Kay: Quiz for Y’all–Which Cover Works Best?

The “calm” one

I’m sorry to plague you all with yet another cover query, but I’ve been looking at this thing for so long that I’m not sure what I’m seeing any more.

The new cover for Betting on Hope is essentially done. The copy has been tweaked since you saw it last, and the last thing to be decided is the color saturation. I have three variations, and they vary only slightly: One is the “calm” one, one is the “hot” one, and one is “the other one.”

The “hot” one

I’d like to know what you think: Which one is easiest to read? (I realize that if you’re looking at this post from a phone, none of them will be easy to read—it’s scarcely readable from my computer screen.) Does any of them appeal to you more than the others? What about the color on that back cover?

Any thoughts on these or other matters gratefully received.

The “other” one

12 thoughts on “Kay: Quiz for Y’all–Which Cover Works Best?

  1. Oh, I love playing “which cover?”

    My snap choice from the smallish images in the post was for the “other” one, but when I clicked on the covers to see them in something closer to normal-book size, I liked the “calm” one substantially better.

    The “hot” one doesn’t feel like there is enough contrast there though.

    The only one thing I noticed–and this might be particular to me–is that I have a little bit of trouble reading the font on the back cover. I don’t know if it is the weight of the font, the spacing, or what, but I get a bit of a halo around the letters, which makes it harder for me to focus on /read.

    I love your cover character. She definitely has the look of someone I want to read about.

    • Interesting to know about the type. I don’t see that myself, but if you do, others will, too. Right now I’m wondering if I should rewrite that back cover copy and make it shorter, so I can make it bigger. That would make it more legible, even if it does have a halo in some cases.

  2. I could go with either the calm one or the other one, but regardless, you need the drop shadow on your name. It doesn’t stand out at all on the calm one.

    Actually, on second glance, I like the other one a wee bit better.

    There’s one line in your blurb that doesn’t make sense to me: “And whoever walks away with the pot will be the biggest loser.” Loser? I don’t get it. What am I missing?

    In all, these look great, though! I think regardless of which one you pick, you’ve got yourself a winner!

    • Thanks, Justine! I like the cover, too, but that orange has me a bit confounded, I have to say. We tried all kinds of transparent reproductions of the windmill or the barn on the back cover, and everything became way too hard to read. So I’m not sure I’d go with orange again, just saying. And we tried every color in the universe over that figure for my name, and nothing works. If I decide on the calm one, I’ll get that drop shadow in there.

      That back cover copy—I realized when I reread it that I’d left out a piece of the equation, which is that if Hope wins the game, Tanner goes to prison (because Reasons). So for whomever wins, the other person loses a big piece of their life. But PR Henrikson is right in that the shorthand is that it’s a romance, so whoever wins the game, loses the romance.

  3. Well, I guess I’m going opposite of everyone – I like the “hot” one better. The cover pops just a bit more for me with the picture. People are going to be mostly reading the back cover copy on your online description, so the picture will be the most important. You definitely need the drop shadow on your name, but even with it, your name still doesn’t show well…on any of the versions. I love the cow print on the shirt and the cover graphic is great – to me it says “betting the farm”.

    I didn’t have any problems with the back cover copy either…. whoever wins the game loses… makes sense – since this is a romance – whoever wins the game might win the game and the money, but they lose out on the other person and their romance.

    • What I like about the “hot” one is that the color really pops, as you say. And I agree that most of the type will be read not off the book cover but off the online description. Still, maybe we could do a box with a screen over the back cover copy, keeping the darker color, but lightening the effect just over the type… Well, we’ll see. Drop shadow on the name definitely comes in for all versions, because we have tried every color in every transparency, and nothing shows well against that black-and-white top, as much as I think that is cute. Sigh.

  4. I like the “other” one. The calm one is too pinky for me and the hot one feels over the top.

    Whatever colors you choose, I love the concept.

    Pretty sure you’ll get as many opinions as you do answers!

  5. I find the lightest color (third one) easiest to read as far as back copy goes. In all three, the Kay Keppler on the front is hard to read, which is a problem for ebooks. As for the front color saturation, I think different readers will have different opinions according to whether they like the color or not. I like the yellow sky better because I think it’s more realistic as a desert sky . . . of course, I love blue, which isn’t an option, LOL.

    Legibility issues seem just about the same, so it boils down to a matter of taste, I think. Yellow and orange are both warm and fuzzy colors, as presented here.

    It’s a cute cover in all the shades, though! Love her cow-print shirt and easy confidence, although this feels more like an “on the farm” book with the windmill than a “Vegas poker game” book. The cards help give the reader a clue, though.

    • This book has been out for a while, and in the reviews on Amazon, many readers describe the story as being “about” “gambling,” a concept I tried to dispel on the page, but as we know, each reader brings his or her own experience to the book. One way to help dispel the notion that the story was about playing poker per se was to put the ranch on the cover, because the story for me is, what constitutes family, what constitutes home. For me, it’s not, what’s the morality of playing cards for money. So, yeah. Not sure the ranch on the cover relays that message. But it’s a nod in that direction.

      Next time, I’ll get an image with a blue sky! Thanks for checking in.

      • I can’t say that they are wrong . . . gambling is a very important tool used in the book. But yeah, thematically, it’s about the farm and home and family. Risking a lot for what’s important. The title, “Betting on Hope” does kind of cover that, too.

        I don’t have a strong position on gambling, though. Well, I know it’s not for me, but I don’t mind if other people do it. I very much understand how dangerous it can be, but it works for me in your book. (It’s a good book, by the way, y’all! If you haven’t read it, you should!)

  6. Sorry I am so late to this party. Last week was one of those weeks.

    I really like the front cover. It looks like a fun read. The heroine looks sparky and engaging, and the cards plus the farm make me think the farm will be at stake in a card game. Not necessarily that the story will be about family and home, but it looks warm and quirky, and I like that.

    On my phone I strongly preferred the ‘hot’ cover, because the stronger contrast makes the title easier to read. On my laptop I like the ‘other’ one. As other people have pointed out, and as you know already, your author name is super-hard to decipher. I can imagine nothing shows well against that black-and-white top. This is my biggest issue with the cover, by far. I’d be tempted to lift her up a bit, or make that top black from the waist down.

    Regarding the back cover copy, at these sizes I think it looks a bit crowded, but I don’t think it matters. Most of your sales will be ebooks, which means people will read the blurb online, not on the back of the book. Most of your paperback sales will also be online, which means people will read the blurb, not the cover. I guess the only time people will read the back cover is when they have a physical paperback to hand (at a book fair, say), in which case they can read it in all its printed glory and it will be fine.

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