A Cover Story

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

You know what, before I got through my next chapter, Kyna actually had a few thumbnail sketches for me to look at! 
So awesome!

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.

I’m going to have to (for purely personal enjoyment) get the uncropped, unlettered version printed for my wall.


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