My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dying Wish | Book Cover

Original Cover
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Updated Cover
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Trying A New Font

Back in 2011 in the month of November I wrote a 25,000 word novella during NaNoWriMo. It's a young adult fantasy adventure story. Here's a brief synopsis:

A young man is left alone after his father dies defending him from slave traders who came through their village. Now he must journey back to his father's homeland to fulfill a promise to bury his father among his family. Along the way he saves another boy from the slave traders, and becomes a man as he finds his way back to his father's homeland to meet his relatives for the first time.

As it lies on my google drive now it is a completed first draft. I plan on rereading it soon and seeing just what I've got now that it's had lots of time to cool. If it's good enough I think I'll revise it and then get it in the hands of beta readers and eventually publish the thing. That's had me thinking about the cover, and so I came up with this. What do you think? I'd love your feedback. Thanks!


I have since changed the name of my novella from "Dying Wish" to "Sword and Urn." I also made a completely new cover that fit the title better:


  1. Make the title much, much bigger. Your name, too. And zoom in on the person in the center -- they're barely visible at the current size and become a smudge at smaller sizes.

    Consider adding a stroke around the text to increase readability, too.

    Covers need to play at 90px wide, minimum.

    My two cents. :-)

    1. Matt - Thanks man. You made a lot of good points. I started with the text huge, but then tried to work the text around the image to give it a good composition and balance, but I should probably crank up the font size so it looks good as a thumbnail image. I usually zoom way out to look at the design and keep working on it and see how it will look in a small size, but I only did that for a few seconds this time. A step I really can't skip :) Thanks for your great input!

    2. It's better! I'm not done nit-picking, though. ;-)

      If you're just doing e-book on this, then don't be afraid to go very close to the edge of the cover with your title. Also, I recommend adding some space between the letters. Line spacing, too.

      I know you have a light-colored stroke around the letters, but a high-contrast, narrower stroke might be worth playing with. The "N" and "G" in "Dying" are a little hard to read at thumbnail size.

      I recognize you might not want to go around and around with this. Tinkering with other people's cover art is fun for me (and sometimes a job) and it keeps me sharp when thinking about my own covers, too. Disregard at will! :-)

    3. By all means, critique away! Tweaking and going around and around is a good way to make something better :) I appreciate it. Thanks Matt. I like your comments. I'm trying other fonts too. Maybe some that are more clear and fit the image better. Thanks again I really appreciate your comments!