Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


Publishing Thy Fearful Symmetry: Art and Consolidation

Another week closer to publishing Thy Fearful Symmetry, after a hiatus last week (sorry of you were looking for me – there was a long weekend at the Indian equivalent of Centerparcs involved). This week, there’s more artwork to show you, and some decisions made on previous questions raised.

Before that though, as you can see, I’ve redesigned my website. As part of the redesign, you can now sign up for a newsletter. This will go out monthly, mostly summarising what you might have missed elsewhere. There will be free stuff, for newsletter members. Starting in August, for at least six months, a random draw will see members receiving the paper edition of His Work To See, which will never be available for sale in that format.

Done that? Right, on with the artwork.

I’ve been calling this the movie poster, because that’s pretty much its function. A big, epic bit of apocalypse in a single frame. This won’t be the cover of the novel. It exists purely for promotion. You’ll be getting familiar enough with the style now that I need hardly tell you that this is Malcolm McClinton’s second contribution to this project. He’s brought his greatest strengths to it, defining character and relationships in a dynamic whirl of action. The poster features most of the primary players from the novel, and some introductions might be in order. Starting at the top and moving sort of clockwise:

  • Pandora, who hasn’t been quite herself since the events of His Work To See.
  • Ambrose, who has recently decided that he no longer wishes to play his part in the oldest of games.
  • Clive, a school teacher having the bad day to end all days.
  • Calum, a priest who might have destroyed the world.
  • Malachi, a widower who faces down doomsdays with a knife.
  • Inspector Gemmell, a police officer who is far out of his depth.

It’s a great image, and working with Malcolm (and Emma too) has convinced me that art & design is the one proper expense that a self-publishing author cannot and should not duck. I can’t say that often enough. Pay for quality, and you’ll get it.

With Malcolm having delivered both pieces of commissioned art, all that remains is the actual cover for the novel. I’ve seen a mock-up, and it’s very exciting. Very different from Cuckoo, but unmistakeably a book by the same author. The image isn’t quite how we need it to be yet, but Emma‘s happy that it will be, and I trust her judgement. I can’t wait to show it to you.

There are a couple of things left over from previous weeks. I asked how people felt about my changing the title of the promotional book When The Stars Threw Down Their Spears to His Work To See. Some preferred the original title, others like the new one. As the reason to make the change is to have less words messing up Malcolm’s beautiful cover, and the vote is split anyway, the change is made. His Work To See will be released as a free ebook next month, with paper copies available only at certain events (Anthocon being the first and foremost, in November) and to lucky newsletter members.

Secondly, I wanted to hear what you thought about Kirkus Indie Reviews, who charge authors to review their books. Nobody, in any forum I’ve posted to, can vouch for this being a good idea. I’m incredibly relieved. A world in which paying for reviews is somehow acceptable doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ll try to track down interested reviewers in the usual way, and hope for the best. If you’re a reviewer who would be interested in taking a look, please do let me know…

That’s it, for this week. I’m now running behind my own self-set deadlines, so I need to crack on. Drop back next week, and I hope there will be some major progress to share.

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