Please critique a book cover

23 replies
I took my top sales guy to a Bob Proctor event recently in Toronto and while there a man named Gerry Roberts spoke about the importance of a salesperson having a book.

I am so proud, Trevor asked me if I would shoot/design his cover and write his forward if he finished his book. Well in 4 weeks he did just that and we will be ordering the first copies to give to clients this week.

Problem is I have NO experience designing book covers. Any feedback would be appreciated on the design and the picture too


#book #cover #critique
  • Profile picture of the author mike52683
    I'd use the dark red font like you used for "Trevor Payne" for your Title. Then maybe change the name to black. I think it would make the title pop out a little bit more.

    Just my 2 cents though...
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Jinks
    My musings:

    # I'm not sure if the image fits with the title - I don't know about everyone else, but if I see a book that I'm not familiar with then I'ts the artwork that will make me check it out. You're image doesn't quite grab me and shout READ ME! What if you were to play a little more on the 'sins' bit? You know. Moses, stone tablet's, heaven and hell etc

    # Too much space between title and bottom text

    # Colours are very corporate looking (fine if that's what you're going for)

    # I like the cleaness but can't help feeling that it looks a little dull

    # How about adding a little attention grabbing sentence/blurp

    # Maybe make the 'Trevor Payne' a little smaller

    Hope that helps?!
    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    Wow thanks guys keep em coming! I am making notes for changes and will post revisions.

    Thanks a million!
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  • Profile picture of the author Davion Wong
    The 7 Deadly Sins ....should be right at the top, above his face. Shrink his face such that you only see his eyes perhaps. Use black and white for the photo. And Red for the header font. That will give it a mysterious look.
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  • Profile picture of the author willz605
    JMO.....the image doesn't fit the message
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  • Profile picture of the author Igor Kheifets
    I'd say go with
    no picture at all.

    Only text on plain background.

    Imagine it to be like a sales
    copy headline, it needs to grab the attention.

    Igor
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    FWIW I was a photo studio owner for 38 years - get his eyes looking right at the camera. The side glance makes it look like someone made a noise and he looked to see what it was just as you snapped the shutter.

    Eyes looking at the center of the lens is how you make a photo in which the eyes seem to follow you as you view it from different angles.

    Putting some asymetrical balance into it will make the look more interesting than just having everything centered.

    If you are going to use a face - or part of a face - photograph it with some more creative lighting to give a roundness ( a 3D look) to it.

    Just my 2 cents.

    :-Don
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    • Profile picture of the author Muhammad Hassan
      I like white writing on a colored background, preferably blue.


      Here's a simple idea:

      top half with blue background and white writing of book title

      bottom sixth with blue background and white writing of your name

      Are left has white background with blue writing - writing should say benefit of reading book e.g. 'Here's how to avoid all of them in no time at all'

      If having a picture have it in the white area - with writing on right and picture on left or picture in middle with writing on top (I don't mean above).

      If going to use picture of person then have eyes looking to right. In western culture used to reading from left to right so the readers eyes will naturally follow eyes to the right.


      Would also work with yellow writing on blue background if you want a brighter look.

      Don't have to agree with my suggestion because like you I am an amateur.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Most print books on business do not feature a photograph
    of a person.... at least the ones I own. Personal development
    books often feature the author on the cover though, shooting
    for facial recognition, and because these books are sold from
    the back-tables in seminars they function as souveneirs.

    I would avoid using a picture at all, though I've seen cartoons
    used effectively as symbols of success. Robert Ringer's
    turtle and Dan Kennedy's use of a cartoon of himself and
    symbolic business owners winning or (in one I have) swimming
    in dollars.

    No book I own on marketing has a photograph on the cover,
    and I own quite a few, many of them sought-after and
    highly relevant classics.
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg Cooksley
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      Most print books on business do not feature a photograph
      of a person.... at least the ones I own. Personal development
      books often feature the author on the cover though, shooting
      for facial recognition, and because these books are sold from
      the back-tables in seminars they function as souveneirs.

      I would avoid using a picture at all, though I've seen cartoons
      used effectively as symbols of success.
      Robert Ringer's
      turtle and Dan Kennedy's use of a cartoon of himself and
      symbolic business owners winning or (in one I have) swimming
      in dollars.

      No book I own on marketing has a photograph on the cover,
      and I own quite a few, many of them sought-after and
      highly relevant classics.
      Hey Brad,

      I must agree with Loren....

      My wife runs a national book sales and marketing business here in South Africa. The bookstore owners/managers instantly take a "disliking" to any business book that has a picture on the cover. Especially those books that have a picture of the author on the cover. Their collective voice says that those books don't sell......

      Either go for a cartoon or some other type of image.

      Another point, those who study body language will tell you that someone looking away to the left and slightly downward is lying. That was the first impression I had even though your image is looking to his right (my left)...

      Regards

      Greg
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      • Profile picture of the author xiaophil
        Originally Posted by Greg Cooksley View Post

        Another point, those who study body language will tell you that someone looking away to the left and slightly downward is lying. That was the first impression I had even though your image is looking to his right (my left)...
        NLP practitioners call these eye movements 'accessing cues'. This image is depicting someone who is operating in auditory mode, most likely imagining something they have never heard before. Unless he is left handed that is, in which case he is probably remembering something he heard.

        Not a catch-all for dishonesty but certainly a useful indicator when used in context with additional information.

        Interesting stuff anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author mtaylor336
    looks very nice.
    i would buy
    paperback i'm assuming
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  • Profile picture of the author scorpions84
    As a product buyer, maybe it's better if you put an image of a well-known person instead of an image of an unknown person to us or don't put anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johnny12345
    The typography is clean and simple -- and that's a good thing. However, I don't see how the picture, in any way, connects to the topic.

    Johnny
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    Thanks everyone and special thanks to Pat who PM'd and offered to do a free cover design.

    I will take all of this back to the drawing board. You guys rock. I knew it was smart to ask for help in an area where I am clueless

    FWIW the guy on the cover is the author. The "idea" was to convey he was hiding because he made a big mistake. But again I have no idea what I am doing here
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  • Profile picture of the author Mynt
    Hmm, just some quick color correction on photoshop... ignoring the text..

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    • Profile picture of the author TeddyP
      That last one looks a bit too Zombie-ish to me.

      The picture makes sense to me personally and if you want to brand someone as an expert on a topic - having their pic on the cover is a good move IMO.

      Good input on the text in here though.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobbiePringle
    Not sure the title and subtitle go well together; subtitle sounds like a good early chapter title to me...but content is another matter.

    I mean is the book about avoiding the deadly sins - or accepting inevitable failure? There seems to be a mixed message here.

    The assumption with the title is you are going to list the sins and then list the solutions; but the subtitle suggests, to me at least, there are a certain amount of unavoidable shortcomings - and I don't think this is much of a selling point, to be honest.

    Anyway, I hope this makes sense - I'm not sure I've made a good job of getting my point across, here's hoping...

    Good luck

    Robbie
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    Take a look at this list:

    Amazon.com Books Bestsellers: The most popular items in Sales & Selling. Updated hourly.

    If you spend about 5 minutes there, I think you'll see which direction you need to go.
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