Cover Reveal (with a Little Help from My Friends)


I have a few books simmering on the burners. But my short story/flash collection is the one I’m closest to torturing the world with. And it needs a cover, as these things go.

Anyway, there are many choices and it’s overwhelming. I’ve narrowed it down. A lot.

I write kind of “dark” fiction but it’s not horror. It’s not thriller. It’s not really any genre. It’s just sort of…dark. Sad? No idea. But I don’t want to mislead readers with a cover that screams, “Horror!”

That was fun.

I want something that represents the darkness while also retaining some softness. If you’ve read my flash, you know what I mean. Without further ado…

Would you, could you, pretty please (with a cherry on top) take a look at these and vote for your favorite?

The font type, color, size, and placement can be changed. Any suggestions/ideas in the comments would be much appreciated. 

Thank you, gentle readers. I am so very grateful.


Brentyn_Cover1 poll

Cover 1


Brentyn_Cover2 poll

Cover 2


Brentyn_Cover3 poll

Cover 3


Brentyn_Cover4 poll

Cover 4


Brentyn_Cover5 poll

Cover 5


Cover 6

Cover 6


Cover 7

Cover 7


The lovely Rachael Ritchey, author of Chronicles of the Twelve Realms and founder of BlogBattle, designed these for me. I asked her for some advice after reading her post about cover design in her Indie Publishing series and, before I knew it, I had 500 designs in my inbox. I jest. There were only 400. She enjoys designing covers. And is really good at it. And is most generous with her time and talent. 



All images copyright Sarah Brentyn

51 thoughts on “Cover Reveal (with a Little Help from My Friends)

  1. Number 4, but I also like the contrast of number 6’s font colour to background. I’m not sure on the books name font tho, it doesn’t quite sit right for me, but that, as ever, is personal preference.

    Love number 4. Really, love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! 400 covers to choose from. That was some culling!
    I’m very excited to know that your book is getting closer to publication, Sarah. You are an amazing writer with a gift of story telling. I look forward to reading your stories all together in one book. I’ll have to pop back later to see how the votes go.
    I love the font used for the title in the last four examples, and that the font is consistent within the title. I also like the placement of your name at the top and reference to the collection at the bottom. I think keeping the collection reference with the title is a good idea. You may be a collection of dark short stories, but I think it’s your book that it’s meant to describe this time. I guess I’ve given away which one I’ve voted for. That’s okay. Now you know why! (And I didn’t even vote for my favourite colour. Just my second favourite! :))
    Best wishes with the decision and publication!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not 400. Just my Brentyn Hyperbole. 🙂 And a lot more covers than I expected. Good to have choices, though. It still felt like I cut down a lot. They were all so good.

      Hahaha! “You may be a collection of dark short stories, but I think it’s your book that it’s meant to describe this time.” Fair enough. I honestly hadn’t even read it that way. Too funny. I’m a walking collection of dark short stories.

      Thank you so much for your support, Norah. You’re absolutely lovely. 💖 It’s exciting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. YAY! I love cover polls!

    1 and 4 immediately drew my eye, but the font is distracting on the title. I think you’d do better by keeping the decorative font to only the word Shadows and then reducing the line space between the three lines so there is less of a gap. You could also adjust the opacity so that either hinting or Shadows is faded as way of reinforcing those words and/or you could increase the gap between the letters in the word hinting which would give it a more paranormal vibe. (If you don’t know how to do this in Word, highlight the word, right click. Select Font, click on the Advanced Tab, and then select Spacing: Expanded under Character Spacing. You can then manually adjust the space between letters.)

    I’d also recommend adding one more color to give it a little more pop. Something with a bit of contrast. A yellow or tan would complement the blue-gray.

    I LOVE how your name reads across, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I went with 1 because it’s the only pic that’s really a shadow though because it lacks clarity as to what it is, not so much a hint as a confusion. So 1 is ok but actually I think you should keep thinking. I don’t go with fancy fonts but 1 works ok. And the flower image that the other commentators seem to like in 4 are a bit weird to me. Sorry to sound negative but there’s something to 1 if Rachel can work on that area. You’ll be fine because the title is stunning as are the stories… even though I’ve not seen them yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! “Confusing You with Shadows” New title?

      These are all my photos. Rachael was willing to work with that first one even though it didn’t quite meet the standard for whatever-it-is… Size? Pixels? Pizels? So she had to use filters on it to even get it to that point. I love it but I think we’ve worked that one to pieces. We’ll try some other things.

      Not negative at all. I truly appreciate you taking the time to vote and explain your thoughts on these. You’ve only been through this…four times? And I also appreciate your lovely comment about the title (and stories – some of which you have read). 🙂 Thank you kindly, Geoff.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Book Cover Design From RR Publishing? (that’s me!) | Fiction by Rachael Ritchey

  6. I struggled to vote, because I think all of these are absolutely gorgeous! I went with the first one though, the colours seem to evoke that darkness without horror tone you described. Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m another one for #4. Love, LOVE the use of flowers. To me, the colours suggest danger and deception, but the flowers hint at life and hope.

    I couldn’t choose a runner-up because all the other covers are equally terrific. But you have to use #4. Because I said so. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Popping in a bit late here, but I think you already know my feedback. 🙂 I like #4 on the blog. I’m looking forward to seeing which one you end up going with and all the other variations you might have!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was torn between 1 and 4 and noticed that those two were the most popular. I chose 4. I think the vibrancy in background colour enhances the mood of the book. Lovely covers. Oh, and I do like the font too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oooh poll closed so I’ll give you my vote here. I really liked #4. The first one is interesting, but also confusing in a way. The reader doesn’t know what it is, so when quickly browsing there’s not a recognizable image to catch and hold the eye. Does that make sense? The color in #4 grabbed me and then the flowers drew the eye and then the shadowy stripes raise the question “That’s interesting…what is this about?” I think the juxtaposition of the shadowy flowers and stripes give the “dark but not horror” feel that you described. I’m not an expert, but there are both of my two cents 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree about #1. I love it but what you’ve said completely makes sense. I’m so glad that #4 gives you the “dark but not horror” feel. And that the flowers and shadowy stripes (which are actually trees!) work well here. ❤ Quite a few people sent me emails and liked #4 as well so you are not alone in choosing a cover but not voting. I truly appreciate your feedback and that you took the time to comment even though the poll was closed. Your covers are gorgeous and I am thrilled to hear your thoughts on these. Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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