All posts tagged: Book cover

Cover Reveal: Making Shiva

So there it is: my cover for the second book in my science-fiction series. Here’s the stuff on the back: THE NEW GODS HAVE ARRIVED. Now that the Solar Independence War is over, retired war hero Mallory MacLain is busy partying away her career opportunities and ignoring her chances to better the universe through scientific discovery. When a cult of personality rises up around a new leader in the nascent League, Mallory is too lost to her own self-destructive urges to recognize the danger: she can ignore the politics, but that doesn’t mean the politics will ignore her. Now, with her research stolen, her reputation in tatters, and her most trusted friends turned against her, Mallory is sentenced to the most notorious prison in human-occupied space. What she finds on Sheol Station makes her question everything she believes about the destiny of the human race. With the League only just freed from alien rule and now on the cusp of becoming thralls to a new slave master, Mallory must answer the question of what she’s …

Cover Reveal: Fractured Days

When I asked to help out with the cover reveal for the new book by Rebecca Roland (one of my fellow writers at World Weaver Press) I thought: absolutely! Rebecca’s a sweetheart, as well as an amazing talent. So a little about the new book: Malia returns home the hero of a war she can’t remember. The valley burning under the Maddion’s invasion, the fate of her late husband, the way she resolved the long-time distrust between the Taakwa people and the wolfish, winged Jegudun creatures–all of it has been erased from her memory. Malia hopes to resume training as her village’s next clan mother, but when the symbiotic magic that she and the Jeguduns used to repair the valley’s protective barrier starts to consume more and more of her mind, she’s faced with the threat of losing herself completely. A powerful being known as “the changer” might hold the solution to her vanishing memories. But the Maddion’s new leader, Muvumo, also seeks the changer, hoping the being will cure them of the mysterious illness killing off his people. Meanwhile, Muvumo’s bride …

Book Covers: Project Example

Okay, so in part 3 of this series, we’re now going to take what we’ve learned and apply it a real life example. Okay, a fictional example. A fictional example of fiction I totally made up. Even though I do in fact have a book cover on my to-do list right now (for The Culling Fields, the book I finished as part of NaNoWriMo 2013) I’m going to do evil, naughty things to the first example of such, and I don’t like the idea of doing it for a book that will actually see publication. Potentially awkward. Thus, let’s go with something invented for that purpose. “A Litany of Ashes” is a post-apocalyptic YA about a teenage girl in a small community that survives by its religious rituals, designed to keep at bay the demons of radiation and nuclear fallout. But when she begins to think the demons are literal, is she going insane or has a terrifying new threat arisen in the post-nuclear landscape? So it’s a bit A Canticle for Leibowitz meets Handmaid’s …

Book Covers: Backgrounds

In part 1 of this series, I talked about typography. Let’s talk about backgrounds. Now I don’t know about you, but it’s not type that trips me up on book covers; it’s the backgrounds. There’s so much advice out here on this, and it’s often really contradictory. For example: genre-fiction often shows the hero and love interest on the front cover while this is apparently a huge faux pas in literary fiction. Some books barely have any background art at all, while on others, the artwork is the entire focus. If it makes you scream, you’re not alone. So let’s address the elephant in the room first thing. Money. You remember that old saying about ‘you can get it good, fast, or cheap: pick two?’ Never has that saying been more true than right now for book covers. Most self-published authors aren’t really looking to pay a lot of money for this stuff. Many of us just can’t. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t have the bucks to spend. And doing this …

Book Covers: Typography

Okay, so let’s talk a little bit more about book covers. Specifically, let’s talk about typography (we’ll cover background art on a different post.) Now, if you’re not a graphic designer, you may think that you don’t need to know anything about typography. Even if you’re an writer, you may not think you need to know it, either because you’re hiring another person to do the work for you or because a publisher has someone in their employ who will design the book cover for you. Please allow me to reassure you: you do need to know this stuff. Why? Because there’s some awful work being done out there, and some of it is being presented to authors who don’t know any better as ‘professional’ when it looks anything but. Some of this work is being done by publishers, so its a trap someone can fall into even if they don’t consider themselves to be an independent or hybrid author. Make no mistake: this is your brand, your marketing identity, your logo. It’s in your …

Book Cover Reveal – Blood Chimera

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 …

On Book Covers

I used to be a graphic designer. This isn’t exactly a secret, and I was a graphic designer for something like 20 years (a little over, but close enough.) I became something of a specialist in logos, which are often considered the hardest work a graphic designer can do. Nope. I wasn’t giving enough credit to book cover designers. This stuff is HARD. Keep in mind: I am an artist. I have that advantage over most writers — I still think this stuff is hard. Insanely hard. When I say writing the book was the easy part, that is nothing but blunt honesty. You’re probably wondering why I’m designing the book cover at all, if I have a publishing contract. The truth is: I don’t have to. I’m very lucky in that my publisher is open to the idea of letting me take a crack at it (even if they go with something else, which would be their contractual right.) As a graphic artist turned writer, I have it within me to be the most obnoxious of …