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Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

Cover art critique

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Showing 1-25 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 25, 2012 12:17:27 PM PDT
Hello everyone, I would like to get an idea of why people chose the cover art for their books they did and how they did it. I don't really think cover art is very important for ebooks, but it is what people see first when browsing though they may never see it again.

Does clever or meaningful cover art add to the ebook file in the same way an elegant or meaningful cover on a real book does? I am interested!

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 12:26:56 PM PDT
I think it does. The cover to anything only adds to one wanting to go one step further to find out what it's all about. Older SF movies would come up with an idea first, then a poster would be made to see if there was any interest, then if there was, they'd make a movie around it. I think covers to ebooks are just as relevant--if done well, you'll want to discover and know more about the content.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 12:46:25 PM PDT
If you, or anyone, really, would like to upload or link to a picture of your own cover art I would really like to see it and hear the thought behind it.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 1:18:56 PM PDT
Actually, writers have little input when it comes to cover art. The art is determined by the marketing department.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 2:34:46 PM PDT
A. Davis says:
Cover art, even if it a relatively small jpeg on a website, can have an enormous impact on e-book sales and marketing. You want your readers to have an idea of what they are getting into. Let's face it, most of us DO judge a book by its cover. A bland stock image snagged from free-use site is far less likely to engender interest. Also, keep in mind the tone of your book. If you are writing a dystopian saga you certainly don't want fluffy bunnies and bubble lettering. Images of space are completely irrelevant to a futuristic medical drama.

Think about the best tags for your book and then search Amazon for similarly tagged books. Look at their covers. Decide what works best for you. I spent a rather large amount of money on my cover, but I am fortunate enough to be married to a computer game producer who works with very talented artists. My cover was a collaborative effort that I ended up being quite pleased with. In trying to adhere to the rules of this forum, I will not link my own book. If you wish to know more you can contact me through my webpage. I've listed several books with covers that I liked but none of them are my own.

Ready Player One
Sovran's Pawn (The Black Wing Chronicles Book 1)

-AC Davis

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 2:48:40 PM PDT
Of course it is. Come on, get wise.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 2:54:50 PM PDT
Mvargus says:

The saying "don't just a book by its cover," has to be one of the ones I hate, because it results in people thinking like you do.

When I'm browsing a list of books, I'm first going to check the authors to see if there are any I know. After that, I look at the cover and the description. For me, the cover is more important than reviews or claims of awards. And yes, once I download a book to my kindle, i'll probably never look at the cover again, but it helps me decide which books to look deeper at.

And the sci-fi area is one with the worst covers, especially in the indie area. Too many authors put some abstract art or space-scape on the cover and expect me to accept the reviews. I end up with no idea waht the book might be about, and usually no interest in spending my money to find out.

And yes, I do know that the big companies usually keep the writer out of the decision loop for cover art, but they also usually try to make the cover enticing.

Does this work perfectly. No, I've found books that did not match their cover at all, but many do, and it's another way to quickly sift through 10,000 books to find the 1-2 that I'm purchasing at any given time.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 3:08:17 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
Hi Gilbert, I have a friend who was asked to write a story to go with a fairly generic piece of fantasy cover art, then after he finished, the publisher decided to use another, much more interesting cover (which had nothing to do with the story, naturally).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2012 4:04:41 PM PDT
Zen Druid says:
For me, cover art adds nothing to an ebook. I don't look at the cover art when selecting a book (I go with author, title, subject) and I never bother with it after I have downloaded it since the ebook seldom if ever opens at the cover.
I realize my opinion differs from most. I would certainly encourage an ebook author to put a good cover on their book for good sales since most people seem to look at that. I just don't care, especially since a lot of cover art has little to do with the book it is on and the characters on the cover never look anything like I imagine the characters to appear.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 5:29:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2012 5:30:38 PM PDT
Dragonstark says:
Covers are a bit hard for me. Because I wrote about space dragons, I put a dragon on the front:

That cover slowly wore off on me and didn't give the book the feeling I was looking for, so I drew another one:

But that cover didn't stick with m either. Drawing the dragon onto the cover made it feel like a cliche fantasy novel and did not give off it's epic feel, so I decided to go with symbolism:

The third cover, Womb Dragon/Yin-Yang Dragon, gave off the feeling that closely matches the book without becoming too "animated/fantasy-ish." Which cover would you prefer?

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 1:54:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 1:55:39 PM PDT
Mrs. Garside says:
The cover image should have some relevance, either to the mood of the story or an actual event.

There's a poster for 'The Day thr Earth Stood Still' showing Gort carrying an unconscious woman while he shoots laser beams from his eyes. No such thing happens in the movie. Try to avoid that sort of thing.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 3:19:46 PM PDT
I'm an indie author, and I feel that a good cover is vital to driving sales. Take a look at my first novel Mirai: a Promise to Tomorrow, which I just slapped a public domain pic onto. Compare that with my second book The Game Called Revolution (Infini Calendar), which I commissioned an actual artist for. The difference is night and day.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 6:20:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 6:38:36 PM PDT
I went into writing my book with the firm belief that I had to have a strong cover graphic. I was picky when it came to selecting the cover, I had an idea of what my main character was supposed to look like, and the graphics house did a great job, I had to only make a few changes.

Most of the eBook releases include the cover, so since I have both printer and digital a good cover was important to me.

There are some people who aren't swayed by the cover, but I think they are few and far between.

By the way, I was floored when my 13 year old daughter told me he was hot, lol. Good reading all...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:38:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 26, 2012 9:57:50 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
I've seen very few comments from readers about ebook cover art, but it does seem to obsess authors.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 6:41:48 PM PDT
Aren't us authors the ones who should be obsessed by it? =)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2012 7:29:13 PM PDT
Tom Rogers says:
It's probably slightly more useful for the aspiring writer than finding a gaggle of contentious souls and arguing about whether or not it's possible for an author to punctuate his or her way to greatness.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 4:06:27 AM PDT
Remy Francis says:
I loved creating this one for my favourite author who hired me to create one more for his book 2.
Book 1: Critical Mass (Volume 1)
Book 2:

These took about 2 weeks for me to brew over my author's creative brief and plots. Then that gave me a real boost to complete each of these works within a day for it was as if I was living a story and could not take a break till I completed it. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was well-worth it because the author never came back to me asking for any adjustments.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 4:14:57 AM PDT
Remy Francis says:
Hello there Mvargus, Interesting to read your post. Just a year back I realized how I enjoyed doing Art for Sci Fi.

Which brings me to the links to my Cover Art, to ask a curious question if you see a certain story spoken in my art:
1: Critical Mass (Volume 1)

If Sci Fi Covers of Indie authors are poor which I too am just learning after I indulged in designing for them. So I would wish for them to take Sci Fi Artists seriously.

Thanks for your insight.

Thanks in advance

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 4:20:58 AM PDT
Remy Francis says:
Hello Dragonstark

The 3rd cover description brief made me look at your work for this book with my Cover Art just got released. It was a whole other plot...but 2 elements which you have mentioned in your 3rd Art I thought correlates with my design. So here I am replying to your post with this link:

Critical Mass (Volume 1)

Thank you for your post.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012 4:49:32 AM PDT
Project: Hero NOrmally most authors don't have any say into the cover art unless it is self-published like my book Project: Hero. It's not an ebook yet but I can understand why the cover art is important for even that type of publishing. It's the first thing you see and it sets the tone of the story. For mine I wanted a art deco style that evoked heroism that looked good to young readers and would remind older readers what it was like to read those heroic superhero comics of the 1960's and 1970's, even though the biggest part of the story takes place in the present. Part of the story has it's roots in the 1940's when the art deco style was a major influence in the look of America.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2012 4:42:21 PM PDT
Very nice Remy, its eye catching. The runes are a good touch. Here is the link to my own cover art.

I really wanted the cover to be relevant to the story, and if you read the book you will know why I chose what I did. I am just wondering if you think its too plain or colorless to get any attention even if someone is intrigued by the description.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 12:39:29 PM PDT
Ciel 1101 says:
It's bland. I recommend you make your cover transparent and find background stock at Fotolia or DeviantArt and post your cover on the background. That's what I did for my book.

I had a plain, transparent cover:

And in MS Paint, I pasted it over a background stock I found on Fotolia:

I suggest you do the same to spice up your cover.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 5:44:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 30, 2012 5:45:12 PM PDT
I didnt find any transparency that works for the theme here. I did take some people's advice here and on other forums and made some changes to the cover.

Here is a new version I am thinking about replacing the existing version with. I also completely overhauled the book description to make it more eye catching. Before it was just a wall of text, now it has line breaks. If line breaks don't get people's attention, nothing will.

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 7:38:32 PM PDT
Done says:
Check out the cover art for my novella: Black Wraith (The Seal of Azari Book 1)
Your reply to Done's post:
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)

Posted on Apr 30, 2012 7:59:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 6:31:02 PM PDT
OK-Cover art was VERY important to me..It set the theme for the story and I worked with a friend for quite a bit of time till we were both satisfied..It was interesting enough that his wife made a couple of posters of it..No -I won't mention the title but if you want to see a nice piece of cover art check out a couple of the Time Machine epilogues and you'll be able to pick it out right away...
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  22
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  Apr 25, 2012
Latest post:  May 20, 2012

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