A Book and Its Cover
Posted by Dave
As you may know, my first two novels, The Warden Threat and The Warden War, are offered together in one volume exclusively for Kindle under the title Defying Fate. Recently, a reader submitted the following unsolicited review, which was titled “Good characters, good story.”
This somewhat quirky, somewhat light sci-fi/fantasy story was just what I was looking for. The characters were interesting and believable, and it made for a really fun, well-written, well-edited book. Have to say that I just hate the cover and if I had seen it before buying the book I probably wouldn’t have gotten it. I could so picture our hero doing his ‘resurrection dance’. There were some loose ends that I would enjoy seeing tied up and I hope there is another book to follow.
She liked the book enough to give it five stars, but she hated this cover.
I have to admit that I was not entirely pleased with it, myself, but I didn’t hate it. But if it is so bad it is deterring people from downloading and enjoying this book, it must go! I spent a fair amount of time this morning coming up with something different. This was the result.
My concern with this one is that it may appear too… dramatic. The book is fun. There is a good, exciting story, too, of course, but what sets it apart is the lighthearted tone throughout the story. I’m just not sure how to convey this in the cover. I suppose this is also a problem for other authors who mix genres.
There is a simple convention for some story genres. If the book is romance, put a young, shirtless guy in a dramatic pose of the cover. If it’s epic fantasy, include a sword. Space opera — a spaceship…. But a lighthearted science fiction story in a fantasy-like setting? There’s no standard for that, so you have to wing it. The closest well-known books to mine might be something like The Princess Bride or the later Discworld novels, but neither of these have a science fiction element.
This revised cover reuses part of the background I bought from a professional cover designer for the cover of The Warden Threat (which I decided not to use because it made it look like an angst-filled romance novel). I hope it will meet with approval, or at least not scare away readers.
(As for the loose ends, yes, those are tied up in the next book, Disturbing Clockwork, which will be available any day now.)