02 September 2011

Compilation Covers

Now that I'm moving on to working on Caszandra, one thing I'm turning my mind to is a compilation of the entire Touchstone trilogy - for those who want their rambly SF diaries in one gi-normous block.

Now the covers I have for each of the individual books are painted covers which really match the content of the books - to me.  But I'm well aware that for the market these books are theoretically aimed at (Young Adult) they don't fit the current cover fashions at all (most people think they're aimed at younger readers, because that's where painted covers are being used at the moment).  So (since I'm too cheap to commission another painted cover, and it's going to be ebook only) the compilation is a marketing opportunity to direct the books at the audience which theoretically will most enjoy them (though Stray and Lab Rat appear to work equally well for any gender or age).

Anyone who has gone near Young Adult books lately will no doubt know that the current trend in covers is striking photographs of improbably beautiful girls in gorgeous floaty dresses, looking pensive or anguished (or, well, blank). 

While gorgeous floaty dresses don't quite feel SF to me, Cass does at least frock up a couple of time during her adventures.  Could I combine current trends in Young Adult covers with the book content of Space!  Ninjas!  Bubble worlds!?  I set out on a quest for a photograph of a space ninja in a floaty dress, but they seem a bit thin on the ground.  So I focused on the bubble worlds concept.

Which version works best for you?

The girl in the photo (before I dropped the Blue Eagle nebula on top of her) does in fact appear to be wearing a floaty dress.  So all elements met!

[What do you mean 'no ninjas'?  There's more than enough shadow there for any half-competent ninja to take full advantage of.]

Edit: Fourth option:


  1. I really like the general concept, and think you may find your public with them.
    The first one especially shows Cassandra choosing one bubble amongst 3, which I find more enticing.

    However, I find the composition for the three of them missing "balance" : the first one feels too empty on the righth side (especially upper), the second one on top, the third one at the bottom.

  2. Hm - I've added a fourth option to see if I can get that balance issue right.

  3. Composition aside, I like the depth of contrast in #2 the best.

  4. I like all of these covers - I'm not an artist, so I can't comment on the compositional aspects, but I find the girl with the bubble and the intrigued, questioning look on her face artistic. Thank you, thank you, thank you for not giving in to the trend to create another YA cover that looks like an adult romance cover, complete with standard model!

  5. I Concur with Lexifab that a little more "intense" color (especially the blue) adds to it.

  6. I like either 2 or 3 - I like being closer up on her face, and the bubble being larger. The intense blue of 2 is lovely.

  7. Replaced version 4 with a darker blue.

  8. 3 or 4 for me...possibly because you changed the blue before I saw it. I thing 3 balanced better than 1 & 2, but 4 seems to fix that

  9. Yes, 4 is definitely better now ! Except or he "black sky" not being black anymore. But now I guess we're more nitpicking than anything else ...

  10. Hi! I've been reading your books for months, but have never posted. I've loved them all, though!

    So, number three is my favorite and if it was for a magazine it'd be absolutely perfect. I think of all the cover's it's the most succinct: there's a girl and she's about to touch something ephemeral. If you made use of the bottom right corner it might look less like a magazine, but I like it as is too.

  11. Hi mehramilo! I'm glad you've been enjoying the books. :)

    I'm torn between 3 and 4 as well. I've updated 3 to included a tag line to see if that will balance it...

  12. Is there any way to close the gap between the first and second letters in 'Touchstone'? I've just realised that that's what has been bothering me about the title, not the positioning on the page.


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