A Cover Story:
During this most recent project, I got to do and share in a few things, but one special thing happened. The cover got it’s own story. That’s right, there’s a story behind the cover that you get when buying the book.
The first part of the story happened a few weeks into the project. I was getting scared, no not of finishing, but of what it meant to have a manuscript finished. Especially one that needed to be edited, to have an actual cover, and formatted for publication.
So, I did what a lot of people do–I found reasonable things to procrastinate on.
- I tried going through a lot of my social media groups and forums looking for editors, beta readers, and just anyone to give me feedback. This was honestly a great excuse to waste time. But in the end, it would take Edison to provide the reasoning behind it being a good spending of time.
- I read up on cover artists, cover creation, image licensing and all that. Again, a great, I mean great way to spend more than an afternoon. So, while I got a lot of artwork that served as the background and inspiration of my work and it’s characters; very little of it was usable.
- Found a really great image, at least to me. Browns and grays, spots of orange and white. A ship with a tall mast sailing on the fog between planets. This one in fact:I tried to find some great fonts, but everything I found was a pay per use. And so,I posted it to a few groups. All proud and now returning to work on the manuscript.
- Well, actually- several of the editors I found (or had suggested to me) I submitted their requested trial lengths and began that as well. Not everyone wants to and I doubted I could afford working with the deadline I had.
Returning to the manuscript, things kept going. I got a little silly at times, like beyond cheesy, beyond cheddar or gouda.. But then some people I trust, and some I share these groups with started giving feedback on the cover.
- It’s too dark.
- The fonts suck.
- I don’t get it.
- So, what are you writing?
- Awesome, your writing in Spelljammer!
- So-there’s a planet in the ocean?
Wow, I was doing something wrong.
Luckily, I had just attended the 2017 Cirque du Libre (Site might be down for maintenance) and met a number of great authors, and a few awesome cover artists. One of those artists had this outstanding witchy piece of art, that completely captured this ethereal green, that evoked the exact feeling I wanted for the aura of the Atlantic in my work.
And best of all, my luck was still holding up. This awesome artist, Kyna Tek over at https://www.kyteki.com/ was available to work with me on a cover. This was the first time I’ve negotiated a price for work in a long time. But, in the end we came to something that was fair and doable.
Here it was, the real deal. Me ! Having a cover made for my work!
It wasn’t stock photography, or CC /some other commercial release license. I was buying an artists work.
Over the next few weeks, as my manuscript was completed and I had a chance to fill in missing details or go crazy on what all I was learning about ship configurations and LTA craft (Lighter Than Air – there’s more than just the Blimp and zeppelins). My cover took shape and color before my eyes. First thing.. had to get that green in there. As I had always planned for the pirate’s to have to travel under ice formations, the option of which thumbnail to pick had been easy.
I didn’t know that as the cover took shape, it would help shape my story. But it did, and I think that was awesome. And that, is the story of my story’s cover.