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Please help me: I need to choose a cover for my book

By on May 19, 2010
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I plan to launch my book “How to Publish a Game” next Tuesday (25th May).

But I can’t decide on a cover for it.

My talented designer Scott Maclean has come up with five different designs. (Actually, he came up with more, but these are the remaining contenders.)

I’d like to know which ones you like. Click on any of them to enlarge them and then vote in the poll below.

And please do vote. Your views count (although I reserve the right to ignore them), and I’d love to know what you think.

If you would like to do more than vote, tell me what you think in the comments.
1. Words in 3D
How to Publish a Game - 3D cover
2. The Commodore 64 look.
How to Publish a Game - Commodore 64
3. The graph
How to Publish a Game - Graph cover
4. Code leads to money
How to Publish a Game - The money version
5. The self-publishing to do list
How to Publish a Game - To do list

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
  • zack
  • andy g

    The first is aesthetically good but readabilty is poor, this perhaps could be improved. The second I can see an appeal to the target audience and looks good. The third does not really do anything and looks a bit dated. The fourth reminds me of a maths text book although fundamentally nothing wrong with it, it does not sell it. The fifth is helping to sell it with the extra words that make more of a connection with the audience however not sure if the low tech feel is right. I would like to see these word incorporated into one of the other design perhaps in a more current way like a tag cloud or like code. I think design 2 has a more quality feel and could be worked up to be a stunner.

  • Thank you all for your comments. I'll keep the voting open until noon, but #5 is looking like a winner.

  • I think it's a C64 🙂

  • Aaron

    I'm voting for 5, though I don't see the poll. It's not perfect, but it's better than the others by a good distance.

    I'll definitely be buying the book when it goes on sale. I'm not in the business of game publishing, but I *am* in the business of startups, and I've already learned quite a bit about my own business by reading about yours. It also happens that I count game publishers among my clients, so every bit of insight helps 🙂

    Good luck!

  • “2 is funny but shows its age (spectrum? how many of us are old enought to remember that?)”

    I am, and I had a couple too!

    I like design 2 but I do tend to agree with the majority that it sends out the wrong message, and that 5 is probably the best option.

  • Del Nergaard

    Definitely 5.

    Just generates the mental image of sitting down and writing that to do list on the back of a used envelop or something similar.

    My pick, anyway.

    Del.

  • Alan

    5, but with less contrasty background (i.e. use a lighter grey for the handwriting)

  • Jez Wingham

    I quite like 5 myself. They are all so different though and might appeal to different people.

  • deftangel

    I would concur and suggest you use cover #5. I quite like 2 and 4 is the most aesthetically appealing but I don't feel they convey what the book is about anything near as strongly as the fifth cover.

    Looking forward to giving it a read too.

  • Sean Dromgoole

    5 is the closest. They are none of them good enough to raise expectations above “worthy treatise” and to “engaging business wit” – which is what you are, and should be selling.

  • 5. stands out without a doubt!

  • Justin Johnsin

    5, beyond doubt.

  • Jonty

    4 is my first choice. Then 5. Not keen on any of the others. 2 is funny but shows its age (spectrum? how many of us are old enought to remember that?)

  • Joelle Laws

    5 definitely.

    4 is also attractive and appeals to the avaricious side of my personality, but it's a bit fussy. 5 is clear, simple and to the point. Does what it says on the tin.

    Congratulations on getting this far, Nicholas!

  • Love:
    3) Modern, stylish and businesslike.
    5) Clean, smart, readable. Great design.

    Hate:
    1) Unreadable and ugly, just no.
    2) Retro styling sends the wrong message.
    4) A cluttered 80s mess.

  • I voted 5 on the basis that I could actually read it best and it implies practical help. 2 would imply some connection with retro games, the others I didn't like.

  • Toby Barnes

    5.
    without a doubt.

    DON'T go retro, please we are grown up now – not making club flyers.
    1 & 3 also have that cheap, flyer look, an ebook because I am not good enough for a real book syndrome. 4 looks like an american self help book, and millions of other ebooks.

    5 is crafty, personal, Futura (think) always a winner

  • Steve J

    Hi Nick

    2 or 5, my preference being 2.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  • I really like 5. It's clean, to the point and it's easy to see what the book is about. I like the -to-do list feel more than the programming background. In short, I would stop and look at this in a bookstore. The others (i think) are too cluttered.

    For some reason I still can't vote on your poll but I hope this counts! Best of luck, I'm looking forward to getting it from amazon or play.com 🙂

  • sg_hariharan

    best

    best

  • iestyn

    5 – my eyes would pass right over the others in a bookstore

  • icopartners

    5 has my preference.

    1 is unreadable
    2 is not very readable and he retro-look too efficient – it might give a dated impression despite the date on the cover
    3 is quite nice but doesn't have the degree of readability of 5. An important element IMO. Less deformation and that might be a good candidate.
    4 title is not really readable – the “code to money” image totally escaped me at the first look

    Have you considered to put a bit of money in it and submit it to 99designs crowd?

    Thomas

  • 2 is good and will appeal to the retro gamer crowd. But I'd go for 5 for prettiness and broadest appeal

  • 1 or 3. Clear and uncluttered. Also the colour is very eyecatching, so will draw the attention of casual book browsers and be easy to spot for those looking for it specifically.

    <- comments from Mia on FormSpring. Posted it here so I could keep track of it

  • I'd go for 5 or 4 personally. 1 is impossible to read, 2 whilst cool for the style isn't pleasing to the eye, 3 is just plain and ugly.

    I think the mixture of the note design and code on the cover of 4 looks rather good. And the simpleness of 5 makes it incredibly appealing as well.

  • Great work Nick, I'm going to be buying a copy for sure, good luck with the launch.

  • 5. Or possibly 4 with the background toned down slightly and the title lettering made a little clearer.

    I particularly like 5 though, because it's the only one which indicates right from the outset that this is an up-to-date guide to modern distribution methods – the slightly retro look of some of the other covers is nice, but perhaps not quite the message you want to send…

    (I can't see the poll, sorry – not sure if that's because I've logged in via Twitter?)