New Ulterior cover – Part II

Jerry’s excellent design for the Ulterior creature has proved to be a tricky beast to incorporate into other elements of a book cover composition. I’ve done a number of experiments, but not been entirely satisfied. This one came close, but the two images didn’t quite gel the way I had hoped.

I got a fresh visual in my head this morning for a different sort of cover, and managed to create it pretty accurately in Photoshop. Voila. Make sure you click through to the larger version to see all the detail. The tag line is tacky, but it was all I could think of at the time, since the existing one (“An ordinary school hides an unearthly secret”) doesn’t suit this picture’s theme.

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6 thoughts on “New Ulterior cover – Part II

  1. Earl says:

    The image on the cover is arresting enough so that I’d be inclined to pause for a second look if I happened upon it in a bookstore. Moreover, having such a large picture of both the Earth and the creature on the front cover should make it standout from books that have smaller images, and so in this respect your design works well. However, the graphic may divulge too much of your story and reveal the mystery, so it might be worth considering if the benefits of doing this outweigh the disadvantages: if more people buy the book because of the cover then it’s better for you but not necessarily for them. Yet, going with the proposed cover in spite of this quandary is likely to increase your bank account, which should help you forget that there was a quandary to begin with. 🙂

    Incidentally, the creature may also benefit from a trip to an Orthodontist and the use of some tooth bleach or highlighting.

  2. Darryl Sloan says:

    Words of wisdom. You make a good point about the image divulging too much of the story content: it screams alien invasion. I actually may end up using this image for something other than an Ulterior reprint. Possibly for a future omnibus edition of my fiction, or for an MP3-CD of my fiction, or if I ever decide to edit an anthology of invasion stories. Who knows.

  3. PRAEst76 says:

    I liked it otherwise. Maybe just take away the alien face..?

  4. Darryl Sloan says:

    Seriously? But then the cover would be nothing more than NASA stock photography. Besides, I love Jerry’s alien, and it communicates the book’s genre perfectly. I think it only acts as a spoiler when it’s put with the earth like this.

    Now that the dust has settled, I actually find myself veering back to the older version with the creature and the corridor, although it needs more work.

  5. James says:

    I like the cover, it looks really attractive and interesting. It makes me want to read a story of aliens who are trying to dominate the entire world. But the problem I see with this cover is it makes me think more along the lines of “epic”. I recently finished your story (and quite enjoyed it), and as much as I like this cover, it doesn’t create the right picture in my head. The majority of the story took place at the school, or in one of the student’s homes. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, that’s what makes it more personal. I know that the aliens wanted to take over the entire world, but since all the events were narrowed down to a small area, the image of the world on the cover kinda takes me away from that perspective. When I look at the cover, assuming I never read the story, I would expect to see characters traveling from place to place (like in The Tripods), covering more ground, running across more aliens, etc. But this story seems to reflect on a hidden secret, a mystery that only a few kids have discovered. In that sense, I would prefer to actually see an image of the elevator, perhaps with the doors slightly open and an alien like hand reaching out. This narrows down the scene into a more fitting, smaller scale. That said, I might be the only one to take it that way, so take this comment with a grain of salt. It does look cool after all 😉

  6. Darryl Sloan says:

    I’ve come to the same conclusion about the cover, James, and I’ve actually gone back to tweaking the older image – the one with the head superimposed on the corridor roof. I’m in the middle of editing Ulterior at present. This year’s school kids got really excited about Chion; I’ve just sold over fifty copies recently, and it seems there’s good demand for another edition of Ulterior.

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