|UK Cover for COLD WELCOME
||[Jan. 20th, 2017|08:30 am]
Coming in April
Orbit UK came up with a terrific cover that conveys the overall feel of the book...it's not a walk in the park or a stroll down memory lane when Ky Vatta visits her home planet after seven years away. And though she's Grand Admiral of her own fleet, the universe has ways to make the powerful feel small.
(I must admit, the release of this cover image on this day seems singularly appropriate. But that's not what this post is about.)
The US cover, from Del Rey, is also a terrific cover that focuses more on Ky Vatta herself than the exact situation she's in, and for those who missed it earlier, here it is again.
And these covers are why nobody was interested in MY sketch for the cover art (and why should they be? I'm a writer not a professional artist.) BUT It gave me a great excuse to open a box of crayons and play for awhile. Wheee! That weird thing in the lower left corner is supposed to be coil of the kind of rope that floats and is bright yellow. That was supposed to be snow blowing off the top of those red cliffs. (I am much better with horses, wildflowers, and even crawdads than I am with dramatic scenes. Still, fun to make pictures sometimes instead of stories, even if the pictures are far from pro standards.
The point of cover art is to suggest that the book is worth picking up (and won't embarrass you if you're seen reading it....that, too.) This next phase in the Vatta saga is about dealing with a dangerous reality that arrives suddenly and threatens more than mere survival. About new challenges and the need to keep learning and adapting. About leadership and treachery and blind spots and mistakes good people make. But mostly it's about Ky Vatta, and the Vatta family. (Just as a teaser, the book *after* this is almost-nearly ready to send to Editor. It's called INTO THE FIRE.)
Ah yes, the UK/US divide in covers. (Juliet McKenna has a whole folder of these - UK editions, usually epic, US edition, most of the time a single person and very often zoomed in a lot.)
Looking forward to this one. We need books about how to be good people in times of stress and danger.
I think fashions change--I remember epic-looking US covers being in vogue at one time, then going to the single-figure, while some people got "iconic" covers with an emblem or a sword or something. Some of my covers in the UK were close up of characters in action (the Paladin's Legacy covers, for instance, which also went for a very restricted palette. Gorgeous in their way.) But often the covers were deliberately *different* between the two editions. Someone cracked first, and the other saw their cover, and then reacted to it--or that was my interpretation.
Some readers like a scene, some like faces, some like weapons...I suspect publishers look at what sold best and try for something similiar.
The 'who blinks first' theory might have some merit.
I suspect publishers look at what sold best and try for something similiar
Take it far enough and you get the million Urban Fantasy covers that looked completely identical, and then the pendulum swings again...
I object to only a few things--one of which hits women writers of genres/subgenres that people think of a male-writer-territory. That's making the cover look "feminine" because wow, a female writer. I don't know if it's the Art Director, or Marketing, or what, but I know that Kings of the North in the US had a romance-male figure on the cover that a lot of my male readers complained about, and the original version of Dorrin on Crown of Renewal was a vamp in a low-cut scarlet dress with long flowing locks and holding, basically, an ankh. Had no luck getting a beard on Kieri, but threw a fit and got them to change Dorrin's clothes...what part of almost 50 year old mercenary commander and duke did they not comprehend??? There is no point in any of the books from Paks I on up where Dorrin wears a skirt, let alone a low-cut red gown with her frontage about to hang out. It would have turned off ALL my readers for the Paksworld books, men and women alike.
<whistles> There's a bimbo on the cover of my book, there's a bimbo on the cover of my book...
Dorrin. Low-cut scarlet dress. Just no.
It's not a compliment to the female writer: it's a sign of the girl-cooties that must lurk within, fit to be read only by women - and that infuriates me.
And not only does this sort of thing turn off people who would have liked the book within, it annoys the people who would have liked the book they were promised and got a very different one, so no-one is happy. Bah. Wishing that your future covers are in the vein of these.