About the Destroyer cover artwork

Brian G Turner

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I thought I'd start a thread about the Destroyer cover artwork by Tom Edwards, and how it developed. :)

I'd already been impressed by his covers for Nathan Hystad's short story collections, but I was sold when I saw his custom work for Ralph Kern's Locus trilogy - then by seeing Tom's premade covers on his website.

So I approached Tom Edwards for a custom design for the Destroyer trilogy, in the hope of getting together a set of covers that would have a professional quality.

Here was my brief for book 1, Destroyer:

1. Black space: on the far left, a small but bright star; towards the middle-left, a white crescent of a planet of moon with its dark side mostly to us; in the middle flying to the right (either looking up or looking down) a starship moving away from the light, into darkness.

I even provided a helpful image to illustrate what I meant! :D

tom-edwards-1.jpg


And this is what he came back to me with - as a first rough draft:

tom-1.jpg


Naturally, I was blown away, so commissioned the covers without delay.

It only took around a month for the finished designs for all 3 books to come in, and to say I was very pleased would be an understatement. This is especially because the attention to detail in all of them was incredible - if you have the ebook, just open it and double click the cover image and you can zoom in. Here is an example of what I mean from the finished piece:

tom-destroyer-detail.jpg


However, as I moved toward publication, something about the cover bugged me. The orientation of the ship in covers 1 and 2 was a little too similar - I thought all 3 books would look more visually effective if the ship was orientated in different ways for each.

Additionally, Destroyer itself is a psychological thriller. That meant the cover would look better if the ship were descending as if into darkness, fear, madness, or death. So I simply re-orientated the cover by 58 degrees to the right.

The final result is that all 3 books look like this:



I'm certainly very happy with the covers, with one caveat: Teresa Edgerton and Ralph Kern both warned me that the covers might make readers expect to pick up a space opera or military SF. Judging by some of the ratings and reviews on GoodReads and Amazon this is exactly what is happening, with some readers apparently disappointed that they weren't getting epic space battles.

I've therefore updated the ebook listings to underline in bold that this is a psychological thriller, which may help. However, it does mean if I put the trilogy together into a single omnibus edition, or even refresh the covers, I may have to make them look more like thrillers - with the generic shot of a mid-distance man against a landscape, to help be clearer with reader expectations.

In the meantime, if you didn't have it already, the Destroyer trilogy is available here:

Amazon.com: Amazon.com : Brian G Turner Destroyer Trilogy
Amazon UK: Amazon.co.uk : Brian G Turner Destroyer Trilogy
 

kythe

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Nice! One disadvantage of Kindle is that I don't think about cover art much when reading since Kindle saves your place and you don't pick up the book and look at it each time you read. Also, Kindle pics are black and white.

I think the views of the ship are appropriate because the entirety of the story takes place on it. I'm not sure what else would be pictured.
 

Parson

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The covers are outstanding, and they scream "professionally done." But if you'd have asked I'd have been with Teresa Edgerton and Ralph Kern about the expectation of Space Opera or Military SF. But that expectation might have been fed more from the first title "Destroyer" then by the cover. I know that if I'd have seen the book in a book store my first thought would have been that the ship was a destroyer and that it was on a mission.

I guess that when a person does a review the author has to grin and bear the consequences of unfounded expectations.
 

kythe

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Is the Fire as easy on the eyes as the Paperwhite? I thought it was a regular tablet.
 

Judderman

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Wow these are excellent. In my ignorance I wouldn't expect such quality from a self published work cover. Hopefully they deservedly helps sales.
 

Parson

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Is the Fire as easy on the eyes as the Paperwhite? I thought it was a regular tablet.
The Fire is a regular tablet. Personally, I don't find it hard on my eyes, but if you want to read outdoors the Paperwhite is much easier to read as it does such a good job with glare. So, I have both. I have a large (10 in. screen) Fire for reading indoors and I use my old Paperwhite when I want to take it indoors. I got my fire with a lovely cover which serves as a kick stand and that makes reading by the counter in the kitcher, a table, or my desk very lovely indeed. If I could only have one, I'd choose the Fire because of that and all of the other cool stuff it does. For a tablet it is quite inexpensive. Today (I just looked) and one like mine (biggest size) is being sold for $79.99 from Amazon.
 

Plucky Novice

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The Fire is a regular tablet. Personally, I don't find it hard on my eyes, but if you want to read outdoors the Paperwhite is much easier to read as it does such a good job with glare. So, I have both. I have a large (10 in. screen) Fire for reading indoors and I use my old Paperwhite when I want to take it indoors. I got my fire with a lovely cover which serves as a kick stand and that makes reading by the counter in the kitcher, a table, or my desk very lovely indeed. If I could only have one, I'd choose the Fire because of that and all of the other cool stuff it does. For a tablet it is quite inexpensive. Today (I just looked) and one like mine (biggest size) is being sold for $79.99 from Amazon.
Something to be remember with the paperwhite is that it emits much lower levels of blue light than a tablet so if you read in bed at night, it'll disrupt your sleep much less. I guess there are other benefits for the same reason.

I nearly always use my kindle and I still miss the book covers.
 

Ogma

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The covers are terrific, and the story is set on a space ship so they seem perfectly relevant. You're not showing space battles. One issue though is the first book is in this Space Opera category so you might want to change that on Amazon Central.

Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera

The paperback is also in Sci-Fi Military categories e.g.

Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Military
 
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