My book Covers. Do they need redesigning? Please comment.

I would really appreciate feedback on my book covers. It has been mooted that the covers of my books are a bit samey and not modern enough in design to attract people to my books.

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I designed the covers myself and have used my own art and photography for the designs. Now I am no designer but I enjoyed putting them together. I am toying with the idea of removing them all and redesigning the covers.

You can check out the covers here:-

What do you think?

If you are at all interested in my writing on Blues and Rock Music you can check out my books here:

I would recommend the Blues Muse or In Search of Captain Beefheart to get you started:

If you would like some of my Sci-fi I recommend Ebola in the Garden of Eden or Sorting the Future to get you started:

If you would like a sixties novel I recommend Danny’s Story or Goofin’ with the Cosmic Freaks

48 thoughts on “My book Covers. Do they need redesigning? Please comment.

  1. I like your art work, the only thing that I’d suggest is that the positioning of the big block of colour for the author and title detracts from it. I’d play around with the text for a bit. I have this theory about wine packaging – if they have to jazz up the labels to get your attention, then I’m probably not going to like the wine.

    1. Thank you Safar. I think you are right about that author/title block. I shall think about that. Thank you for responding – your views are much appreciated. There’s a fine line between something interesting and jazzing it up, isn’t there?

      1. Yes, agreed. Just looking at the Passion for Education book as an example, the block is red and it is across the chest (or heart if you want to be more symbolic) of the head teacher like a barrier between the reader and the person. Even shifted down, it would make the author approachable!

      2. Unfortunately with the design templates there is no way of moving that block of titles around. It requires selecting an entirely different template to work on. It is frustrating in that way. But there are a number of other templates that might prove better.

      3. Well yes: There is a fine line between something interesting and jazzing it up. Agreed.

        But then again: There’s also a not so fine line between selling books and the other side …

    2. Ha, if I judged a bottle of wine only by its label, perhaps I’d never get past Chateaux Margaux and end up in debtor’s prison.
      But all these under 10 pound wines have to do that to survive the battle for supermarket shelf space. It’s all they’ve got to play with.

      1. Well with a book by an author you don’t know all you’ve got to go on is the cover and the blurb.
        Same with wine to an extent. But I tend to find that the taste of a poor wine improves after the first bottle.

  2. I think it’s nice that you use your own art work. They are very colourful and eye catching. And yes, there is a sameness to them which makes them look like they are a part of a set or series. Nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want – it makes them stand out as yours. On the other hand, you might want to consider a similar template just for books that do belong together in the same genre. The block of colour with the names on it I find detracts from the art work. Is there a template that gives you more flexibility with the text – that is, no background block colour, but a change in font size, colour, location. You could still keep a similarity to each theme by changing the font, it’s location etc.
    When I first saw the shot of them all together I thought they were decks of cards, or children’s books.No disrespect intended and I hope no offense taken.
    Hope this is helpful 🙂

    1. Thank you Raili. That is very helpful. There are some good ideas there. Certainly no offense taken. I like to hear your impressions. I shall think and re-evaluate. Thanks so much for your observations.

  3. Could you use something like Gimp? It’s an open source programme as powerful as Photoshop – there’s online tutorials that get you started, and it didn’t take too long to get going with it – depends on how much time you’d want to spend away from your writing?

    1. I’ve never heard of Gimp. It sounds interesting. I’m not sure design is my major skill. The writing is what I do. What would I be able to do with Gimp?

      1. Play with a picture, add layers, so you could add a text overlay, borders, effects, brush painting, I use it to layer images to create fantasy digital art, depends how much time you want to put in, but you’ll be surprised at what you can do, designer or no.

  4. Not with wine. Hence the variety of classifications, region of growth, age etc. There’s a difference between a Chablis, a Sauvignon and a Chardonnay etc – at least there should be.

    1. Yeah – but they’re only like the different genres. It doesn’t tell you the quality of the product. I like a good Shiraz or Pinotage but there is such a range of quality even within a country and a region.

      1. That different genre tells you everything you need to know, but it helps if one knows about wine. It may be medium dry or very dry etc. It may be a desert wine, that really wouldn’t be suitable to drink whilst eating a steak.
        With non-vintage cheap table wines, the quality issue is simply determined by whether its drinkable or not. Its a bit hit and miss. Plus there’s far too much sugar put into them to make them palatable because the wine hasn’t really been given nearly enough time to naturally mature properly.
        There are exceptions, Beaujolais being one. A natural un-tampered with young, light bodied red, that can also be chilled.
        That’s why we know which wines suit which foods best.

      2. I’ve drunk a lot of wine and occasionally come across a wine that I like very much. But I can’t afford good quality wines often and I don’t take enough note of what’s good. It’s something I’d like to study more. I’ve a limited knowledge.

  5. Also, be wary that some of these cheapo supermarket wines often contain a variety of grapes all mixed in together, therefore, being non-specific, any ‘quality’ is “can you swallow it?”

    I was right into the world of wines with my job. I had teams of Sommeliers. We’d spend hours tasting, choosing and planning wine lists as there’s a packet of money involved in stocking a cellar and you’ve got to get it right.
    With expensive Clarets, my guys would rig up a warming cradle for the bottle, light a candle under the neck of the bottle, tip the bottle slightly and very slowly turn the bottle and strain through a muslin cloth into a (pre-warmed to correct temperature) decanter to ensure the wine was at exactly the right temperature and without any sediment. The process takes 15 minutes to serve a glass of wine.
    With this process the wines burst into life and the flavours are wonderful.
    OK, I realise this isn’t your £6.99 Rioja from Tesco – and it’s almost impossible for me to enjoy that stuff – but I do drink it when I’m out, whilst grinning and bearing it.
    I’m now very much getting to the end of my Claret wines, all 1982/83 vintage that I bought at cost back in 1983.
    The vintners kept them for me in storage until 1993 when my lying down time was up.
    I’ve got 11 bottles left from 216 (36 cases of 10 Claret types) with only 1 bottle of Margeaux left.
    I might not be sharing that one!

      1. It just so happens I’ve got a glass of Argentinian ‘Malbec’ in my hand right now. Described as “rich plum and mulberry flavours”, rich and fruity at 13.5 vol, therefore, medium strength.
        It’s 25 degrees in my kitchen so I didn’t need to warm it up in the kitchen sink, lying in hot water for 10 minutes, but I warmed up the glass.
        It’s got a light Sherry texture and scent, decent brownish hue around the edge. Not too bad really as a drinker on it’s own and probably best suited with venison or beef.
        Not too bad for a screw-top. I’ve had far worse.
        It’s all about temperature with these wines. You need to make sure they’re warm (or chilled) enough to enjoy anything of them.

  6. I don’t think I’d have come across you if it wasn’t for word of mouth, and then your books through your blog, so think there is a little more than the cover or label, depending if we’re talking about books or wine.
    “End up in debtors’ prison” and “poor wine improves after the first bottle”: reminds me of nights with my best friend, where we’d line the bottles up from ‘while we are discerning and care’ to when ‘we couldn’t give a rat’s arse’.

    1. Quite – that’s why it’s called being pissed out of your head.
      I can drink cherry brandy and creme de menthe when I’m that drunk!
      Years back, for reasons I won’t go into here, I was taken to this guys house by a mover and shaker I knew for a quick visit. He lived like a chimpanzee, surrounded by about 1,000 bottles of wine in all various states of consumption – half-full, quarter full etc. A full blown alcoholic.
      Peter Cook.

    2. Right. That sounds like the right best friend. The first bottle needs to be nice – after that …..
      Thanks Safar. It’s getting the cover right for that first read.

  7. Lidl’s. They excel in flogging bin-end wines that you’ll never see again.
    The label is ‘Vineyards – World of Wines’ – says it all really!

      1. What on the templates? They are just set templates. You add colour and photographs and put in text but there is nothing else you can change.

  8. I thought that was the name of the system that governs this page, obviously not then… as per Safar’s previous comment using a tablet and you telling me the reason.
    I meant with the comments going into the right boxes – after a few it runs out of space.
    Which one of us is the most confused here? LOL

    1. Well it’s got me confused, that’s for sure. I can’t work out who’s saying what about what. This blog and page are courtesy of WordPress and, as you can see, it has its imperfectios which sometimes do not make for the easiest of understanding but on occasion can produce hilarious results.

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