Thursday, March 3, 2011

More Than Life Itself by Joseph Nassise

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. I get a real Frankenstein vibe from this image. Someone whose been brought back from the dead. While the character on the cover is certainly dead, I don't really get a zombie impression from it. It kind of looks like a medical patient with the white clothing, and it's hard to really ascertain what's underneath the plastic.

    The cover itself is quite nice, but the palm kind of threw me off. In the thumbnail, it kind of looks like a ghostly image or face, but when you zoom in it looks like a blob of dirt. And lastly, I love the eerie malevolent look upon her face.

  2. I get a real horror movie vibe with this cover. The girl reminds me of the girl from "the ring".

    The text is good and easy to read.

  3. Definitely horror.

    Honestly, this is one of the best looking covers I've seen for an ebook. It makes me think of "The Messengers", "The Ring", "The Grudge", and other horror movies. And yes, it makes me want to know more about the book (just clicked the link at the top :D )

    I'm tempted to buy this one.

  4. This is awesome. Terrifying-- so my guess is the genre is horror. When I looked at the larger version and saw Bram Stoker, that re-enforced my opinion. It does make me want to know more about the book, although I am not a horror reader and would probably not read this as it successfully confinced me it is a scary story.

    Tara Maya

  5. I'm a huge horror fan and this cover makes me want to buy the book. Job well done!

  6. I love it. Definitely horror. I think she's either a zombie or something like Frankenstein.

  7. "Give me the damn coffee. NOW."

  8. Very creepy. I would never buy this book because I haven't read horror since The Stand. But this is definatly horror/thriller/I-hope-this-doesn't-happen-to-me.

  9. Very nice cover. The girl looks like a mental patient or someone definitely deranged. It portends action, intrigue, and horror. Makes you wonder what happened to the girl to put her in this state. The title is also quite good. So often we concentrate on the graphics and overlook the importance of a good title.

  10. I love this cover. I'd comment on it but having seen the roll out recently I'm already aware of the genre etc.

    Nice use of typography and layout. Great image.

    If I were into this genre, this *would* be the one I'd buy.

  11. This is one of the most frightening covers I've ever seen. Wickedly good. I will definitely take a look at the description and read a sample.

  12. This is an exceptionally good cover, terrifying and terrific. There's no confusion as to the genre - horror. The text is well done and very readable as a thumbnail. It seems like the girl has been raised from the dead and is about to come get me! I loved the ghostly images reflected on her palm.

    I am not the target audience for horror and this cover is way too spooky for me. However, I'm sure that horror fans would love this.

  13. It's incredibly scary and terrifying, so you definitely hit your mark. I won't be buying it because I don't like horror (because it scares the crap out of me), but I'm not your audience anyway.

    Good job!

  14. This cover is very good and brings up the point that maybe the person who did the cover you be listed.

  15. Thanks for all the comments, folks. I appreciate the insight. As for who did the cover, that's an easy one - me. I just used a stock image and mimicked the layout of my trad covers.

    I'm curious if the cover copy changes your view of the story at all, especially for those of you who do not like horror...

    "On a bright June morning, Sam Dalton’s world suddenly crumbles as he learns that his four-year-old daughter, Jessica, has contracted a mysterious disease. Thanks to some kind of new viral infection, her internal organs are slowly shutting down, one by one, and her doctors are unable to even pinpoint the cause, never mind find a cure. With weary shakes of their heads, they give her less than a month to live.

    Life has not been kind to Sam; two years previously, a drunk driver took his beautiful wife from him in a shower of crumpled steel and broken glass. Now the capricious hand of fate had reached out again, threatening to take his baby girl, and with her, his only reason for living. He vows he will not let that happen, no matter what the cost.

    A chance meeting with a terrifying empty-eyed vagrant offers him a possible solution and a chance to fulfill that vow if he has the courage to do what must be done…"

  16. Great description. Makes me want to read it. I think it still might be classified as horror...depending on how far he goes to accomplish what must be done...but it changes the perception of the girl on the cover. Very intriguing.

  17. Ok, I really like this one, but I think it can be made MUCH more sinister.

    I put a post on my tumblr, which shows this cover and my recoloring of the cover to better effect.

    This post has the two images switching back and forth in the same space, so you can do an A/B comparison. I did several different recolors, but this was the one I liked best, with the face burned in.

    As is, it could be anything - druggie, goth, etc. I definitely get a vibe like The Ring, but that may be too far for this title.

    However, that would be good, if the genre was horror. But the book's description makes me think otherwise.

    The top text is all but invisible, even in the large view on Amazon. I'd suggest shortening it, and making the text bigger, or doing away with it altogether.

    It looks like someone bought an appropriate cover image and slapped some words on it. Yes, the image is evocative, and it does work, but it's missing that extra oomph that makes people 1-click almost against their will. I'd suggest some more tweaking, making the image cooler, sharper, angrier, and spookier. That's pretty easy to do if you know how.

    In general, for horror, go colder in color. Blues and greys or low doses of reds/oranges BUT NOT BOTH work really well.

    If we were critiquing description copy, I'd say it needs to be tweaked: shorter, more visceral, and a greater indication of the supposed horror elements. The horror elements are not evident in the copy.


  18. The description needs work. Some strange tense shifts in there and it's a little jarring. Don't need to be literary in your description. :) It should pop more.

    You ALMOST in intrigued me with the blurb. Almost.

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  20. as an editor, Joe, try this: there is no right or wrong way to arrange paras, but try to put the 'pow' one first... in order to catch readers who may not read past the first para. For instance, by reworking words and tenses, one could also use the very last para below to open the flap copy. What I've edited/added below is only an example of what can be. Just my .2

    kind regards, dr.cpe

    "Life has not been kind to Sam Dalton; two years previously, a drunk driver eviscerated his beautiful wife in a shower of crumpled steel and broken glass. Now a twist of fate has its hideous hand on his baby girl Jessica, pulling her toward Death's door, and in so doing, taking away Sam's only reason for living.

    Four-year-old daughter Jessica has contracted a mysterious disease. Her internal organs are shutting down, one by one, beginning to suffocate her in her own juices. The doctors are unable to pinpoint the cause, let alone find a cure. The child's prognosis: one month to live.

    Sam crazily vows he will not let this happen, no matter the cost, even if it means his own life surrendered.

    And oddly enough, a chance meeting with a terrifying empty-eyed vagrant offers him a possible solution and a chance to fulfill his vow... if... he has the courage to do what must be done…"

  21. Thanks for the added commentary and suggestions, gang!


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  23. Sorry Joe and All, I am an elder who is not the best yet at using software/blog reading on black background, although I love the look here. I addressed Joe by the wrong name, and had to erase that post.

    Re this cover: when I saw it last night, I thought dynamite! A+ for eye catching quality. A+ for that it is as remarkably 3D as two dimensions can ever get.

    And, I would just want Joe's last three letters of his first name and first two letters of his last name to pop more against the 'hair' background, so they are easier to read. Can by done by color, or by heavier line on font, or blurring a bit darker the 'hair.' Or however the book cover designer chooses... as they are the concept-heart along w/ author.

    It is indeed a 'horror' image, from my point of view, just my .2

    And, I wonder who the cover artist is... for they have bold ideas. And I also wonder a bit about the title of the book, given the image... I wonder if a more bold, more three dimensional title, more nounsy is how I would put it to you as an editor... might then better match the image.

    All this is purely subjective Joseph, so please take none or some or all of what I mention.

    kind regards,

  24. Assuming it is horror, it immediately shows the genre wish is good. If it isn't horror, which I doubt it is from the blurb, then it might have a problem. It is a very grabby graphic and the font is easy to read... BUT I had trouble with the author's name which seems to run together a bit. I had to look twice to be sure what the name was. I think the spacing has a problem.

    Anyway, that's my tuppence.

  25. Really nice cover. The only thing I could critique is, with the pasty white skin and dark eyes, the girl's face looks a little too zombie compared to the skin tone of her hand.

    I agree the teaser copy needs some work, and Archangel's suggestion is a good starting point for a revision. Neither version says enough to really hook me. I wonder if you're being so careful to not give anything away that you're undercutting the sales pitch?

    I had to look back at the cover to see the issues people were having with reading your name. I suspect the problem is the "ssis" in your given name. It's difficult to parse, but it's your name; if people like the book they'll get used to reading your name. Or you could change your pen name to Joe Nash ;)