Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Amongst the Ruins by Saewod Tice

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. Looks like a dystopian novel, YA audience with a romance angle from what is splashed across the top.

    Their might be a bit much going on with the cover, from the publishing at the top, intro of the Hot New Talent then the scenes of the old stone buildings and the sky and some grass watermarked behind the young girl and man. I have to appreciate that the cover artist avoided the girl-in-beautiful-gown scene dominating many book covers today. That being said, it would be a little easier to appreciate the cover with the publishing info mainly on the spine (for print) or set smaller and below the author's name.

    I happen to like dystopian so this cover would catch my eye.

  2. Whoa. Lots going on with this cover. I think it has some real potential but it's awfully busy.

    I really like the bottom half of the background image. I like her, I like the swirls and the notebook text grunged out in the background. But the transition to the top half is so abrupt as to seem like there are two covers. I find him very unappealing; to me he looks like a caricature of a bad guy; thin dictator mustache and all. And the graphic treatment of him and the buildings is just different than the bottom half. I'd continue some of the grunge look up (and find a different male model I think).

    There's way too much going on with text. Five or six different typefaces plus a fussy ornament, a lot of the type the same size, the top header with it's graphical hearts icon which is repeated in the silver badge... it just kind of makes my head swirl. And though I like the typeface of "Amongst the Ruins" it's difficult to read and will pretty much impossible in thumbnail view.

    The typefaces seem very romancey, but the subject matter seems to say YA Sci-fi/dystopian.

    This is a design which may work better in physical print than online. For online I would drastically simplify it. I would use perhaps just two different typefaces, one a sans serif and make the blend from the bottom to top of the background much more seamless and cohesive.

    If it sounds like I don't like this cover at all that's not true. It has some very nice compositional elements, it just needs to be less busy.

  3. I'm surprised i like this cover as much as i do. I'm a big fan of collage, and though this appears a bit busy, it tells a story in itself about what's inside. Definitely dystopian, thought i wouldn't think YA without it having been branded across the top.

    I don't like the male model's face. As Robin says, he appears sinister, and perhaps he's the villain. If that's the case then this works.

    I don't get the hot new talent badge. My initial impression is this author is a new, inexperienced author I'm not sure I want to take the risk reading an amateurish book. With so many books competing for my attention, I'm least likely to buy one written by someone who's never been published before. Just my 2 cents on that.

  4. Title gives away the futuristic bent...background gives dystopian image. Without the slash at the top, I may not have guessed it was a "romance" novel.
    It's too busy. Best served to remove both the Romance banner and the "Hot New..." from the cover. That's not going to be a big sell on the book, and would work for pre-release ads or notices elsewhere best.
    As one who reacts to first impression visual images, and from an art perspective: the characters facing outward in opposite directions lead us out of the book cover rather than keeping us interested in the center of the book. Not good for getting us to concentrate on the images in the center, but having us move on to other things!
    I think the makings of a good cover are here, but the things need readjustment and fine tuning. I also don't like the male model's face, better off without him.

  5. genre: easy it says YA romance right there. That really takes the guess work out of it.

    But I agree with Angela, wow is this a busy cover. Do you think that they could have crammed a few more Photoshop layer's onto it?

    The bigger problem is that the center text is being lost in all of those layers. Amongst the Ruins, is in too thin of a font can is literally being lost among the ruins.

  6. I'm afraid this cover doesn't work for me. There are too many elements, and nothing for the eye to really focus on.

    I like the picture of the woman at the bottom. It's eye-catching, powerful, expressive, haunting. If this was the main/only image of the cover, I'd be irresistibly drawn to it.

    The same applies to the other elements. There are just too many of them, making the cover look cluttered. The 'Hot New Talent' sticker at the top ruins any harmony the cover might have. Any awards and prizes belong in the book's blurb, not on the cover (unless the book is sold exclusively in brick&mortar stores, and never online, where it gets viewed in thumbnail size). The 'Hot New Talent' sticker would actually put me off. Basically it says 'hopeful beginner' and while some debut novels are good, I'm more inclined to buy from an experienced author. I think the sticker will harm, rather than help, sales.

    If it's not too late to change the cover, I recommend just woman's face for the foreground, and the townscape background. No hot-beginner sticker. By leaving out the sticker and the other faces, this creates room for enlarging the other elements, especially the woman's face. I believe this would make the cover really powerful.

    Of course I don't know whether this would be appropriate for the novel, or whether it would raise false expectations. If the woman's face wouldn't be right for this novel, then please ignore my comment.

    And if my comment annoys you anyway, feel free to toss it in the trash. :-D