Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Archive for the 'Cover Art' Category

Building the Cover

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Artist Philippe McNally posted this photo showing some of the preliminary work preceding the final design for the cover of The Last Good Man. I repost it here with permission. (click the image to see a larger version)

Philippe was a pleasure to work with. Here’s a post on the cover design process.

Contact him if you’re looking for book-cover art.

Progress Report

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

This website is in danger of turning into a ghost town, so I thought I’d post a brief progress report.

I’d like to say that I’ve been writing, but it isn’t true. Since at least the beginning of the year my efforts have focused on getting my forthcoming novel, The Last Good Man, ready for publication while working on promotional strategies for all of my books.

So what’s the status of The Last Good Man? The pre-copyedit draft is done. I coded the manuscript to create ebooks for advance readers and I’ve begun to send out review copies. I also did a quick and dirty print layout to determine the likely page count and price of the print edition. And cover art is on the way! We’ve agreed on the rough design, and now await the finished illustration.

Promotion continues, as you’ve probably noticed from the events I’ve been participating in. I’m working on connecting with more new-to-me readers by encouraging people to sign up for my email newsletter.

By the way, if you already subscribe to my newsletter, do be sure to check your spam folders and if you find one of my newsletters there, please whitelist it. I’ll have a new story out in an anthology next month, I have several promotions coming up, and of course The Last Good Man will be released in June, so there will be a lot of news!

One thing I’ve learned is that book promotion really is a full-time job — and most of that work falls on the author, regardless of whether the novel is traditionally published or indie published. So, onward!

If you’re a book reviewer and you’d like an e-ARC of The Last Good Man, please send me an email at linda at mythicisland dot com, letting me know who you are, where you review, and whether you prefer an epub or mobi (Kindle) ebook file.

Limit of Vision’s New Book Cover

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Back in June, I collected your opinions on potential new book cover designs for Limit of Vision, using part of the existing cover art, created by Sarah Adams.

After deciding on a direction, I then sent the project to graphic designer Emily Irwin to “professionalize” the concept. I’m very pleased with the result, which you can see here:

Limit of Vision by Linda Nagata

A new version of the ebook, featuring the new cover, should be available shortly at most ebook vendors. Find links and more information here.

I’m hoping to do a print-on-demand version this fall.

Book Cover Critique II

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

…original post is here

Update: added a third version, as suggested by Sharon in the comments.

Madness has struck and I am messing around with cover layouts. Generally, this is a profoundly time-wasting practice, but since I’ve come this far, let me know what you think of these concepts…

Layout 1:
The first one is a mockup. It’s an attempt to position elements to suggest the final cover layout, which would have to be completely re-done by someone with actual art/graphics skills. The small scene at the bottom would need to be repainted. It could be either a very similar painterly scene which fades into flat color, or else an entirely graphics sort of scene. The tumbling debris is meant to link the spider to the dissolving castle structure — and of course the color scheme would need to be adjusted to make a better match between the two elements.

If this was to be principally a print book viewed on a shelf, I would go for even smaller title fonts to suggest that “limit of the visible” idea, but it will be viewed almost exclusively online, so… maybe the font is too small?

layout1_500x771

Layout 2:
The second one is even simpler, and I don’t think requires further comment from me except to say that it would be handed off to a graphics artist for final font selection, placement, and rendering. Please let me know what you think!

layout2_500x771

Layout 3:
Suggested by Sharon in the comments…

layout3_500x771

Book Cover Critique

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Limit of Vision by Linda NagataBack in 2011 I set out to develop a new cover for my stand-alone novel, Limit of Vision. I put together a rather laughable mockup of a cover concept. Artist Sarah Adams went on to turn it into a beautiful digital painting. I then added some clumsy title graphics, and the result is the cover you see at right.

There is so much that I really love about this cover art: the rendition of the landscape, the color scheme, the plummeting space debris, the foreground artifacts, and the spidery entity which is rendered so much better here than in the original Tor Books cover. And yet — though this layout is exactly what I asked for — I’ve never been really comfortable with it. Now I’m starting to think of doing a print or audio edition of this book, so I’m reconsidering the cover.

If you’re not familiar with Limit of Vision, this is a near-future, high-tech story set mostly in Vietnam. The two primary characters are an American scientist who instigates an incident of runaway biotechnology, and a Southeast Asian journalist who finds her life overtaken by that. It’s an adult novel, meaning that it’s not young adult.

We all like to think that the right cover will sell a book, and sometimes it’s true. So a general question for those willing to offer an opinion: is this the right cover? My own concerns go to the foreground figure. The portrait is meticulously painted, but is it too large? too dominating? Is it too suggestive of a young-adult novel?

Here’s a look at the cover painting without my amateur graphics:

Limit of Vision cover art

And here’s what it looks like without the foreground figure:

Limit of Vision cover art

Here are some options I’m looking at:

(1) Have a graphics designer fix up the fonts and it’ll be fine

(2) Eliminate the foreground figure, but keep the background — and get a graphics designer to fix the fonts.

(3) Start over.

I’d appreciate opinions — and opinions need not be limited to these options. Thank you!

Science Fiction World:
Chinese Translations

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Science Fiction World is the primary publisher of Chinese-language short science fiction. I’ve been told they are the largest-circulation SF magazine in the world. A few years ago they translated and published my novella “Goddesses,” but I never saw that edition.

Now they’ve translated and published my story “The Way Home.” It appeared in the June issue. I just received my copies, so I thought I’d share them here. Of course I can’t read the issue, but check out the cover art below.

“The Way Home” was originally published last March in the anthology Operation Arcana. It was republished at Lightspeed Magazine, where it’s available to read (in English) online.

Science_Fiction_World_2015_06_issue

Cover: The Trials

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

And another amazing Larry Rostant cover, this one for The Trials, book 2 of The Red Trilogy, to be published by Saga Press in August.

TheTrials_600x1075

New cover: The Red: First Light

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Here’s the full image of the Saga Press cover by the amazing Larry Rostant:

TheRed_600x1075

First Glimpse: The Red: Trials

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

NO WAY OUT BUT FORWARD

Cover: The Red: Trials

Back-cover copy:
Lieutenant James Shelley and his squad of US Army soldiers were on a quest for justice when they carried out the unauthorized mission known as First Light. They returned home to America to face a court-martial, determined to expose the corruption in the chain of command that compelled their actions. But in a country still reeling from the nuclear terrorism of Coma Day, the courtroom is only one battlefield. A new cycle of violence ignites when rumors of the elusive, rogue AI known as the Red go public—and Shelley is, once again, pulled into the fray.

Challenged by his enemies, driven by ideals, Shelley feels compelled to act—but are the harrowing choices he makes really his own, or are they made for him, by the Red? With millions of lives at stake in a game of nuclear cat-and-mouse, does it even matter?

Digital painting by Dallas Nagata White
Cover design by Emily Irwin

Dallas also did the cover painting for The Red: First Light.

Emily did the cover painting and cover design for Memory.

Here’s a blog post on the Maui artists I’ve worked with.

Rebranding

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I love the digital painting my daughter, Dallas Nagata White, did for the cover of The Red: First Light, but the layout of the text on the cover was done by me, and I’ve never been happy with it. I wanted to hire a graphic designer to re-do the layout, but there wasn’t time before publication, so I went with what I had.

But the sequel, The Red: Trials, will be coming out in a of couple months. Ahead of that release I wanted to “rebrand” First Light, giving it a better look that could be re-used on the cover of Trials to clearly indicate that they are a series.

So I turned to Emily Irwin, who is a working graphic artist, and who created the new cover for Memory. Here’s the result–and I think it’s gorgeous:

Cover rebranding-- The Red: First Light

Expect to see this cover soon on both the ebook and print editions.