I heard back from Fairwood Press, yesterday. As publisher of Dreams of the Desert Wind (my genre-mashup of speculative fiction, thriller, and corporate espionage), I wanted to give them the “right of first refusal” on the new FC:V. The good news is that Fairwood is doing very well; the bad news is that their docket is filled for 2013, and they couldn’t entertain this title until 2014.
That’s too long a wait. So, I’m moving ahead; Beneath a Wounded Sky will be published by Mouse Road Press (i.e., me) as part of a full, five-book release of The Fallen Cloud Saga.
Which means that everything is now on my plate. Including cover art.
I have an advantage here. I don’t care if this project makes money. In fact, I assume it won’t. So, if I have covers that don’t tick all the boxes on the marketing strategy checklist, no worries. But I do want to have good-looking covers.
However, I do not want to have the standard-style, heavy-detail, photo-realistic cover of men and machines that you see on almost every alternate history title on the shelf. I want something different.
I’m thinking: minimalist.
There’s a new meme out there. Do a Google search on “minimalist movie poster” and you’ll see what I mean. These are evocative but very stylized images. Most of them play on a previous knowledge of the movie, but they needn’t. They’re eye-catching, they’re clean and easy to understand, and they tell a little story all on their own.
So, I’m reaching out to some of my friends who have graphic art experience, to get their input on the process. I already have concept art for each of the five covers. Three of them are pretty much final product, in fact (yes, I was working on this ahead of time, having predicted the Fairwood response).
These covers will be unusual, setting them apart from the standard cover art for the genre. They will have a uniform “look and feel” to them, identifying them as a set. And since I won’t have to use any stock photo images (bonus), they will also be completely free of royalty costs.
I’m not an artist—I’m saving that learning curve for my retirement—but I understand the basics of design. With some educated guidance, I hope I can come up with a set of covers that will do my series proud.