New Fantasy Novel: Cover Survey

I hope you good folks don’t mind something a bit off topic today.  I’m just about finished with the content of my fantasy novel Tarnish, after literally years of dreaming and writing and rewriting.  But before I can publish it I need to wrap it in an attractive cover.  That’s where I could use some help.  I have a few options I’m considering and I’d like some feedback from sci-fi and fantasy readers such as yourselves.  All I’m asking for is your opinions: Which cover image do you find more interesting and/or enticing?  Looking through the bookshelves of your local bookstore (online or brick-and-mortar), which might pique your interest most??







You can leave a comment or email me your thoughts at jdbrink888 at gmail dot com.  THANKS!

J. D. Brink


  • Matt

    I prefer the layout in the first picture, but also like the purple grip on the last pic, I think those two factors combined would be the best.

    Maybe this is just me, but if I saw each of those covers in a store, I’d check out any of the three sword hilt ones, but probably wouldn’t bother with the others as I’d expect them to be aimed primarily at a younger audience. But I know nothing of your novel, so if that is your target age group, those may be better choices.

    Congrats on finishing the novel!

  • I agree with Matt on all points. As they are I’d go with the first one, but the last sword has the most interesting grip. If you have aspirations of a series the sword hilts would be a good theme to tie them together.
    Writing a novel is a huge task, congrats on finishing!

  • I also prefer that first one and also agree with Matt’s points.

  • JD Brink

    Thank you, gentlemen!!! You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get simple feedback like this and I appreciate you taking the small amount of time required (I’m a little bitter about some friends who couldn’t be bothered with it…)
    The “younger audience” thing is exactly what i was a afraid of and how i feel. While I like the art work it also definitely says to me “younger readers” which is certainly not my intention.
    I also appreciate the “series” of sword covers idea, as I had that thought too. I would eventually have 3 books in this series, but as this one has been in and out of my brain for about 12 years i don’t know when that would realistically happen. 2036?? hopefully not that long.
    I personally like the first and last ones, and am tending toward the last for this book and maybe the first for the next. And I, too, like the purple coloration. I’ll definitely let you know how it turns out.
    Thanks again!

  • Dionysus

    The last image is the most attractive.

    Say, how are you publishing this novel? What company are you using?

    • JD Brink

      Company…? :) After 15 years of writing here and there I have managed to get 4 short stories published by actual editors and magazines. But this is my second novel (the first, after running the gauntlet, is in a drawer) and after querying about 30 agents and almost as many publishers with this one, I’m now self -pubbing this bad boy. When I started out that was certain death for a writing career but nowadays the indie writers are taking over. Which is great because there are literally hundreds of thousands of writers/books out there and only a handful of publishing slots with the big houses each year. (Of course not all those books are probably super fantastic, but a bet most of them are just as good as what’s in the bookstore or better.)
      Thanks for asking, Dionysis!

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