Mar 10

Gabriel covers getting a tweak – take a peek (hey look, my first foray into poetry!)

UPDATE 3/11: Yep, that didn’t last long. Made a couple extra tweaks: changed the font, gave it a slight inset as opposed to an emboss, moved the subtext up. So now I have before, after, and after-after. Hopefully I’m done…

I spent a few hours yesterday doing some tweaks to the Gabriel scifi series covers. Nothing with the images – I’d never touch the incredible original artwork from Josh Powers, but I wanted to clean up the font size/style/color a bit, perhaps give it more of a pop. I’m not usually a fan of serif fonts (especially for science fiction), but I used one in the original covers because I thought it looked decent…but my pseudo-ADHD kicked in recently and I wanted to modify it.

Below are the before & after shots of all four covers, now with sans serif fonts in a bolder, white style & color. They should be making their way downstream to Amazon, BN, et al within the next few days.



About the author

Steve Umstead

Steve Umstead has been the owner of a Caribbean & Mexico travel company for the past ten+ years, but never forgot his lifelong dream of becoming an author. After a successful stab at National Novel Writing Month, he decided to pursue his dream more vigorously…but hasn’t given up the traveling.
Steve lives in scenic (tongue-in-cheek) New Jersey with his wife, two kids, and several bookshelves full of other authors’ science fiction novels. Gabriel’s Redemption was his debut novel, published in February of 2011.


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  1. michaelrwilson

    I like a combo of before and after. The white does pop out better. I think you should go back to the ‘book 2 of the…’ as just above your name (or maybe make it below the title) It takes away from the artwork to have those floating in the middle instead of grouped with another caption.

    My $.02

    1. Steve Umstead

      Hmm, I’m thinking I’m liking your thinking… Might take a look at shifting that subtext. Thanks!

  2. shayfabbro

    Cool beans! :D

  3. e3write

    The “after-afters” look more polished. I’m losing sight of the word “revenge” on the “Journey” cover in the white of the planet. Thanks for sharing your work. I’m working on a few covers of my own, and it helps to see what others are doing.

    1. Steve Umstead

      True, very true – had that before too. I will tweak once again – thanks!

  4. Jennifer Gracen

    I like the title font of After-After, but agree with your friend above; the “Book 2 of..” etc. is better floating in the middle. Doesn’t take away from the title. So how about that combo?

    Either way, nice job. :)

    1. Steve Umstead

      Aw, thank you kindly, copy editing goddess!

  5. Robert "Sharky" Pruneda

    I think the “After-After” revisions look cleaner. I’m with e3write on the word “revenge” on the “Journey” cover. It looks a little washed out. Great covers overall!

    1. Steve Umstead

      Thanks Rob, much appreciated.

  6. Michael K. Rose


    I think the new versions are much stronger! The font used on the after-after covers is bolder and makes the books feel more “heroic,” if that makes any sense. It actually looks similar to the font I use on my Sullivan’s War books.


    1. Steve Umstead

      Yes, I wanted to go for the sans serif, bolder more scifi type of look. I think I’ll stick with it…for a while…

  7. Dee

    okay, picky picky, that’s me…. I like the title font on the “after” version. To me it’s crisper and easier to read than the “after-after.” However, I like the placement of the “Book one of…” on the “after-after,” just below the title.

    And what they said above about the Journey… you could slide the Return and Revenge to the left a little and they’d stand out more

  1. The new-cover paperbacks for the Gabriel trilogy are up and running (and I’ve got photos to prove it) « Steve Umstead: Paginations

    [...] few weeks back I made a change to the covers of the Gabriel series, going with a more block sans serif font in white as opposed to the original [...]

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