Friday, October 7, 2011

It's Not Always Bad News

I want to welcome the work of Lisa Goodwin to the blog. Lisa contacted me for a cover critique and gave me three covers to choose from, so I critiqued them all.

Here are the covers, the critique follows:

I’m going to call them A (Within Dreams) B (Dark Dreams) and C (Stolen Dreams) for easy reference.

Technically, I think the covers are good. The imagery is strong and eye catching, even on the scaled down Amazon format. C is the strongest design because it has excellent balance with light and dark and the dark swirl is a strong, graphic element; almost a yin-yang. Your eye is bounced nicely from the figure to author name to title. A is second strongest because the imagery evokes a dream-like state which ties in nicely with the title.

If I were to change anything it would be these things:
Author name should be bigger on B and C.
Title is slightly difficult to read on A.
Floating, disembodied eyes in the trees on B look amateurish and odd. I would strongly suggest removing.
Figure on B does not look ‘likable’ because her expression borders on a sneer depending on how you look at her. Also, she does not look ‘engaged’. Perhaps that is the intent.

Here are two questions I think you might want to consider:
If these are a series, as the titles imply, does that show strongly enough in the covers? For the purposes of branding, I would suggest author name placement (at the very least) remain a constant.

Do these covers appeal to my core audience? I didn’t read anything about the books while critiquing, but I am assuming these are in the YA genre. If that’s the case then you have succeeded. If not, maybe rethink it (not with A so much as B and C).

All in all very nice! Good colors. Evocative titles. Upsize the author name! Be goddamn proud you wrote three damn books and make it easy for your fans to find you.

Thank you, Lisa, for allowing me to critique your covers.

Here are the links to Lisa's books. Two are available at this time (A&B) and the third (C) is in the works.

I am super torn up about Steve Jobs dying. It depresses the hell out of me. I can't think of anything to say that hasn't already been said, other than I was sincerely inspired by him.


Lisa Goodwin said...

Thank you for taking the time to give me this feedback, it is invaluable! You are truly an inspiration!

Bob Dattolo said...

I think you raised a good point. If they are all in the same series, which the titles would seem to indicate, then I think there should be something that carries across from book to book. If I didn't read the titles and think about it, I'm not sure I'd think they were parts of a series. But, that being said, I thought they were great covers - especially C.

Christine Dougherty said...

Lisa, best of luck with your books, they look very intriguing!

Bob, branding is something that is pretty easy to do but very often missed. It's all about sending a cohesive message and making your product recognizable to your fan base.

Chrissy Ott said...

I'm with you on Steve Jobs.

Eileen Thornton said...

Personally, I preferred covers A&B. The horse gives a kick start to the series, while the girl, with the eyes in the trees behind her is looking foward to something else. The lady, languishing with stars in her hair, says absolutely nothing to me at all.
But that is just me.