Test Cover: Please comment!

All, I’m working on a cover for the next De Kenyon book, the first in a middle-grade series.  Please give me comments!  The genre is an adventure/spy story with lots of magic and animals, modern day.  (I may add a tagline later.)

The last version, everybody had a problem with the font. Here’s the deal: I went to change it, showed it to Ray, and she was like bleah. She’s already associating that font with the book: it must be a powerful font. I just have to figure out how to harness that power safely. Pics are low-res and freebie version of the high-res, non-swirly versions I will pick up later, if this works.

The reason for the color change is that I need to be able to do something consistently across the books:  if the wolf is a solid color, this is the solid color he has to be…

New version:


Old version:


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  1. Definitely an improvement.

    – Clearer text
    – Bit more dynamic wolf
    – Bolder on a bookshelf (or web page)

    – Background swirlies — esp. the center one — in the main picture are obscured by the wolf and are unclear.
    – “The” in the series title is unfortunately indented due to the goobers coming from the main text. Seems awkward. Maybe have “The” and “Book 1” in a different color and overlaying “Exotics”? Or do “The” smaller and have it to the left of thee goober from the “E”. (Or rotate it 90 degrees and put in the margin to the left of “Exotics”.) (Or even drop “The”.)
    – I’d also reduce the font of “BOOK 1” a bit, and have it against the bottom border, not the bottom of the “Exotics”.

    I miss “Adventure. Spies. Magic.” But I don’t know where I’d fit it in. Less is probably more here.

    • De

      Dave – that text was filler until I came up with the real stuff. But you liked it?

      The swirlies will go away entirely.

      Thank you 🙂 You spend a lot of time thinking about these things, so I really appreciate your comments.

  2. I don’t know if the purple color is the right color to use. If this was a book primarily for girls, I think it would be good, but if you want guys picking up the book, there are enough male chauvinists out there that they wouldn’t be caught dead carrying around a purple book.

  3. I like the first one better because the “floating menagerie” image is more prominent. I have to say the purple strikes me as strange. With the typeface of “exotics” and the word “menagerie” I’m thinking almost circus-tent, vaudeville, Broadway-handbill background. Neither cover seems to convey “magic” (rabbit out of the hat magic, or the real stuff) to me. (I Like the main title, not sure if the sub is necessary)

  4. De

    Thanks! I’ll mess with the purple…

    I need the subtitle; it’s a series. My initial thoughts were to include a word in the title that would almost certainly be a new vocab word. Not sure about that now, but–well, it’s the name of the ship, and that will be explained on the back cover. Still thinking.

  5. @De – I don’t know that trio was the best, but it was a nice added tagline/description. If you have a better three words, that’s cool, too.

    I tend to agree with Elizabeth and Donna — the colors are striking (not necessarily in a good way) and have the associations she mentions. And, yeah, I think it would be less attractive to boys than to girls (vs. the first one).

  6. I like it better except I don’t particularly care for the purple and light blue-maybe something less pastel?

  7. De

    Thanks, guys! The light blue has to stay in some shade or other, but the purple can go. I intend to work on this today and add the updates…

  8. They both look so busy I’m not sure where to land my eyes. The second one I land on the wolf finally but don’t feel I understand the genre from the cover.

  9. De

    Hey–did you look at the new one? I feel like the better color coordination helps reduce that. Maybe not enough, though.

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