While I’m not busy typing away the last chapters of Chasing Blue, I’m working on getting a new book cover for my published book, Before the Legend. As promised, here are some concept covers I’ve been working on as of late. After getting positive feedback on the layout with the boy in the bottom of the arch window from an acquaintance of mine (who mind you does illustrating and graphic design for a living), I thought the choice was obvious and all I needed was just some fine-tuning to make it pop more, hence the last three covers that favor each other. Unlike the first time when I selected my current cover, I wanted to get others involved with the making of my book cover and gather valuable feedback on whether the book cover was eye-catching and if it was conveying what I wanted to the reader. Although I loved my first book cover, a cover redo was needed for 2 main reasons.
1. Title change: I dropped the subtitle “The Prologue” and the old cover still retains that.
2. Although I liked my old cover, I felt it was a little too abstract for my target audience and I feel this created a disconnect between my book and the readers (readers of historical fiction/Alternative and middle grade readers alike).
This time around I decided to get some constructive feedback from readers and experienced writers in the Industry Insider Club on Wattpad. Boy was I in for a wake up call! Most people did not like the cover. The common consensus was that the boy appeared “out of place.” This was largely due to the lighting between the boy and the foreground (which is subtle yet was made aware of), as well as the scale of the boy’s head in relation to the rest of the picture. In the gallery below you can see some of the major changes made in the design process.
Despite my editing attempts on the 4th one, it was clear by some users that the boy had to go. One user who seemed to understand my motivation behind the book and how the young boy pictured the protagonist which the story revolved around offered some very valuable suggestions. If I wanted to focus on the boy I would have to change the layout. Another alternative was to capture a scene in the story within the constrains of the arch. She has definitely given me the framework to go off, but the hard part is going back to the drawing board, changing what I want to capture and finding the right pictures to convey that new image.
Now I see why most writers don’t get involved in this process and go straight for the cover designer! It’s definitely a whole lot easier! Having just a “good” book cover isn’t enough anymore. I have to make it pop. I need it to communicate what the story is about. I need it to connect with readers. Before I go down the route of hiring someone to do it for me (I’d have to do some hard persuading to get my acquaintance to do it for me, although he helped pick out the pictures, I am willing to give it another go. What do you think about the covers I’ve come up with so far? I would love to hear your feedback on them? Does the design work? If not what direction should I go with?