The cover for the new novel Star Time, coming out in about a month, is unique for me. As those of you who follow my publishing efforts are aware, I have been lucky to have gotten some wonderful covers for my YA series of books. And there's no doubt I'll be tapping those same wonderful artists for additional books in that series.
But Star Time is the first book in a whole new series and I had an urge to try for a distinct and different look for the books of The Project Saga. In fact, I spent so much time visualizing the cover that I realized that, for once, my own Photoshop skills might be enough to put it together.
I have always done a lot of the overall cover design--just not the actual artwork. I place the text and position the elements and add the logos. I've also built the series logos, like I've documented before in these blog postings. It was a step outside my normal comfort zone to do without a real artist this time, and I'll only do this under certain circumstances. I'd much prefer to pay the money and be tickled by the results as I've done before.
This time, I wanted a clean, nearly photographic look. For Star Time, the star Betelgeuse is almost a character itself, and showing off its blaze, in the Orion constellation was an easy task in Photoshop. A skyline of Austin, with all the electric lights blacked out was also doable, although I had Mary Ann's help and her fancy camera there to get the source image.
The final component was the human element, and just for this instance, I had access to a son-in-law who could easily pull off the uber-geek hero that was needed. I even took a few cell phone videos of that photo shoot. Take a look at the fun youtube short I composed.