Archive for Covers

Cover Launch: THE FALLEN BLADE

This lovely Monday we have an awesome cover for a book I really enjoyed reading and working on, The Fallen Blade, by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. The fabulous Larry Rostant provided the very atmospheric imagery, and I had obvious fun playing with the type. With both the image and the type, we wanted to clearly evoke renaissance Venice, but portray the strong main character and dark adventure of the story.

The Fallen Blade is the best of both worlds: an alternative historic fiction set in a renaissance Venice at the height of her power, populated by supernatural creatures and backstabbing political intrigue, AND a fast-moving fantasy adventure tale of vampires, werewolves, assassins, and pirates. Jon Courtenay Grimwood does such a fantastic job of describing Venice that you feel a really strong sense of geography and atmosphere. I was just in Venice in January and I was really impressed with how true the historical and geographical details felt, and it makes following the characters and story weaved around this framework all the more immediate. I can’t wait to see where the story is going to go in the next book.

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Cover Launch: LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF SAUSAGES

Sorry folks, I know monday is usually cover launch day, but things are a little hectic in the Art Dept. and  this week wednesday is cover launch day. But never fear, I have a cover all ready for next monday too!)

Tom Holt is a funny guy. Orbit UK has been publishing him for a long time and I was thrilled to get to redesign his look with his US launch of Blonde Bombshell in June. I can’t wait to start applying the new look to the backlist titles waiting to roll out. But first we have another new book, one which wins for my favorite title of all time* Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages.

Tom Holt is all about funny, absurdist scifi/fantasy, and when I read my first Tom Holt book I was pleasantly surprised how like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett it felt. and that’s high praise from me. I really like the humorous scifi/fantasy subgenre, and I think we’ve been packaging it well here at Orbit with the A. Lee Martinez books especially, and I’m really happy to add these books to the list.

I love a chance to hand-draw a cover, because most of the time everything happens solely on the computer. I especially enjoy hand-drawing type. I’ll have to try to work it in to more covers, even if it’s not as purposely rough-style like these covers. (more…)

New Wallpaper Day: The Gaslight Dogs

Here’s a gorgeous wallpaper made from the cover art of The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee, out now. (You can read the cover launch here) The illustration was done by the fantastic Sam Weber, and I’m really thrilled to be able to offer it to you in a whole slew of formats. I tried to cover all the standard aspect ratios/devices (including a hot new iPad version for us disciples of St. Jobs) so let me know if I left an important one out.

And of course, go get a copy of The Gaslight Dogs! To me it felt like a little bit steampunk, a little bit Golden Compass, and a little bit old western, with a great story arc. I can’t wait for more from Karin Lowachee.

Enjoy!

1024 x 768 | 1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200 | iPhone | iPad | PSP

Cover Launch: BITTEN IN TWO

Tough, sexy, dangerous, and a little bit crazy – that’s Jaz Parks. And Jennifer Rardin’s 7th book in the Jaz Parks series, Bitten in Two, has as much adventure and bad attitude as can fit in an urban fantasy book. For some reason I’ve noticed Jaz taking on a bit of a Joan Jett sneer in my head when I read these books – and that’s all good for me. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, I suggest picking up the first 3 at least all at once – you’ll tear through them wanting to know what happens to Jaz, her vampire boss Vayl, and her ragtag team of techno-geeks, CIA operatives, and one centuries-old prophetess. If you have been reading along with this series, then trust me, this one doesn’t disappoint. (more…)

Cover Launch: THE HEROES by Joe Abercrombie

And you thought we couldn’t get any bloodier than Best Served Cold? Here to prove you wrong is the cover of The Heroes, by Joe Abercrombie. It’s a standalone story, which is great for readers who haven’t read Joe Abercrombie before, but it’s set in the same world as The First Law Trilogy and Best Served Cold, and fans of those books will definitely be recognizing returning characters.

This is the hardcover version, so we’re keeping the general style of the somewhat controversial Best Served Cold hardcover, then we’ll be repackaging for mass market paperback with the graphic Best Served Cold mass market style. Just a quick note: the map in the background is not final, it’s the one I stole as a placeholder from BSC, until the artist finishes the new map. Steve Stone, an Orbit Books favorite, was responsible for the image reflected in the, um, gore. I’ll repost the cover with the new map when it’s finished, but this one was drawn by Dave Senior. (Yours truly was responsible for the agonizing blood photoshopping.) (more…)

Cover Launch: THE COMPANY MAN

Mr. Shivers, the debut novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, has been getting some fantastic praise around the review circuit, with a lot of comparisons to Stephen King + John Steinbeck, which is pretty awesome in my book. The Company Man is not a sequel, but if you liked Mr. Shivers, you will definitely like this one. It also takes place in an alternate history of America, and I would say this one, to me, feels like H.P. Lovecraft + Chinatown (the movie) happening in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, well, then, I don’t know what else to say. Haha.

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Book Cover “Mind Meld”

I know you guys are big fans of hearing about covers and design from the artists/publishers side, so I thought I’d send you guys over to SciFi Signal, where they just posted a “Mind Meld” (dorks) on recent scifi/fantasy bookcovers.  I was asked to post, and in fairness I excluded all our books, but it was great to see so many Orbit books getting a mention! Here was the question:

Q: It’s generally well accepted that a book cover’s primary responsibility is to sell the book. But artistically speaking, what makes a successful sf/f/h book cover? Which recent sf/f/h books had a cover that blew you away?

Which makes me ask you guys….what’s your favorite ORBIT cover? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious.

Cover Launch: THE NEON COURT

I know I maybe say a lot of Orbit books are “favorites” of mine, and considering I was a geek way before I was a cover designer, I think I can be forgiven for this. I’m really lucky, as I have to read books for work that I would have read anyway, so I’m understandably a little overenthusiastic. And luckily, I’m a fast reader. It’s a point of pride with me that I read almost every manuscript before I start designing – the only time I don’t is when for scheduling reasons the full manuscript isn’t available by the time I have to start work. (In that case I resort to mercilessly pumping the editor for as much info as I can get.) A pet peeve of mine as a fan is to have a cover misrepresent a book, and I work really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen on any Orbit books. So, all that said, I read a TON of books. And I have a lot of favorites in Orbit authors. And then above those Orbit favorites, there’s Orbit books I would have preordered, waited on line, had to buy on opening day, if I didn’t work here.

The Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin is absolutely that series. And this is not just a cover post, it is a love letter. (more…)

“Blameless”, or “How To Design A Cover in 1:55 seconds”

As you guys know, your friendly neighborhood Creative Director has been slaving away at the Fall 2010/Winter 2011 Orbit covers (yes, we work that far in advance) and now that the covers are (mostly) done I’ve started to launch them on the blog for your viewing pleasure, and general online critique. Well, I have a special treat above for devoted Orbit fans, cover design aficionados, and especially admirers of Ms. Alexia Tarabotti, heroine of Soulless. Timed to celebrate this month’s release of Changeless, Alexia Tarabotti’s second adventure, I have a special Making of the Cover Video for the next book, due out in September 2010, Blameless.
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