Making a Cover Blues

Making a Cover Blues

I’ve spoken about the trials and tribulations of an author making their own book covers before, and now I’m back again.

There are good reasons that it’s smart to hire a professional. Book cover designers know about what the current trends in a specific genre are and they know the psychology behind what draws people to books. Professionals know their typography and how to make those words shine.

I don’t know any of that. What I do know is that I cannot afford a professional cover at this stage in the game. Hell, I still have to use free pictures or use my own.

I have an upcoming book that needs a cover. It’s suspense with a touch of speculative fiction thrown in, about a guy in the here and now that has fallen afoul of an old legend. The book, Nick of Time, was my NaNoWriMo project last year. I did a mock up cover for NaNo, and I was fairly pleased with it.


Pretty, but just not good enough.

No one liked it but me. The most common comment was that it didn’t reflect the genre, and looked too literary. They are right. I might think it’s pretty, but it isn’t what’s needed. Folks suggested I look at some covers for the bestsellers in suspense. I did, and that confused me further. Those covers are all over the place style and design-wise with no clear markers for what makes a good suspense cover.

Nevertheless, I tried a couple more covers and the truth is that I like them both better than my original one, but now I can’t decide which one is best, or if either is good enough.

Image1NofTnewcover2     NoTnewcoverroof

I’d love to have some opinions. Let me know in the comments if either strikes your fancy, or it you think neither of them rocks.



My Kindle Scout campaign for Teatime of the Living Dead is live!

What is it?

Kindle Scout is an awesome program where people nominate books they would like to see published. Nominations won’t guarantee success, the editors have final say in who gets published by Kindle Press and who doesn’t. However, nominations can help get their attention.

What can you do?

Head to my campaign page here, and nominate Teatime of the Living Dead. Make sure you check out the excerpt for a sneak peek of the book! Anyone with an Amazon account can nominate. Each person gets three nominations at a time, but you can only nominate each book once. If you want to help further, share this post to help spread the word!

What’s in it for you?

Anytime you nominate a book on Kindle Scout, and it gets selected for publication, you get a free advance copy of the book. I’ve gotten 19 so far! Because the books are vetted and edited by Kindle Press, you can expect a certain level of quality. All of the books I’ve read so far have been worth reading, and some have been amazingly good.

A little about Teatime:

Andrew Hamilton believes in friendship, good theatre, and that Twizzlers are an underrated member of the candy family. He does not believe in magic. His current play is going great, until the actors playing the zombie horde turn homicidal. Zombie madness spreads through the city and the creepers have one thing in common: they all want to kill Andrew. Magic not only exists, it has rules and deadlines. If he can keep ahead of his stumbling and drooling fan club until teatime, he might survive.
They’re coming for you, Andrew.

About JulianneQJohnson

I am a writer in Indiana who lives with two cats, two ferrets, and one fiance. I enjoy cheap coffee and expensive chocolate.
This entry was posted in Book Covers, Ebooks, Kindle Scout, Self Publishing, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Making a Cover Blues

  1. xantilor says:

    Imo, the cover on the left is great, apart from the terrible title typeface. I’d go for a blocky typeface like Harvest, and graduate the colour on it. The author typeface looks as if you’ve elongated it – I’d compress it.

  2. I love both new covers! Urgh! It’s hard to decide. The second one did catch my eye first, probably the leading lines to the guy in the photo. The first one, I love the color on the writing. Have you tried combining the two elements? (Orange writing on the second cover?) Though, I think you’d be good with either one of them. What program are you using to make your covers? I need help with making better text/writing on mine.

  3. Mandie Hines says:

    I stumbled upon this post, but I am excited that there’s the opportunity to help you choose your book’s cover. I think you received good feedback on your original cover. It’s not quite right. When I saw your two new choices, they were definitely more appealing for the suspense genre, which I enjoy reading.
    Of the two, the one on the left is far more intriguing and I think will be the best cover for your book. There’s something about the lighting in the second that’s too bright and makes me want to look away from the cover.
    Best of luck, Julianne! The brief description you provided about your book sounds interesting. 🙂

  4. Liz says:

    While I like the contrast on the right where he’s under the bleachers (I think those are bleachers), I like the left one better because it makes the tagline about saving people every day make sense. I’m not thrilled about the font though – too many sans serif for my taste, except for the tagline.

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