Book Cover Unveiling

Vaetra Unveiled cover in color. Click to see larger version.This past week was a banner week for progress on Vaetra Unveiled. I completed the third draft, which is the final draft before the manuscript goes out for editing. I also got the first proposed book cover from my designer, Susan. My Facebook followers got a sneak peek at the cover earlier this week, and everyone has given positive feedback so far.

Proposed Cover

(Click on the cover image at right to see a larger version.)

Susan, who is also my wife, based the book cover on a scene from the story. In that scene, a doorway appears out of nowhere and seems to have nothing behind it. When opened, the door leads into the Portal Keep, which is filled with additional doorways that lead to other locations across the countryside.

The background image is from a photo we took in the mountains nearby. Susan tweaked it in Photoshop to give it a painted look. The door is from a stock photography site, although she manipulated it substantially to add the background glow, mystical interior, and threshold lighting. The font she used for the title and my name is “Ringbearer.”

The first thing I do when evaluating a cover is reduce the image to 100 pixels wide and view it in grayscale. If the book title is still readable and the image is still comprehensible, you are off to a good start. If you can also read the author name, you get bonus points.

Vaetra Unveiled cover in black and white Susan’s cover did well with the TBW (Tiny Black&White) test. It’s hard to predict how the contrast of a color image will hold up in the conversion to grayscale, but in this case, I think we got lucky.

Off to the Editor

Now that I’m done with the third draft of Vaetra Unveiled, the manuscript is ready for editing. While that’s being done, I’ll be working on the beat sheets for the next two books in the series, Vaetra Untrained and Vaetra Unleashed.

It has been a long haul since I started writing the book in February of this year. I learned a lot along the way and continue to learn daily. I’ve met dozens of other fiction writers who are struggling to get their words out and make sense of the crazy publishing environment in which we all find ourselves.

Of course, it isn’t over yet. I still have a ton of things to do before Vaetra Unveiled will be available to the public, but I finally believe that it’s really going to happen, and that it will probably even happen by my original deadline of January 31, 2012. Now that will be a banner day!


What do you think of the cover for Vaetra Unveiled? Do you think it will inspire potential readers to pick up the book, or at least try the excerpt?

Where are you in your book project? Do you have a time line for completing it? Will you try to publish it yourself, or do you plan to try the traditional approach first?

Tell me in the comments!


I have blog comments turned off because of problems with spam. Feel free to use my contact page if you would like to get in touch with me.


  1. I really like it. I love the ‘door to nowhere’ thing it’s got going on. I also like the fact that you kept the same font style and colour for your name and the title, I always think it looks neater 🙂

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Sarah. My designer has a strong aversion to what she calls "ransom note design," which basically means using too many different fonts. In this case, using a different font for my name would have been fine, but I really liked how it looked in Ringbearer anyway. I agree, it looks "neater" to have them both be the same!

  3. I like it. I’m going to buy a copy as soon as it’s available. It looks like a fun read. That door is so inviting.

  4. Wow, Michael, that is so cool! Thanks for your kind words. I hope you do enjoy it. I’m planning to do a launch special of some kind, so stay tuned.