Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Production Update

"All the Saints Are Dead" has gone off to my first readers. I'm getting good feedback on the thing. The book is about a dragon rider working for the floating city of Astrea. While it's out, I'm taking a one month break to start the follow-on book, "The Wind Before the Storm."

I'm busily working on the cover, improving my overall composition skills and pushing my covers into ever more professional designs.

Here's my first try at the cover. It's technically correct in so many cool ways, but totally and utterly fails to convey genre or feel. The writing along the top says "Dragons Are Forever," which was the working title for the book. The large text reads "East Wind." The big font is used by US Navy planes. I might use this if all my images could be large, but this cover looks like a cartoon when shrunk down. The image itself is of the Dragon Rider Project logo. The cover also feels a bit too flat for my taste.

Here's my second try. The image itself, Chang'e Flying to the Moon is Ren Shuia Ying and is in the public domain in China, which means that it's in the public domain in the US. This particular image is from Wikipedia Commons. The work catches a great deal of the verve that I want. It still isn't perfect, but it sure is eye-popping.

I came up with some material as I designed the covers. The slogan "No fear. No mercy." will become the Dragon Rider group's slogan.  From the second cover, I got the series description "Wind and Wave." I had been thinking that the series should have a different title, but "Wind and Wave" catches the themes far better.

The biggest problem with the cover above is finding more paintings with the same feel. Branding is going to be a mess if I use that image. I also can't produce more images like that, nor can I find images of the same resolution or quality.

I have a few months to work this out. At my current pace, I should have the book out the door somewhere around September-October. Exact timing depends on the availability of my editor.