A few months ago, I blogged about the cover for THE EMPIRE, author Elizabeth Lang’s romantic SF book. While many small press/digital publishers lack big budgets for covers, the one for THE EMPIRE boasted more technical flaws than others in its class. Ideally, covers should entice readers as opposed to making them question the book’s contents (and in this case, having read the story, I felt the cover did it a disservice).
So what’s an author to do?
In the case of Elizabeth Lang, she advocated for a cover change and her publisher approved. Not only that, but she asked me if she could share the initial drafts with you, my blog readers, and solicit your feedback before she makes her final decision. I happily agreed, knowing the readers and authors who hang out here have always engaged in thoughtful discussions about covers in the past.
Therefore, on behalf of the author I invite you to study the three initial cover drafts for THE EMPIRE, featured below. Please take a moment to share your opinions about them. Which one do you like best? Which elements succeed at portraying the various genre elements? Is there anything about any of them you would change/add?
To read the story blurb, click here. In case it helps to know, angst-ridden hero Adrian Stannis is very much the focal point of the story and in this case—at least based on my reading of the story (your mileage may vary)—it makes sense for him to take center stage on the cover.
Without further ado, here are the drafts:
Even though these are only initial drafts, I was amazed at the difference. Composition and lighting alone went a long way toward painting a clearer portrait of the story within. The colors are also very much in line with many other science fiction romance books, which is a plus as far as helping the target audience connect with the book.
I have an idea of which one I’d choose, but I’ll wait to share my opinion until the discussion is underway.
Thanks in advance for your help!