Friday, May 27, 2011

Book covers again: Fortunes of War

Yet again, just touching base ... busy, busy, busy. The only art I could get to today was a book cover -- I wanted to get this one finished with the overpainting and text objects, because we're uploading a whole suite of new covers (I think there's about a dozen or fifteen) to the bookstores -- well, tomorrow. I've wanted to rejacket this one, Fortunes of War, for ages, not because there's anything "wrong" with the original cover, but because the original was designed ten years ago as a paperback cover, and of course those days are virtually gone now. Today's readers go shopping on webpages where 20 or 30 or 50 book covers must all compete for attention, and whichever of them looks the most astonishing at 150 pixels high will grab someone's imagination and win a click!

Here's what the cover looks like, with text objects overlaid:

Part of me wants to go back into this cover and change the background to a melodramatic blood-red sunset or sunrise, and do the overpainting in gold. I decided to sleep on it and think again in the morning, because the blues and purples are very eye-catching too.

If you're wondering, Fortunes of War is one of Mel Keegan's all-time bestsellers, a real Errol Flynn romantic adventure set on the high seas in about 1590, all sailing ships and pistol, pirates and what have you. The only thing you don't have is a fair damsel. Instead, you have two handsome heroes ... yep, gay romance. From memory, I think this is Mel's biggest seller over the whole 20 years since these books started to appear, and in recent times, the era of the ebooks, it's still one of the top four. (The other three are The Swordsman,a fantasy, which is the #1 best seller lately, and Ground Zero, SF, which is at neck-and-neck with The Swordsman, with Fortunes of War and Nocturne, vampire historical romance, right behind.)

Now, should I change the background to a bloody sunset with gold overlays --? Hmmmm.

UPDATE, next day:

Yep -- I suspeced as much. I went back in and did a fresh background, and it's mch better with the red-gold dawn light. See tomorrow's post for more on this, if you're into book cover logic...

Jade, 27 May
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