The series covers have come a long way since dot matrix and spiral bound copies. I’m showing my favorites here, with a little history. –A. H.
From Continue had many imaginings. Here is a first version, which didn’t make it to final book design and lettering. This photo paint-over was purchased from Claudia at Phatpuppy (except title font, which I attempted). I really, really loved the artwork, but after consulting with some trusted editors, readers, and writers, I chose to go with the next version, with the complete book design.
I decided to have two different versions of From Continue, one for the e-book version and another for the paperback. Claudia of Phatpuppy, provided the e-book version. I did the paperback version on the right. This was 2012/2013.
Months after releasing this book, I couldn’t ignore a nagging suspicion, so I went to many local bookstores, showed them my covers, and asked the clerks and managers what they thought my books were about. The words I got for the lovely picture on the left were: Gothic, love story, romantic, ghost story, young adult and teen, which was what I had suspected–not my target audience. This was my error. I had the vision in my head, and the artist followed it exactly.
I was really smitten by this e-book cover style, but with time I started to understand marketing to my demographic a little better. I will probably do a blog on that whole subject at some point. We are always searching to find our beloved readers.
I needed a cover that would appeal to men and women and that would show this book series is strongly influenced by traditional sword and sorcery, wizards and witches, but with a female main character–a woman followed since childhood, growing into her own power, and taking the main stage, while a few other characters are followed throughout the series, as well. Plus, I needed to show that hers wasn’t a pants role (in which a woman acts like a man typically did in the old stories).
This is what I came up with, a montage of characters (left) and a scene from the book set in traditional fantasy/folktale style (right).
Here’s the progression of Princes and Fools.
Early editions: Claudia’s beautiful work (ebook) on the left and my paperback version on the right.
2018 re-release with new editing and extra chapters:
And here’s the progression of Peasant Princess. The cover on the left is by Phatpuppy, and my paperback version is on the right.
Early editions: These versions were used for promotion and sneak peeks. When I decided to re-release the series, I placed these on hold because I was reintroducing the series with a new style. I really love the version on the left, which depicts one of my favorite scenes, but I had to accept it wasn’t targeting my audience.
Otti’s Precious Burden is currently available in the Black & White Graegan Edition. I especially enjoyed creating this cover because this story is about Otti, who appears as an “old scout” in Peasant Princess. Otti’s Precious Burden is a historical piece about Orfatum and Otti’s mission to save Lady Glanisa’s daughter. You can see the mature version of Otti above.
Book cover design is a forever changing art form. Re-releases always bring new designs. Coming from a background in lighting and compositing for TV and film, I enjoyed using those skills for my later book covers.
Below, I have listed contributors for the stock images I used in developing my covers in addition to my personal library of images.
From Depositphotos, Inc., Jukov, ooGleb, Tarzhanova, Tristan3D, timolina, bereta, anterovium, paolo74s, Ellya, griffin024, struckbarw, sabphoto, Dr.PAS, cookelma, haeton, trybex, scenery1, I_g0rZh, prudkov, Axpitel, oksanaok, MonoLiza21, Pirotehnik, RudolfT, ssviluppo, fxquadro, feedough, ksena32, prudkov, Shaiith79, StarsStudio, minervastock, tuja66, ArchManStocker, konradbak, kanareva, photodesign, prometeus, Wassiliy, JozefKlopacka, adrenalina, sundraw, algolonline, katalinks, AptTone, Arsgera, nemesis_inc, sergiy_chmara, Lenorlux, grandeduc
Additional images from istockphoto and Period Images.
Book Four, The Teller’s Tear, is arriving Spring 2020.
To get the latest on the series, subscribe through RSS feed or check out my website. There you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, join the books2read list and my amazon author page, or join my newsletter. Plus, you’ll also find a few short stories. There is a direct link to my website located on ToD’s main menu.
–A. H. De Carrasco
P.S. Here’s a little bonus. When I said dot matrix, I wasn’t kidding. This is one of the first computer printed copies of my series (then a trilogy). The first book, originally called The Sanctuary, has expanded into the present series. The second and third book are now part of the Teller of Orog’n series in development. It’s been a labor of love from the very beginning, back in the late 1980s. I’ve horded everything to do with it, carrying it from dorm room to apartment and house to house, city after city, working at it whenever life let me. I even have my original longhand and scratches on the back of SNC Admissions’ recyclable letters and old waitress order slips. Sometimes it seems like yesterday.