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49ers, Alternative Realities, Flashbang Fiction, litrpg, News, Writing

Artists work wonders! A 49ers cover reveal!


I’m not kidding when I say that either. As an author, I’m totally, 100% reliant upon the artists I commission for my books to create images that will catch people’s eyes. Often, I’ll have a picture in my mind, and will try to communicate that to the artist using my own drawing skills and text. An example of the draft that my artist Marc Ducrow had to work from is below.

Yes, this is truly amazing. Buy my fucking book!

Yes, this is truly amazing. Buy my fucking book!

As you can see, I had an amazing concept piece from which he could take inspiration and work. I also provided a Pinterest board of skulls. This included artistic skulls as well as skulls used historically on unit badges ranging through a number of wars over hundreds of years.

I also realised that my garbled instructions at DevCon in Plymouth might now have been as clear as I remembered them being so I wrote them out for him and sent them over.

This morning, I received the following image;

Somehow he was able to work out what I wanted.

Somehow he was able to work out what I wanted.

This was a lovely thing to get at 07:30 this morning and I have to admit to giving a little squeak of excitement. But … I then started to look at it, and think about my plans for making these into actually embroidered badges (maybe even polo/t-shirts) and came to the conclusion that I still wasn’t 100% happy with it. It was close, but it was missing the X-Factor that I felt would really leap out at to the buyer.

So I did some searching and came up with a scroll that I liked. Then I had a think about the font being used on the banner. It wasn’t going to translate well to embroidery, nor was it going to be easy for people to read. I did another quick search to see what sort of font existing units used and had Marc change that and make the skull a tad bigger as well.

The final image. With which I'm very pleased indeed.

The final image. With which I’m very pleased indeed.

The long-suffering Marc then sent me this image. It was exactly what I wanted, designed in such a way that I could use it on any number of backgrounds as I published my books.

A book is judged by its cover, no matter what people say. If it has a good cover that is eye-catching and has obviously had talent and skill put into its creation, then people are going to consider buying a book, which is a big step forward. If the cover is poorly drawn, badly laid out, and has 5 different fonts, then it doesn’t matter if the story inside has life-changing and award-winning prose, it’s just going to be passed on by.

If you’re considering self-publishing your own book, consider this one sobering fact. The average self-published book sells 250 copies in its lifetime. 250. If your cover isn’t well-designed, that 250 might take your lifetime to achieve. Maybe, just maybe, with a cover that has been well-designed, you’ll make the 250 in the first year, month, week, or even day and continue to do so!

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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