There’s a brand new cover for The Mechanical Crown which I unveiled last night. It looks like this:

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This coverĀ is the handiwork of Diana, aka @weeknder on Wattpad. I got in touch with her on the recommendation of Tim Johnson, a fellow writer and Wattpad marketing chap who I met through an unexpected combination of Writers’ Centre work and my own writing.

Of course, the original cover which I’d been using for the first 13 chapters of The Mechanical Crown’s weekly publishing was this:

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It was only ever intended to be a proof of concept and contains most of the visual ideas that are in the final cover – the palace on the hill, the cogs beneath the surface. But it’s pretty basic, and rather stark, and not very in keeping with the sort of covers you get in the fantasy genre – especially on a platform like Wattpad.

Thus began an interesting process working with Diana to reach the new version.

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My design brief. Diana was remarkably polite about receiving this.

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Diana’s early layout experiments.

1stdraft

Version 1! Still with the Evinden title. Note the lack of mountains in the far distance.

2nd-draft

Wasn’t sure about this font concept. Here you can see the clockwork mechanisms moving ‘inside’ the hills for the first time.

3rd-draft

The new title makes its first appearance. Interesting how the better title immediately suggested a particular font treatment.

final-1

Here we have a toned down colour scheme. I thought this was final, until…

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Diana surprised me with this last revision. The final composition rethinks the overall layout, adopts different architecture for the buildings and opts for warmer tones overall.

The end result I’m very happy with – it evokes the fantasy genre, feels mysterious and intriguing and exciting all at once and creates the promise of a satisfying adventure. It’s a far cry from my original black and white cover, which felt far too serious and portentous.

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