Joy and Loathing in Cover Land

Yesterday my publisher checked out the final details with me on my book cover design.

No, you did not read this incorrectly. They checked with me. That is one of the joys of working with Pyr, and my editor there, Lou Anders, Editorial Director of Pyr. Lou has been checking in with me regularly since spring when he bought my SF quartet, The Entire and the Rose. It began with a discussion of what characterized the series within the corral of science fiction and fantasy: we decided epic adventure, world-building sf with a fantastical feel.

It has gone on from there with the cover decisions for the first book, Bright of the Sky: tossing around ideas for artists, cruising artists’ web sites for someone who could convey that sense of wonder and scope. I feel it is here that I had the most influence. I was much struck by the work of Stephan Martiniere. I loved what he did for Ian McDonald on River of Gods… and also his conceptual work and execution on the Myst computer games. “Done, then,” Anders said. “Good choice.”

This, my friends, is not how most publishers operate.

Thus the “loathing” part of the title of this blog. I have sat with writer friends and held their hands through cover art decisions so bad they would leave you breathless. These covers have been said to sink books. Vonda McIntyre at the Vanguard sf parties in Seattle used to bring out one of her foreign edition covers for us to gaze upon in horror and hilarity. But I’m not saying that it takes a Dutch publisher to screw things up. Take a look at some of the US howlers out there. I know you know what I mean.

To say that I am happy with Pyr’s artistic decisions–and the way they included me at major check points along the way is an understatement. I am deliriously pleased!

You can see loads of details on this beautiful book at my website.

The full details and design layout of Bright of the Sky are at Lou Anders’ Pyr blog, where he shares the process of designing a cover–a fascinating blog.

2 Responses

  1. tbclone47 says:

    Just love that cover! I’m a big fan of Martiniere myself (and that also may be because we are such big Myst fans!).

  2. kateelliott says:

    It’s an utterly fabulous cover.

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