Goblin Novella cover rough!

So this is my initial rough for the cover of the Goblin Novella.

It’s got a white background. That’s the bit that I am wavering most on.

A) The art looks best on white. So if I want to use this art, at least a chunk of it has to be white.

B) Very few trade book covers are white.

C) That either means it will stand out or look HORRIBLY AMATEURISH.

D) I don’t know which.

E) If I ever do a sequel, it is suggested that it have the same format, which is totally doable.

F) Cover art is mostly to show people that this is the kind of book they will like, not to make Deathless Art For The Ages.

G) Still don’t know if this is the way to go.

H) Thoughts appreciated.


11 thoughts on “Goblin Novella cover rough!

  1. broundy says:

    A novella! I am excited!

    I think a mostly-white cover is fine. Looking over my shelves, I seem to have quite a few.

    But… um. Is that banner pole intended to be so… phallic?

  2. Marc-Antoine says:

    Z) I like it.
    Y) But then I come here because I like your art, so there may be selection bias here.
    X) I have seen a lot of drawing-on-white books covers. I think it is more frequent in the French publications world.
    W) So it may convey some continental sophistication, in stark contrast to the wonderful goofiness of the goblin.
    V) Phallic? I have to squint really hard.

  3. QuinFirefrorefiddle says:

    I like it, but my first thought is Jabba the Hutt, and I´m not sure that´s something you´re going for. That might be because there´s nothing to size the creature with though. I mean, if he´s approximately the height of a blade of grass, that´s much less Jabba-like.

    And I didn´t think the pole was phallic at first, but now that the idea´s in my head….. Art does look great against white! But do you mean this art looks best that way or all art does, because I could see this against a nice light, shiny silver or metallic bronze, if standing out is what you´re going for.

  4. RhianimatorLGP says:

    White is fine for me, but if it bothers you,I say frame it with a darker version of the main color. With maybe an oval shape for the center. Just my opinion.

    It’s your baby, dress her however seems best to you.

  5. siadea says:

    Maybe a pale background, rather than a flat white like this one? Like, snow or something. …There’s no snow in the book, is there. Mist? ….something abstract-ish?

  6. Owlor says:

    I don’t think this works, honestly. The goblin general worked perfectly fine as a character portrait, but as a cover it just looks really boring. And the white background doesn’t help either, it just makes it even MORE bland.

    Go with an abstract cover if you don’t wanna draw anything new for it, a pleasing colour will prolly do more than a static character portrait on white to attract attention.

    Not that you should listen to ME on this one, I am not a graphic designer, but looking past my immediate fannish reaction of “yes, use it, I love that guy!” (and I do), I have to admit that it looks like too much of what it is: re-appropriating an image that was never meant as a cover.

  7. Lisa says:

    I am loathe to admit my susceptibility to marketing, but I would totally pass a white covered book with this image from an author I didn’t know over, because of the amateurish impression you were concerned about.

    I’m not totally sure why this works for me, but if you did go with it as a cover, on white, having a black (or very dark color) spine, or spine+back, with white text, would help that impression, at least for me. It might be because I’ve seen that look often enough with University Press style publications, but when I picture it it does grab me, while an all white cover does the opposite.

    This would also make a gorgeous title page, which would eliminate any weirdness with the white, if there’s any chance of color illustrations in the book itself, and could offset a more abstract or subtler cover in setting the tone for what’s following.

    No matter what you choose, though, you can count on my adoring your work already to overcome any marketing issues I have…. :-D

  8. Steve Simmons says:

    For some years Tom Holt’s books had white background covers. They were attractive and eye-catching and seemed to sell well.

  9. Amy says:

    I like rhianimatorlgp’s idea of using a deeper tone of one of the main colors and then opening a white oval to encapsulate the image. Or an wide, angled stripe of white. There are a lot of simple ideas that can keep the art on a white background and still make the entire cover look sophisticated.

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