Friday, 22 July 2011

Now on a Screen Near You - Joan Lennon


It's happened! My collection of YA sci-fi stories has been e-booked!

There have been interesting posts here and elsewhere about the challenge of making our own covers - especially when it's for a collection. Do you choose one story to illustrate or something that, um, covers them all? We went for the second option. So, all we needed to do was come up with something that represented a story about a diary discovered in a deserted space station, one about a forgotten waterworld, another that was a re-telling of Macbeth on a gigantic spaceship - something that would be attractive without giving away any plot twists.

And then there were the problems specific to e-book covers - how they needed to look good in colour, in greyscale, as a thumbnail, mid-size, paperback book size. I love this cover best when it's REALLY BIG. You can see all the detail of the city on the back of the spaceship then. The rip in space started life as a piece of scrap paper with a hole punched in it with a pen and then the leaves folded back to show the writing on the other side. (Most of our scrap paper has drafts of novels on the back.) But that didn't translate so well onto the computer. At one point we experimented with making the rip against a black background and have the stars on the folded-back petal bits. Not so good. The spaceship was tilted nose down for a while, and also looked a lot like a whale at one stage. There were MANY discussions about colours ...

I like what we ended up with best. I like that e-booking will never be as daunting as it was the first time. And I like that my artist and technician are already saying, in the words of West Wing,

"What's next?"

Cheers, Joan.

7 comments:

Debbie said...

Great cover. Took me a long time to get my head around how covers "work".

Dan Holloway said...

Congratulations! And it's always fascinating to see how people approach covers for collections. I think it's definitely best to go for something that covers the feel of the whole collection - that way readers really know what they're getting

madwippitt said...

I like the cover - as I said somewhere else I think, it makes me want to turn the page and look inside to see what it's all about.
As far as 'What's Next' is concerned, I quite like the idea of a 3D effect ... or one of those images like the bookmarks you can buy where you move it and the animal on it appears to be moving ...

Joan Lennon said...

Thanks! I remember a very experienced editor saying to me once, "I never let what's in the book get in the way of a good cover." I was pretty shocked, but then I guess in some ways I can see her point. What do you all think?

Susan Price said...

Loved this post, Joan - and I think 'Macbeth on a spaceship' has sold me a copy!
Is it up for sale yet?

Joan Lennon said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!
Er, well, Susan, yes, it is.

Karen King said...

Congratulations, Joan. I'm still trying to get my Kindle book up and haven't tackled covers yet :)