Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Cover draft: The Year’s Midnight

What do you think? I had some details I suggested might be changed, but overall I like this. I think it’s fine not to have a human figure on the cover, but what do you all think about that?

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18 Comments Cover draft: The Year’s Midnight

  1. Kristi

    Love the picture! Are you going to add a “the”? The Year’s Midnight sounds better to my ear…

  2. Rachel

    Good to know you like it!

    Yes, I absolutely agree; putting the “the” into the title is the most important detail.

  3. Louise

    It’s lovely! Definitely does not need a human figure; it’s eerie and evocative enough on its own.

  4. Rachel

    Whew, glad so far everyone agrees no human figure is necessary. I thought it would have the right vibe without. Stick any Woman With Sword on a cover and no matter else what else you do, pretty sure it instantly looks like urban fantasy, which would be completely wrong for this cover.

  5. Mary Beth

    I like it without a human: the sword becomes the central figure instead, and is immediately intriguing!

  6. Craig N.

    The cover has a quiet, introspective sort of mood which is very appropriate. I don’t think the lack of a human figure hurts it at all.

    The sword doesn’t really look out of place, which may or may not be what you’re going for.

    Does it look like a murder mystery? It doesn’t, quite, and I’m not sure why not: I guess it’s just not ominous enough.

  7. Herenya

    The image works well as a cover, it fits the title and also my impression of what this story might be like.

    I like the font choice too but the “m” doesn’t stand out in a thumbnail (I’m reading this on my phone).

  8. Hanneke

    I like the cover, and the fonts (though I agree, not that Y in LADY) but I miss the “Prelude” signal in the series title.
    Would ‘Death’s Lady book 1 – Prelude’ be overkill, in the smaller font above the title?

    Agreed, don’t add in a woman: ‘a woman with a sword’ or ‘a woman behind bars & walls in an asylum/ large house in the dark of night’ would give the wrong impression, looking like a very different sort of story.

  9. Rachel

    “Prelude” and “interlude” are prominent inside the book, which I think will do. I am trying to keep the cover less cluttered.

    Gosh, you are right about the Y in “lady.” I will ask the artist to change that a bit.

  10. Allan Shampine

    I hadn’t noticed the Y until Hanneke referred to it. wow, that is a weird font. I wouldn’t have known that was a Y except for the context.

  11. Elaine T

    When I glanced at this yesterday I thought it was fine. Revisiting this morning, my first thought was “Collinwood?” – oops, that’s NOT what you want.

    I think the sword didn’t get my attention fast enough for my brain to parse it properly so it read as old-style Gothic. Maybe ask the artist to put some highlight on the sword or something? Or I’m just an outlier, which is also possible.

    (I finally finished writing up comments and sent them, BTW. )

  12. mona

    Great image! I love the starry night sky. Agreed with Elaine re: the sword. I missed it the first look. I do think the font, at least for the title, should be different. It’s too… flowery? It’s got a not-so-serious vibe going on that doesn’t fit what you’ve mentioned about the prelude.

  13. Kim Aippersbach

    Love it! Agree the sword should get some sort of highlight. (Except that it’s actually supposed to be black, right??) Maybe it should be heftier, more menacing-looking? This one looks almost like a fencing foil.

    I will say that this suggests a Regency-type (or at least pre-20thC) setting to me; there’s nothing here to indicate modern day. Don’t know if that matters or not. (There’s a part of me that still wants to see the sword sticking out of the Ford!)

    Might be cool if you could get an artist to depict Chaisa (with the sword in front of the castle) and the palace at Neresinar for the next two covers.

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