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Which Sci-Fi Cover is Most Attactive?
Old 11-20-2014, 08:49 PM   #1
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Which Sci-Fi Cover is Most Attactive?

I'm considering purchasing a ready-made cover for my upcoming book. I've copied and pasted a couple choices into this image. After viewing it full-size, which cover would make you the most likely to buy the book or at least download a sample?

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Old 11-20-2014, 09:06 PM   #2
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Hur, hur, hur - "The coming"...

As a long time sci fi reader, just make sure the cover has something to do with the actual material in the book. It has always annoyed me that the cover images frequently have very little to do with the content.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:16 PM   #3
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As a long time sci fi reader, just make sure the cover has something to do with the actual material in the book. It has always annoyed me that the cover images frequently have very little to do with the content.
+1

Are you able to condense the book into a 10 second summary? Try going for a cover related to a snipit of your 10 second summary, or a scene involving a main character/important event in the first 1/4 of the book.

If it's about an EMP, the one with the Earth and what looks like an electrical surge/lightning bolt hitting the planet might be close, but would rather it be edited just a little bit more to be more related to the book.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Hur, hur, hur - "The coming"...

As a long time sci fi reader, just make sure the cover has something to do with the actual material in the book. It has always annoyed me that the cover images frequently have very little to do with the content.
Well, it's interesting that you say that, since I was just deciding today that that wasn't so important. My story involves first contact with an alien who visits the planet. The spacecraft looks nothing like the one on the "The Coming" cover, however. It's a perfect sphere.

In fact, there are two spacecraft: one a sphere, the other diamond shape. I did a mockup of my own idea for cover, and it looked like this:



I would like the cover to be relevant and attractive, but attractive has priority. And by "attractive," I'm referring to attracting people's interest.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
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Somewhere out there for me. Don't know why, I just prefer it. Second would be The Coming, The first and last look cheesy.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Hur, hur, hur - "The coming"...

As a long time sci fi reader, just make sure the cover has something to do with the actual material in the book. It has always annoyed me that the cover images frequently have very little to do with the content.
+1

I like The Coming, but does your book have a dark or light tone? Kind of a dark cover, and a specific structure on the cover. The top cover looks more like a science fact book, the bottom like it's more social fiction than action and science. The second might be applicable to you, but conveys a dark tone of threatened extinction or something like that.

The more saturated colors catch my eye, like The Coming and The Beyond. Those might be my first choices if I had no other inputs.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:47 PM   #7
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Somewhere out there for me. Don't know why, I just prefer it. Second would be The Coming, The first and last look cheesy.
Just to show that opinions are like @ssholes, I like (in order) the first, fourth, third, and lastly the second one. I would put your mockup in second place. Especially from knowing a little something about your story from previous threads. I find the second and third images sort of meaningless. The others at least imply a space related story.

I tend to agree with Brewer about the cover having something to do with the story. Unless, of course, you want to do something totally unrelated in order to make a sale.

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Old 11-20-2014, 10:30 PM   #8
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I like the second one but would use the typeface from the thrd, both font and size. Books with very dark covers seem to be very popular. And women without heads if the protagonist/victim is a female: Headless Women (449 books)

Are you actually printing out books or are they ebooks? The cover probably isn't as important for the latter?
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:54 PM   #9
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Hard to say at that size, but I think the 4th cover for a first contact book that isn't about scientists and is about aliens showing up in a ship. 2nd cover if it is about the scientists on earth detecting and interacting with the aliens remotely for an extended portion. And the title will matter a lot, it has to look right with the cover (was surprisingly hard evaluating those covers with the existing titles on them).
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:09 PM   #10
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Probably "The Other Earth" and that comes from someone who got Analog magazine mailed from the US to North East England back in the 1970s ......I was that big of a Sci-Fi nerd.
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:07 AM   #11
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The first one for the graphics. I assume the title will be the title of your book.
I like it because you can easily see the title on the bright area, plus the bright area suggests distance/space. Without locking the viewer into some specific view you have of the 2 ships (the reader will construct their own image).
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:29 AM   #12
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If you have the budget, one thing you could do is run an experiment with google Adwords. Create four different ads with each cover and see which gets the most clicks (you could direct them to a preorder page).
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:30 AM   #13
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:43 AM   #14
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I like the cover Harley has in his post. Of course that is because I want your book to be about a future Utopia where robots do all the housework, including killing rodents, deer, etc. with ray guns.

"Somewhere Out There" makes the most sense, I think, for an alien-contact story.

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Old 11-21-2014, 06:08 AM   #15
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If you have the budget, one thing you could do is run an experiment with google Adwords. Create four different ads with each cover and see which gets the most clicks (you could direct them to a preorder page).
+1 - try to match it with keywords that don't cost much but still tend to be associated with the sci-fi audience. Asking here is too small of a sample.

Personally like cover graphics that 1) indicate this is a sci-fi book 2) give a feel that it's well thought through writing grounded somewhat in science, not '50 shades of grey' in a space setting (ugh) and 3) give a feel of the scope and breath of the contents (earth, universe, timeline)

Áll that increases the odds of me picking it up in a random setting. When searching specifically for sci-fi the cover honestly doesn't matter. Title, author and short description does.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:27 AM   #16
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The Beyond with a medium sized sphere added.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:34 AM   #17
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I like the first one, its more aesthetically beautiful and eye catching.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:50 AM   #18
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For whatever it's worth, I like your mock up best, The Beyond next.
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:49 PM   #19
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I like the second one or the third.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:27 PM   #20
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If the contact is initiated through an antenna system then I would go with that image since it reflects what we look like on our side.
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