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Cover art

In the process of development for From a Broken Land, of high importance was the layout and design of the cover. I have recieved numerous questions on how this happened, so here is the progression from concept, to reality.

First, there was the decision of who to use, and I approached the issue logically. I wanted the book to stand out on shelves and displays, and I knew that my target audience was men aged 18-35. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with stories written for women, but I reasoned that there was little enough fiction written for that group that it might generate a following faster. I did not want to ignore women, however–there was, after all, a female co-protagonist. How could I reach this demographic, without alienating either?

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Check out Aaron’s amazing art

My answer was Aaron Acevedo. I love his art, and he produces beautiful tabletop RPGs at his studio, Pinnacle Entertainment. I contacted him, and he jumped at the project. After a short negotiation, we were ready to start.

Next, what did I want it to look like? I toyed with Kira’s leap of faith into battle, or a more sedate scene–Gidon and Kira as they first met at the borders of the Mistwood. Neither seemed sufficient. Finally, I opted for the middle ground: a scene from the city of Carwich, in which Kira spies upon Gidon and Rinkins. Rinkins had just learned who and what Gidon was, and their friendship had been broken. I gave Aaron as much detail as possible, and let him go to work.

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First try at the cover

The first mock-up looked like this. Hmmm. Gidon looked like something from a romance novel, not at all as I pictured him in my own mind. Still, the positions seemed sound, and with Aaron’s skill perhaps the emotion of the moment would carry through. What about Kira?

 

 

 

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I really liked this cover concept, except…

This was Aaron’s vision for her. The hair seemed too straight, but that could be tweaked. The baggy uniform (which was her clothing in the scene) seemed more like a rogue’s outfit. It didn’t sing to me.

 

 

 

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Another try at the cover. This didn’t sing, either.

Aaron tried a different perspective, here. Again, there was a problem. Kira was a major character. My female readers needed to see her. My male readers would want a feminine presence, and my female readers would want her to be prominent.

 

 

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Check out Martin’s portfolio

At this point, Aaron brought in Martin de Diego Sadabo. Martin tried several paths to the solution, also.

 

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Another try at the cover. So close….

How about this? Note that the poses alter to reflect each character’s personality. We are so close. So close….

 

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The cover, realized. Now everyone is just as they should be.

Or, maybe, this?

 

Eventually, Martin and I settled on the scene which presently graces the cover. The process took a month to complete, and I have recieved nothing but compliments on it.

 

There you go. That is the process of cover design, at least in this instance. Good luck on yours!