Soldier’s Duty Cover

Soldiers Duty medium

It was high time that I did something about redesigning the cover now that Soldier’s Duty is going very well. I’m still aiming for October as official release date, but I may or may not start distributing copies earlier.

I liked the bronze colour, but the figure was very static, so I’ve spent a bit more time on it and re-done it. I’ve re-drawn the hair and added highlights. I might need to do a bit more fiddling, but I’m pretty happy with this.

Incidentally, I’ve had some really good ideas for book 4. It will be called Heir’s Revenge, and the main character is Vayra, whom we have seen briefly in Trader’s Honour. Admittedly, he was only a toddler then, but now he’s all grown up and he carries the expectations of his family and the freedom of his father’s nation on his shoulders. To him, it’s not a light load. Everyone expect wonders from him, and everyone in every place that matters is watching him.

So he decides to renovate a house. You remember what happened to the Andrahar house at the end of Trader’s Honour? Well, it’s lain like that, uninhabited, ever since. Various people have tried to dis-own the family, or buy the property, but the family has refused.

Vayra quietly moves into the ruins. Of course the house is in enemy territory, and in order to rebuild it, he must not only defy his family’s strongest enemies, but must win support from those who can help him. The house is the symbol of the glorious history that was but is no longer, the marriage that could have been, but did not happen, and the family that is a big influence in a city that is not the one where they should have lived. He uses the rebuilding of the house to reconstruct the past as it should have happened.

ISF-Allion Universe series

This is part of the revamp of those stories in that loosely-related series. The stories themselves will remain untouched, but a few sites have upgraded to larger size requirements for covers, and I want to redo the covers of the existing works in this series to give a feeling of uniformity. Hence the small blue and white logo, which I will also enter as series name. All these stories, novellas and soon-to-be novel can be read independently. I’ll go through and redo the covers one by one.

Progress

After I posted the proposed cover yesterday, several people commented that they thought the image was rather dark. I know this varies a lot on screen, so I tried a brighter image. I was going to for backlit effect, but I guess that didn’t work as well as I hoped. Anyway, here is another try. Personally, I think it’s a bit too bright, but maybe I just need to turn down the monitor.

In further progress reports, I can announce that finishing a trilogy is definitely harder than starting one. I wrote the bulk of book 1 of the Icefire trilogy in five weeks. I didn’t do anything with it for two years afterwards, but that’s another story. Book 2 was easy, because I already knew what needed to happen and, more importantly, how it needed to happen. Book 3 is a lot harder, because all the seeds I’ve thrown out in earlier books need to come to fruition, and need to do so in a way that makes sense, and that results in a flowing storyline that builds tension at the right places. I knew what needed to happen, I sort-of knew how it would happen, but I didn’t know how or when. To top it off, the three storylines operate on an entirely different level, from very personal to very broad.

But I have arrived at chapter 28 and have a few chapters to go before I can say THE END. They are important chapters, and won’t be done in a hurry. That said, I have everyone where I want them, and I have even managed to get the love affair in.

When I get to the end, there will be some edits at chapter-level and then liner edits. By that time it should be good to go.

The Far Horizon will leap into print (soon)

One of the huge advantages of the self-publishing road is that you don’t have to do everything at once, and you can experiment with things, and change them as needed.

In that vein, I’ve held off making much fuss of getting print copies for any of my books. But I’ve heard many people doing the Createspace thing, and one of the prime books for this would be my kids book, because kids are not known to be heavy ereader users.

Problem was, some of the images used to make the cover for The Far Horizon are too low-res to be scalable to the resolution required for print. So I needed to start over with that one. Over the past months, I’ve been thinking about this, and gathering stuff I could possibly use.

The feel I need the cover to convey is: it’s a book for kids, it’s science fiction, it takes place in a space station, it involves action, kiddie naughtiness and running around in prohibited places.

Much fiddling with character files and settings later, I have arrived at the image below, shown in large and smaller format. I quite like the result, but remain open for improvements in the future. Which is the aforementioned great thing about ebooks and POD.


cover design by committee mark 2

A few days ago, I posted proposed designs for my fantasy ebook covers. I’ve fiddled with them a bit more, especially the second one, since some people said that the tree made them think of romance.

Also, this lot without the white swirl (it’s still there, but I’ve parked it down a few layers so it doesn’t show). So which do you prefer? This lot here or the older ones?

Any thoughts about what genre these images suggest?

ETA: now with daggers!

Some shading and positioning fine-tuning probably still to be done.