Friday, September 19, 2014

The New Covers

As you can see, my books have gotten brand new and (in my opinion) much improved covers.  I liked the old covers – they were the best I could do, and I think they looked nice, if not really professional.  But I’m glad the books have gotten these (I think you’ll agree) better ones.
    The original covers were limited not only by my lack of technical prowess – I have no education or experience in art or design – but also by the approach I took.  Since my books are focused on the characters, I thought having pictures of those characters on the covers made sense.  And despite my natural limitations, some of those sketches actually look a bit like I imagine the characters.  But even in those instances, I don’t believe the pictures help to establish the characters – certainly not before you’ve even started to read the story.  The writing is what defines them.

    But what the cover can convey before you’ve opened the book is something of the mood or atmosphere of the story, and its theme.  It can also suggest the setting in a way that’s quicker than words.  I realized that a picture of the FURC main gate would set the scene for the Slowpocalypse stories, and it would also symbolize the theme of the dangerous crumbling world on the outside and the relative sanctuary the residents find on the inside.  I had a clear idea of what that picture should look like, and that motivated me to see about getting new covers for these books.
    I assumed I wouldn’t be able to make those myself, but before I set about trying to find a professional to do the job, I wanted to see how close I could get.  At least it would give me an idea what the covers might actually look like.
    With the help of Pixabay (for free public-domain images) and Paint.net (free graphics software) – and my thanks to the people involved in both those projects – this is what I ended up with.
   
    Since I don’t have the ability to do that myself, I see these covers as nothing less than a gift from God, and I’m very grateful.  Now I feel these books have the right covers.  And I already have a great cover for my next book, the third in the Slowpocalypse series, and the three make a matching set I hope you can appreciate even a fraction as much as I do.
    Seeing what He gave me for new covers for the Slowpocalypse books, I sought His help for new Watchbearers covers as well.  My best idea was a picture of a giant watch with a scene from the time the characters were traveling to where the watch face would be.  But I was led to do this –
   
    —where those scenes appear out of a thick mist or fog, which is more evocative, actually, and more indicative of the experience the characters go through.
    All this happened amazingly fast, and only a short time after I started to see about new covers for my books, here they are.

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