City of Nethra

Official Site of Melanie Atkinson Books

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book Cover Contest!

Listed below are the book covers to choose from. Please pick your favorite and vote for it and then tell your friends to vote for their favorite as well. I would love it if everyone would spread the word and link back to this page. As much input as possible is so helpful!
 Look at each cover and imagine what it would look like on a book store shelf (or online as an ebook). Which one would make you pick up the book and read the back cover? Which one would interest you the most? Which one looks like a fitting young adult fantasy cover?
Also, if you have a favorite but think there is something that could improve it, mention it in the comments section.. Keep in mind, I won't be able to take everyone's advice, but your thoughts are welcome.

ETA: If there is more than one vote in your family, send me a message through Facebook or leave a message in the comments mentioning which ones the additional votes go to and who voted for them. I'll make a note of them.








And there you have it. Seven possible book covers. Happy voting!
And thank you for participating!


  1. I voted for #5 but #3 has me equally intrigued too. I wish the sword could have somehow made it's way into the shot. :)

  2. I love 5 and 7. I am so happy for you and can't wait to read your book.

  3. I like 5,7&3 in that order- but all of the pictures are pretty & intriguing. Best of luck with your decision!!

  4. They all look so great! I am excited to read the book. I like 5 as well. So excited for you, Mel!!

  5. I voted for 7. That is my favorite, it looks great! Jeremy also loves it too, but would also vote for 5 (he digs the sword) and that would be my second choice. 1 still has a special place tho :)

  6. 2 and 7 are my favorite. I voted for 2 though cause it's my favorite.


  7. Okay Mel, #3 and #4. And #7.

    Those would look awesome as book covers.

    Way to narrow it down, eh? lol

  8. Hey Im a friend of Sydneys and I'm just going to give you a feel on how the covers appealed to me as artist.

    1- Very vivid and inciting. The lighting and her arm make for very good movement and make it interesting and easy to look at. Just the eyes are too holding to allow flow from them to the title. This is my favorite, it would make a great cover.

    2- Only complaints: Background is a bit subdued making the character too stark against the sea. A bit more movement is needed to draw the eye between the lightning and the girl. (but thats not hard, brighten up the lightning and add contrast to the rocks)one more little detail is the dress seam on the skirt is awkward but that can be lessened. But the pose and lighting, the stormy feel, add a feeling of depth into the picture- and hence into the feel the book. This would be a very attracting cover. 3rd Fav.

    3- Its not as appealing and the pose is a little too overdone. The book will not seem as original. Its still beautiful though!

    4- The texture and the blues add to the picture as well as the subtle green behind her. However the lighting onto the rocks underneath is not realistic and takes away the appeal. The pose is also one of the 'classic' yet over done ones making it seem too staged. Imagine a book in her hands, do you see what I mean?

    5- I love this one, and its very well done. The depth created by the sword in the foreground and the lovely silhouette behind are great and add a perfect mysterious tone. I'm sad to have to advise you away from it. As a picture it stands well but as a cover it be harder. Where would you put the title without covering her head? Putting the title out of a standard placement and disobeying the rule of thirds would look sloppy. I would suggest looking at a font the is not as thick and wouldn't exempt the silhouette from attention. You would need to work very carefully on obtaining the right balance between the art and the title as not to look tacky.

    6- This is one of my favorites. Second? It would be a bit nicer if she was shifted to the right a tad and would fit better into the rule of thirds as well as she is a bit too close to the left side. The editing on this photo and the muting of the background are great. It is very appealing for the eye to look on. The piece is simple and just right for its purpose, I would suggest the title to be slightly scroll work style for fluid movement between the subject and lettering.

    7- I love the layering of the water and the naturality of the pose. Nice job again on the depth and the colors. The bracelet yellow needs to be muted a bit, as it detracts with how bright it is. But beautiful job.

    Sorry for the length but I hope you appreciate the input! The covers are all gorgeous and I love them all! You've got me interested in the book! ;) Good luck and best of will to you!

    - Jen

  9. Thank you so much for the input and the comments. They're all so great to have! If it helps, I have already chosen lettering and formatting for each cover and so that probably won't be an issue. I tested each cover to make sure it would work with the placing of the title and lettering before preparing each image. At this point visual appeal is the main concern.

    Jen: I really appreciate all your comments. Especially about the seam on #2. ;) (That was meant to be taken out and I've thought of it often meaning to fix it - usually waking up some random time in the middle of the night remembering it - but I always ended up working on something else. It would definitely be removed in the final)
    There will be tweaks to each of these when I'm done since they will all be permanent fixtures on the blog and your thoughts were helpful. I won't say which ones are my favorites but I posted several with certain elements I wouldn't personally choose because I felt it was important to see what the average reader was drawn to the most. So far, this entire process has been extremely helpful.

    I truly appreciate everyone's input.

  10. I love #5 and would definitely pick up the book to look at it. I'd suggest putting the sword slightly to the left instead of centered.
    The only thing that makes me hesitate to vote for 5 is that you can't see Sydney herself, and she looks so pretty in all the other pictures that it's a shame to make her just a silhouette.
    My second favorite is number four!

  11. Becky, Thank you for your thoughts on that. I love #5 too but your concern with it is my concern as well so thank you for voicing it. Sydney is such a beautiful model and I love the idea of being able to see her. I've thought about (if five is the winner and probably no matter what) putting an image on the back - preferably one with negative space so I can have a quick book blurb and then still have a view of Sydney. I would make the image lighter and reduce the opacity so it wasn't too dark but I've seen this done in the past and I like the idea of it.
    Just some thoughts I've been having. Wonderful points and I'm glad you mentioned it.

  12. Hi, I'm Tyson, Sydney's friend.

    Too be honest, they are all fantastic. All well done with a good representative of the Character. However, I think there could be a compormise, if possible.

    One idea I came up wwith is putting the photo of Sydney looking down at the gem in her hands--the one where she's facing us--and put that as sort of an overshadow. Below that, you could kind of fade into the one with the sword, and Sydney as a silhouette. Sort of a compromise.

    My brothers all say the sword one will definitely catch readers eye. Sadly, I agree, but i fell that that particular photo has nothing to do with the story or its title. So, Best of wishes on your book!

  13. I was first drawn to #2, the sword, the pose of the girl and the water are very striking. #7 is really neat too. I love the close up of the sword and the character in the distance. All the pictures are so beautiful and intriguing, but I definitely agree with some of the other votes, that going with what really is the heart and soul of the book is most important. #1 is very appealing visually. Honestly it's 2 and 7 that really drew me in, but I am a fan of swords!!

  14. This is more challenging than I expected it to be. I like different ones for different reasons, but no one cover seemed to hold all the elements I found most intriguing! After studying them I came to a conclusion that I would vote for #1 if her left hand was cupped with a glowing stone in the palm of it, near her lap, just barely visible to the viewer, - with the sword resting, handle up, against the bank, at her right side! :)
    Wonderful work, Mel! I'm so excited for you! :) I am looking forward to buying your book and loosing myself in it's pages! :)

  15. I couldn't resist looking at the cover options again this morning, and I find I have the same oppinion that I shared yesterday! :) Just add the stone and the sword to #1 and Wha-la!!! :) ...
    Is that even possible to do at this point? :) ...
    Whatever you do will be wonderful, Mel! You are so creative and talented!! :)

  16. Hey BJ, it just wouldn't be possible at this point. But it's a fun idea. When I envisioned that shot, it was meant to take place in the very beginning of the book - to kind of show her innocence and Sydney's expression captured the perfect hint of apprehension that I wanted my character to show. This was all meant to be before the sword or the pink stone.
    I love the insight and the thought though. I'm okay with only one element (the sword or the stone) being shown because both are symbolic of some of the things that happen in the book and both play an equally important part about what happens to the character. In the end, it all ties together.

  17. That's understandable. After giving them all another look, I'm still staying with #1. :)

  18. Everyone thinks they are an art expert...
    Oh the things I knew when I was a teenager.
    I love 5, it draws me right in and catches my attention. I love 4 and 7 as well and think they would be great for a back cover as they tell more of the story. And the sword is part of the story, albeit a small one, but it is still relevant. The cover is never about the story, it's about drawing someone in, demanding attention and that is exactly what 5 does, it catches my attention.
    What did Twilight have to do with an apple? It's symbolism, which I feel is how the sword works in this cover. Anyway, my two cents on it. I think they are all beautiful Melanie and you did an amazing job on all of them.

  19. Number 7 is the one that caught my attention. I believe that number 1 would have caught it more if she was looking off into the distance, not directly at you.
    It sort of broke the 5th wall to me. But they are all beautiful. I would love to read this book!

  20. Hi Melanie! I love the photograhy. Showed the covers to my teenage daughter and she says 7 or maybe 5. She likes to imagine that she is the character and seeing the model's face makes that difficult. Where will we be able to purchase your book?

  21. Hey Jeanine, thanks so much for the feedback. I've heard those same thoughts by others so that confirms it even more. It's a huge help. I was planning on releasing it at the end of this month but my editor and I are talking about waiting just a bit longer to make sure it's the best it can be. It will be available first to purchase through ebook in all formats as well as in paperback through Amazon and a few other places. I'll list them all once they're ready to go. I'm hoping to have my own copies to hand out as well. It'll definitely be out soon. We're in the final stages of just about everything. :)

  22. I'm late to vote! I've read the book but I've heard that so many changes were made. I've created my own image of the main character as well. To me, those symbols are more imporant than the model even though she is a very beautiful girl. I prefer not to see her clear face image for the reason. This is a fantasy book so I like the cover to be more look like a illustlation than a photo. I went libraly yesterday and looked many young adult book covers for fun. You can choose to be different but more than 2/3 of them aren't showing the model's faces at all. I loved their choice of fonts and colors and simple pics/symbols. This is my own shallow research but... I wish we could see them with fonts too. #5 or #7 for me but I 'd like to see the sword to be more special looking in #5. I voted for #7. I like to see her hair to be longer. Entire pic can be like midnight blue shade of color with all details of images you have there expect the stone and the beam to be a different color(more radiation). I'm sorry you know this story and all characters more than anybody else but I want #7 to look more like a late night.Add her shadow? I have my own idea of this book cover as A fan but I can't explaine it without giving away some of your story so I won't. I can't wait to get my own copy of the book. You are just amazing with so many talents. What a precious treasure you are leaving for your kids and family ( and friends too!)

  23. I absolutely love #2, it feels so relevant to the story and it's intriguing- however, as a reader, book covers that show the character's face immediately push me away. I hate having a character's appearance forced on me. I read books to feed my imagination, so part of me doesn't want to read a book if I can't imagine what the people inside look like.
    That's why I love #5 the most. It gives me an idea of who she is and what her story is, while giving me room to wonder and imagine. I agree that the sword should be shifted slightly leftwards, though.