Testing a new cover

I’m trying to figure out a new cover for The Shadow at the Gate that will, for now, be only used at Barnes & Noble. Josh Addessi, a former art student of Bryan Ballinger (a good friend of mine from my VeggieTales days), drew this illustration. He didn’t do the text, though. That’s all me, and I’m rapidly figuring out that my skillset is rather shallow in terms of text. If anyone has any text advice, I would be grateful.

3 thoughts on “Testing a new cover”

  1. I absolutely //love// that art style. It’s gorgeous, especially the hair (yeah, I home in on strange things).

    You want the text to stand out, and I’m afraid there’s a lack of contrast on the upper portion of the cover due to the paleness of the sky. The title may be better served as a darker colour. Use of a drop shadow definitely helps (and despite how overused drop shadows typically are, they usually look better than an outline), but it might not be enough to stand out on an e-reader. I’m too lazy to see what it looks like in black and white, but I imagine it could be problematic.

    Eyes move from left to right, so the placement of the title is good. But if I might suggest you spread the title out to include the other side as well (e.g., “The Shadow” across the very top and “At The Gate” in your preferred arrangement below to the right). I’m not sure how that would look as I am terrible at visualizing things, but it’s another possible arrangement you might like. The shape of the action in the cover just doesn’t lend well to title placement, I’m afraid.

    Actually, you might try putting the trilogy title at the top with your name and the title at the bottom. Play around a bit until you have something you like. Maybe add a bit of gradient to the text to make it a bit more defined. I’ll see if I can find the specific link that talks about cover text, but you may find some good advice here: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/

    1. Thanks, MC, for the comments. That’s much appreciated. You and Mike have some great ideas. I’m definitely going to be trying them as I bumble my way through Illustrator. Yeah, you’re right – the way the illustration is drawn (even though I like it a lot) makes it a bit tough for text placement.

  2. I think there ought to be a much bigger difference in font size between the title and your name. I wonder how it would look to:
    a) move “CHRSTOPHER BUNN” to the top of the page,
    b) keep “BOOK TWO OF…” right where it is,
    c) rework “THE SHADOW AT…” like so: “THE” to the left of the young lady’s head, left-aligned; “SHADOW” (larger) across her midsection spanning the width; “AT THE” to the right of the wolf’s head, right-aligned; and “GATE” (larger) below “AT THE”, also right-aligned.

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