The Many Covers of Stanley and His Sword

September 3, 2011 at 5:36 am
filed under random novel-related blather

When published on July 26th, 2011, my novella Stanley and His Sword had a cover that was… not terribly interesting. Oh, if you’d read the book, and looked at the cover, you’d see it fit, but this is an e-book; the only people who really look at the cover are prospective customers…

This was cover #1:

After some gentle criticisms, I realized the cover was maybe-okay, but didn’t really work well in the itty-bitty thumbnail size on Amazon, ’cause you couldn’t really read the title…

So, I came up with this, which is awesomely retro, and very readable:

And that’s great and all, but two things bugged me: It has no connection to the contents of the book at all, and it’s more square than rectangular. While cover shapes and aspect ratios for e-books are pretty arbitrary, people expect covers to be noticeably taller than they are wide, except on children’s books. (And this is not a children’s book.)

So… after a couple days of that cover on Amazon, I finally found a piece of stock art which both broadly fit the book, and had adequate room to add the all-important (and legible!) cover. Thus, Stanley’s third cover was born:

It looks more than a little bit like a movie poster, but that’s maybe not a bad thing. It’s a guy, there’s a sword… it’s even the right kind of sword! I think we’re going to call this one good, at least for the time being.

I no longer hold out any hopes or dare to develop dreams for anything I write, but Stanley and His Sword is a fun and entertaining story, and I’d like to see it fulfill its potential, such as it is. The cover, sadly, probably plays a large part in that.

The new cover should go live on the various websites by mid-to-late September, before which some places will still show one of the older designs.

Well, now you know!

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