Hmm. Terribly odd that Cover Refresh #4 had four versions of covers. This book was a hard one to do. It was one of the earliest I did–one of the first three I believe. I was still figuring out how to look for images and what would actually work.
The first cover did not make it to publication status. I don’t have it any more–looks like it got lost between two computer replacements. I observed at cons that a lot of the covers for fantasy books were of the character. But I quickly found that fantasy images of women are very difficult to search for. In many of them, the women are wearing essentially gravity defying strips of cloth.
So I went for setting with the first cover. And that’s when I learned the hard way about colors in the image. When I tried to sample a color for the titles, I couldn’t put the text anywhere and have it be readable. So it was a pass on the image and onto the next one.
This is the second cover. The short story has steampunk elements (the booby-trap), so I was trying to find a cover that reflected that. Pretty much, I put my wanderings around Northern Virginia’s Civil War sites into a story. It has guns rather than swords.
But I was never really happy with the choice, so off to the second update…
This image came from Dreamstime.
This was the third version of the cover, and it looks like a title change. I’m not sure why I changed it at this point. It might be that I thought Booby-Trap would make it harder to find. When I updated the interior a few months back, the title was hard to type.
This one, I think, was a bit dark for where I’m at now. When I originally published this, I was still veering to dark (a legacy of Desert Storm).
The image came from Dreamstime.
Here’s the new version with a title change (realizing now that I have two collections I have to hit up to change the title of this story…grr…).
Again, I had a lot of problems finding any suitable images. I ended up choosing between this one and a purple one from the same artist. I blew up the purple one to have a better look at it and passed on it because of the placement of all the contrasting colors. I would have had similar problems to the first version of this cover.
So the one I choose was this horizontal one. I normally go with vertical because the image fits the book better. Doesn’t do if you have to cut off the primary image because it’s too big.
For my cover, she was facing the wrong way–I wanted her to be looking at the part where you “open” the book. So flipped the image.
Because the image was larger than the book cover size, I dragged it to fit the cover, and then moved around to one third points. You can see one of them right were her face is. After that, I tried samples from her ring, her earrings, her eyeballs and finally settled on the sky for what I used in the text.
I’ve also learned a lot about keywords on these refreshes. This was one of the books I did a refresh on back in February. Now I looked at the keywords and thought two sets of them were too generic. So I went to Google and looked for other words for trapped and booby trap and added those. I also made a typo putting one in and left the typo in case anyone else does the same thing–and put in the correct spelling, too.
Link to the booksellers for the story.
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