Author Topic: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover  (Read 5357 times)

Offline Talisman

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    • June Austin
Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« on: March 05, 2007, 05:50:04 AM »
For some time now, Paul, who takes care of the publicity on behalf of my publishers authors, has been busy beavouring away behind the scenes sending copies of my book to various shops, reviewers and other influential people within the publishing industry. The feedback re the book itself has so far been very good, but they have been less enthusiastic about the cover. The view seems to be that it does not shout 'pick me up and read me' which is obviously not good.
 
Several of these people have commented that they would like the figures to come towards the reader from a light in the background, similar perhaps to come books on NDE's (near death experience). I have scoured both amazon and various book shops and spoken to them at length to also get ideas as to what does and does not work, and they suggested a red or orange cover with a strapline added as to what the book is about.
 
My partner Coran, who is a website designer and software engineer, has done some tweeking, the results of which have been added to my site, so as to gauge response. I am now then asking everyone I know to add comments of your own, as to which of the two covers who prefer and why.
 
The suggested new cover can be seen here http://www.juneaustin.co.uk/NewCover.html and all comments, both positive and negative would be much appeciated.

Thank you.

June
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline Conanthedoylarian

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2007, 05:55:35 AM »
Sorry mate I wouldn't buy it unless the back cover blurb and a glance through convinced me otherwise.

My first impression was that they looked tacky.  The second thought that came was over the pamphlets Jehovah's witnesses hand out which I've always thought looked naff.  This may just be personal prejudice but it is my genuine first reaction.

All the best with the book

Offline Big T

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2007, 06:24:24 AM »
June,
I took a look
They say first impressions are the ones that really count ... so I am going to be honest with you

I don't like either ... I think the images could be more realistic, appealing.
The addition of the strapline helps.
The word 'Man' conflicts with the Female image although I understand the meaning.

Not knowing the content doesn't help of course - one cannot gauge whether the cover is relevant.

Sorry for the negatives.

T
Big T  :o

Offline upturnedloobrush

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 06:25:18 AM »
Hi there - and I think it is great that you have the courage to open up the decision for others, it is not easy to do, especially when you have spent so much of your time actually writing the material for the book. I do have a world wide reputation as an Internet Photographic critic, and as such I have looked at thousands upon thousands of images on the net over the years. As has just been suggested by another post, the market for your material is maybe going to determine that potential readers will be more interested in what is inside than the cover itself, however you do of course have to maximise the marketability of the product. Just looking at the images there are three main points which immediately spring to mind. 1. Sorry to be blunt, but for me the characters do not seem convincing, the faces appear too bland, lacking character. A thought occurs that maybe you could try presenting Adam and Eve as more blurred images, nudity in any form sometimes has a negative effect. For example, Mother with child in bookshop, Mother is interested in your topic, but hesitates to pick up book whilst child is with her. 2.  Colour background is most certainly the way to go, just look at how the colours in the serpent’s body actually stand out against the coloured background. Also, I do not know if you will have a dust jacket or not, but of course a white cover picked up many times soon becomes tacky. 3. The gradation of the light is a good idea, and works fine with the image itself, but when you have words traveling across the gradation, you have to think of those people who do have sight difficulties - anything which confuses the brain when reading text is not always a good idea.  I have no interest in your subject matter at all, so cannot comment on the relationship between the image itself and your subject matter, but I do hope that my comments have helped in some small way.  

Offline DC

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2007, 02:59:35 AM »
Hi June,
   Just had a look at your covers, and I have to say I agree with Loobrush about the colours, they would certainly get me to have a look at the book. Unfortunately I also have to agree that the I would then find the subject matter did not interest me. However, we aren't discussing that, we're discussing the cover. So I would ask if you're planning to repeat the colour gradation on the spine? (Assuming a dust cover) That might be the first view some potential readers have of your book, and the gradation would stand out more than plain orange or yellow.
   I also think the 'morphing' from Serpents' tails to the double helix is a great visual effect, but it might be done better. In the pics on your site, it seems to be a very sharp change, almost as though the DNA is glued on to the Serpents. How about  half an inch of 'blurring' between the two? I think that would look better.
        Finally, I must also be honest and say that the figures just don't cut it for me, but unfortunately I can't say why. I feel  they look a little 'amateurish' somehow, compared to the rest of the cover, and so immediately detract from an initial good effect. I'd certainly try to do something with them, though as I say, I don't know what. Sorry, not much use that, is it?
   What ever you eventually decide, good luck with it!

Dave.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to
skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - open throttle in the other -
body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming : "Woo Hoo, what
a ride!"

Offline Talisman

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2007, 04:16:07 AM »
Actually it has been a great use. I emailed everyone on my mailing list and asked them for comments too, and have had several say the same thing re the figures. One lady also pointed out that Eve looks less confident and subservient tom Adam, and was that intentional? When I looked at the way she was standing she does have a point. They should look more equal. I was having similar thoughts myself re the figures actually - not exacty that they looked amateaurish, but more kind of cartonnish, I think would the word I might use. Need to talk then to the designer, and see what she can do.

Hadn't thought about the spine yet, but think the colour gradation might also be a good idea to include on that too. Like you say, it will make it stand out and immediately catch the eye. I think of the two I much prefer the orange one, as it has so much more energy, it feels more vibrant somehow and alive, which is what I need if people are going to start seeing this book properly. It has not done too badly (average of around 2 sales per week), but has been slow at times and could and should do so much better. It certainly has the potential. The orange cover I feel is the one to go for, with some small changes to the figures, making them more lifelike and possibly changking the font as well, so it looks more scholarly or academic if you like. Will try and ring Paul again today though and see what he thinks, once has seen it. He needs to showe it to a few people to gauge response I feel.

Thanks for all the comments though - might not like them all, but keep them coming, as they are useful !

June
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline Conanthedoylarian

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2007, 06:15:45 PM »
Sorry - but I didn't want to fib

Good luck with the book

Offline Conanthedoylarian

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2007, 06:19:05 PM »
...And I have frequently been known to be wrong.

Offline Talisman

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 10:25:49 AM »
You are only saying what you feel, so no need to apologise - after all, I did ask for opinions and I would rather people be honest than say what they think I want to hear. There is no point in that.

June 
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline paramour

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2007, 10:56:14 PM »
I have left a comment to you on your site, but have more to add re the discussion here.

I know in another thread I had mentioned liking the white better. But now seeing the two side by side, I have to admit the prange is quite sharp. I think I like it better then the white. heh. A woman's prerogative to change her mind. ;)

The figures: although I like them, I feel the above observations may have some merit. Have you thought about putting the figures into silhouette? Not sure how that would look, but it may be easier then redoing the whole sketch.

I like the font and the change of colour. I think the strap line may be made a little smaller, tho. It looks like it is competing with the original title imho.

And, last but not least: I love your book. I am about half way thru and it is absolutely fascinating! I am telling all my like-minded friends about it and they want to read it too! I hope your cover design issues work out. For what it's worth, I don't really go by covers much; I am only interested in what's on the inside. Unless it's a vintage leather collector's item, I don't pay much attention to the cover. But, for marketability and eye appeal along those lines, I can definitely see where you are coming from. I hope to have cover decisions to make one day, too! It all sounds so exciting! Congratulations, June! You inspire me! :)
~paramour.

Offline Talisman

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2007, 03:45:16 AM »
Wow, didn't realise that was you who left the comment in  my guestbook, I was wondering who that was. Seems like I am selling quite a few books on here these days then, which is great ! This is definately far and away the best writer site for networking in all sorts of ways.....

The general consensus so far does seem to be then - orange cover, make thje figures more realistic, and possiby in silhouette form , also make Eve look more assertive, plus make the strap line smaller and/or different font. The gradation also needs to blend over into the spine.

keep the comments coming though, I have been trying to contact Paul all week, but his emails keep bouncing back.  Cannot get hold of him today, since he has gone to another authors book signing event in Stevenage. Will try maybe tomorrow though or on Monday.

June   
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline paramour

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2007, 12:01:21 AM »
Glad to be able to help, June, and am so glad your book is doing well! This is a wonderful place, isn't it? :)
~paramour.

Offline Talisman

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2007, 05:38:31 AM »
Certainly is - that's why I'm here (unlike others I could mention ..... )

June
I used to be an aetheist until I realised I was God
www.juneaustin.co.uk
http://juneaustin.blogspot.com/
http://conversationswithpod.blogspot.com/ - helping POD authors publicise their work

Offline Allie

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2007, 11:26:59 AM »
I don't think there's any doubt about this for me - and I spend around €200 a month on books. It's definitely the first (the orange one on the left). Orange and red anyway have the psychological quality of screaming at you and demanding that you act, in this case by picking up the book. I couldn't guarantee I'd buy it once I've picked it up - I'd need to check out the opening, the blurb on the back, the content, and so on. But not only would I definitely pick this one up, I almost certainly  wouldn't pick up the white one, unless I had seen it recommended somewhere or I knew that the content was something I was very interested in. It looks just too passive and mealy-mouthed.

Nadine L

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Re: Feedback Wanted re New Book Cover
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2007, 12:32:44 PM »
June, any idea when the new cover will be out? Did you say you are using a larger font on the interior too? I'd like that.

Nadine