Critique Corner: Continued…Font Choices

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Can't afford a designer? Consider a cover critique...

Many new authors think they can't afford to hire an accomplished, trained designer for their books cover. Fair enough. If you want a professional cover, created by a designer with education, skill, experience, and a good reputation, that doesn't come free. (Money well spent though, and worth every penny!)

My advice to new authors is to start saving the day you start writing. Because, after all, you know it's going to need a cover…

But let's say you didn't happen to run into me last year when you started. And now, you are ready to let your baby out into the world, for all the universe to love and adore! YIKES! You can't let that baby go out there NAKED!

But you haven't saved, so you feel you have to do the work yourself. Maybe not the best idea, because let's face it, you're a writer, not a designer. Right!? But, it's got to have a cover so, you give it a go.This is where I come in. I'd like to help you, free of charge, by offering a cover critique on my new blog. Show me what you have and I promise an honest, kind and constructive insight into how you might make the cover better before you display it to the world.

My goal is to help YOU, the self published author trying to create their own cover, with advice and helpful tips that can make your efforts shine just a little bit better. In the meantime, my readers and followers will get the advantage of the advice too.

Cover Critique for author, Robin E. Mason, Continued....

How does this look, using MS fonts, the first book in the series

~ Robin









Critique corner by Tamian Wood:

Sorry to be such a negative Nelly, but this isn't working either. Here are the reasons it looks unprofessional.


1) Font choice - Almost any font that comes with your system is going to look DIY - There are many free fonts out on the internet, but resist the urge to go "fancy/kitchy". It'll get you in trouble. Think classic.


2) Typography - choosing right justify, equidistant leading (distance between the lines) and getting too close to the trim edge. Try playing with the placement of each word. And be sure to keep any text at least 1/4" away from any edge.


Note: These first two are where most self-coverers get into trouble. Font selection and typography. It really is an art. It's where a professional can make the project SHINE. (Then there's kerning, the space between the letters, which usually gives it away as well.)


3) White boxes - What you now have is what I like to call the "scotch tape" effect. It is a classic rooky solution to put white boxes behind things. It doesn't really work, and It just looks DIY. The overall lightening that I did on Winter worked, because it's Winter. This just makes it look washed out.


4) Contrast - The colour of the title is not contrasty enough to the colour of the book. It needs to stand out against the business of the background to be readable. Secondarily, choosing a primary colour - white, black, red, yellow, blue - is another typical DIY givaway. Primary colours are almost always only used on children's books.


5) You didn't resist the urge to go fancy/kitchy on your author name.


6) Your series line looks better, but it has the same contrast problem, and you've dropped it in where it struggles with busy stuff on the background. If you move it to the other side, there's nothing to fight.


I know it's a lot, but I hope it's helpful.

Tamian Wood
Graphic Designer
Beyond Design International
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