Wednesday, May 15, 2013

People DO judge a book by its cover

One thing I heard time and again from people at a recent writer’s conference was how much they loved the covers of the new editions of my books. That was nice to hear, especially since I had more of a say than ever before with their design. I looked around for an illustrator and tried to find one whose style matched what I had in mind. 

I came across Roland Ali Pantin and noted that his previous work matched the look I wanted. I gave him some ideas and he came back with a few options. 

For the sake of curiosity, I decided to post some of the rough draft covers of The Waxing Moon and The Zealous Star. This was the first suggestion from Roland. 

It was a good try. Really. I didn’t like the blood on the sword, the plate helm, or the full moon in the sky—after all, the name of the book is The Waxing Moon. He gave it another try: 

This was better with the waxing moon in the corner, but the guy on the cover wasn’t how I pictured the main character. I send Ronald some picture ideas for how I imagined the lead character and we agreed on this one: 

Next, for The Zealous Star, the lead character, Diantha was to be the focus. Roland came up with this basic idea: 

I thought the woman looked a bit cartoonish, and nowhere in the book is there a wolf with red eyes. Still, it was a good first attempt. I wanted more of a red motif, and gave more detailed points about the redheaded Diantha. This was the second try: 

It was pretty darn close, but I asked him to lose the mask, change the moon in the sky to a starry field, because you know, the title is The Zealous Star, and wanted her shoulder covered up so it matched her outfit in the story better. This gave us the final cover: 

Lastly, on April Fool’s Day, I posted this fake cover and I fear that some people actually thought I was being serious.

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow. None of these covers would have gotten you on, but they are certainly improved each time. I really like the direction you took with both of them. I can tell that your books have a realistic, gritty feel to them, which attracts me. With the original cover ideas, I would have assumed they were overblown and exaggerated. This makes a huge difference when finding your real audience. I went from "definitely wouldn't read that" to "definitely would." Way to go.