Protector (Anniversary of the Veil: Book One) Book Cover

by Vanna on January 4, 2012

Here is the cover for my novel Protector (Anniversary of the Veil: Book One). The cover was made by Char Nephan (

Please, let me know what you think. Would you pick up this book based on the cover? Click through to the description? Any thoughts on what the book might be about? Stuff you like/don’t like about the cover?


Protector (Anniversary of the Veil: Book 1) by Vanna Smythe Book Cover

Protector (Anniversary of the Veil: Book 1) by Vanna Smythe

P.S. Protector coming in March, 2012.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Owen Borseth January 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I think it looks good. The only thing I wonder is if it would be more compelling with the background behind the dude being dark sky and trees, like you can kind of see, instead of the pattern. It would make him contrast a bit more and I think give it more pop.


Vanna January 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm

The contrast is too bland, I agree. In the smaller version there is absolutely no detail in the background, except for the little sunshine;)

I’m still considering asking your artist to draw the cover for me πŸ˜‰


Ernie Laurence, Jr. January 5, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I agree with Owen. The cover is bland to me, almost monochromatic. I would like to see a different background, perhaps even a hint of his separate self lurking in the trees. :)


Vanna January 5, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Lol, love the idea of his seperated self lurking in the trees πŸ˜‰ In the hands of the right artist it could actually look really cool!

I agree, the image is bland. Given the tone and atmosphere of the book that did seem kind of fitting to me. Just maybe not if the cover image doesn’t do its job because of it πŸ˜‰


James P. Kelly January 8, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Hi Vana! Interesting! My only suggestion would be to remove “of light” to suggested “the shimmering” is the name of the veil between life and another existence. :<) James


James P. Kelly January 8, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Hi again, Vanna! I apologize! I clicked ‘send’ just as I noticed I misspelled your name. I fell so…dumb! Grrr!


Vanna January 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Thanks for stopping by and for your input! Interesting idea about the rephrasing of the sentence, I’ll think on it.

I’m actually putting together a different version of the cover now. This one just doesn’t do the book justice, somehow πŸ˜‰

P.S. No problem on the misspelling. It can happen to anyone πŸ˜‰


Daniel R. Marvello January 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm


I like the character and even the viewing angle (looking up into his face). I checked it out at 100 pixels wide in b&w: his image and the title carries through nicely.

I think the sword has to go. It doesn’t add anything to the image and it actually distracts from the character. At smaller sizes, it’s hard to make out what it is anyway.

The background doesn’t bother me as much as your other commenters, but I do think the the background tree in the upper left should be a little darker (more “contrasty”). It practically disappears at smaller sizes. The “fluffier” tree in the far background could probably be eliminated. I like the bleak look of the one with naked branches.

Are you going to be ready for the Magic Appreciation Tour in March? I’m calling for authors and would love to have you take part. I’ve reserved a space for you. πŸ˜‰


Vanna January 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Thanks for checking out the cover and your thoughts on it πŸ˜‰ I agree about the tree in the background, it really doesn’t add much. Nor does the sword. I’m actually working on a new cover, which I think will depict the book much better than this one πŸ˜‰

I am working really hard to hit that March deadline, so I am pretty sure I can join the tour! Do you have a date set for it yet? And thanks for reserving a space for me, that’s really nice of you πŸ˜‰


Daniel R. Marvello January 15, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I can’t wait to see the new cover. I’ll try to respond more quickly to your post next time. Also, if you really want brutally honest feedback, consider posting your cover over on in the Writer’s Cafe. I did that and got excellent feedback from other writers as well as several designers.

I do have a date for the first Magic Appreciation Tour: it will run from March 1 to March 31. Thanks for coming over and commenting on my post. And of course I would reserve a space for you! You’ve been my most enthusiastic supporter! :)


Vanna January 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm

March 1 is my final deadline then! I just can’t wait.

I’ll have the new cover done by begining of February. And I will post in on the Kindle Boards for feedback. I hope they don’t rip it to shreds πŸ˜‰


Vincent Shaw-Morton January 16, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hi Vanna,
I think the concept is interesting, but the cover doesn’t quite work (although it is a good effort.)
There are several issues.
The composition is weak. This is in part due to the use of the sword placed on the right hand edge. It is a cool blue, which detracts from the warm golden brown tone of the cover. The sword looks to be an after-thought. Simply removing the sword will strengthen the composition, or you could show the character holding a sword.
The curved title splash is in the wrong place, it divides the composition in two , the eye doesn’t naturally scan the page, but darts about, from eyes to title, to author and then to the top blurb.
Color balance.
As above this is great overall, but the blue-grey sword throws it out.
Character and the cover story.
What does the cover actually say about the story? I assume there something about this character that is special to the story. If so, then something significant about him needs to be shown. It may be something obvious such as a tattoo, or scar or distinguishing mark. Perhaps it is a special item or piece of clothing. Or it could be more subtle such as the actual β€˜character’ of the hero/villain . (My impression is that this character is arrogant and self- serving, but perhaps this is what is intended.) Whatever is special about the character should be shown, otherwise it is not a character, just a figure. By looking at the cover, the reader should want to know who they are and what happens. The cover should shout out β€˜This story is amazing, you have to read it!’
Use of photographs.
There is nothing wrong with using photographs in themselves as long as they are used in a way that doesn’t look like the artist had nothing else but the photograph to use. That is the main problem with the sword. (Having said that and looking more closely I think the sword is a 3d render.) Also the big problem with using a photograph of someone is that you are in danger of not portraying the character of your story, but simply in showing the likeness of the model who posed for the photograph.
I have been as honest as I can with this criticism and I hope that it is of some use.
Best Wishes


Vanna January 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Hi Vincent, thank you for your very honest and detailed feedback! I’ve more or less decided not to use this cover, but your ideas and comments on the compostion will help me design the new one with a much keener eye.

I’m going with something more subtle for the new cover. I just hope I can achieve it. I have a lot of photoshop to learn πŸ˜‰


Vincent Shaw-Morton January 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Good luck with the cover Vanna. I have used Photoshop extensively for years, so if you get stuck or need any tips, drop me a line or tweet me ( I check e-mail and tweets twice a day at 8am and 5pm GMT). Best Wishes Vincent


Vanna January 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Thank you for your generous offer! I’m going to finalize the cover I finish the final revision (February 1st, I hope) and I will have a question or two πŸ˜‰

I’ve been searching for tips online, but when it comes to Photoshop I don’t even know what kind of search queries to use to get the info I need.


Donna K. Weaver January 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Wow, lots of great comments here. What struck me was the sword. My eyes are drawn to it since it’s a different tone from everything else in the picture. If you want to draw particular attention to the weapon, that’s good. If that’s not your intent, then that’s bad because it distracts attention from what you want to be the focus.


Vanna January 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Hi Donna, thanks for stopping by and commenting! You’re not the only one to be distracted by the sword πŸ˜‰

And, no, the sword does not play such an important role. I definitely need to rethink this composition, and this cover πŸ˜‰


StuN January 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

The cover doesn’t standout enough. You want something that will sell the book? Sorry, this cover is not it.


Vanna January 22, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I fear you may be right πŸ˜‰


andy angel January 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I actually like the cover. The kind of book I would pick up and have a nose at


Vanna January 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

Thanks for commenting and your interest!


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