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The Making of a Cover in 13 Parts: David Dalglish’s SHADOWDANCE Series


As you may have seen start to spread across the interwebs, the new Orbit covers for David Dalglish’s Shadowdance series  have been released (to great early acclaim! yea!). We knew from the very start that these covers were going to be a special project, and thus, we thought, damn, this would be an awesome opportunity to do a behind-the-scenes series more in depth than anyone has ever documented before. So everyone here in the Orbit Art Department – and everyone who worked on this freelance – have kept records of all the stages and steps that it took to make these covers a reality. We’ve even got video footage!

If you have ever wanted to know what went into creating a book cover, absolute start to the very final end, from acquisition on thru to final books, well, you’re in for a treat. We’ll me taking an in-depth look at the stages of the cover development. I will be your host, and I will have everyone involved in the process chime in.

Since this is kind of an epic undertaking, we’ve already plotted out exactly what the posts are going to be, and I’ll list them here, so you can get excited. And as we go along, if there’s specific questions you have about that stage of the process, feel free to comment, I’ll try to answer all your questions. So whether you’re a fan, an aspiring author, or an artist, stay tuned for the entire cover process, start to finish:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Cover Briefing Meeting
  3. Cover Meeting 1: Directions
  4. Shoot Planning I: Photographer & Illustrator
  5. Shoot Planning II: Cover Model
  6. Shoot Planning III: Trampoline?
  7. Shoot Planning IV: Costume & Props
  8. Photo Shoot Day
  9. Rough Cuts
  10. Design Roughs
  11. Final Retouched Illustrations
  12. Final Cover Designs
  13. Final Books (and a special treat)

Bonus: Interior Maps

(and maybe, just maybe, we’ll have a few bonus posts along the way)


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  1. Tasha Turner

    July 10, 2013
    at 3:26 pm

    Covers look great. I look forward to reading the series of the making of. And now I have to go add some books to my wishlist & TBR.

  2. Mihir

    July 10, 2013
    at 5:34 pm

    can’t describe how happy I am to see David’s books get such FANTASTIC cover art. Will be eagerly waiting to read all the posts and especially the 13th one.

  3. Lauren Panepinto

    Lauren Panepinto

    July 15, 2013
    at 6:59 pm

    thanks guys! have fun reading along!

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