The new cover

A few months ago I started to work with Derek Murphy at Creativindie on a new cover for Turner to replace my amateur image editing skills! The first set of drafts can be found here; the final version discarded many of those ideas, great as they were, and only kept the cracked font that appeared in some of them. After I had found some possible images for the main characters of Chris and Lord John, Derek was able to come up with further designs, as shown here. That post includes my comments too, which led to these revisions from Derek:

I liked all of those ideas, but it was a really interesting process to narrow down all the possibilities. In the end I asked for a few drafts from which I would make my final decision, namely:

  • The lighthouse as above without any human figures - for a striking single image cover, which would be a jazzier version of my original attempts (a brighter version of option 2 here).
  • Chris and John on each side of the lighthouse. This would be good for showing the conflict between the two characters who both want to be ‘the Turner’, good and bad versions. The images from the E version above could be the basis. For some reason I prefer Chris on the left (looking right) and Lord John on the right (looking left).
  • Just Chris – the body/polo neck from E, but the head from the version used earlier in the middle image of the bottom row here. The reason that came back to mind was because it gives the impression of someone bowed but not defeated, or preparing for a great ordeal, which also captures a feeling from the novel. Chris’s full name is Chris Turner, so tying his image to the lighthouse, pensive yet strong, is quite striking in its own way, and implies a figure who can stay calm despite adverse circumstances.
These were the final options to choose from:

Despite liking the idea of showing the two adversaries facing each other, I agreed with Derek that B and C are much cleaner and therefore more striking images. It was really tricky to choose between B and C, but in the end I went with C, Chris bowing his head, since it raises questions and adds a human element to the image. This post opens with the final version. I love all the elements of the cover: the way the font colours resemble a sunset, leading to the darkness of the main image; the discordant and cracked lettering suggesting that things are falling apart or going mad; the approaching storm and darkness; even the way the serif font sometimes reminds me of the shape of an axe (the base of the letter E) or machete (base of the second letter R). There’s even the impression of a glow at the edge of the lighthouse, making it seem unearthly. I think the image does everything that was proposed in the original brief:
“What I like, or would be interested in: something simple, but striking or beautiful due to the image and colour. An ominous tone would fit, but something subtle (no axes or blood, even though they appear in the novel at one point!). Sunset and a lighthouse ticks most of those boxes. The setting is a wooded island, with an old and run-down village. The main problems with the covers I came up with (even though I liked some of my previous attempts in the link above, and the current brighter version) is that the cover writing is very badly done; at smaller sizes the image does not stand out; it is possibly too dark.”
Sorry for all this talk of cover iterations, it's the kind of thing I find fascinating - as a writer I'm always working with how ideas evolve into more concrete shapes through words, but haven't been so involved in how the same process can work visually before.

Did I make the right choice with regards to the cover? Which would you have chosen if it was your book?

Anyway, that means a new version is available for Halloween! I have made only very minor edits to the text for clarity, and had spotted a letter 'i' missing from a word three quarters of the way through the novel which was horrifying to me, therefore it was an appropriate discovery for Halloween.

Get the new version
I've made the new version available but it takes a while to drip through all the distribution channels (the print versions in particular take a bit longer to update). As long as you see the new cover when you go to buy it then you are getting the new edition. It will be interesting to monitor whether the new cover affects sales.

Buy a copy for yourself or your loved one!

The new cover that will appear on the print copies

Discount on the Smashwords version
I've added a new 50% discount on the Smashwords version for Halloween (Smashwords is the only distributor who make it easy to create discount vouchers, otherwise I would do this on other stores too).

Promotional price: $1.50
Coupon Code: FU74L
Expires: November 15, 2012

Just enter the code prior to completing the checkout.