Hey, check this out:
The artist is Aidana at WillowRaven, whom I hired to do the cover because I really liked the artwork she has front and center on the linked page, so click through and view it. She’s a pro with lots of experience with SFF covers, I knew she could do a good job with a landscape-heavy cover, and she did, didn’t she?
Also this, the front cover with the design and text and everything:
Now, naturally, after I had already settled the contract with the artist, I immediately started hearing about publishing options in which the service you hire includes a cover, or third-way publishers who for a percentage manage things (including the cover), or whatever. There are more options out there than I thought, and I already knew there were options! I may well be exploring multiple options this very year, since I will be dealing with the Black Dog short stories more piecemeal, not going through a publisher of any kind.
I figure probably anybody would approve this cover, though, so whether I do things piecemeal myself or go with a publishing company of some sort, I expect this will be the cover that you all see on the finished product.
Now, timing, or, when will this book actually be born?
This is a good question! I don’t know. It depends on whether I go with one service or another and how long they take, or wind up doing CreateSpace and Smashwords and whatever and how long that takes. It depends on whether I want to make copies available to bloggers and other reviewers for three months prior to release or whether I think releasing it and then doing promotion is fine or what. Aargh, lots of decisions! And I’m trying to write a different book at the same time as deal with this!
Ah, well, it will all be easier by this time next year, when I’ll know a lot more about what I’m doing. Or, shoot, the year after that, when I’ve done the self-publishing thing three different ways and have a MUCH better idea of what I’m doing. THIS year is for experimentation. Here’s hoping none of the experiments blow up in my face!