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.
ON AN UNRELATED SIDE NOTE
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.