Horror has it!

March 24, 2015 | By | Reply More

Well, unlike – I suspect – the coming UK general election, we now have a clear winner in the election for which book to take forward for the Author’s Apprentice 2015!

If the title wasn’t a giveaway, the horror novel – Darkness of the Vigil has swept the board and been given a governing majority. It took more than half the total votes cast, almost twice that of the second most popular choice – which was science fiction.

Thanks to everyone for voting.

Your various comments in the forum say that what swayed you was the jump-straight-in action-oriented plot . . . but, given that horror still seems to be riding high in the general fiction charts (everything from all the various Twilight knock-offs through to Skulduggery Pleasant), I’m not sure how much the popularity of the horror genre influenced your voting.

So, what next? I’m going to be writing hard and expanding the first chapter into the initial part of the novel for you to read (with you for June 2015).

While you’re waiting for that first installment, there will be a few key votes taking place.

The first of these votes, which will be live shortly, is on the cover art style to pursue for the book. I’ll be asking you whether you prefer the illustrated approach (courtesy of one of my regular cover artists), or a more photo-realistic style.

The latter seems to dominate the book market in terms of current cover styles. Why? I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s cheap! All you need is to source some half-decent stock photos from one of the hundreds of online image libraries out there, pay a professional designer to manipulate it for you with Photoshop, and bingo. One cover for not very much.

If you have bought any of my recent Far-called fantasy novels from Gollancz, check the inside pages where the copyright information is. You’ll see a tiny credit in 6-point sized type given to a design studio who Photoshopped it, and the stock art library where the original images were sourced.

$10 for the background photo, $10 for the helix - Photoshop your cover art.

$10 for the background photo, $10 for the helix – Photoshop your cover art.

Commissioning an illustrator to draw an actual scene from the novel, by contrast, costs money and takes a lot more time – which is why you don’t see much of it around anymore on covers. Publishers are feeling the pinch as Amazon and Co. eats their lunch, and budgets are watched like a hawk watches a fieldmouse.

If you vote to use the illustrator, I’ll ask him to draw up some pencil roughs for a variety of scenes, and then ask you to vote on which of these you want to see worked up into a cover for the first novella.

If you vote for the more photo-realistic approach for the cover, then I’ll get a variety of designs in this style, and you’ll be voting on which of them to use.

Watch this space!

Category: The Novel, Voting & Announcements

About the Author ()

I have been working as a full-time author publishing fantasy and science fiction novels for HarperCollins for the last seven years.

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