Monday, September 3, 2012

Covers That Never Were!

Have a think - and this is open to wider discussion - about the style that we could or should aim for with fan produced covers. Have a flick through the gallery in the last post and remember we are trying to give the illusion on a computer screen of a paperback. In this respect, patterning our designs on hardcopy principles, there are a number of great resources available to us for free on line, not least of which is Joel Friedlander's   Monthly eBook Cover Design Awards, even though he sadly does not seem to recognise that a pdf can be in any physical format.

Do we, for instance want to make a cover that strongly follows a design that has been used in the past? I think when you consider the genre that we are writing in - fan fiction that is meant to resonate the works of past professionals? There are a number of faux covers on the internet, covers of imaginary paperbacks that might have been published in the past. The most recent ones I've spotted are a series of covers done by Arcas-Art on DeviantArt of an imaginary series called The Seekers, which the artist introduces thus...

Remember back in 1968 when the battle fleet from Procyon invaded and our only solution was to use Tesla’s time machine which the Pentagon was keeping secret in their vaults and we had to change to a different time stream where Kennedy was assassinated and Star Trek was cancelled after three seasons? Well I do (perhaps thanks to my tinfoil beanie!?). And I long for what we lost – that spin off series from the hugely successful “Star Trek”, called “The Seekers”.

For your consideration (as senator Serling used to say) I submit the novelization book covers from that lost timeline. The one-season series spin-off featured the new tiny Federation scout ship designed by 7-year-old Masao Okazaki through the studio fan-mail-in contest. It followed the adventures of this intimate crew on a series of epsidoes that would set a new standard for TV sci-fi that would not be met for decades. Adapted by sci-fi author Frederic Brown, these novels sold at least as well as their Star Trek counterparts….at least in their own timeline.

Browse the artist's gallery for more faux book covers but I thought that these should particularly be brought to your attention to show how following a certain style of book cover - in this case the Bantam novels - can evince a certain era.