How would you improve this cover?

I want to refresh the cover of my high fantasy novella.

I like this concept but it seems like it’s missing something. Any clues how to make it better?

I was trying to recreate a similar vibe to the below premade cover.

I haven’t found a free version of that font yet. Unless you know of anything similar?

I like my image. Do you?

Still not sure if I should remove the color from my background. Will it be better as gray? Or is this background too boring no matter which shade it is?
Canva doesn’t have a nice background like the one in the premade. I might have to scour pixabay for better options.

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I’m not much for graphic design, but I like the top one more. I prefer that the dragon is more established in it, rather than kinda just peaking in. I like how it interacts with the title too. I also prefer the warmer background colour.
What I’d say about improving it is that the dragon’s eye doesn’t look aggressive enough to me. As well, it’s unclear what the posing of the dragon is. I’m under the impression it’s turned right but looking behind itself to the left, but even if this is correct, it was a bit tough to draw this conclusion. No idea how you’d make it clearer, but yeah.

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I like the bottom one the most. The top one, imo, looks a little cartoony and I don’t think would catch the eye of many readers, especially the way the font covers the dragon–just looks a little messy. The bottom one is clean, you can see clearly the title, the cool griffin, and the authors name. If you’re planning to publish to Wattpad, too, the bottom cover would be easier to see when the image is smaller.

Maybe add some silhouetted swirls to the left side to fill it out a bit?

I like that cover too. That’s the premade I’m using as inspiration.

I don’t know, maybe my title format is a factor in why it doesn’t completely work. Three short words vs one medium-length word.

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I was just going to make a little idea thing, but then I ended up messing around with it and…since I have the Breamcatcher font I thought, well… If you want it, I can change the color to a warm tone. If you don’t want it, I’ll turn it into a premade. (update: been turned into a premade. I don’t usually do monotone covers, so this was interesting.)

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I think it’s going to be a major challenge to add swirls that don’t clash with the image I’m using.

Your cover looks cool. Not exactly what I want but you’re giving me some ideas.
Thanks for the suggestion.

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No problem :grin: Hope you figure it out!

With such a high-demand for dragons, Idk why photo editing sites don’t provide more for free :sweat_smile: I look for “dragon with wings” and it gives me pictures of dragonflies :upside_down_face:

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Keep the text on the brown background and in one color. That will improve it vastly.

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I like the second one better, but agree that I like the dragon focus of the first one being more in frame. Also, side note, the mouth of the second dragon makes me think of a Griffin because it’s mouth looks more like a beak to me.

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A couple of key differences between the professional premade and yours - the text treatment and the (lack of) texture.

Don’t outright copy the premade, but maybe working some texture onto your dragon so it doesn’t look like copy-pasted clipart and more ‘immersed’ could work wonders? A nicer font could be great, too - I know your title is one word, but nothing to say it needs to be on the same line, per se. :slight_smile: Take a look at Amazon bestsellers for what fonts are working in fantasy right now!

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I see what you’re saying.
Trying to recreate a professionally designed covers makes me realize how little I know about the process.

The ones I like usually have cool artwork. Like this one:

Summary

chrome_image_Nov 29, 2021 4_01_12 PM EST

I actually tried to draw something for the cover of this book and that’s what I’ve been using so far. The drawing is not the best though and that’s why I wanted to try something else.

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There is a wonderfully talented artist who posts their work for sale on Depositphotos and Adobe. I forget what they go by, but art is readily available to purchase for covers. :slight_smile:

Grandfailure. I would advise Depositphotos over Adobe. They often have a free trial on DP, too.

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These are gorgeous!!!

I wonder, with stock images, is there a way to find out if the image has been used for another book?

I don’t think it would come up on reverse image search since putting a font on it reduces the comparability.

That would really suck if I purchased it and later found a book that used the same.
I suppose there’s no guarantee unless you commission an image (and I don’t have that in the budget at the moment).

If only I was a better artist myself. :sweat_smile:

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With book covers, you can ALMOST guarantee every single stock image has been used. I’d put money on every single thing grandfailure has made being used at least once. What you said is right - no guarantee unless you made/hired the work. Daz is good for this sort of thing, but mainly people headswap it - and those heads have always been used on other covers. :slight_smile:

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Not all commissions are expensive. Find a growing artist. They are great, and can’t charge a large amount yet, and you are giving them business so it’s worth it.

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