Vote for the cover of one of my books (finished!)

Update: although there appears to be a clear winner already (as would be obvious to anyone who's already voted) I'll keep the poll up until late Friday (late Friday where I am, at any rate). The poll's been mentioned in a couple of places - thanks Mark, Liviu - so it makes sense to leave it running until anyone clicking through from those links has a chance to voice their opinion.

I'm in the highly unusual and very lucky position of being signed up to a publishing company who like to know what I think of whatever cover design they're thinking of putting on my books.

No, really, I'm not kidding. So I'll repeat. I'm signed to a publishers who really do like to know what their writers think of their cover designs. In the world of publishing, it would be a matter of some understatement to say this is unusual.

Anyway, I just recently delivered the third Dakota Merrick book, Empire of Light. Not long after, some rough designs came through from Tor, all variations on the same theme. There were some emails back and forth about which one was nicer. I'd tell you what my own preference is, but that would spoil the experiment I'm hoping you'll all take part in: I'd like you to tell me which one you like by voting in the poll below.

My editor, Julie Crisp, came up with the suggestion of putting both prospective covers up on the Tor site after I canvassed the opinion of my writer's circle back home, and of those who responded, their preferences were more or less evenly split. Now, like I say, I have my preference, but I don't want to influence you by telling you which one it is. But I and Tor UK would like you to take a moment to tell us which one would catch your eye and make you want to pick it up - should you see it in a bookshop.

There are two ways you can do this:

1 - Go here, to the dedicated Tor UK page also featuring the covers, and either email your opinion to the address provided or twitter Julie directly.


2 - Vote in the poll above.

I wasn't originally going to set up a poll, but it occurred to me a good few potential voters might want something with fewer clicks involved than twittering or emailing. It would also be nice to see how the numbers come out. There's nothing, of course, to stop you voting here and then going to the linked page and letting Tor know which you prefer, and why. But if you do email or twitter Julie, try to be clear in your preference. Don't say, I like this one for this reason, but that one for another reason - make a clear choice which one you think should get to be on the cover.

A few words about the covers: as should be immediately obvious, they are very much variations on the same theme. One shows a spacecraft clearly driving towards an ocean surface from beneath. Fish are visible swimming by. The other, more orangey-yellow one, instead of fish and waves, has a huge wrecked starship far above in orbit. But what's important is - and this is worth reiterating -

Which one is most likely to make you want to pick it up in a bookshop?

And yes, gut reactions are important.


Anonymous said...

gut reaction...too much blue in the first one

Anonymous said...

I prefer the right one, the watery one doesn't suggest space opera/starfaring sf and it seems out of place when looking at the other two covers.

Great that Tor are showing these and it gives a little look into the whole cover process. A great idea!

Anonymous said...

You already have my opinion, so I won't be voting. Besides, I'll buy it regardless of what is on the jacket.

Liviu said...

I agree with Mark above - the right cover is much better; I would be surprised if the other cover breaks 40% in your and Tor poll

Ed S. said...

Definitely the one on the right. There's more color range and contrast there and I think it would stand out better on the retailers shelves. More eye catching than the first one which is kind of bland.

Liviu said...

I wanted to let you know about the post I did for Fantasy Book Critic about the covers and with some more stuff about the other books but I see it's linked below.

When I get Nova War and I review it for FBC - hopefully Tor.uk will send me the requested arc so I will have the review for the pub date - I plan to do an extended Introduction with several lines about the two standalones and of course talk at length about Stealing Light too

Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

Much, much appreciated, Liviu.

Mihai A. said...

I like the right cover more and I showed it in my vote ;)
But may I ask you, please, who is the artist who draw it?

Gary Gibson, science fiction writer said...

A question I just asked of my editor, Mihai, and as soon as I know who's responsible for the illustration, I'll be mentioning them when I post the results of the poll in a day or so.

Maria said...

If there is water involved in the story, the left. I like blue a lot and it always catches my eye. It's a friendly color.

The one on the right is very nice, lots of contrast. It's also a more typical out space feel...with a touch more violent feel as well.

BUT...I think the blue would need to touched up (deeper?) to be perfect. So I voted for the other one.


I like voting on covers. Glad you posted this.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't look good for pretty blue waves :O