This week was slim pickins in the “ooo” category. In fact, this one didn’t really do it for me either. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice, just not “wow”. If I saw this in a long row of books in a book store, I don’t know if I would pick it up or not. I mean, it’s strangely compelling but…it’s so sedate. Then again, I suppose that having two teenage boys kissing on a cover of anything in any retail venue, besides a store that caters to the LGBT community, would probably catch a lot of people’s eye. See what you’ve done to me LGBT community? Jaded me!!! *grins* Yeah, see me over here crying the blues about that? Drier than the Sahara, I tell ya!
That said Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan, with photography by Evan Walsh, is pretty. The two boys are pretty; the font is clean and good looking but a bit too big. See how it gets cut off on the bottom of the k and the top of the g in kissing? That may or may not be an oops on the artist’s part. This is a self-published author, so I’m going to guess that the artist got it right and that the formatting of the site cut it oddly. It’s the bane of a lot of artists, formatting on all the sites.
Want to make an artist really happy, authors? PLEASE, please, tell us what sizes you’re going to need so that when we make the covers, we can make them all the proper sizes to fit the various sites you’re uploading to. That way our art and your cover won’t be compromised. At the very least, let us know what sites you’re going to be publishing on—Smashwords, ARe, Amazon, etc.—so we can find the sizes for you. Putting up a cover that is cut off looks bad for the artist and the author both, and it really is upsetting to see our art get mangled. Imagine if a publisher rewrote part of your story and didn’t tell you; you’d probably be pretty grumpy, wouldn’t you? Don’t lie, you know you’d be throwing things and swearing like a sailor! This is not as extreme as that, but it can still royally chap some tender spots on your artist, even if they never tell you.
So back to Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan, I’ll concede I may be harshing a bit on the cover, but I think I’m just feeling the grump of “I wish I’d done that” more than anything. See? I can be an adult and admit my shortcomings, in this case just making a simple picture pleasing to the eye. Don’t get me wrong, I can do simple, sometimes, but I have to be in the right frame of mind. Usually my mind is a bit chaotic, and I’ve been told I tend to think in a seriously non-linear fashion, which would explain some of my thoughts during reviews, wouldn’t it? And yep, off track once again.
“Two Boys” is simple. It is, but it’s also straight to the point and oozing with the sweetness of first love/first kiss tenderness. I really find that irresistible. I myself can barely remember my first kiss. I know it was in kindergarten, and it was a boy named Marcus that kissed me, which is probably why I can’t remember it very well. *grins* But that’s precisely why I love this cover. It reminds me of that innocence, that sweetness; it sums up what we all wish we could have every time we kissed. But if you’re cynical like I can be, you’re probably also saying, yeah, enjoy it now boys, it ain’t gonna last. And since I can’t say if it does or not in the book, because I haven’t read it, I will concede in leaving that up to you, good readers, since it’s not my place or function here. So we’ll just have to live vicariously through this cover, lean back, enjoy the memories of summers past, and think on the sweet kisses we shared with our teenage loves. *offers popcorn around with a wistful sigh*
Honestly, I wish I could speak a bit more about this cover, but there’s not much to it; like I said, simple. I like the font even if it overhangs a little. I like that the artist chose to use all lower case letters, it just seems to fit the teenage theme a bit better, a nod to defying convention, perhaps? Maybe not, but still looks nice. I do so love a clean font.
The only question I have is why the author’s name is offset and the credit line for the New York Times above it is also offset, but they’re not in line with one another? I personally would have moved the credit line over just a smidge, or centered both smack dab in the middle. However, I do like the mustard yellow color with the Caribbean blue, it’s a nice contrast. Especially against the soft filtered light that encompasses the two boys.
The last thing that I want to say about the cover, and I’m diving into the shallow end of the pool here, is that the subject matter is pleasing to the eye. Honestly, I saw a cover once where the romantic duo were not attractive at all, and while in real life, I like to get to know people and try my hardest not to judge a book by its cover, in my fantasy life? Um…yep, judging all over the damn place, thanks! I want my mens hot as sin and my women the same. Call me shallow, but it’s my fantasy, dammit. In real life, most of the time I read historical bibliographies over romance, and they are usually NOT attractive people, so when I do indulge in a bit of romance, beautiful trumps your fugly.
What, you didn’t think I watched Supernatural just for the story, did you? *winks*
That’s it for this week, thanks for reading, please feel free to comment!!! I’ll even reply back!
Have a great day and may the good books be with you!
A.J. – GotYouCovered
All thoughts and comments are the reviewers only and not the viewpoints of others. If I’ve made you angry, stepped on any toes, or otherwise ruffled any feathers, I do apologize. This is just for fun, and written in the hopes that it will help fledgling book authors and artists to grow and learn.
2 thoughts on “A.J.’s Got You Covered – This Week’s Top Cover – “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan – Cover Photo by Evan Walsh”
Hi, A.J. I’m really learning a lot about covers from your posts. l really like this one and it makes me want to read David’s book. I write WWII historical gay novellas and usually go for emphasizing setting or playing out the conflict on the covers. This makes me want to think more about using people, faces, & close-ups more. My best, Paul
Oh yay! :D I’m so glad that my mumblings are helping. I tend to ramble a bit as I’m sure you’ve noticed, so I’m always convinced I lose people. *laughs*
I think that for a lot of WWII books in general the setting is used a lot simply because it not only gives you the exact timeline of the book right at first glance, but manages to convey the seriousness of the situation that the world in general was stuck in at that time. It’s all about tone.
Faces are nice but is the tone you’re setting a grim one? It’s tough to find really grim, worn down faces that can be used without the potential of being sued. If you want something like that I would recommend : Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page or any other commons site with antique pictures/Nazi Germany pictures. Usually they are free to the public simply because of their age. But ALWAYS check the license to protect yourself.
The golden rule to remember when using faces, if they’re from a normal stock site such as Fotolia, or Deposit Photos etc. Is try not to use the same model everyone else has. You may think, wow, he’s gorgeous, but probably so has everyone else and that gets so redundant you tend to skim right over that cover. So be wary. You don’t want boring, you want people to see your book and buy your book. You want it to stand out in the long line on Amazon.
I’m done now. *laughs* sorry bout the long reply! If you ever have any questions about covers or want to bounce any ideas please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com or through my website: http://www.ajcorza.com
I’m always happy to help or listen!
Have a wonderful day!