Opinions needed.

I need a cover for my book. I also think I need a new title, but one thing at a time. When faced with more than one decision I tend to turtle, so let’s stick with the book cover.

A little information is needed, to give you some direction.

My novel is a murder/mystery and opens with finding the first body in Mabel’s barn. Actually all the bodies are found in this barn so I like the idea of the barn being on the cover. How’s this one?


You have to imagine my name on there somewhere. And a title. I think A Bother of Bodies is too long.  My cousin, Stephen, thinks the title is not sinister enough for a murder/mystery. I hate it when he’s right.



This one even has a red tractor, which is how Mabel and Dean move the second body out of their barn. I’d like to add a shadowy figure in the darkness of the barn but have no idea how to do that.



Like the black and white feel, but there are no trees. Trees play an important part in this book.





Here’s some trees, and the sky makes the cover look foreboding even though it’s in colour. Plus, there is lots of room for titles and names.



What do you think? Don’t like any of them?

I know some of you don’t like to comment on this site but feel free to e-mail me, with any suggestions or advice on book covers. I need all the help I can get.

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24 Responses to Opinions needed.

  1. Linda H says:

    I like the moon in the first one, the red tractor in the 2nd but the barn is too close up, I like the black & white with the barn & house & lots of space for the title & author below them but I think my preference would be the barn & cloudy skies because of the spooky skies, barn & again lots of space for title & author on the sky & ground. Actually it would be a toss up between 3 & 4.

    • ajcap says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Lin. There is something I like about all of them so somehow I have to learn to photoshop and put them all together. I’ll work on that and post the result. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Danielle says:

    I liked the last one the best. Remember, you’ll need a photo that is large enough for the minimum dimensions you’ll need for the upload to wherever you’re planning to publish. And if you plan to offer a paper book, it needs to be higher resolution. You’ll find the cover guidelines for Amazon on their Kindle Direct Publishing pages. I believe they recommend a minimum of 625 wide x 1000 long. They say it’s better to have 1563 wide x 25oo long though. That’s probably for the Kindle Fire readers.

    Other online stores have their own guidelines.

    • ajcap says:

      Thanks, Danielle! you are, as always, a valuable source of information. I’m sure you’ll hear from me when the time comes to upload whichever one wins the opinion poll. I’ll be gouging my own eyes out by then.

      So far, the last one is winning.

  3. steve capper says:

    I like the pictures but trees would be better. How does anyone commit a crime in those wide open spaces? Eyes from across three time zones can see your peccadilloes.
    As it’s a farm I am tending toward something agricultural, like “What ye shall sow” and this has a religious slant which suggests evil (in opposition to good I guess).

    Or how about Bad Harvest?
    Or “Going against the grain”
    Farm Felony? No we are back to that daft alliteration again!

    • ajcap says:

      I like trees as well, but they only play a secondary role. It’s the barn where the action takes place so I want to keep it as the focus. Mind you, if and when a publisher decides to put their two cents in I may not even get a say in the cover. Depends on the contract. I’m just enjoying the speculation. Keeps me motivated.

      Do like the idea of a slight religious suggestion in the title, though, because there is evil. I believe BAD SEED is taken, which is too bad because it would be perfect. You’ve got me thinking…

  4. Barb Taub says:

    I vote for the first one. Although it would be pretty cool if you had one of those old West barns with the adverts painted on the side (Title and your name).

    One thing to think about is that most of the time, your cover is shown really, really tiny. So you might want to make sure that the words are big enough to be legible even in thumbnails.

    And I do like your original title. Why do you think it’s too long?

    • ajcap says:

      That would be cool, Barb. I’ve seen those barns, we have one just up the north highway. Maybe I should go and take my own pictures. Damn good idea.

      And the problem with the title is its length. Like you pointed out, I might only have a thumbnail on Amazon and I don’t want words taking up the whole cover. Bad enough my name is 12 letters long (unless I use only my initials…A.J.Capper), I don’t want the title to be 15 letters long so you can’t make out any of the picture. Plus, even though there is a lot of humour in the book I like to think it’s sinister as well and the word ‘bother’ makes the plot sound trivial…don’t you think?

  5. Danielle says:

    I just Googled ‘Seeds of Evil.’ There’s a video game with that name.
    Is that title too sinister for your plot?

    • ajcap says:

      Those blasted video game creators have taken all the spine-chilling names, damn their dark teenage souls.

      I think the word ‘evil’ might be misleading. Makes me think of the horror genre instead of murder/mystery. We’re on the right track though…

  6. Danielle says:


    I haven’t read the book, but I’m just throwing titles out there based on the other comments about the book’s contents.

    • ajcap says:

      Nobody has read the bloody book yet, Danielle, because I won’t let go of it. I’ve changed things so often even I can’t remember how it ends. But keep throwing those titles out…something might stick.

  7. I like the black and white one. Something about black and white jumps out and begs the reader to look inside to read the full story!

    • ajcap says:

      Hi, Stephanie! Always nice to hear a fresh opinion from someone new.

      There is something about black and white pictures that scream, “SPOOKY! I’M SPOOKY! READ ME!” and yet whispers at the same time, “I’m dangerous…dare you to read me.” If I can figure out how, I’m going to try and keep it monochrome with a small splash of red. Maybe the title.

      Or, I could end up with sassy squirrels square dancing. Depends on my mood.

  8. Danielle says:

    LOL! Oh, I thought I read that Barb, Linda, Steve, and Stan read it. :-)

    Once I finish mine, I’ve got 8 people lined up to be first readers. Two will read critically. Someone else is reading it now as I work on the first draft. He’s working on light editing, continuity and police procedure/investigation.

    Let go of the book!

    • ajcap says:

      No, I sent out hints but had no takers. I’m thinking my hints aren’t broad enough, or everybody has too much on their plate. Sigh.

      Good on you, for having eight beta readers! That will give you an excellent cross section of readers. It’s a slow process though, isn’t it? Must have patience to be a writer.

  9. Danielle says:

    I’d be happy to read your book and offer commentary once I’ve finished writing mine. I mean it. If you need someone to read it, count me in.

  10. Danielle says:

    I just read Mary’s newsletter! CONGRATS!!!

    • ajcap says:

      LOL…thanks! I haven’t even had a chance to tell my faithful followers because it doesn’t seem real to me yet. I better go blog about it now…and I’ll point out what an interesting interview you had with Mary, as well. Really, that interview was very educational. LOOK AT US GO!

  11. LindaMS says:

    The black and white one is good, but no trees and trees play a part in this book.
    I like the moon on the first one, but too calm and peaceful with the blue.
    So, that leaves the second one, the close up of the barn and the tractor. Of the ones you have here, that would be my choice.
    But, I think you can find a better choice. Something with the barn and the trees and a dark foreboding presence…

    • ajcap says:

      Ken the publisher (that will be how I always refer to him), informed me of another site that has pictures that can be used so I’ve been checking that out and I’ve found one I really like…but I’m keeping it secret now. I want it to be a surprise, lol.

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