#RRBC 2016 Book & Blog Party

Blog Party 1
Welcome to my blog, coming to you from sunny southern California.

Two lucky visitors who leave a comment below will win a $10 gift voucher from Amazon.

I published my first novel Ancient Evil in January of this year, so I am new to the Indie Author world.  I always knew I wanted to write a novel, but I kept putting it off to deal with the more immediate needs of my day job and being a dad to three wonderful daughters. When my youngest got out of diapers, I decided to knuckle down and write something I would personally like to read. Ancient Evil is that book. It is set in a contemporary setting (for the most part) and has some good sci-fi elements that I will be able to develop in future novels in the series. If you want to see the blurb or read an excerpt, check it out on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

I am also new to blogging. I mostly started this blog because all the cool authors have one, as you can see from this incredible blog tour organized by RRBC (click here to see the full line up). I had no real desire to, ahem, share my feelings with others, writing a novel exposed quite enough of my inner self. That being said, blogging is starting to grow on me. Blogging is a great way to organize my thoughts about the craft of writing and the science of book marketing. But enough of me, for this post, I thought I would shamelessly take advantage of the additional traffic and get some free advice.

As with most authors and other types of artists, I worry about whether my end product is any good. Getting reviews on my book are the best way to tell if people like my book, but, as those of you who are authors know, reviews are hard to come by. I am not going to ask you to review my book today, although if you want to, feel free to pick it up on amazon and write a review – here. instead I thought I would try and get some feedback on my book cover.

I designed my original book cover myself when I launched my book, but recently I have been wondering if it may be too dark, too difficult to see in thumbnail format or just not very appealing. I started to play around with some new designs when my tech savvy teenage daughter noticed what I was doing and decided to design a cover of her own.

Today, your very exciting challenge is to help me choose which cover I will use for my book for the next year (or until I feel the need to change it again) and you get to decide on a winner of the Griffiths family cover design competition!

Well, it’s exciting for me.

Your choices are:

Original Cover:
cover for createspace and kdp

New Cover 1:
cover offset door

New Cover 2:
cover-for-createspace-and-kdp-clouds-20160724

Which cover do you like best?

As I don’t want you to feel compelled to vote for my daughter’s design in order avoid crushing her hopes of a career in book cover design, I am not letting you know which is hers and which is mine. You should also know that she doesn’t know I am mentioning her on this post, she would probably be mortified if she did know. I also think I have a better chance of winning if you don’t know which is mine and which is hers.

Don’t worry about sparing my feelings either, if you think that none of the choices are particularly good vote that way. And no, I am not referring to the US Presidential Election, although…

Thanks for your input! I’ll post again once the results come in. If you want to find out the final results, sign up for my e-mail list and I will let you know whenever I post something new.

It is REALLY IMPORTANT to note that in order to win one of the  daily prizes you still need to leave a comment in the comment box below, just voting in the poll won’t register your e-mail address for the draw.

Till later and thanks for visiting.

97 thoughts on “#RRBC 2016 Book & Blog Party

  1. Hi, Brent!

    I must say the clean writing here on this blog has me impressed enough that I’d like to read more of your writing. Where can I find it?

    Also, I’m going to go with the last book cover shown.

    Enjoy your day today!

  2. Hi,
    What a fun blog this was. I enjoyed your sense of humor. I went with the original cover. I will be adding your book to my kindle and look forward to reading it!

  3. Hi Brent!
    As the second cover is the symbol of the Dragon Order which was fighting to destroy evil forces during Medieval Ages, I voted for Cover 1.
    Best of luck with your writing and great sales!

  4. Hi Brent, good to now you! I hope you have visited all the other party scenes to see how we, at #RRBC, have fun. 🙂 This year’s is looking to be the best party ever. 😀 Have a great day, and enjoy your party.

  5. Hi Brent, I think you have a very good idea with the cover and I think your first new cover still has your influence so I’m voting for new cover no 1. I wish you lots of success for today! 🤓

  6. What a great post, Brent! And so thrilled that you finally got to write your book and publish! Way to go 🙂 My vote is with the 2nd new cover. I’m with Nonnie on being impressed with the clean writing here on this blog, and I shall definitely check out your book. Very best of luck with everything 🙂

  7. Good luck with the work and thanks for allowing me to be a part of it. Trust those RRBC members to get the cover right.

  8. I’ve long tossed around the idea of writing a novel myself. It’s reassuring to know that as a blogger, I’m already ahead of the game! 😉

    I did pick up the Kindle version of your book and look forward to reading it.

    Good luck!

    Cheri G

  9. Both you and your daughter clearly have some great graphics skills.. I rather like new cover 1 but prefer the font for the title on the original 🙂

    1. Thanks! I’ll have to find a way to let my daughter know that folks like her design without letting he know I mentioned her on my blog.

  10. Good Morning, Nice blog layout, I chose “New Cover 2” as I think it is more eye catching. The original cover just doesn’t stand out, and the text is lost in the design. I love new cover 1 as it embodies the doors and clouds and speaks highly to a person. I discounted that option, though, as the wrong text color for the author name was used. If the cover text colors were more contrasting then that would be the cover of choice for me. That only left new cover 2 so I chose it due to being able to read the text easily. In retrospect, I should have gone with the start over option. Have a great party!

  11. Hello Brent, I’m impressed that you designed your own cover. WOW! As for my vote, the last design really holds my attention, even though the other two are evocative. I hope you have fun with all the party-goers today! 🙂

  12. Both covers are great! Cover #1 is elegant and professional-looking. Its beauty lies in its closeness to the original one. This will minimize confusion among anyone who’s already bought the book or seen its (original) cover.

    However, book #2 has the advantage of its striking simplicity. I can imagine myself browsing Amazon and my eye catching on the ouroboros. Plus, its counter-clockwise orientation matches the “ancient evil” title perfectly. That’s why I voted for that one.

    1. Thanks, I am not sure how well the poll is working, so it is great folks are letting me know in the comments. Great to get the feedback.

  13. Hello Brent. I almost didn’t vote because I was having trouble with wordpress (don’t understand why); so I tried Anonymous polling and it worked. I love the original cover. There’s something classy about it. It’s nice meeting you and learning a little about you. Congrats.

  14. For being new to cover design and blogging you do great at both! I’m not sure my vote went through but my favorite is the #2 designed with the simple title and serpent, but they all look great. Congratulations!

  15. Brent, I had a hard time choosing between the two new covers. Both look great! I have a love/hate relationship with blogging because it takes away from my writing time. That said, it’s important to be in touch with other writers and readers. Wishing you great success! Good for you for making your dream come true with a novel.

    1. I hear you. I always feel a bit guilty spending time on blogging or marketing vs just getting that next novel finished. Thanks for dropping by.

  16. I loved the jab at the Presidential election (and completely agree…lol!). 😉 I love the orubus, and if it is significant to the plot, I would definitely want to see it on the cover, which is why I chose cover #2. I love how it just pops out. Good luck on choosing a cover (and may your daughter win). 😉

    1. Thanks Yvette. Yeah the ouroboros does fit well with the story, there are some very long lived characters in the story. I appreciate the feedback!

  17. I appreciate your honest and openness about yourself. I believe all writers with every book questions “is it good enough?” As artists we are revealing very personal parts of ourselves which can also make it scary.
    Good luck…I voted for the last book cover. It is clear and bright. An attention grabber.

  18. Hi, Brent. I really love the sound of your novel….just my kind of read, so it is going on my TBR list. Also, what a great post for the RRBC blog party. Voting contests are always fun.

    I did vote, and I think all three covers have merit, but the final one with the black text on the gold parchment background just screams polished book cover to me. It looks like something I’d expect to see on the NY Times best seller list…and who knows? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

    Have a great day at the party!

  19. Brent,
    Covers are so important! I always run three options on my author blog to test public opinion before submitting anything to my publisher. Last time the outcome induced me to synthesize two options and I’m very pleased with the results. That said, I personally like your original cover best because it is a door, implying we have to go inside to find more, and the door is ancient-looking echoing the title. The light in Cover Two doesn’t ad anything, just pushes the door aside so I don’t feel like I’m being drawn to it and invited in. I could opt to ignore it (unlike in Cover One). Cover Three is just boring like so many other covers. I has a symbol on it that means nothing to me so my response is a shrug. I’m not invited in or intrigued.

  20. Hi Brent. What a great way to decide on a cover! I voted for No. 2 because your name is partially obscured on the original and cover 1. Cover 2 looks bright, appealing and interesting with the dragon design. It has mystery and intrigue with one symbol. The only thing I would do is lighten the background in the area behind the last few letters of your name, to make them even clearer. Have a great party today:)

  21. Hi Brent – the internet doesn’t like my passwords today for some reason so I haven’t done your poll, but I can tell you what I think anyway! 😉
    This is with my graphic designer-artist head on and, while they all have something good about them, there’s no one that really clinches it for me. Here’s the crit for each one 🙂

    1 (original) – I really think this one’s the best for an evocative brooding feel, but it is too dark and the titling’s not standing out at all well, as there’s not enough contrast. If you lighten the golden titles a fair bit you’ll have more contrast, but it might be better to go with a dirty ivory colour to match the highlights that are already in the image – make it look more like vellum than parchment, and bring out the ‘ancient’ a little more – it’s the dull yellowy colour that’s not lifting it out enough for a good physical shelf-shout.

    2 – I like that this one is also giving the more contemporary feel you mentioned and it does the trick in making the more photographic rendering for the door feel ‘lighter’, but still edgy. The font and text colour are working better, but there’s something about this yellowy colour that’s not making it ‘evil’ enough for me.

    3 – It’s the yellow again… The typography’s the best in this one I think, in that it looks aged and slightly ‘fangy’ and the Ouroborous Wyrm looks great. The background – it’s not working for me and it not just the colour this time. Because it’s relatively plain, it needs texture to give the main image more ambience? So with the blackened/burnt titles and the vaguely ‘mappy’ feel, I’d recommend you perhaps do some googling for images of old vellum and parchment, and do a kind of deep zoom, so you can get a more skin-like feel to it – some of those old materials are translucent and you can sometimes trace impressions of capillaries and pores, so it really looks quite visceral and mummified almost?

    You’re on the right track, it’s just needing something a little more forceful to bring out the creep factor and set the atmosphere more effectively. Hope this helps – enjoy the rest of your party today! 😀

  22. Interesting and thought provoking post. I’m always drawn to the visual impact of a book, so new book cover #1 has my vote. Perhaps something that generates more of an ‘evil’ feeling is needed for the image, though. Everyone looks for something different when they browse for a new reading experience, that makes it very difficult to hit a target with one cover.I wish you the very best of luck with it. Enjoy the remainder of your party day!

  23. Hi, Brent. Thanks for including us in helping choosing a new cover. I personally liked Cover #1, but once I voted, I saw that Cover #2 is winning the race. I like both of them better than the original. Great post! Happy party day!

  24. What a great post and smart to have a vote on your cover!! I like #2 but you need to move your author name so it’s easier to read. Feel free to contact me directly for more detailed advice. I have a book cover biz so I know this craft well. Just free advice to help a fellow Indie author. Kjwatersauthor@gmail.com.

  25. Brent, this is such an engaging post for the RRBC party. I’m so delighted that you joined the Club. Your support for fellow members is tremendous. Thank you! 🙂
    All your book covers are well done for sure. Your daughter has your creativity gene!
    I think my favourite is the “New Cover 1”, it’s softer, but eye catching. The story is intriguing indeed. It’s on my TBR list!
    Have an awesome party day! Cheers. 🙂

  26. Thanks for your candor and humor, Brent! Best of luck to you as you move forward with your writing. Don’t give up! Sticking to it is the key! It’s amazing how you always find something in the last place you look.

  27. Hi Brent! It’s so nice to have you with us here in the RRBC, and to get to know you a little better in this post! It sounds like you lead a pretty busy life, and I commend you on making the time to write! As for the cover, I like the original, but I think I like the new cover #2 even more. Take care and have a wonderful week! 🙂 ~Stephanie

  28. Hello Brent! So nice to meet you! I voted for the original cover but with the text of the second cover. I have no trouble making it out in a thumbnail on amazon or elsewhere on the web, though the text is a bit dark. That’s just my vote. Congrats with the published book and blog. Do keep writing! Your book is on my TBR list. Cheers! S.J. Francis

  29. Hi Brent, all of the covers are nice. I was especially drawn to the orignal and the first redo. Like doors on original, but prefer layout and fonts of the second. Have fun sorting through the sea of feedback when the day is over 😃

  30. Hi Brent – My vote is for cover #2 (second new one) – I like your blog site and the books sounds interesting as well! Good luck with the new cover release. Best regards – MikeL

  31. Hi Brent. I tried to vote, but kept getting told I didn’t exist. Hopefully this post will go through. I agree the first cover was too dark, but liked the image best. Maybe if you could lighten it up so the details like the snake are,clearer… I don’t know. Never ask a blind woman’s opinion on a picture. Lol I can’t see any of them well enough to pick out details. But it’s a great post, & I’m sure you’ll get helpful input on the cover. 😀

    1. Thanks Rhani! I really appreciate the feedback. The poll was a little hit and miss, but some responses have been collected and I have the comments too. Thanks for dropping by.

  32. Hi Brent, I have a hard time as a blogger too and usually post short stories and book reviews. I am beginning to realize less is more with successful blogs, so I’m still a work in progress. I voted for the original cover because it is just that, but I think some of Jan’s suggestions would enhance it even more. The last one stands out more but the original looks like a piece of art. Your title grabs me and I’ll be checking it out.

  33. Sorry I missed you on the 14th as I was traveling. I had trouble using the form to vote, but I like #1 cover. The smoke invokes mystery and an evil presence, for me anyway! Good luck!

  34. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during
    lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.

    I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, wonderful blog! http://Yahoo.Co.uk

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