VOTING HAS NOW CLOSED. Click here to see the final version of the cover art.

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.


Cover #2

Cover #3

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107 responses to “Possible Cover Art for THE SELLING OF SUZEE DELIGHT”

  1. Ernest Avatar

    Well, I dunno if my comment went through. I will summarize what I said earlier. I went for ‘other’ because this kind of cover is popular and not just intriguing enough to make me want to read it. I would rather prefer something shady. That would grab my attention even if I know at the back of my mind it is still romance. (I’m sorry, romance is just not my thing). And if this is a SF, I don’t think the cover is appropriate enough. And for the font, I think it is already too big. All three of them. I am not against the title having big fonts. All these is not to say you haven’t done a good job but like all things, there is room for improvement.

  2. John M Avatar
    John M

    Number 3. Why? Well the lady is wearing a “sleeve”. One does not get ink unless the ink is important to them. To obscure it with text indicates you don’t agree with its importance (or perhaps ink in general). Besides, it is a very artful piece and should be seen. IMHO.

  3. Stacy Avatar

    #3: Simply because the layout and colors made me pause and actually look at everything on the cover.

    The other two covers seemed too busy or too distracting for my eyes. I just wanted to scroll right past them.

  4. Anton Avatar

    This is a romantic novel? I thought it was some SF. Your SF usually has plenty of action in it. Why don’t you show some action on the cover?

  5. Wendy Avatar

    I am least attracted to #2 – the color is too cool and remote for me and vaguely reminds me of bad fluorescent lights. #1 is warmer but I like the *color* composition of #3 better. The caveat is that for all three the art seems to be so unimportant, it looks like an afterthought. I understand that name recognition (and findability) are important to you but all three accomplish that at the expense of making it obvious that the art is insignifcant (as seen in indiscriminate covering of the model’s face in all cases- rather than her dress or hair). If I were a reader who didn’t know your name, the covers here wouldn’t catch my attention other than causing me to think they had layout issues. I think you kind of need to strike a balance between the varying audiences.

  6. Neil Campbell Avatar
    Neil Campbell

    I voted for #3 cover, but I don’t really like any of them as is. The author name is so large that it hits me in the eye and detracts from the picture image which is good. Also the title is squeezed in with emphasis (by size) on the girl’s name. The full title gives some clue to me as to the nature of the book, whereas the name part gives the impression of a romance genre. For me, the present size perspective of the author name, book title and girl picture doesn’t gel. Of course I know the author’s writing and would buy the book on that, but if I didn’t know better, I would think that the author is trying very hard to sell herself and not the actual book content. I must add that I am really only an inexperienced layman in the art of book covers, but the aesthetics are not a cohesive balance to my non-expert eye.

  7. Aryima Avatar

    #3 works best for me, but as others said already, it could do with some modification (font/arrangement, head slightly smaller).

    And it doesn’t ring any SF bells in me … too realistic. Suggestion: The same image, including make-up and dress details, but not as a photo. You could have it painted/airbrushed the way many SF and Fantasy covers are. That way it will look smoother and more artificial/hyper-real – and address SF readers rather than those looking for porn or romance.

  8. Tamara Meyers Avatar
    Tamara Meyers

    #3 is most appealing but if your name was a bit smaller it would look better.

  9. snowflashdrop Avatar

    Liked the color of #1 But the content of #3. I voted for #3

  10. Dave Tishendorf Avatar
    Dave Tishendorf

    I voted Other, but there was no indication it got through. So …

    I much prefer No. 3, but I think it needs some revision. I have never believed that the author’s name had to be in 200 point type so it could be seen in the thumbprint. If a reader wants a bigger view of the cover, he/she will click on it. So the first thing I would do is keep the author name in one line across the top. Your name is short enough that it would show quite well. As is, it is so oversized it almost comes across as a joke.

    That would give you room to do more with the title as well as give the readers a better look at Suzee. The word “Selling” would seem to be of major significance, and it needs to be emphasized. Right now it’s hardly readable.

  11. Elle Flynn Avatar
    Elle Flynn

    I went with other and left a reason why, but I’m not sure if it went through or not, so I’ll leave my comments here just in case. I think the strongest and most intriguing is number 3, but the text is so heavy it’s almost like you’re trying to hide the cover image rather than show it off. The image is the first thing potential customers are going to want look at, the text the last. I think that if you centered your text and made it all a bit smaller, especially your name so it could fit on a single line across the top, and then moved the title closer to the bottom, your cover would have a much more of a balanced feel. I’d recommend trying to make it so your name doesn’t cover either of her eyes at the top, and so the title doesn’t rise past her chin on the bottom. Rather than “The Selling/ of/ Suzee/ Delight” I would place the title as: “The Selling of/ Suzee Delight” as it’s a bit smoother to read. The color scheme is good, but I think if you limited your font choices to two, three at the maximum on the cover as a whole, it would tie everything together much better. Best of luck with the rest of the story!

  12. Azalea Avatar

    #3. Beautiful illustrated artwork always draws me to a book, at least to look twice. The title needs some expansion as it’s a bit difficult to read at thumbnail size. The thumbnails on amazon and such places are usually smaller than what you’ve got here. And like other commentators, the eyes are important and draw the potential reader’s eye to the book, so we need to be able to see them unobstructed.

  13. Michael Szynalski Avatar
    Michael Szynalski

    I have chosen cover 3 because it has more marketing appeal to alpha readers and to fans of your series of books. It stands out. When I go to book shops or the local libraries I will look at the jacket and then peruse through the book to see if it’s worth the read.

  14. Khem Caigan Avatar
    Khem Caigan

    Hi, Holly –

    I feel that cover #three coupled with a smaller
    fontsize for your name is headed in the right

    Kol Tuv,

    – Khem Caigan

    1. Todd Gilbert Avatar
      Todd Gilbert

      I agree with Khem. The eye trail in #3 is the best but the font should be smaller and more clear depending on what (girl, author name, title) you would like the reader to see first, second, and third.

  15. Raven Avatar

    I voted for #3, but I’d like to add that I’d like it more if you could find a way to stagger your name and the eyes better: the L and the E going into the eyes is pretty distracting, and I think if they eyes could show more, the entire cover would be more captivating. Maybe make the whole image smaller and then move it down just a little?

    1. Marie Dowd Avatar

      Don’t make it smaller, I like this one BECAUSE you can see the detail on her face and shoulder. The others are floating heads in text. Slide the face down a trifle and to the right a smaller trifle and you will see the eyes more. Eyes help a lot for sympathy so making them too small to empathize with won’t help.

    2. Paul Avatar

      I agree with the letters covering the eyes.

  16. Steven N Avatar
    Steven N

    None drew me in, enticing me to buy or want to read the book.

  17. david brent Avatar
    david brent

    Okay, yeah, something Misty said about the empty space in #1 and #2 that could be filled. I still think the title says more about the book, and is more intriguing, than just the face. Perhaps a slightly larger version of the face, and something in the background, but I would still lean toward more title, less picture. Still prefer #1

  18. david brent Avatar
    david brent

    Title, title, title. The girl is attractive, but unless you are selling romance or porn [the lines are blurring these days] I would focus on the title. With that said, the red shading adds a sense of urgency to the title, and Suzee [we assume it is her] is still visible in the background.

    IMHO, the SELLING OF is emphasized with the first cover.

  19. DJ Mills Avatar

    Voting comment disappeared before I completed it, sorry. 🙂
    Branding is needed for the series so keep the text layout the same as Episode 1, or if you change the text layout you will need to update Episode 1.
    Even the female image could stay, but the background needs to be the same as (or similiar too) Episode 1 to make it SciFi, because nothing about the cover (image or fonts) portray SciFi.

  20. Marvin Harvest Avatar
    Marvin Harvest

    #3 without the human. Right, just the letters. Marvin

  21. Jim Kerr Avatar
    Jim Kerr

    I liked 3 best. I enjoy your work Holly. You have indeed come a long way. Congratulations from your very old high school biology teacher.

    1. Holly Avatar

      JIM! I want to say here that you have been a massive influence in my career, first for making science——especially biology——so compelling, and second for telling us the story of how you changed careers from being a long-haul truck driver to teaching science.

      I’m sending you a copy of what will probably be the final cover (MUCH different than any of the three test covers, but heavily influenced by both the positive and negative comments I received.)

      And I’m delighted to see you here. Thank you for posting.

  22. Kit Daven Avatar
    Kit Daven

    I love the colouring and style for this image. My only complaint is that it would be better if the woman’s eyes could be seen, either by adjusting the size of the byline or by repositioning the image of the girl just a smidge.

  23. Denny Avatar

    I voted for number three and commented but maybe it did not register. #Three hands down. It puts Suzee right out there boldly and vividly. I might purchase this book based solely on the cover. It made me want to know more about this young woman as I know she has a story. Great Cover, Denny

  24. Shantelle Avatar

    I already voted for other because I dislike the font over her eyes on #3, but just had a thought about it. If you swap title and author names it would uncover her eyes and still leave all the fonts the same so “Holly Lisle” will still really pop. It could also enhance the arch of her neck and that line is really beautiful and intriguing.

    Good luck!

  25. Trent Avatar

    I like the colors better in #1. The lips look chapped in #3.

  26. Kathryn Kistner Avatar
    Kathryn Kistner

    I voted OTHER and did not leave a comment there, since some comments didn’t seem to get through.

    I know NOTHING about this book. I only know it’s SF because I read the comments; NEVER would have guess that based on the cover.

    I liked #3 the best, overall, but I didn’t love it the way it is. The other two did not look professional; too dark; too much of a struggle to figure out the background images; curved font.

    On first viewing, I thought the book would be about human trafficking or erotica (maybe both) because the girl’s last name is ‘DELIGHT’; obviously made-up.

    The girls lips, eyes, and below her mouth, seem bruised; not sure if it happened because she was ‘struggling’ or ‘playing’. (wink, wink)

    In thumbnail size, I see the huge author name, and SUZEE DELIGHT. The font is so tall and skinny that ‘The Selling of’ is not readable. I’m thinking more along the lines of erotica at this point, not trafficking. It was curious, too, that her first name was larger than her last; it looked odd.

    The cover feels contemporary, not science fiction; nothing in the font or image is beyond today’s ‘ordinary’.

    I really like your name in the light blue. It really stands out against her hark hair. The size could be a little smaller and still be easy to read by your followers, even in thumbnail size.

    I worry that your name takes up so much real-estate that the FULL title cannot be read at thumbnail size… and the part that can be read makes it seem like erotica.

    The image of the girl looks like she could be a run-away teenager that put on too much makeup to appear older. It adds a bit of a slut-factor. Erotica again?

    In the pictures of the girls in #1 and #2, there is an intensity to the colors… that was then masked with red or blue. If you add more color back to the picture in #3, it will look like eye shadow instead of bruising; it will also give her clothing an eye-catching intensity to draw our attention. With her strong high-contrast coloring (light skin, dark hair), she needs high-contrast (brighter or light/dark) clothing for it to balance.

    I like your idea, Holly, of making her image a bit smaller, so that her EYES fit under your name… and possibly flipping it. It would be really good if at the same time, you could make the full title more readable in thumbnail size.

  27. Theresa Givans Avatar
    Theresa Givans

    #3 is clearly the winner. Is she supposed to look like a zombie?

    1. Theresa Givans Avatar
      Theresa Givans

      Oh, and I agree that the text needs to get out of her eyes.

  28. Zette Avatar

    Haven’t been a round much for a long time! (Waves to Holly). I liked three, but I would pull the head down a bit to get the L out of her eye. The others seemed a bit too dark for thumbnails (and Nancy Roman pointed out how important those are now). Hope everything is going well with you, Holly. I think I’m finally getting back some energy and ambition.

    1. Holly Avatar

      Hey, Zette, it’s fantastic to see you. Private email coming.

  29. kimberly Avatar

    Hi – I don’t know if you’ll see my comments in the vote so I’ll write them here. Full disclosure: I don’t know what the book is about.
    I initially liked the color of cover 1 but it did make me think the story might be a Romance so if it is, that is a good color. I do like cover 3 overall but I would like to see the text off of the woman’s face. I like the cool colors of #3 but that does give me the impression that it may be a mysterious story.
    Thanks for asking!

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