Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cover Art

Cover art sells. One of the most teeth-gnashing times comes when you first receive the artwork for your cover. Imagine working for a year on a great novel only to have it cheapened by a cover that looks like some teenager went cut-and-paste crazy with Photoshop. Or worse, steers folks into thinking that your story is not in your genre - in my case, Science Fiction.

Even with a small indie publisher, negotiations concerning artwork can be a very delicate dance between yourself, your publisher, and especially the artist they used. Take my new cover here for
Waiting Weapon. The artist is Amanda Kelsey, and she was given my idea of showing a rather nice peaceful landscape that held a rather lethal surprise beneath it. Amanda was also faced with the need to make sure folks saw the cover and thought "science fiction". She was spot-on with everything - but for that blade coming out of the ground. Working through my publisher, Ellen, we tried to texture the weapon like the "Stone" used in my novel - sort of a marbled aqua-marine. It looked like we were trying to grow something. With the consensus that it looked like crap, the three of us finally settled on a more common-place knife that everyone would recognize. A compromise to be sure, but from a marketing perspective it was a wise one.

Now if I can just get a brave soul to render Mikial on Blade Dancer's upcoming sequel!