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Topic: Heeeelp Pleeease!

I am in the process of designing a book cover for my forthcoming spy thriller. As you will gather I am not very good at the design side of things & I would like your opinions on this 'first draft' of a cover. I am not happy with it myself but, as said, it is the first go. I need to know where I am going wrong or how I can improve it. Any help/tips/constructive criticism will be welcomed. Thanks in advance.


http://s16.postimg.cc/veb3hlioh/cover_design_4_a.jpg

Adam Chance is my pen name.

BTW clicking on the image brings it up in supersize so best just to view as is.

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

I agree the design isn't the best. The colours are white and blue, the colours that signal safety and reliability. That's why so many banks use those colours in their logos.
The font, on the other hand, is a very generic thriller/action font. Perhaps a less generic, more "gentleman"-style font contrasting with more dramatic colours and cover design could work?

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

I agree, it's a little bland, doesn't catch the eye. Perhaps if something from the
Story could be incorporated into the cover ?

Also please don't think I'm having a go. I know how personal creative things
Can be, only my unprofessional opinion.

Jokey answer, have you tried sticking a semi naked girl on the cover ?  ajb007/wink

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Thanks for the replies. I need opinions such as these. As said I am not so good with this side of things.

I would like to point out that the book itself is set in WW2 &, to me at least, the cover looks a little 'sixties'. I had thought about doing it in the style of a dossier with 'top secret' stamps etc but really have no clue. As for the girl, well lifting stuff off the net to use is a no no &, frankly, if I took a photo of the wife I would need a bigger cover!!!!

I can assure you all that the actual book is far better than my rubbish attempts at design.

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Could you add some Red to the Cover?

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

This may be a little  clichéd but how about an officer ( just his torso) in uniform
Holding a gun pointing at reader, with a ladies hand reaching from behind ( nice
Red nails etc) to undo one of the buttons ?
Or....
Her hand pulling out from his jacket an envelope marked Top Secret ?

With nail art, you could have the hammer and sickle painted on the red nails, for
the Russian flag or swastak, if it's more about fighting the Nazis in WW2. Perhaps
On only one nail, so it stands out. ?

The Nazi flag, with a good old service revolver, and a rose across it. A good
Homage to the art work for Casino Royale.  ajb007/wink

Last edited by Thunderpussy (16th Jun 2015 10:42)

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Some great ideas there, TP! I can see why you are so good at photography. In fact, stag would be wise to let you have a go at designing the cover.  ajb007/martini

Good luck with the design, stag.

I'm afraid this isn't my area of expertise so I'll pass on that.  ajb007/smile

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Red is a good, dramatic colour. So is orange/yellow mixed with black/dark blue. Several Bond novel covers lifted something striking/iconic/theme based from the story and used it on the cover. This might be a good direction to go.

Here are some examples:

FRWL (note how the colours aren't working very well)

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/d4/52/18/d452188369dc86ffb6e22cf960c1db29.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yiMPyOqDC5Q/TZISTRL2MMI/AAAAAAAACnk/fTMMpAY6tds/s1600/first+five+gardners.jpg

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

I totally get TPs idea but the photography/costume/ makeup thing is beyond me.

I also cannot afford to pay anyone to undertake this (I am but a poor pensioner!)

Rather than photography a sort of illustration in the same vein. I could possibly do that but obviously I wanbt it to be right. No24 has given me an idea. Much of the critial action scenes are set in one particular place so I will have another go incorporating that into the design with blood red & black as the dominant colours.

Thanks & please keep the comments coming in.

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

how about a chess board with a soldier fiugre toppled over, or a soldier broken in half on it ?
that wouldn't be hard to set up.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

If soldiers and chess are themes in the novel , or  possibly the characters are treated as pawns, this might work.

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

I agree that those Gardner first edition covers are a great example of how to deliver a great cover. The Fleming first editions are of course great too and should hopefully give you some ideas, stag.  ajb007/smile  ajb007/martini

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

As chess was supposedly used to teach knights about battles and
strategy etc, it's always been used as a symbol, for the world of politics.
They're also plentiful and easy to get,  the shadow of bombers flying over
Would look great .

In case anyone thinks I'm obsessed with Nazi symbols.  ajb007/wink  I'm only suggesting
Them because Nazis sell, Books, documentaries, films. People are fascinated by
Them.  So having a war theme and a swastak on the cover, would help sell books.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

I've done this (before I saw the above posts) all good ideas.


http://s8.postimg.cc/s4bdlqarl/cover_design_v3.jpg

Any better? It alludes to the villains of the piece & their lair. I know there is a big gap at the TLH side, any suggestions how this could be filled? I originally thought of puuting the title there but 'ungentlemanly' is a tad too long?

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

How about having a circular rifle target to counter the swastika on the other blank side?

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

That's much better Stag  ajb007/cheers , very eye catching. I agree with SM, perhaps a
Target, or cross hairs of a sniper rifle ?  Maybe a bit of a map showing Britain
Or the south coast ?  Either way that cover looks great?  ajb007/martini

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

stag wrote:

I've done this (before I saw the above posts) all good ideas.


http://s8.postimg.cc/s4bdlqarl/cover_design_v3.jpg

Any better? It alludes to the villains of the piece & their lair. I know there is a big gap at the TLH side, any suggestions how this could be filled? I originally thought of puuting the title there but 'ungentlemanly' is a tad too long?

This is too dramatic. Almost the whole cover is red, and the swastika/nazi flag is too dominant. If you saw this book at only a few yards a way, you would only see the nazi flag. This will put off many Readers. 
The consept isn't bad. The castle on the mountain and the circle with the swastica might work. Use the  red on a smaller part of the cover and possibly make the swastica circle smaller so it looks like an threathening moon is worth consideration. The silhouette of the main character in the left foreground might work too. The crosshairs of a sniper's rifle on the cover has been done to death, and combined with the swastica it would be a complete overkill.

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Or you could have the swastika in the targets instead and the silhouette of your hero with a gun. I wouldn't worry unduly about Hitler or the Nazis - as TP says they make books, magazines and DVDs sell when they feature on the cover!  ajb007/smile  ajb007/martini

Skulls are very in at the minute too, so you might want to add one of those too - just look at my avatar for the sort of thing you could go in for.  ajb007/smile

Last edited by Silhouette Man (16th Jun 2015 13:35)

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

I agree with N24, just seeing the Swastika on the Front would put anyone off.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

The swastica can be there, but it should be more subtle. Now the cover looks like a nazi flag if you squint just a tad.

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Number24 wrote:

The swastica can be there, but it should be more subtle. Now the cover looks like a nazi flag if you squint just a tad.

Well of course we don't want to send out the wrong message with the cover art but many spy thrillers do utilize these historical symbols on their various covers (not to mention the many history books on Hitler and the Nazis that use their flag as a symbol for their evil).

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Yes, but in that cover it's too in your face ..... too dominant. A shadowy swastica on the moon would be better in my opinion. In the north the sky sometimes turns a fairly dramatic red when the evening sun hits the coulds. combined with the shadow of the swastica on a smaller moon sounds good to me. Is there a castle in the story, a bit like the one in the cover art?

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Reading in " Right wing home owner" according to Mel Gibson
You can't have enough Nazi memorabilia round your home.  ajb007/wink
Really gives it that WOW factor.  ajb007/biggrin

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Thnks for the ideas. I'll rework the cover to encompass them & post for your opinions.

Re the Swastika, it is supposed to symbolise the moon & the castle is the HQ of the enemy which features heavily in the story. The blood red, well there is a lot of blood spilled hence - the ungentlemanly aspect of the story.

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Re: Heeeelp Pleeease!

Here is an example of a naturally red sky:

http://www.cdn.tv2.no/multimedia/TV2/ar … 69993a.jpg


I see the shadow swastica on the moon being a bit like this when it comes to colours etc:

https://windmillsbyfy.files.wordpress.c … &h=286