Book Cover: Daddy!

There is a thread on KDP where someone was looking to hire (hire?! – odd word) a cover designer but the job was already fulfilled when someone posted this piece of atrocious work:


Let’s go through it:

  • Grainy horrible shot (which won’t be available at hi-res) – CHECK!
  • Uninspiring typography – CHECK!
  • Awful colours – CHECK!
  • Use of drop shadows – CHECK!
  • Un-readable font – CHECK!

So what did the original poster have to say about this cover – here she is in her own words:

OMGness I love it!

OH. MY. GOD.  Indeed.

So, any way, let’s have a little look at it properly for her. This is just me messing about – she’s not ‘hired’ me … or even commissioned me. But this took all over 20 mins. I’m really loving my shutterstock monthly subscription – I’m getting 25 image a day – so I can get whatever I want hi-res now without having those nasty watermarks on the draft. Genius.



Leave a comment


  1. John D. Mosley

     /  August 24, 2012

    You called it right, CL. Hopefully, the author will have a chance to look at your samples. I am liking the Ikea option. The picture captures the feeling of the title perfectly.

  2. Christine Swinson

     /  August 24, 2012

    Before I start my rant (and I’m going to temper it a bit), I’ll make a positive comment. Both of your covers are good (natch) and I particularly like Oompa Loompa. That kid’s face is great! Says it all. I also like how you put the title in brackets. Well done. (Also, before I forget, I’m glad you now have a Shutterstock monthly. Good choice.)

    Now for my (very) tempered rant: First off, this is why people should hire (OMG, I said *HIRE,* scratch that!).. . Sorry, *work with* a pro. (And I’m teasing here, CL. Quite right, not *hire.*)

    I just looked at your current prices, just to refresh my memory, and for $150 USD someone can ask you to make a cover. To me, it’s money well spent. Whether it’s spent with you or another pro, it’s a great investment.

    But I think there are a couple of reasons why most people don’t do that. The main one is that people really haven’t developed their “eye” for stuff like that. They really, truly don’t see how bad it looks. I genuinely believe that if they realized that, they’d spend the extra bucks, OR, if they knew they weren’t going to have the extra dough anytime soon, they’d postpone publishing their piece until they could do it right.

    I write too (though I’m not writing at present), but I’ve spent most of the last year studying indie works online. There’s an enormous amount of mediocre stuff out there. I would say that at least 80% of indie works are *in some way* mediocre.

    Now, what makes a good product?
    *good cover
    *good formatting
    *good editing
    *good writing
    *good subject or storyline

    All of those have to be present to have a truly superlative product. If any of those factors is absent, the consumer is let down, and probably the producer (writer) is as well, although a lot of bad stuff makes a lot of money. (That’s fodder for another day.)

    The great news is that the first three aspects can be purchased!!! Isn’t that wonderful? And it is! That means that I (for one) can *just* (as if it’s easy) focus on the writing, and don’t have to learn cover art, formatting, or editing. I can ask a pro to do it!!!

    Do I understand that that can get very, very expensive? Of course, I do. I don’t have my head in the sand. And, when I finally get another novel written, the most expensive part of the equation (for me, as I said) will be the editing. I imagine that I’m going to spend big bucks for that. But, that’s another topic.

    But some good news is that cover art is relatively inexpensive and you get great bang for your buck. As I think you’ve mentioned (and I’m greatly paraphrasing here), a published writer has only a few seconds to capture a potential buyer’s attention. And the main way it is done is through the cover…

    I had more points I was going to make, but, alas, I’ve run out of steam. For those of you who have taken valuable time out of your very busy day to read this far, I extend very heartfelt thanks…..:)

    And thanks to CL for offering me a place to do this.

    • John D. Mosley

       /  August 24, 2012

      Well said Christine. We have all heard the saying don’t judge a book by its cover, but the fact is that the cover will be a big influence in someone deciding to buy your work.

      • Christine Swinson

         /  August 24, 2012

        Thanks, John! I really appreciate that!

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