Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Always Five O'clock by W. L. Heath

What's the genre? What is it you like or don't like about this cover? Does it make you want to know more about the book? Does it make you want to BUY the book? Discuss.


  1. As a graphic designer who is really enjoying this blog, I always want to try to find positives about a cover, and there have been some nice covers shown. I always try to envision myself as the author or cover designer, which means I don't want to hurt feelings.

    Unfortunately for me this cover just doesn't work and, to me, it says fairly plainly that it's an amateur-designed cover. I'm not sure what the genre is supposed to be. The title implies drinking/getting drunk, the woman implies maybe erotica? but she kind of looks bored more than sexy.

    The author font seems to be plain Myriad, which is one of my very favorite typefaces, but I'm afraid the roman style will make the author's name difficult to read. The title font is not Comic Sans (the kiss of death of typefaces) but reminds me of it and is a really casual face. And though I know rules vary, to me O'clock should be O'Clock since it's a title.

    Finally, I find the black bar behind "It's Always Five" jarring. It looks to me like the top of the photo ran out so the artist just decided to make a black bar there.

    I'm really sorry I can't be a bit more positive about the cover. I do like that the eye flows from top left to right then diagonally through the body to the author tagline.

  2. I think part of the problem with this cover is that it's so dark. Dark clothing on the model, dark background. It doesn't catch the eye. And the fact that you can't see her face makes it less appealing, I suspect.

    Other than that, it doesn't give much hint as to genre. Surely, if it's erotica, she should look sexier. I really don't like the title font at all although I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what it is.

  3. Robin, I know what you mean in that one should try to be positive, on the other hand we need to be honest here to be of any help.

    Overall the cover doesn't work for me either. yes, there is a women on the cover, but the image and the text does not give me enough information about this book.

    I also hate the type face. The font choice doesn't work.

    I would suggest to start over again.

  4. The typeface is a casual script; I have it but since I have something like a thousand typefaces I can't put my finger on it at the moment. (or rather, I'm too lazy to try).

    I'm a typeface junkie, and to me nothing can more clearly shape the feel and mood of a design than good use of type. Unfortunately this is not. For this author, I would suggest hiring a professional.

  5. Thanks for the feedback! I've fixed the issue with the background not matching. It's interesting because it looked great on my desktop but not so good on my laptop. Something to keep in mind going forward.

    But I think I'll still toss this cover and go with something else. I have another one that I like. I wish I could link it here. I'd love your feedback on it, as well.

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  7. How about this one...

  8. The new cover is MUCH better!

  9. I like the background art on the new cover a lot. A way, way lot. But the typefaces still need help. The flat color, no gradients or effects, is bothersome. Also, the use of a traditional, old fashioned serif font may not be giving the strong, bleak message the art portrays. Consider a slab sans like compacta or impact.

  10. Thanks for the suggestions on the font, Robin. I'll give them a try.

  11. Here's the description on the book. Feel free to offer any critique of it as well. I'm open to any and all suggestions.

    She was an ash blonde, in her late thirties, and good looking. Her clothes were expensive, her car was a Jaguar, and she had that air of assurance about her that people with lots of money always seem to have. She also had a husband – a prominent surgeon who was respected and well-liked by those who knew him. But she was bored and looking for something that would bring some excitement to her life. She wanted to learn to fly.

    Jack Bishop was the flight instructor who took her on as his student and she proved to be a quite capable pilot. But their relationship soon moved beyond that of teacher and student, and Jack found himself caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and ultimately murder.

    “It’s Always Five O’clock” is a haunting story about the dark side of human nature, and the frailty of the human psyche, which will stay on your mind long after you’ve finished reading the book.