Clockwork Bluebird: Covers

Well, the book seems to be stuck with the working title, as I’ve got absolutely nothing else. Title fail.

Below are two covers that I have been thinking about, one more literal and one a bit more simple/abstract. The story is (without giving away what it’s a retelling of) an it-happened-all-in-one-night mad chase through various fairytales and through the middle of a war between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. It is steampunk fantasy, and would be placed somewhere between Middle Grade (as in the first Harry Potter book) and YA (as in the darker books which the series ended with).

Which cover would you be prompted to click through to if you saw it on Amazon? Which would catch your eye, and why? I think I fell into a quite unexpected trap, which is that I am having trouble visualising a cover for my own work because I am too close to it. In a recent post by Joel Friedlander, Book Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism, he writes:

The problem is that authors are so attached to their own symbolism or to an image they have lodged in their mind that would be “perfect” for the book cover, they lose sight of the role their book cover is intended to play. One of the quickest ways to kill any good effect of your book cover is to include too many elements. In fact, this is one of the most common failures of amateur designers.

Yep, I’m there right now. So since I can evidently no longer see this objectively, what do you think? Images after the cut.

Design One

Design Two

*Click through image for stock information and credits*


9 thoughts on “Clockwork Bluebird: Covers”

  1. If the setting in Design One is pertinent to the story, it certainly is a great piece of art. One drawback is that there’s nothing “steampunk” in the room, nothing directly pertinent to the genre.

    Design Two might be preferable if you — again — made the feather “steampunk.” Mechanize it in some way… put the “real” feather on a mechanical bird.

    Just one person’s opinion.

  2. From my non professional, very untrained eye, I think the top cover is the most eye catching and interesting of the two, and more representative of the genre. I love it.

  3. Thank you for that. I’ve been staring at these for so long that I literally don’t know what I’m looking at anymore. It was quite a revelation to discover how difficult it actually is to do a cover for your own work (even for someone who is very visual and has no problem coming up with ideas for other people’s books).

  4. They’re both pretty. I like the first one. But Robin is right, there is nothing steampunky about either, unless you count the lantern in the first cover. And maybe the lady’s boots.

  5. Pingback: Clockwork Bluebird Covers: Round Two | Ravven's Glass

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