a critique site for book lovers, hosted by author Jude Hardin
Why the heck is this guy shirtless in the snow/mountains (or, like, at all)? And she sleeveless? Did the pink rays coming down from the C in Carrington transport them from a Hawaiian beach?What I can say good about this cover is that the typeface works (but the "that" disappears into the background). The whole thing has a 70s/80s feel to it and honestly, I don't get the models at all. At least the kid looks like he's a little cold. Maybe they're looking over at a bunch of fur coats waiting for them as soon as they get the shoot over and done.
Robin beat me to the punch on this one. The actors don't match the background and really don't tell me what this book is about.The word "That" is unreadable. The dotted lines down the mountain do not make any senses. Overall I think that this cover is a bit confusing and unappealing.
It looks, to me, like a romance set in the summer hence the summer attire. I like the typeface and have no issue seeing the "That". It looks like a good summer romance story.
He's shirtless with swim trunks and she's wrapped in a towel over her bathing suit, and there's snow in the background. A very incongruous image that doesn't make sense to me. It does have a 70s/80s feel, i agree with that. And I don't much care for the old fashioned font, either, however i do like how the colors are picked up from her towel to tie it all together. It's just not a very flattering design. I would be hesitant to read this book, and i'm not sure of the genre. Mainstream maybe?
Did anyone bother to check where the location is? Mountains are huge and therefore look like they're closer than they really are. I live in the mountains so I know this. Many mountains have snow year round. In Oregon when you go to the beach you can see snow capped peaks in the distance. And they are distant in comparison to the size of figures. I think the couple looks appropriate. It's a clean romance which is why it's not sultry or sleezy. Gee, what a marvel that we have to reach back to the 80's to remember morality. Outdated? Hello, on what planet? If you're looking at the typeface, THAT looks paler, but that doesn't mean the actual paper cover appears paler. And it's clearly a romance. Not much horror or erotica packaged this way. I think it's a lovely cover that tells me it's a romance and I would feel comfortable reading it as I'm not into graphic sex scenes. No, I'm not ninety years old or a prude, but silly me, I prefer love scenes, romance, not x-rated garbage. I give this cover a huge thumbs up.
I agree with the comment that you can be warm and still see snow capped mountains, I haven't read the book, but I get the feel that the family on the cover is going to be a family that stays together (hopefully), and I think that we're just not used to covers with a more moralistic vibe to them... I would definitely read this book going by the cover
I agree with Bonnie and Mandi. The mountains have snow tops, but the ground around them and behind don't. I once went on a horsebackriding trip in the Alberta Rockies and in the valley it was warm, the grass was lush and green. As we rode to a higher elevation, we were walking in snow. Some mountain resorts are also near hot springs. Wholesome, family oriented romance is what I see when I look at this cover. Throw back to the 70's and 80's? I don't see that. What I do see is a unique cover that would stand out in a market where we are so used to seeing sexy couples who can't keep their hands off each other.
I'm holding in my hand a picture of myself, my husband and son taken years ago in Reno, Nevada. We're all wearing shorts, and the snow on Lake Tahoe is very visible in the background. Gee, a happy family on the cover. Wow. How horrible. No sleaze. Hmmm. Maybe, just maybe, some readers would actually like that!!
I've read several romances from the 80s, but I don't recall the covers looking like that. I like that the pink theme carries through, from the background to the title and to her towel. I get from this cover that this is a sweet, contemporary romance. I like it.
Sorry, not buying the "it's warm!! Mountains don't matter!!" comments. Yes. There is snow on the mountains, coming down the sides the way it does in late fall. There are also golden aspen trees in with the pines in the background, the grass is gold. It's late fall. The stream/creek looks icy and is so white as to appear almost as if it were snow (I had to enlarge the photo to see if it was snow or water).The figures look totally out of place. Hawaiian swim trunks and shirtless, wife wrapped in towel over swimsuit and a cold fall morning in the Northern Rockies just do not go together. I don't know where the rant on morality and clean romance and sex scenes is coming from. I personally am not judging this cover (or any cover) based on whether there's erotic sex inside. It's fine if it's a clean romance. But the background is still incongruous with the figures, and the overall look and feel is still dated. @Callie, big difference between shorts and swimsuit/swim trunks. Bet your hubby wasn't shirtless either.Put the models in clothes appropriate for the scene and I'd probably be okay with the cover. But remember, these are all just people giving opinions. If the author is happy with the cover that's great. But the incongruity really slapped me in the face. It has nothing at all to do with what type of book it is.
No, hubby was not shirtless. But what you said is true. As long as the author is happy with the cover, that's what counts.Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
Looks like a nice contemporary love story. I personally love happy families :>)-Cheryl
Also remember that authors put these covers onto this blog specifically to be critiqued. If they do not want their cover critiqued, this is not a great place to come.Those of us who are regular commenters are really trying to help, not hurt, authors. While opinions differ, it behooves an author to at least give some consideration to the voices here. Several regulars are published authors in their own right with excellent eyes (JR Tomlin and Eric I am talking to YOU!), and several are cover designers and graphic designers (I would be one; I've been a professional graphic designer for over 20 years). We comment so that authors can improve their covers and, hopefully, get more sales. That's it. No hidden agenda, no secret conspiracy against clean romances. I promise. :)
Authors don't have much input on their covers--some have none at all.
@Anon, many/most of the covers posted here are from indy authors who are either creating their own covers or hiring someone to create a cover to their specifications.
Not this one--it's a Soul Mate Publishing book.
When I look at this cover, I'm not so focused on the background as I am on the couple snuggling with the child. I anticipate a family type story with romance figuring strongly in the plot, and that's enough for me. Could the mountains be a little less snow-capped? Probably. And maybe the family should have more clothes on. But none of that will necessarily stop me from enjoying this book. Plus for me, the rather old-fashioned style of the cover is appealing.
I've been a professional graphic designer for over 30 years and I've designed a fair number of book covers. I don't design my own because that's up to my publisher (Harlequin), but I think it's helpful for indie authors to get feedback on their covers for future reference. Covers can impact sales, and the opinions here are a bare few compared to the number of readers out there. None of the criticisms here were given with malicious intent, just honest subjectivity. If the author is happy with his or her cover, that's great. But I don't think authors would offer their cover for critique without expecting honest opinions.
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I certainly never intended to trigger controversy. That Carrington Magic is not an Indy book--it was one of the Soul Mate Publishing launch books. It's not retro. It's a contemporary romance. I had no cover control, but I do think it's distinctive and the little boy looks just like Toby in my story. ;-) All the best, Karenhttp://shimmerfall.wordpress.com http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/products/That-Carrington-Magic.html
The main question about a cover is - does it depict the tone/feel of the book? This one does, therefore it is a succesful cover.Susan M
Well to me, it shows how a commercial publisher can still get it wrong. One of the wonderful things about going indie is the ability to better control cover art.
It's a great cover for a great story. Really enjoyed the read!
Anonymous I am sorry to disagree with you. I do not get the Tone or feel for a contemporary romance from this cover. While the cover is not a total fail doesn't make it a home run either.The point of this site is to help authors and give suggestions which might improve their sales. If they disagree with us and love their cover that is fine. However, we are trying to be helpful and point out things that either confuse us and/or could be changed. You may call it a great cover, but from a graphic design point of view,I'll stand by my other comments and Robin's as well. Also, you still can't read the word "that".
Exactly. As I said before, the entire purpose of this site is to offer authors honest and hopefully helpful critique on their covers. If they do not want to be critiqued on the cover, this is not the place to come. If they can't control or change their cover, listing it here may indeed become an exercise in frustration as it appears to have done here.It should also be noted that most of us have not read the book and do not know how the book validates, or does not validate, the cover. Since authors are using covers to market to people who have not yet read the book or perhaps anything written by them, getting an unbiased opinion from people who do NOT know whether it's a "great book" is, IMO, much more useful than input from those who love the book or the author and would buy anything with their name on it no matter how egregious the cover fail.
How about those people who go skiing in bikinis? I think the people look clean-cut and the mountains tell me the story will have some outdoor adventure. I don't have a problem with the cover.