Sunday, July 31, 2011

Freedom's Sword by J.R. Tomlin

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. Historical fiction is what it says to me. But I'm not actually thrilled about the cover. To me the orange of the figures clashes a bit with the greyish-brown of the header and footer. And it says "Medieval" but not necessarily "Scotland." I also find the font at small size difficult to read. I didn't even notice "A Novel of Scotland" till my second glance at the cover. I like it for the author's name but not so much for the title. It would be lovely if it came in a heavier weight.

    If I was going to center Freedom's above Sword, I would make the lines equal in size. And one other thing. It all has the same overall tone/darkness. If you squint it and blur your eyes, it all kind of becomes a single even toned blob.

    Okay, that sounds like I hate it. I don't hate it! I swear! I'm just really nit picking because you asked. I like the ragged edge of the top and bottom title strips, and their color and texture. Beautifully done.

  2. I like this cover.

    I see so many books out there with bad covers. And I see so many with covers that are good, but aren't tied to the genre of the book.

    I see this, and I immediately know it's historical fiction, it's probably going to have some epic battle scenes (which I like, I definitely avoid the "dresses and manners" books), and that it's set some time in the Middle Ages.

    This pinpoints the genre EXACTLY for the reader, which most covers fail to do. You could have a minor gripe about it not saying "Scotland" strongly enough, but I don't think that is important (especially as it's right there in the subtitle).

    The job of the cover is to get someone to click on it. A good cover will get the right someone to click on it. This does the job, and I presume the description will sell the Scotland angle more forcefully.


  3. Thanks for the comments.

    David, you are exactly right that one of my goals with this cover was to make it clear that this was not a "dresses and manners" or a "romantic" historical novel. It is a war/adventure historical with a small element of romance.

    Robin, you don't sound like you hate it. One think I kind of agree with you on is that I have never been crazy about the fact that Sword is a bit heavier than Freedom's. If I were going to change anything in this cover, it would be that. However, for me that is really nitpicking because I like this cover very much. :)

    It is one of my covers designed by JT Lindroos who is a pleasure to work with.

    Oh the blurb, I think, definitely sells the Scottish connection: "Before William Wallace... before Robert the Bruce... there was another Scottish hero...

    In 1296, newly knighted by the King of the Scots, Andrew de Moray fights to defend his country against the forces of the ruthless invader, King Edward Longshanks of England. After a bloody defeat in battle, he is dragged in chains to an English dungeon.

    Soon the young knight escapes. He returns to find Scotland under the heel of a conqueror and his betrothed sheltering in the hills of the Black Isle.

    Seizing his own castle, he raises the banner of Scottish freedom. Now he must lead the north of Scotland to rebellion in hope of defeating the English army sent to crush them."

    I must admit that of all my novel covers, even if it's not perfect, it is my favorite.

  4. Is this the second book in a series? I remember a very similar cover that we discussed previously...or is this a remake of that one?

    I like it. Tells me what it's about and looks professionally done.

  5. This is actually the first and that was the second. They are also very much stand alone novels that don't have to be read in order.

    I am trying (or JT is trying) for a similar look on the covers of all my Scottish historical novels which is something that has never been discussed here, or not that I've seen.

    If you have a series or closely related novels, it seems to me that it's a good thing to have the covers look similar, but others might not agree.

    You know it is very hard for someone who isn't a professional to achieve that professional look on a cover, or it seems that way to me. I don't know exactly what magic they do, but it makes a big difference.

  6. I have a series I'm writing and considered doing similar covers for all. I thought it might be good to have a repeating image or layout, but when I mocked up about 5 it started looking really monotonous. I can see the pros and cons, but ultimately decided to go with covers that were more indicative of the content than identifiable as part of a series.

  7. That is a trick to have them similar but not too repetitive. That's probably not easy to do.