More Recover!

Okay, let’s get some opinions. I’ve got two options here which work with the lettering (I think) and add more light. The first has more general environment lighting, and some clouds to darken the sky. The second has a direct light on the foreground character, but has the original, dark background (which results in more contrast on the figure, but she isn’t quite as brightly lit…). Both look fairly good on my monitors. How do they look on yours? Which do you prefer?

I’ll add that I don’t have a solid preference. Both version have features I like and features I don’t.

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29 responses to “More Recover!

  1. The second one looks much better to me. It looks more realistic. The first one looks like a screen shot from a video game.

    • Two amusing things there. Given that Gunny started out as a video-game character, that comment about the left one is interesting. Second, of course, the right-hand one is actually the more artificial since it uses extra lights beyond simulated natural daylight. As is often the case, to get something to look real, you often have to fake it like crazy. 🙂

    • I’m cheating I guess, I’m using the ‘Reply’ function to someone else’s comment to ask a general comment.
      How can I place a comment about your web in general, I.e. Not just to your totally too dark book covers?
      For example, I really like two of your series, Aneka Jansen and Ultrahumans. I (and I would assume a bunch of other people) would like to see more of these two. With maybe, just maybe, a little less skin and a bit, just a little bit, more plot.
      Thanks,
      Mark Delagasse, USN (Ret.)

      • You could stick a comment on the ‘What I’m working on’ page, I guess, but I’ll answer that one (to some extent) here.
        I… can’t really win. I can cut the ‘skin’ and, to an extent, have been doing so over time. (If you don’t believe me, you should try the Thaumatology books and compare them to the Gunwitch one.) I could focus on one or two series. But I am always getting asked for new stuff from more or less all of the series, and a lot of my readers like them how they are rather than with some aspect toned down. So, I kind of need to keep writing what I can and see where it goes.
        Now then, Aneka was getting hard to write with the last book. I have maybe two more I can write in that universe and getting them right is a tough one. I plan to, it’s when I have it worked out that’s the hard part.
        I have two Ultrahumans books planned, but I need to really get my head into both because they are plot-heavy and fairly closely linked. I need to be able to put them out in short order, which means I need to be really into superheroes for a good three or four months straight. Maybe when the new Wonder Woman film comes out… The Ultrahumans books are fairly big and fairly dense to write, so there’s usually a fairly big gap between them.
        Basically, one of the joys of being a writer on the internet is that you have semi-direct contact with the people who like your work. That’s also one of the curses. I get comments from everyone, and everyone has their favourites, and everyone’s tastes are a little different. I can’t satisfy everyone, I can just do what I can do and hope people like it.

  2. IMO: The first left hand side one, the right hand side is too dark on my monitor and is hard to make out detail. Cheers.

  3. I’d be inclined to go for the first one, simply because I *think* that it’ll come out better on an e-reader.

    As for the clouds, well, I’m afraid they look more like smoke to me. Sorry!

  4. To me – and I’m only using my phone here – the one on the right is too dark to see much detail – the building behind her is so dark I can’t see the brickwork, the crates are invisible, in fact everything is a black splodge apart from the character herself and the sky.

    Having said that, the one on the left loses a lot of the mood by being so much lighter.

    That probably doesn’t help much. But I like the left one for actually being able to see it, and the right one for the aura of Bad Things In A Dark Alley.

  5. I second the comment that the clouds don’t look natural. Of course, you didn’t hide the fact that the character is based on an RPG, and some of the “Random Encounters” in the first part of the book reminded me strongly to the respective tables in the D&D manual.

    The skin color on the second one looks more natural to me, but her clothes are black here, so it’s objectively too dark.

  6. PS: What about a nuclear mushroom instead of those clouds? 🙂

    • Interesting thought. I’m not sure I have something suitable handy (though I dare say I could find something), and it’s also not quite right for the background. There were nuclear disasters, but very, very few of them would have resulted in those classic mushroom clouds.

  7. Definitely the second one. In the first you can obviously see the background detail better, but it feels fake (as in not dirty enough). I think you can see it so well it actually takes away from the character (the focus of the shot). The second is a very good improvement on the original and the background is background. You can see enough for interest, but not so much it’s obviously CG. It looks like a good dimly lit ally at dusk.

  8. I say do some mix, I like the overcast look of the right but thank it should be lighter like on the left. The clouds on the left just look wrong to me.

  9. I bought GunWitch and cannot make out the cover image on my Kindle Voyage. It is way too dark.

    • That’s a problem, and I’m going to check out whatever I change it to on my Kindle, but I can never understand why people worry over it. Any image is going to look sucky changed from colour to low resolution black-and white. It’s why I rarely buy a book with graphics in electronic form (basically, I buy the ebook when I’ve no other choice). I think the only ebooks I’ve ever looked at the covers of (on Kindle) have been my own.
      So, I’m going to change the cover, and I’m going to load the new file up on my Kindle and look at the cover. And when I do, I’m going to think it looks terrible, but it’s how I think it’s going to look on a web page that really concerns me.

  10. On a full size monitor the one on the left just doesnt look good. Too bright and the clouds look more like a mushroom cloud than a storm. On my kindle fire it looks decent but the right hand one is far better. Looks like a dark, night time alley in an otherwise bright city and Anettes eyes have a nice glow without showing too much over all detail of her.

    I agree you shouldnt worry at all about how it will show up on a standard ereader. Youll never get a full color image to look good in compressed black and white, and people really shouldnt expect any book cover to look good that way.

  11. well looking at the 2 images on my monitor then on my phone. I find i like the right hand one. sure the background is a little dark but then again Annette did most of her work at dusk or night. I can see her fine the building beside her is a little dark but you can see the one behind her because of the light. and her outfit just looks better in the right side one.
    Left sided one is nice if you want to see all of the environment. Left is probably best for small screens like phones where right is good for a slightly bigger screen.

  12. I like the gloomy and dangerous ambience of the dark version, but the character detail of the brighter image.
    Note the small floodlight on the building in the background, especially obvious in the dark image. What about putting a similar not-too-bright light up high on the building to her right and slightly ahead of her, thus slightly highlighting and detailing the character while keeping most of the alley in gloom.
    Sometimes a few ineffectual, dim lights that make the shadows pop is more creepy that unrelieved darkness.

  13. Another vote for the first cover, The other looks too dark on my screen.

  14. Same thing, the second one is too dark for my monitor, I can’t discern anything…

  15. The lighter version stands out more and would most likely pull more clicks on amazon than the existing cover. Other than that, I recommend writing more ;). I have enjoyed all of your books – to varying degrees – and can’t wait for the next of each series.

  16. Pingback: What Comes Next: Science Fiction | Witches and Ray-Guns

  17. The left one is better. The original cover is so dark on my kindle that you can’t make out any details … it just looks like it is solid black.

  18. I like the darker one. Not as dark as the original so there is more detail to see but it still conveys that ‘twilight on the dirty streets’ feel. The lighter one doesn’t feel as sinister.

  19. I’ve updated the cover image on both Smashwords and mazon.

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