Archive for Art

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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SHADOWRISE – get your wallpaper here

Desktop looking drab? iPhone lacking flair? What your gadgets need is a full-on fantasy makeover. And it just so happens that to celebrate today’s release of Shadowrise (UK/ANZ), the highly anticipated third volume in Tad Williams‘ Shadowmarch quartet, we’re giving away free wallpaper downloads based on the striking cover art. Just click on the links below to instantly spruce up your screen – all sizes catered for!

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Cover Launch: THE BLACK PRISM by BRENT WEEKS

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the cover for the first book of the highly anticipated new trilogy by Brent Weeks. The Night Angel Trilogy (starting with the New York Times Bestseller THE WAY OF SHADOWS) has been a huge success worldwide and I know a lot of people have been dying to see what Mr. Weeks writes next. Well you’re going to have to wait a little longer for the book, but I can give you a little taste by showing you the kick-ass (yes, that’s a technical design term) cover for THE BLACK PRISM.

I don’t want to say too much about the new series (because the editor will kill me if I give too much away) but Brent has created a very cool new world, complete with solid characters and a really interesting magic system. If you liked the Night Angel Trilogy, you’ll love this (And if you haven’t read the Night Angel Trilogy, you should be ashamed of yourself, really.) (more…)

Cover Launch: VERSION 43

In book design generally, but especially in sci-fi/fantasy book covers, there’s always a lot of talk about series looks, and sometimes that extends to author looks. Even if an author isn’t writing books in a series, I always attempt to establish a look for them that can tie together all of their books. As a fan, I love it when an author has a really distinctive look, so I can tell it’s a new book by them from a mile away. Yes, I know as a geek AND a designer I do pay more attention to these things, but I think it is safe to say sci-fi/fantasy fans are a design-aware bunch and very much notice these things. I get a little thrill when I see a whole row of books that are recognizably in a unit. That’s why I like to pay attention to spines alot, and try to get as much art (albeit small art) on them as I can.

That is why I am very excited to launch Philip Palmer’s next cover: Version 43. (more…)

Cover Launch: GREEN-EYED DEMON

Sabina Kane is back in a new urban fantasy, and this time she’s going to the Big Easy. (But you knew that by the ornamental ironwork balcony behind her, right?) Half mage/ half vampire and all kick-ass, I think this cover continues Craig White‘s great illustrations for the series. I’ve already read all three Sabina Kane books (aren’t you jealous?) and I have to say, if you liked Red-Headed Stepchild then definitely stick around for Mage in Black and Green-Eyed Demon, they just get better.

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