The First Blade of Ostia – Cover Reveal

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Here’s the cover for my impending release, The First Blade of Ostia. I hope you like it. I’m very pleased with how it’s turned out, and think it captures the atmosphere of the book perfectly.

There will be more updates and announcements over the next couple of days. I hope everyone’s well!

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The Telastrian Song Cover Reveal…

This is always my favourite post in the run up to a release. What with having told you all the title, it’s time to show you what it looks like on the cover! I hope you like it.The Telastrian Song

Cover reveal

I’ve been looking forward to making this post for a couple of weeks now, and am delighted to reveal the cover for my next book, The Huntsman’s Amulet.The Huntsman's Amulet

The Huntsman’s Amulet is the follow up to The Tattered Banner and is the second part of the Society of the Sword trilogy. It will be released in November, exact date yet to be confirmed. To be among the first to find out when, you can sign up for my new release notification here.

The cover was designed by Damon, at damonza.com, and after having worked with him on this, I give him my strongest possible recommendation. I’m really pleased with what he came up with. I think it’s a perfect match for the story. I hope you guys like it too!

Updates…

Galley CopyMy galley copy of ‘The Tattered Banner’ arrived today, bringing with it the delightful requirement of a proofread (another one). It’s exciting to be so close to the end of the journey with this book though, or at least bringing one part of that journey to a close.

For anyone curious, Createspace are responsible for this physical incarnation. I’m incredibly impressed by the quality of what they’ve produced; it has easily surpassed both my expectations and hopes. They took care of the cover art and the interior formatting and if all goes to plan, I will be using their services again.

And yes, before anyone points it out, I know I need to use coasters, but I think the coffee mug rings give my desk character. *cough*

Cover Design

My whistle stop tour of Renaissance history is going to have to go on hold for a few days, as this post is to bring updates that are infinitely more exciting! The cover design for The Tattered Banner is finished, and the final proof is below. I’m pleased with how it’s turned out as think it is very much in keeping with the vibe and atmosphere of the book.

Tattered Banner Cover Low Res Proof(click to enlarge)

Otherwise, I hope everyone has a very happy Christmas and I will start posting my Renaissance blogs a few days after!

Back cover blurb and updates.

Changes to cover and interior format have been submitted; it will be interesting to see what comes back from that.

The next step is to write a blurb for the back cover. My approach to this has been just to sit down and write about ten different versions. In a day or two I’ll have a read over them, see which I like, which I think are garbage, try to narrow them down to a few strong contenders and edit accordingly. I might write some more if anything new comes to me, but I think I’m on the right track with what I have so far.

I think that the important elements to get across to the reader in the blurb are a sense where the story is set, a sense of who the story is about, and an idea of what the story is about. And let’s not forget an overwhelming and irresistible desire to buy the book…

Cover design and internal layout

I got the first proofs back today for the cover design and internal layout of ‘The Tattered Banner’, which made it feel a little bit like Christmas!

The internal layout is pretty much exactly how I want it, which I’m pleased about; one or two minor alterations will have it perfect.

The cover design is always going to be the big thing, judging books by covers and all. Of the two alternatives suggested, one was really not what I’m after, while the other is pretty close to what I want. Again, a couple of what I hope will be only minor changes will be enough to get it where I want it. I really don’t have a clue when it comes to graphic design and artwork, I started to fall behind the curve in this regard shortly after we progressed beyond finger painting so I’m pretty reliant on others for this type of thing. It’s always interesting to see what someone else comes up with in terms of visual presentation, based on what must have been pretty confusing and jumbled directions supplied by me!

Happily, as evidenced by the second of the two options provided, I must have conveyed my ideas clearly enough to get close to the mark! It’s definitely one of those things that I don’t want to let out of the bag until it is finalised though, so I’m afraid it will be another ten days or so before I’ll be able to post a cover preview!

Incidentally, I’m still aiming for a mid January 2013 release…

Updates

Cover design has been in motion for a little while now, and I am expecting some initial designs very soon. Needless to say I’m quite eager to see what the designer has come up with.

I’m nearing the end of another proof read myself, and also awaiting another batch of feedback from the very kind individuals who beta read for me, who are also ruthlessly blunt when it comes to their criticism! This is something that I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about. In a sense I suppose it’s like having someone tell you they think your kids are ugly, but I found that I really wasn’t bothered by any of the criticisms levelled at my work.

The only reason I can come up with for this is in two parts. First, I was extremely keen to make my book as good as it possibly could be, so I was open to hearing about things that others felt could be improved upon. Secondly, all of the feedback that was given was extremely constructive. When they said they thought something didn’t work, they said (in one case at great length!) why they thought it didn’t work.

While it is still my book and I have no intention of changing every single thing that anyone raises a query over, what was particularly useful was that it made me really think about different aspects of what I had written. I may not have changed the things in the way they  suggested, but I certainly spent quite a bit of time thinking about each of the areas that they flagged, and this allowed me to tweak things in a way that I felt improved the overall book. They raised thought points, and also questions that I had to answer, and this was of enormous assistance in making my final edit as polished as I can.