Header image for the Art of SF Stories articles.

When you write your science fiction story, a short story or your Great Novel, or endless series of sagas, you will want to consider self-publication as the quickest and most direct way to your fans. Part of that process of publication is choosing your book cover illustration. The best advice is to find a good story illustrator to create the ideal image that invokes the spirit of your story, to make it stand out from the increasing crowds of other self-publishers.

This is the advice I took for my ebooks, and ignored. Partly because as a fledgling writer I couldn’t afford to spare the money to pay an illustrator, partly because many of the free cover design services and applications you find online tend to be a little bland for what I write, and partly because I wanted all my readers to enjoy the complete, authentic experience of my work – including my work for the covers. When you take one of my early ebooks off the distributors’ shelves you know you are getting the author’s complete experience and artwork.

Each of my ebook covers has a little story and this is the first of a series of articles about the books and the story behind their covers.

Dragon's Vale Book Cover, copyright 2019 Michael Bond

The Book of Dragon’s Vale

How do you illustrate a story that spans hundreds, possibly thousands, of years set at an indeterminate distance in the far future? A future when the world is dominated by science that has become indistinguishable from magic, dragons, elves, mages, immortals with godlike powers and the far reaches of space?

With difficulty and simplicity.

The cover for Dragon’s Vale tells you the story and embodies many of the elements you will find in this vast history-spanning saga – Dragons, strange lands and the contrasting images of a blazing light, the sun, a star, or something else, shining brilliantly down on everything. A starship floats in the Vale’s sky, a meandering river runs down from the mountains and an old river boat hovers magically above the water.

Of course you want to come here. You HAVE to find out what it all means and what else lies therein, you NEED to climb down from the high mountain slopes into the heart of the secret that is Dragon’s Vale. But remember – Here Be Dragons.

Are you ready for the adventure?

Your book awaits.

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