Okay, here it is, the cover for Blood Chimera. (See my post On Book Covers for the lead up to this.)
The cover went through a lot of revisions: at least seven different iterations. The original cover even had an illustration of Jackson on the front (someone said it looks like a romance novel, and that was completely true.) I played with putting a chimera on the cover comprised of different animals important to the story, but it looked like a fantasy book. Ransom note lettering? Too hard to read. Eventually I decided I liked Maureen Johnson‘s push for gender-neutral covers and came up with the idea of using a glyph of Cipactli. Once I hit upon that, the rest fell into place reasonably quickly. (For those interested, clouds and background blood smears were created in Corel Painter, the Cipactli glyph in Adobe Illustrator, and final collage, correction and typography in Adobe Photoshop.)
I showed the prototypes to a lot of people — pretty much everyone I could find. Some people didn’t like the fact that they couldn’t immediately tell this was urban fantasy, but I’m not a fan of the typical conventions of many urban fantasy covers (it’s just personal preference.) Some advice I followed; some I didn’t (please don’t take it personally if yours fell into the later category.) In the end, this felt right. One piece of advice I did take? I eliminated of any bevel/3D/gradient effects on the lettering (yes, there’s a drop shadow, but I’m fine with that.) I see this done a lot on indie book covers, and more often than not, such effects just make the lettering hard to read. I’ve seen some very nice covers with terrific art where I can’t read the name of the book! That pretty much defeats the purpose.
Okay, so here it is in all its glory. Soon I’ll be putting up pre-order links for Smashwords and Amazon.
Oh, and would anyone be interested in seeing a book cover make-over? I’d be willing to do it if folks think it would be useful.