A huge thanks to everyone who contributed feedback on the three proposed cover design options for Green Bay Outsiders. In all, more than 30 people offered really great and insightful perspectives. Admittedly, the favorite book cover design among my readers was almost neck-and-neck between two of the three proposals. With that said, the final choice is the result of suggestions made concerning ALL three covers. So with that said, here’s a list of choices I made based on reader feedback:
- I heard from several of you that the designs were too busy so I removed the roller coaster. I should have known this would happen. My designer asked me for three visuals and I supplied four — the Green Bay image (with the bridge), the flag and dog chains, the couple on the beach and the roller; coaster. Although the roller coaster does have symbolic value in the story, it’s not going to be immediately apparent based on viewing the cover alone. And one reviewer said the roller coaster made them think of a tourist brochure, which resonated with me. So, bye-bye roller coaster.
- There was a decent amount of discussion about the title and its placement at the top and bottom. One reader commented how having “A Maddox Men Story” above Green Bay Outsiders was the right way to present the story. That argument has great merit. However, there were a lot of good arguments and, in the end, I decided to check out several posters from the latest Star Wars movie, Rogue One, since it is branded as a Star Wars story. In all of them, the “story” phrase appears right under the main title, Rogue One. So I chose to go that route. However, I also made “Maddox Men” more bold, since that is what the Rogue One movie poster creators did with “Star Wars”.
- More than one person liked the necklace, which is what is fastened to the military dog tags. As I wrote in a blog post late last year, one of the main characters from Green Bay Outsiders
is a Vietnam War veteran. So I kept the dog tags and also emphasized the American flag, which is part of that same image. Why? One reviewer smartly chose to look at the book cover in a smaller, thumbnail version, as it might appear on Amazon or another online retailer. She commented that the red and white stripes are not recognizable as part of a flag in the smaller version, so I needed to emphasize other elements of the flag.
- Finally, as part of the “busy” aspect of the cover that people commented on, I needed to make a choice about the color. I knew I wanted to keep the orange of the sunset. Green Bay Outsiders is about the end of youth. It’s a coming-of-age story. (See my post about how most coming-of-age stories miss the point). The orange of sunset demonstrates the end of the day or the end of youth as the two people sitting on the beach watch it happening. As a result, even though I liked the blue–and several reviewers also were emphatic advocates of the blue–I decided to stick with the more muted greenish blue. I didn’t perceive that as jarring as much with the orange that filled the rest of the cover.
So that’s it! The book cover design for Green Bay Outsiders has been finalized and now it’s up to me to finish the manuscript and make it available to you.
Within the next month, I expect to make the novel available for preorder on Amazon (so you can order a copy before it’s been published). And I will also ask your support as advance reviewers, meaning if you’d be willing to leave a review of Green Bay Outsiders before it’s actually published, I will be happy to send you an advance copy at no charge.
Thanks again for your feedback. Please leave a comment below about what you think of the final cover.