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    Book Cover Design: Work In Progress

    I’m going to do something that I normally don’t do, which is to show a work in progress. Oh, I’ve shown partially unfinished work before – but they weren’t in that awkward teen phase, all spots and sullen expression. They were more like showing someone into your spotless house and exclaiming “Oh, sorry everything is such a mess!” :) This is an actual book cover under construction, with large areas missing, unpainted, etc., the relative angles are off and the clothing is largely unpainted. This is what going out into public without makeup is like.

    The cover is for Tanya Anne Crosby, for her novel entitled Angel of Fire. Here is the original stock art, and the current midway phase:

     

    Prior to the current stage, we went through a number of mockups and a lot of different stock images. Mockups are usually quite rough, with unpainted, watermarked stock roughly composited. Most of them will be wrong, so they aren’t finished works of art; they’re something more like a storyboard.

    I’ll post the final book cover image when finished. Her dress will be painted in with all the detail of brocade bands and lacing, the castle and clouds blended and painted, more mane, more hair, and something done with the thrice-damned saddle which is currently plaguing me. It’s just so there. The edges will be softened with texture, so that the eye is drawn more strongly to the central figure. And then I’ll look at type treatments.

    Posts like these are a bit like that dream where you realise that you’re back in class, and not only have you not finished your homework, you’ve somehow forgotten to wear any clothing. :)

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    Red and White and Black…

    YA fantasy covers go through fashions in colours, which change relatively quickly. Perhaps other genres have the same popular colours come and go – I’m not as familiar with their covers, so I couldn’t say. Purple and blue is evidently the hot shades in covers right now (with the girls in fancy dresses trope continuing). Another trend that I’ve noticed recently is red covers with black detail and white focus areas. I quite like these, as they’re intense, grabbing the eye. Several share interesting hand-drawn title treatments, which I quite like. Put together, though, and they all have a similar feel. What do you think?

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    Cover Reveal: Lyon’s Gift by Tanya Anne Crosby

    Lyon’s Gift, the next volume of The Highland Brides! I am so loving this series, so much fun to work on these.

    Synopsis:

    Known as the Lyon for his prowess on the battle field, Piers de Montgomerie accepts a challenge from king David–squash a troublesome highland rebellion. For his payment, he accepts disputed lands, but soon discovers that what he truly desires is the highland beauty who vows she will never bow to him.

    Meghan Brodie refuses to be a pawn in a political game and vows not be won so easily, but even as she begins to realize their love is destined to heal an injured land, she cannot dare to hope the English Lyon will look beyond physical beauty to love the imperfect lass within.

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    Cover Reveal: Vorisin by Orion Al-Shamma-Jones

    And again, a new cover reveal! I love these and find them very exciting in a totally vicarious way. I love working with my authors, as the cover design is very much an act of partnership between author (the person who really knows the book, and who is totally invested in it) and myself (the book cover designer, who tries to balance the author’s ideas with a design that both looks good aesthetically and will hopefully help sell the book).

    I try to support authors by getting the word out however I can: Facebook, Pinterest, this blog, Twitter. Hopefully at least some of that is retweeted or shared and brings a few more readers in. Readers can do the same – tell people on your friends list! Another incredibly important thing is leaving reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. Honest reviews, of course – but if you loved it, say so!

    Back to the original subject. :) Vorisin is a monthly serial novel by Orion Al-Shamma-Jones, with Part 1 coming November 20, 2012.

     

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    Cover Reveal: Happily Ever After

    Tanya Anne Crosby, one of my most favourite people ever, has launched Happily Ever After. As always, it was wonderful to work with her on this cover – we went through about a million versions of it, but arrived at a meeting place in the end. I urge you to check her books out, as she is a very good writer. I generally don’t read romances, whether contemporary or historical, but I very much enjoyed Lady’s Man. Looking forward to reading her others!

     

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    Rainbird: Birth of a Book Cover

    For some time I’ve been wanting to do a post describing the step-by-step process and collaboration that results in book cover art. A successful cover starts with communication, winds through a forest of various interpretations and ideas (and a few side tracks) and comes out at the other end with an image that both represents the book and hopefully intrigues would-be readers. If both the artist and the author or publisher listen to each other, giving in on some things and standing strong for others, it works.

    Usually, however, it’s not a quick process. Perhaps it’s just the way that I work, but I tend to go through a lot of mockups – as you will see.