My next writing-related post is about my new covers, and the post will go up on August 13th. The focus is on attention to detail and why I chose to change the covers for my series. Since your program is all about correcting more mistakes than other word processors, the “attention to detail” theme ties in well. What do you think?
As you saw yesterday, there are new Grimoire Saga covers. What I want to explain today is why I changed them.
First off, let’s have a quick before/after.
The Grimoire Saga Covers: Before
I’m ecstatic to change my covers (which I’ll show in a second), but don’t get me wrong. This first round of covers were exactly what I asked for, and the artist did a wonderful job of bringing to life what I envisioned. For about a year, I knew something was off about them but wrote it off as a perfectionist nature.
I went to UtopYACon 2013 in June, and ended up meeting two cover artists who gave me a review of my covers. Here were some of the responses I got:
Lichgates is pretty, but I get a SciFi vibe from it. I think it’s the blue glow. It doesn’t really say ‘fantasy’ to me. I have no idea what to expect.
The text could use more depth. Have you considered a different font with more elaborate typography?
I’m not really sure what’s going on in Heritage.
It went on for several minutes, and their feedback was so helpful. They were able to articulate the concerns I had with the design all along: the covers make sense once you’ve read the book, but that’s not what covers are supposed to do. They catch readers who haven’t read the series yet and let them know what to expect. As it was, my covers were too minimalist.
So I spoke with the talented Heidi Sutherlin of My Creative Pursuits. We had several back-and-forth conversations discussing our options, and the result was this:
The Grimoire Saga Covers: After
BOOM. *Sparkles* Ooooh. Aaaaah. *Confetti drops from the sky*
Two amazing ladies helped me design this: Stacey Marie Brown and Jen McConnel. We sat down in our rooms after UtopYACon and had a pow wow for about an hour, where we discussed nothing but my covers. Their help birthed the core designs, which my amazing husband and I further tweaked. And then I gave the designs to Heidi, who gave me the gorgeous covers you see above.
The process took about a month and a half, but boy it was worth every minute. Every detail mattered. I had to keep a close attention to detail so as to bring the covers to life and make them vivid.
The covers actually tell a story: the forest gets darker and more dead as you go through the series, which reflects how the series gets darker with time. Likewise, the color schemes become darker and more contrasting to further reflect this theme.
My favorite detail? The face on each cover is a villain, and all of them are creatures from my series. Sure, some of them look human, but none of them are. I’m sure fans will pick up on who’s who pretty quickly, but it’s still fun to hear the guesses.
Probably the hardest part of the covers were the lichgates, which are the portals you see on each cover that takes the reader to a different place. In Lichgates, the portal is in the middle on the right and shows you a castle. The rest are pretty easy to see, I think, and the lichgates are a key concept in the Grimoire Saga, so I wanted them reflected on the covers. (That was hubby dearest’s idea. Thanks honey!) The attention to detail here was crucial to make the portals seem realistic, and it took a few tries for me and Heidi to work out the kinks. But in the end, it was worth it!