Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Venom of Vipers by K.C. May

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. To (somewhat) quote my daughter, who was looking over my shoulder as I viewed this cover, she said, "That's creepy as f#*k!" (It's okay, she's 23.) That wasn't exactly the first thought I had, though I'll say the face is quite jarring. Even if the cover didn't say it upfront, this cover screams sci-fi thriller. From the color to the molecule diagrams, the DNA, the single cyborg-like eye gazing out all set the tone. The chain link and barbed wire give me a sense of some sort of techno-prison and genetic experiments, further enhancing the creepy factor (in a good way.) When the image is reduced to a thumbnail the face becomes even more distinct, which works well. I also like the way the author's name is set off from the image. This is a sharp and professional looking cover and there's no ambiguity about the genre. I'm not regularly a sci-fi reader but I'll be giving this a closer look.

    My only suggestion would be to change the white glow 'shadow' behind the title, it diminishes the contrast of the letters. The font is a good size and weight, I just think it could stand out the slightest bit more. Overall I think this cover works well. Nicely done.

  2. I agree with everything CE Grundler said. I think this is a very good cover but I'd get rid of the shadow on the title. I like the way everything else is presented and especially like the way the author's name is displayed.

  3. I have to completely disagree with the above comments. If the cover didn't say "a sci-fi thriller" I wouldn't have known it was such. in fact, given the helix, dna sequences and the molecular structure taking up so much of the image, I would have labeled it a medical thriller.

    The cover doesn't do much for me, unfortunately. Barbed wire and a half-seen face doesn't make me go "oh I have to read this" and the confusion between what the cover says "a sci-fi thriller" and what it looks like (a medical thriller) would make me pass it by without much of a second thought.

    One final comment - there's a fairly large contingent of writers in the SF community who have been advocating against the "sci-fi" label for years. You might want to consider changing that.

  4. This cover says "cyber-thriller" to me. It suggests menace, fear, and genetic experimentation. I like that it's basically all one color, which works well to convey a sense of coldness and actinic light. The contrast between the blue and the white is quite effective, except that the title gets a little lost behind the face on the right. The author's name shows up well. The title is a little obscured.

    Out of fairness I should point out that this book is likely to lose some of its potential audience with the tagline "a sci-fi thriller". Among dedicated science fiction readers the term "sci-fi" is scorned as a term for trashy pulp. Just call it "science fiction", or "sf", which is the preferred term among dedicated fans.

    Ah, I see Joseph has already brought that up.

  5. wow. I thought I was 'old school' but I gave up worrying about "sci-fi" a pejorative two decades ago.

    I like the cover over all -- I think it's a bit busy altho the echo of barbed wire, chain link, dna chain, molecular chain works darn well.

    I agree about the drop shadow on the title - the extra white makes my eyes blur. Along the same lines I can't help but wonder what it would look like if you dropped the 'spot light' effect off the top ... would it look "cleaner"..? or just "flatter"...?

    I'd give it a solid A as it sits but I think removing that white drop shadow might make it A+

  6. Great cover!

    I would say this is a biotech thriller. There is obviously some kind of experimentation going on.

    I'd agree with the suggestion on previous posts to drop the glow shadow on the title. It is a bit too bright. Other than that, this is a really solid cover. Two thumbs up!

  7. I really like this cover. Well done.

    I am very old school Science Fiction fan and have no problem with the term "sci-fi"... That being said it might be classier if it was spelled out as Science Fiction.

    I would also agree with everyone else and play with the drop shadow along the text.

  8. I thought it was a biotech/medical thriller, not sci fi.

    And I actually thought YA because the image of the face seems very young to me.

  9. The images on the cover and the sci-fi-thriller spelled out are in contrast to the actual title, which kind of has a para-normal/fantasy ring to it - for me, anyway. There's a lot going on, but it catches the eye and peaks interest. So it works, I guess.

  10. @amanda -- hehe - I have that problem with every cover. They ALL look *very young* to me.

    It kinda creeps me out at times.

    "My god! She looks young enough to be my daughter!" ... (of course at my age, that means she looks almost 40.)


    Hey, you kids! get off my LAN.

  11. Great comments! Thank you so much. :)

  12. I don't know that I would've gotten "sci-fi thriller" as much as I would've gotten "science thriller," i.e. a thriller with some kind of medical or DNA theme, but that could also easily be sci-fi. I also have no problem with the term sci-fi. "Science Fiction" is a little more high-brow, if that's what you're going for, but I think "sci-fi" sounds a little more fun.

    I agree with others about the shadowing around the title. I also wonder if there's room to put in a little quote from an endorsement or review.

  13. Great cover. It's professional, appealing and perfectly captures the genre -- which is helpfully explicated right on the front (nice touch). Unlike a lot of books that merge several pictures, the montage here is perfectly balanced and united by a common color scheme. The author font/set up is great; the title font is terrific. Personally, I have no problem with the shadow or highlights. Good all around, as far as I'm concerned, and it would definitely make me take a look.