Thursday, January 9, 2014

Help Liza choose a book cover

I lost my book cover maker and decided I would learn to do this myself.

It's not nearly as easy as I thought.

I've got a lot yet to learn.

But I've also got a book coming out in May, so I need to finalize on a cover. And I want your help.

In order to provide an educated preference, you need to know a bit about the book:


Humorous Late Victorian Mystery Series.


In book one, Xavier Thorn, the renowned sleuth thought to be the inspiration for Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, hires a young man, Victor Hamilton, as his assistant.

Only Vic is actually a young woman of 20. She'd decided at the age of 13 that living life as a man would be far more interesting than being a Victorian woman.

Vic proves to possess extraordinary intuitive skills and excels at getting clients to tell the truth. Still, Xavier is a bit surprised when he realizes he's fallen in love with the fellow. He thought his heart long dead.

Besides sorting out the romantic issues, and there are a great deal of them, they also solve four crimes. In the process ink bottles get thrown, tempers get frayed, secrets get uncovered, and feelings get hurt.

And lots of fun to be had in the process.

I now give you my covers. I've created rough drafts of the first two in the series in 3 different styles.  Please vote for your favorite style in the comments and tell me WHY you chose it.



#1







 #3
Saturday: I've made a couple of changeouts in the above due to prior comments.



Now if you like more than one, list your two favorite. If you hate them all, could you tell me what's wrong with the the least hated one which might improve it?  And if you have suggestions for improving any of these, let me know.

(For those of you who have given suggestions but don't see the changes made, it's because I want to decide on the the ongoing style of books before I invest in further refining of a particular book.) Thanks for helping me.

37 comments:

  1. You say these books are humorous mysteries, huh? Well, in #1, I kind of see a little humor in Book 1 (with her peeking between her fingers), but no humor whatsoever in Book 2 (I don't really care for the faces in that one, either). Also, the character in Book 1 kind of resembles Sherlock, so that might be a bit misleading. In #2, neither one conveys humor, but I like the layouts of each. and in #3, I just don't care for either one. Not sure my opinion means much since this isn't the genre I read, but maybe it'll help a little? Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Stacy. Xavier is the reputed real life Sherlock Holmes, so the resemblance is intended.
      Actually, book two is a dire situation (Xavier has gone missing) so while their is humor, it is dark humor.
      Thanks so much for providing your opinion. I greatly appreciate it.

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  2. I like the first book cover of #1 but I do not like the second. Of them all I like covers #2. I don't mind #3 but I don't like the faces in the magnifying glasses (mostly the second).

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    1. Thank you Sara. I appreciate the feedback.

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  3. I like the 2nd and the 3rd. the 3rd is more unique and stands out but to me the 2nd is more polished

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    1. Excellent differentiation of 2 & 3. Thanks

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  4. I like #2 and #3. Number two is fine, but in number 3 you add something whimsical in the lower right corner on each. Nice touch. #3 might make more sense if the background behind the magnifying glass was a photo, instead of a letter.

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    1. Interesting. It would have to Victorian aged photo, so the pic appears to a highlight of it.

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  5. I like number two the most, but not so much the book 2 version. It's quirky the way she's peeking out from behind him - I think the story would be funny. For the book 2 version of number 2, there are too many elements. Are they more on even footing? I would break it into two elements rather than three separate ones. You could have both of them looking at the criminal, maybe with her looking slyly at him or something. Or you could have him on one side how it is, but blend her and the criminal together into one element - have his face obscuring hers or something, kind of an opposite reflection of the first cover. Maybe that didn't make any sense, but I vote for #2.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Too many typos in my first response. Thanks for great feedback. I don't think I can combine Xavier & Vic because she can't find him. That's why she's so upset. I'll try merging the heroine and villain. I also have version with Vic and X and the Villain and X.

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  6. Replies
    1. So you don't think it looks too contemporary?

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  7. I like her peeking through her fingers in #1 and think that shows off the humor best. However, I also really like #2 for the first book. #2 for the second doesn't appear nearly as whimsical? Yet I assume there is humor in that one as well - maybe move her peeking through her fingers onto #2 Book 2?

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    1. The humor is darker in book 2. Xavier is missing most of the book and comes very close to dying. But even in such dire straits, there is humor. but it doesn't turn light hearted until late in the book. So I'm okay with book two looking darker.

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  8. I like #2 the best - gives that Victorian aura with a touch of mystery. Not sure humor is really telling on a cover unless its modern & cartoonish - which you don't want for Victorian. #2 :)

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    1. Yes, trying to express humor on a book cover is very hard. Maybe I'll stamp the word Hilarious on the cover. lol But seriously, shouldn't my name say as much some day?

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  9. I LIKE THE BOOK 1 OF VERSION 2. I LIKE THE BLUE COLOR CONTRAST WITH THE FIGURES, THE ACTION OF THE PIPE SMOKE. SPELLING OUT LATE VICTORIAN MYSTERIES IS A GREAT ID FOR READERS. YOUR NAME ON TOP IS IDEA. ALL WORDING IS EASY TO READ.

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    1. Thanks Ana. I'll try moving the name up and the Victorian stuff to the bottom of the page.

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  10. i prefer #2--blue color call attention to itself.and characters look more animated.(the man with a pipe like Sherlock Holmes imay be a little cliche)

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    1. Thanks Neva. He's reputed to have been Doyle's inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, and many clients actually call him Mr. Holmes (which he hates) so I'm comfortable with the connection.

      Delete
  11. Troublesome Assistant - I prefer cover one except for the type writer - so I'd vote for #3.
    Missing Partner - again vote for #3 - dislike #1 - eye was caught by large tattooed man and disliked that - #2 is too modern for a late Victorian novel - problem with 3 is it also has magnifying glass - as TA #3.
    The sepia works to give the sense of the Victoria time period.

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    1. Well the typewriter can be fired easy enough. Mr. Tubs (large man) plays a major role in the second book. and Jacko the pirate does as well, which is why they wanted on the cover.I suppose I ask one of them to leave...

      For style three I had intended the main subject to always be in the magnifying glass So removing the magnifying glass is creating a new style, which I can do. But if I do, there's not a great deal of difference between styles one and three

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  12. I like #3 for the first book. It was a hard choice between #2 and #3, but in the end decided #2 looked to modern. I really don't like any of the ones for book #2. I'm sorry. If I had to pick, I'd pick #3 again, because the guy in #2 looks too modern. I hope it helps. Tweeted.

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    1. You were very helpful. The book covers for the book 2s were done quickly so I could make a decision on style and stop bouncing all over the place, allowing me to focus on making better covers in the decided style. so don't apologize for not like any of them. I understand your issue with style 2. While it gives me the best 'freedom' to differentiate the stories and make pretty covers, it does seem too modern. Especially, with Vic on the covers. I assume you mean the villain in the bowler hat looks too modern..or do you mean Vic looks too modern. Since Xavier is barely visible, I'll assume you don't mean him. Ironically, I put the villain on the cover to try give more of a late Victorian flavor. The bowler hat was originally designed around 1849 and still worn in 1893, although I probably should reduce the height of the one in the pic, if I decide to keep it, which I don't think I will

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  13. I didn't like either #1s. I liked #2s best as a series look. I like #3 for the first book, but the second looks too similar, if that makes any sense. :) Good luck!

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    1. It makes complete sense. Style two offers me wider choices, but with Vic looking a great deal like a short haired woman, I worry it's too modernish. However, the style of 3 evidently get's old (use of magnifying glass.) But if you remove the magnifying glass, then you basically have the style of Style 1, which most everyone dislikes. I may be more undecided now than every. LOL

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  14. I'm leaning towards #2. The colors do more for me.

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    1. Blues & black are easier on the eyes than browns and creams.

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  15. 1 just doesn't work for me. Too comics. 2 I like a lot esp the second one. 3 is my fave but the 2nd isn't as tight as the first

    (I'm putting this tweet response here so I can keep all comments together

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  16. i understand about it looking contemporary but I don't think there is anything that stands out about the other two.I'm trying to think about how it will look in a thumbnail when someone looks o buy it. that's what I've learned from my indie self pubbed friends. You need a cover to stand out. I don't like #1 at all-I think the arm on the person in the second cover looks a little off. If it's a romance, there is really nothing to indicate it in any of them honestly, but #1 and #3 just don't grab me at all.
    Sorry

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    1. They are mysteries with an element of romance, as in two of the characters love each other. But the romance is not the core of the plot. And since they are constantly in danger, there is an element of darkness. However, I still laugh my way through them. I totally agree on the stand out issue of a cover. A book cover needs to be gorgeous, intriguing, or very different to catch a reader's eye.

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  17. I like #3, the one that focuses on your heroine and emphasize your character's resemblance to Sherlock Holmes. The blue covers I feel makes the book seem edge and dangerous more than humorous.

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    1. Well, there is constant bouts of danger. Vic is a trouble magnet and Xavier nearly dies in book 2. Actually, someone tries to kill one of them in every single book. Danger come with the job, but I manage to make it funny all the same. But darn if I know how to convey that on a cover

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  18. I think i like the number 2's the best but the second book cover needs to match the first better. The images on book 1's cover are sharp and clearly defined but those on book 2 are all washed out it would look better if they were sharp like book 1. The title on Book two is also too small compared to book 1 and i find my eye going more to the series title than the book title, needs to be a similar size to book one.

    Also i would try playing around with the image placement on the book 2 cover maybe even try one of the girl pictures from the other covers in her natural form.

    Hope this helps

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  19. I think i like the number 2's the best but the second book cover needs to match the first better. The images on book 1's cover are sharp and clearly defined but those on book 2 are all washed out it would look better if they were sharp like book 1. The title on Book two is also too small compared to book 1 and i find my eye going more to the series title than the book title, needs to be a similar size to book one.

    Also i would try playing around with the image placement on the book 2 cover maybe even try one of the girl pictures from the other covers in her natural form.

    Hope this helps

    ReplyDelete

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