Monday, June 2, 2014

Calling All Critiques: In Shadows Waiting Cover Art - Entry #2

Thank you to everyone who has shared their cover art. We all love cover art! Hopefully our comments will be useful.

Also, please note that we still have spots open: Submit your cover art to for inclusion in this week’s blog posts. We need it by tonight at 8 p.m. if you want to be included tomorrow and spots are still open.

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There’s More to Critique!

After leaving your comments, don’t go yet! That is, if you have time, we cordially invite you to give more feedback on some of our other brave souls. Head on over to one or more of these blogs to see some more great entries:
Thanks again to everyone participating in this critique event!


Anonymous said...

The first thing I think when I look at this cover is suspense. It seems like someone is watching someone else or, more likely, someone is being watched by someone else. Judging by the YA Ghost genre, that's an accurate conclusion, so great job! I like that the shadow on the face sort of looks like a hand - creepy!

I have two critiques: 1. I thought the choice of having color fading from the bottom to the middle of the cover was an interesting choice, but I wasn't sure what it should accomplish. I think a black and white cover with color just in the iris of the eye would be more striking and intense. 2. I wasn't sure why yellow is being used as the only color on the cover. Yellow is a weird color that can come out funky, especially with no other colors to balance it out. I recommend choosing a color that is significant to the story, even if it's just the main character's eye color. If you follow my first critique, that would make sense anyway.

Nice job! I hope my comments help.

Brian Basham said...

First off, I love the layout of the graphic. The positioning of the eye, hand, and text are done very well.

Now for my suggestions. First off you should get a better render for your eye. The quality of it is very poor and it takes a lot away from the graphic. The pixelized eye looks compelling, but it would be even more compelling if you had a more realistic looking eye in greyscale. The iris could also have a bit of color in it to offset the background.

The fuzzy shadow hand looks fantastic, but the background behind it hides that. The sketchy lines behind the shadow hand have to go! The hand will stand out more. It's one of the best elements of the graphic as a whole.

The text is rather plain. I would suggest scrolling through some more fonts until you find one that you like, or you can put the same text offset by a few pixels a color that is a little different from the color of the main text. Also you should use a darker red with the yellow background. It looks almost pink with the yellow background. For the text I would just keep experimenting until you have something you like.

rmc said...

Well, heck, Brian made my main 2 points (hand contrast, font choice/color vividness) better than I would have. Let me try to add some other ones, though.

Great tension between the hand & eye. I'd be reading the book eager to hit the scene that this might be. I actually think the yellow works, either to imply a room dimly lit by one dingy dim bulb, or by sunlight straining to touch whatever dark deed is happening.

Three changes I'd suggest are
- Reduce the heavy dark shadow at the lower left of the eye. That detracts from perceiving the eye well, and when I get to the hand, I get the feeling that that shape might be some kind of caterpillar that's about to be helpfully plucked off our character's face. The right-side darkness around the eye does a good enough job.
- Your thin-vs-thick effect for your name would be more effective if the surname text were even thicker. That's especially true with the mottling & hand shadow behind it.
- The fonts in the title and the name are different, but they're so similar that that's not immediately apparent. I know most people aren't type nerds like me, but my eye got caught on looking back & forth between them to figure out what was different. I'd say either use the same font with the title at a larger relative size, or shift one of the fonts to be more different.

All in all, nice minimalist design with good focus, and tension that tells me there's a story happening here.

Samantha Saboviec said...

I like the layout/idea of the cover, but I feel like all of the elements could be tweaked to bring out a better impact. Most of my suggestions have been made (and probably better stated). My big two are the hand--it's not strong enough in comparison to the eye graphic--and the font for the title--it's too plain. I would want something more striking to balance out the graphic.

tosh said...

If you were to see this on the bookshelf, it would convey self-published. I think it looks fine as an ebook but wouldn't translate that way on the shelf, when compared to other cover designs. The fonts aren't bold enough and not attention-grabbers. Not that it has to be as bold as the eye but there needs to be more balance. While your title says something about shadow, you don't have to put a shadow on the cover to reiterate that. I would say play with the background in black and add color to the eye, maybe with a person in the pupil to add more mystery. You definitely don't want that violet font. It's not strong enough.

Stewart Bint said...

Thank you for your comments....greatly appreciated, and I shall pass them on to my design agency before they work on my next cover. As a thank you for taking the time to comment, I'd like to offer you a free download of the novel which has just been published. Use code UK59X at

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Brian Basham said...

Stewart copy/pasted the same comment several times. If you wish to read the comments that have been removed, they are exactly the same as the first comment of his that I did not delete.