you could add an element of that to 3 and would have even more of a winner.
I love #3. The contrast between the words and the image really pop, giving it an image that draws the reader in before even opening the book.
The font size should be reduced on Cover 3 (my favourite).
I agree. I’d reduce the size of the name so that it’s not covering up her eyes so much. The first thing people usually notice about a picture of a person is their eyes. Uncovering more of them would draw a reader into the book more. IMHO. The color of the photo are vivid enough that I wouldn’t do a color screen like was done in #1 and #2.
I would also make the title a smaller size so it isn’t so cramped. It’s a little hard to read. Or you could make the photo smaller and move it slightly down and right so that the type covers less of her actual face.
Curved type tends to scream amateur design, particularly when the other text is straight.
I liked the 3rd cover best, because it was richer and sharper. The name o the story includes a womans anme, and the cover gave a real sense of her, because I can actually see more details. It hints at mystery too. I think the sharper color combinations that trigger the feeling of mystery. I can see her expression, and she seems more real than just a thought like the other covers, so the image gets some sympathy and curiosity for me. The picture doesn’t dominate, but reveals enough to provoke an emotion. I would look at the book from the cover alone with #3.
Sorry for the typos did not proof, oops. I think the image too makes you feel it is about somebody real hitting that universal people are drawn to stories about people kind of thing too.
I am more intrigued by the face, which is shown best in #3, than by a bigger title.
Cover 3 definitely looks the most professional. It might benefit from some more attention to the font (a /very/ subtle drop shadow, maybe?).
I like the technique described in this tutorial: http://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/dirty-design-create-a-grungy-thriller-book-cover–psd-5698
Skip the grungy stuff and go straight to the font. You wouldn’t know to look at the example at the beginning, but they’ve done a lot to the font for that cover. I found that the techniques in this tutorial really helped make the font “blend” with the background, and gave it an extra bit of polish without looking too cheesy like a more simple drop shadow sometimes can. 🙂 At least, that’s my opinion! Everyone has a different taste!
Oh, and I forgot to mention… Part of what’s not grabbing me about the first two is that there’s a really large “white space” in the background image. It feels like there’s something missing there. That design could work just as well if there was maybe some faint background image like a landscape of some kind. Or maybe if the text for the title was “off set” so as to look like part of the image instead of another layer. (Just my thoughts! Hope it makes sense!) 🙂
I don’t like curved text. It is rarely done really well. I’m spoiled, though, hubby has been in graphics software for years.
#3 jumped out at me instantly. The bigger image jumps out and grabs my attention. On the other two, the image is too much in the background for me. If I saw that face on a book cover in a bookstore, I’d pick it up and read the sleeve. The other two, probably not unless it was something I was already anticipating coming out.
First, I LOVE your stories. I’m only commenting because you did ask for opinions. So in answer to your question, to be honest, none of these would entice me to click. I suppose #3 comes the closest, but the type on her face is really driving me nuts. I’m just not sure these covers fulfill the promise that lies within the pages. They don’t sell the story, to me.
Just my humble opinion. No disrespect intended to the designer. I do love the girl…the colors and such are interesting…if I could really SEE them. But the type completely steals the show, and not in a good way. In a “I’m in Microsoft Word” sorta way.
Agree completely with this comment. At least don’t cover her eye with the text. The type on #3 is best, but still too gaudy. And the overall feeling has a touch of angsty teen which I’m not sure you want… I do like the image in 3 though.
Cover number three is more original looking. The other two just feel like templates to me. 🙂 I like the text better on three too.
Please don’t use the bendy type. I also agree with Nancy. The image in #3 is much more striking.
Cover #2 had a quality of mystery that pulled me in.
Cover #2 has a quality of mystery that pulled me in.
#1 jumped out at me more than the others. I would definitely go straight to the blurb to see what the book was about.
Hi Holly! Liked 3 the best, but it really doesn’t give me the slightest clue what this book is about. Need a bit of cue – is this sci fi or fantasy? Title implies some sort of slavery but there’s nothing that indicates Suzee is under duress. Also, I’ve heard that photos sell best for advertising. Maybe that applies to book covers, too. I am intensely grateful that you didn’t cut her head off.
I love #3. And you have to remember that folks are buying now based on thumbnail images, so the larger the image, the clearer it will be.