Judging a Book’s Cover (opinions needed!)

My book, Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror, has been up on NetGalley for a couple of weeks now, and I’m already getting some really useful feedback. While most of the feedback has been positive, the opinions on my cover have been mixed. I would hate for anyone to be turned off about my story because they don’t like the cover. I’ve already got a new ebook cover lined up (which I’ll be posting about soon), but I’m undecided on the update for the paperback version.

So the question is, which of these do you prefer: the original, new version 1, new version 2, or new version 3?

Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror cover

Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror
New version 1

Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror
New version 2

reflection new v3
New version 3


    1. You have a really good point about placement–that was my exact thought when putting together the original design. I wanted to try switching things around on the revamp, but it would be easy to switch the positions. Then again, it seems like the original is pretty popular, so maybe I’ll just keep it for the paperback. 😉


    1. Sorry about the delayed reply. For some reason your comments went to my spam folder (and they definitely aren’t!). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the cover. I’m going to try a blend with the image from the new versions, but using the font and arrangement of the original. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. New version 3 – the typeface fits with the look of the mask, plus I like the tie-in to the title with the mask’s reflection. Overall, I feel it has a more professional, polished look.

    Perhaps the title should be at the top, rather than your name but then I think the title is still prominent enough to not be a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your input! Although I do like the original image (I put a lot of work into it!), my initial concept for the cover was to have just the mask with its reflection. I couldn’t get that to work with the tools I had available to me at the time (an iPhone camera and Microsoft Paint haha). So, I’m partial to this new version of the image, but I’m not loving the font. Can I ask what it is about the typeface that you like? Is it the font itself, or the metallic look? I’m thinking that I may try a blend of the new and original image.


  2. Right now I like the original version because it is clean and balanced as leggypeggy said. I also agree with Jonathan that the title should be prominent which it is in the original. My eyes can easily see and process the whole front cover in one glance.

    That said, I actually prefer the image of the other versions with version 3 being my favorite. Version 1 feels chopped off and version 2 doesn’t have the same amount of mask reflection as version 3.

    In my opinion (take it as that) version 3 best compliments the title. We see the reflection of the mask and a mask implies a “stranger.” Who is this stranger? The title and image draws me in!

    My problem is with the font. The font is trying to compete with the image and is distracting. A different font and Title/Author switch might just make version 3 the winning ticket.

    Good luck with the cover! I hope my suggestions were helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, the survey in NetGalley is just a yes/no type of input, so I don’t have a feel for *what* wasn’t working. But all the feedback I’ve been getting from comments and emails on this post has been really insightful!


    1. I would definitely say that the survey has been useful. Since I cross-post on multiple media platforms, I got responses back on each one and by email. Getting multiple perspectives, from people with varying backgrounds and skill sets (and who aren’t already personally invested in the work) helped me to rapidly come to a decision that probably would have taken me months to reach otherwise!

      Liked by 1 person

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