a critique site for book lovers, hosted by author Jude Hardin
I'm afraid this cover doesn't quite work for me. The picture is too busy. My eye doesn't know what to focus on, so it doesn't focus on anything. If I saw this while browsing on Amazon, I'd move on without pausing. Also, what is it he's holding in his hand - a knife with a rather silly-shaped blade, or a cardboard cut-out of a shoe?Maybe if viewed at full size, it's clear whether it's a blade or a shoe or something different. If it's a blade, I wouldn't buy the book. I can't take this type of weapon seriously. A real fighter would use a knife with a plain, tried-and tested shape. And the way he holds it, he can't even use it to strike if he suddenly gets attacked. Anyone who walks around with a gimmick blade and holds it in a way which makes it impossible to strike is... well... not worth reading about. But of course, that's just me; other people may be less concerned about such detail.And maybe it really isn't a knife but a shoe.
I disagree about the knife. I knew what it was right away, and to me it looks menacing and deadly. I think most people would recognize it as a survival/hunting knife, and there's nothing wrong with the way he's holding it. I would think the genre is horror>crime>serial killer, so it has that going for it, but I agree the cover doesn't quite work as a whole. Too much brown, I guess, with too little attention to the title and the author's name.
I had no trouble at all seeing the knife as a knife. I think for an ebook, the red is difficult to read against the brown (I wrote a post on color vs contrast at my book cover blog site, http://bookcoverblog.com/2012/01/color-versus-contrast/.I also agree that there's no one focal point. And he's very hulking; I would be more likely to see him as the villain than a hero, he's kind of thick and hunched. His arms seem really long; look how far below his hips they hang. and the bottom half of his body looks thin; much thinner than the heavy bulky top half would indicate. I like the typeface and the way the title is rendered. I like the brown color, it just needs more of a focal point for the eye to rest other than the empty arch at the right. The cover is not bad overall and certainly looks professionally done, it just needs some tweaking IMO.