The say don’t judge a book by its cover, but of course you know we do. Since I’m obviously not a household name and I’m in the indie publishing business, it’s especially important for my books to have an eye-catching cover. Particularly so with fantasy novels, because readers most of the time expect to know something of the characters and story from the cover art. Fortunately, I know a guy. His name is Shen Fei, and he’s quite talented. I’d already commissioned him for The Eye of Everfell, the first book in the series.

cover

Seeing as he created a dynamic cover any writer would envy, it only made sense to return to him for the next installment. As before, I gave him detailed instructions of what I had in mind. I wanted to stick with the classic fantasy theme, reminiscent of the covers of novels I loved in the past. The Darkest Champion builds up to a dramatic climax between two of its key characters, and I definitely wanted to spotlight that for the cover. After receiving my note, Shen sent me a few sketches to choose from.

sketch_C
sketch A
sketch_B
sketch B
sketch_A
sketch C

After choosing from the sketches, Shen then provided some color roughs.

color_C
rough A
color_B
Rough B
color_A
Rough C

This was a hard choice, because each color palate represents a different mood, and either one could have worked for the story. But rough C was closest to what I had in mind, in particular with the scene from the story. After the choice, Shen proceeded to work his artistic magic and complete the final product. As usual, his work was phenomenal. Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present the cover of The Darkest Champion: Book Two of the Shadow Battles.

cover_art

Awesome, isn’t it?

Lastly, I went to Ivan Zanchetta (http://ivanzanchetta.com) for the font design. He did a great job on the first cover and I wanted to keep with the same style for the sequel.

The Darkest Champion

And that’s the story of the cover design. All the credit goes to the talented Shen Fei for another outstanding piece of art. Be sure to check out his deviantArt page for more of his work.

The publishing date is set for Dec. 21. You can check it out at Amazon.

So, what do you think about the cover? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments. And if you haven’t had the opportunity to pick up the first book, why not give it a shot? Judging the books by their covers, they have to be pretty decent…right?

See you soon!

The best thing that happened in 2014. No, seriously.
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My name is Bard Constantine, and if you’re reading this you already know that Bard Writes Books.

BIKE

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