I grew up during the time of some of the greatest fantasy cover illustrators ever — Michael Whelan, Darryl K Sweet, Frank Frazetta doing the Conan stuff and John Howe (among others) who created amazing paintings for Tolkien’s works. Still more covers stick in my memory: the stylized covers of the Elric novels, the original art for the Black Company series, the original covers for Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun series.
For my cover, I wanted something cool, unique and ideally convert a browser into a clicker: “hey, that’s cool, I wonder what the book’s about?”
I think my cover does all that (I better think that, right?):
- It’s clearly Viking related — burning ship & all that
- The image in the flames suggests fantasy rather than historical fiction
- The image itself (burning ship) evokes a recurring “scene” in the book while the back & foreground is a mostly accurate picturing of the landscape (some of it, at least)
- The title alludes to one of the book’s central events
- My (pen) name is clear & distinct (branding!)
I’ll probably post some more about the process I went thru finding a cover artist, etc., and then the actual design process. It was both harder and easier that you’d think.
In any event, I wanted to get the cover out there–because it’s cool! Not that this is a wallpaper version of the cover — the ebook cover will be a different format; the paperback cover will look similar to the above (but have spine copy, along with blurb & bio).
For those of you keeping score, my first attempt at posting my cover = total fail. Hopefully this one’s better. Time for a different blog theme, I think. Was planning on doing that his month anyway.