As I prepare for the launch of What Ho, Automaton! – Tuesday, April 26th – I’m also working on book covers for the next two books – Resonance and Shift. You may remember this post about the first draft for the new cover for Resonance.
Well, below is the finished version. Listening to all your comments, I darkened the sky and made it gradually turn from chocolate through dark blue to black. I removed the London Underground sign as it wasn’t adding to the picture, and I changed the lower background colour from orange to dark blue.
Shift was a bit more of a problem as there are so many facets to the book – all screaming out to feature on the cover. Some of you may remember the original Baen cover – and if you had seen the exploding head, how could you forget?
So, how do you follow a cover like that?
I was looking for something equally startling, but less exploding-head related. I wanted something that looked interesting, had energy and had a hint of someone rising up out-of-body – or travelling out-of-body – as that’s a major part of the book. Some people have car chases, I have out-of-body chases.
I spent days trawling the stock photo sites, and then I found this. It was a bit flamier than I’d have liked, but it hit all the right buttons. I then added the text, finding a font that fit in with the picture and editing it to taste. I had to redo the capitals – why do so many fonts have capitals that are close to illegible? Originally I wanted SHIFT in upper case, until I saw the result – a mass of flourishes that looked like the work of a drunken spider.
Now I’m working on Medium Dead, which is a totally different proposition. It’s a fun urban fantasy – think Stephanie Plum with magic and a touch of Carl Hiaasen. If you look at the Stephanie Plum book covers, they’re bright colours, big letters and no pictures. Carl Hiaasen’s are similar – with the addition of a small illustration. And fun urban fantasies tend to look like chick lit covers – cartoony illustrations rather than photos – with a tweak to let the reader know there’s magic or something paranormal in the book.
So I’ve been trawling the stock photo sites looking for suitable illustrations. I’ve seen a couple that I may be able to adapt, but it’s still very early days.
Chris Dolley is an English author living in France with a frightening number of animals. More information about his other work can be found on his BVC bookshelf .
International Kittens of Mystery. If you like a laugh and looking at cute kitten pictures this is the book for you. It’s a glance inside the International Kittens of Mystery – the only organisation on the planet with a plan to deal with a giant ball of wool on a collision course with Earth. Forget Bruce Willis and his team of miners. Send for the kitties!