Thursday, May 3, 2012

Killer Instincts Cover Design Poll

I've been working on the cover design for my novel Killer Instincts. I've gone through a number of different designs, and settled on one that I think both represents the mood of the novel and looks visually striking as well. Below, I'm going to provide six different variations on the cover, and I'm looking for feedback from everyone as to what works and what doesn't.

This is the original, un-filtered cover. The major selling point is the realistic look, which keeps it in line with more traditional paperback thriller covers (think a David Morrell cover). I think it is a little bland, but for people who don't like "photoshopped" covers, they might appreciate the simplicity.
 "Posterized" Cover. This is my personal favorite. It's stylized and more edgy, a little more pulp-flavored. I'm a fan of the posterization filter in general although I think it needs a delicate touch. This gives the cover a cool retro feel in my mind, which I really dig.
 "Graphic Pen" Cover. I'm not a big fan of this cover, but I like the graphic pen filter for some effects, so I thought I'd give it a try.
 "Ink Stamp" Cover. I actually prefer this over the graphic pen; I think the stylization makes it more pulpy, and I think it'd work well on the Kindle.
"Watercolor" Cover. All this really does is add some darker contrast to the cover. I don't really care for it, but it does make the whole cover a little darker and more sinister.
"Cutouts" Cover. Similar to the posterized cover, but with a different effect. I don't like it as much as the posterized, but I do like the pulpy look it gives.

So, please feel free to comment on what cover works best, and if you have other suggestions, please feel free to leave them. This is probably the sixth cover design I've gone through in the last year and a half, and I'll probably stick with it for the initial release, but I'm open to variations.


Darkwing said...

I like the unfiltered or the watercolor filter the best.

Ink stamp looks like a comic book style line drawing, which I don't think is what you want.

Not a big fan of the others, either.

Also, the tagline text is a little small. I think it leaves too much whitespace on the cover, and you won't be able to read it on the Amazon webpage either. So I'd make the font size of the tagline text bigger.

Ben said...

Call me Picky Pearl, but I like pretty much only "Ink Stamp" Maybe you want to put the title black. I don't like the others much.

BISH said...

Unfiltered or posterized ...

Jim said...


Andrew Byers said...

My preferences are for:

(1) The Original/Unfiltered cover.
(2) The Watercolor Cover.

Sorry, I know you said you cared for those the least, but those are the two that stand out for me.

I actively dislike the Graphic Pen and Ink Stamp covers for whatever that's worth. I also don't think those would look good shrunken as selling pieces for the book on Amazon.

Jack Murphy said...

What Andrew said.

Runjikol said...

Hey Jack. Good series of images.
What I like is the posterized text, but I'd try it on the graphic-pen image. If I had to choose one of those it'd be posterized or watercolor.

Jack Badelaire said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! I wound up going with the original draft for the cover as of right now, but of course I can always change the cover again if it's not well received.