New Cover

Hi friends,


As I’m prepping a few book launches under my different pen names, I’ve met some seriously talented cover designers . . . and decided to upgrade the covers of all my existing books.


For Five Dances with Death, which of the 3 choices below would you prefer — A, B or C?


To encourage some discussion, I’m throwing in $10 Amazon voucher for a random comment on this post – I’ll run the random draw on Sep 15.


The story is a historical fantasy written from the point of view of an Aztec warrior who finds himself in the midst of Spanish invasion, dark magic and the collapse of his world.

Current cover as the base line:

Five Dances with Death Cover




5DWD A Small






5DWD B Small


Would love to hear which cover do you prefer and why!



  • Geeta Saini

    Version C is the best………..due to intense design ,capable of catching attention and suits the title ! It creates instant interest in the reader and evokes curiosity …esp.the penetrating look in the creature’s eyes in the backdrop.

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks, Geeta! Really appreciate :) I quite like it, too for the reasons you mentioned.

  • Guest

    Austin my choice goes to version C

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks so much!

  • TL Morganfield

    I really love the calendar in the background on B, but I don’t think it will translate well at thumbnail size. C is the most eye-popping and will look the most interesting at thumbnail size.

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks, TL! I actually uploaded the B version to Amazon now to see how it does, although I personally prefer C.

      I discussed it on another forum, and found it interesting that all professional book designers voted for A…

      Argh, the choices!

  • Lola

    The second one! I love it. Its clean and but doesnt look like if there something missing like in the first one. I read your book twice! Im waiting for your second book! If it doesnt come soon enough, ill have to read the first one again!

    • Austin Briggs

      Hi Lola, you … made … my day! No kidding.

      I’ve been developing myself as a writer – I know it sounds corny but it’s true. I’ve written 5 books under different pen names to learn what I was missing, some books are out, some are coming out in Sep / Oct.

      As soon as I finish my current time travel fantasy, I’m 100% on the Dances series and it will be great.

      Thanks for the cover vote :)

  • P. Moore

    Version C because of the intensity of the animal in the background draws you in. And the figure looks triumphant.

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks a ton! With so many votes for version C, I may have to try it out asap in a real life promo and see how it does.

  • Steven Montano

    Version B! I like the visual layout with the profile and the image in the background. =D

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks, Steven!

  • WriterDS Nelson

    Version C for me. Love the simple colours and the light and dark of the cats eyes. I find it intrguing and I want to look at it more and more to try and work out the story. It would make me pick it up and read the blurb/copy.

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks a ton! I wonder if I should try split-testing.

  • John Aragon

    New Version B. The inclusion of the calendar in the background gives the potential reader much more information about the nature of the story. There is a certain subset of readers who will pick it up and read the back cover based on the calendar alone. Without the calendar you can’t tell much about who the guy on the cover might be.

    • Austin Briggs

      I actually believe so, and just uploaded B as my cover, to see how it does.

    • Austin Briggs

      John, you win the random commenter prize ($10 Amazon certificate) – congrats!

      Could you please contact me privately and tell me your Amazon account email address so I could send you the gift? The contact form is at the bottom of this page :)

  • Phoenix

    Version C!!!!

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks, Phoenix! :)

  • Peggy Martinez

    I love the new versions of A & B … I personally would choose B … I LOVE the lone warrior and the calender in the background. I’m not a fan of the floating animal eyes at all. (It is also over done in my personal opinion) I think the font treatment in A&B are FABULOUS as well! I think A & B look very professional and I’d definitely pick them up to read the blurb on back. Good luck! Choosing suitable covers is a nerve wracking process, is it not? 😉

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks Peggy – spoken like a professional :) I’ve really under-estimated the impact of strong covers in the past, a grave mistake.

      By the way, I loved your “State of Decay” cover and just bought the book. Can’t wait to read.

      • Peggy Martinez

        thanks so much, Austin. I hope you enjoy the read. I’ll be picking up a copy of Five Dances with Death as well. It sounds like a great read. :) Choosing a cover for a zombie read was one of the most difficult so far … I know I personally love artistic covers & I am drawn to covers with a more sophisticated simplicity in them. BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean a “selling” cover sometimes. le sigh.

        Good luck, again, whoever did you covers, did very well for you!

  • gregorybenford

    B: visual impact at first glance, not too complicated or (C) pulpy

    • Austin Briggs

      I agree that C is pulpy, though I can’t decide if that’s a good or a bad thing :)

      • paulashene

        Pulpy is making around round. So, not a bad thing.

  • paulashene

    B but C works too – maybe one for domestic and one for overseas

    • Austin Briggs

      That’s a great idea — also for split-testing…

  • Elena Rico

    Love C

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks Elena!

  • Cheryl Shireman

    Version C. The cat is dramatic. Especially the different colored eyes. Intriguing. Hands down. You don’t have to enter me in the contest. Just happy to help out. Good luck!

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks, Cheryl! :)

  • Brian D. Meeks

    I like cover C. I shrunk the browser zoom down to look at them in a size that will be similar to the thumbnail on Amazon. All the covers are good, even the baseline, but I think that C works best in the small format. Again, all four are good choices, I don’t think you’ll go wrong with any of them.

    • Austin Briggs

      Thanks Brian for going all the way to test that, I actually didn’t think of that. You’re right, though.

  • Melissa Freels

    Cover C … Powerful, strong, fierce, intense!

    • Austin Briggs

      Wow, this is convincing, thanks! :)

  • Kandis Caringer

    While I agree with Melissa’s breakdown of C, I have to say that B has more of a link with the story being told. Unless of course there is a white tiger with multicolored eyes in the story? But as dramatic as C is, it seems a bit overdone as far as book covers go. C also makes me think that this warrior is a strong man that can take care of anything that comes his way, while the pose in B gives the feel of a strong man being broken, losing things he cares about.

  • kes

    the first one. The typeface and the parchment-type background do it justice.

  • Accessor

    C, seems confrontational….as many would dance with death

  • Lori Remenicky

    Cover C – looks more intense

  • desithebonde

    new c one

  • Mari Watson

    Cover C…Unusual, colorful, magnetizing, and I would pick it up in a Book Store faster to see what it was about. Side note : Artistically I might have picked B but its not as intense.

  • Salvatore Buttaci

    I prefer Cover C because of the contrast in colors; the increased symbolism; and the aggressiveness of the tiger with white and black eyes and the frontal view of the dancer with clenched fists.

  • Elizabeth John

    Definitely Cover C. It just screams: “Read me! Pick me! Take me! Buy me!” And that’s what a good cover should do, is it not????