Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sneak Peek! There is No Wheel cover!

I've spent most of my morning filling out all the various data fields on Amazon and Barnes and Noble needed to publish my short story collection, There is No Wheel. It can take several days from the time you start to the time that the books are finally available for sale. What's frustrating is that during this review time, you can't edit or tinker. So, when I posted my book description Amazon, I realized I wanted to revise the description slightly. Unfortunately, I'd already posted the original version at Barnes and Noble's pubit site, and can't touch it now until the book is up. Then, after I hit the final "upload" button on Amazon, I realized that while I'd added Ed Schubert as a contributor (since he'd written the intro), I sort of, kinda forgot to put my own name down as author. Sigh. Again, once the books have been reviewed and approved, all this information unlocks and is simple to edit. I just wish I didn't have the wait.

Anyway, while I'm waiting, I figured I'd post my semi-final version of the cover. The outer black swirls were just added this morning, and I'm not sure I like the way they interact with my name. On the other hand, the swirls give a feeling of movement to what had been an otherwise static cover. I'll probably keep them.

I went with this abstract image because I couldn't think of any single concrete image that captured the overall book. This is a mix of superheroes, urban fantasy, hard SF, and ghost stories... sometimes in the same story. I was tempted to do another superhero doll cover to try to capture some of the Nobody readers, since this collection does have three superhero short tales. But, I don't want to sell the book as something that it's not, and 30% isn't a high enough superhero ratio to really justify marketing the book as a collection of comic book prose.

You can't read it, but in the background of the image are passages from all the stories. At the center of the image, if you had the original vector art and not a moderately compressed jpeg, you could read "the great spiral of life stood revealed." Other snippets include "You're as safe as you're ever going to be," "a real angel would have known to duck," and "these taboos are mighty, mightier even than eyeball consumption euphoria."


heresolong said...

Hopefully the Wheel is not a lie.


James Maxey said...

So you fear there is no "There is No Wheel?"
When it's clear there is so "There is No Wheel!"
A "There is No Wheel" no show's
a "There is No Wheel" no no!
Click below and I'll show "There is No Wheel!"


And if that link didn't work, just go to B&N and search for There Is No Wheel. It's gone live there before the Kindle edition. Score one for Nook!

Mr. Cavin said...

Put your name in a black stripe. It'll harden the cover a little, and I thin it'll look good. Just drop the outline and make the font white. Also I would make the word "stories" smaller and bring the wheel down some. But I'm a formalist, after all.

Hey, do want grainy looking black and white photos of medieval looking crap for some cover materials? The landscape is dotted with that kind of stuff around here.

James Maxey said...

Cavin, at present I have no need of grainy black and white medieval landscapes, but one never knows what I might need a year from now.

I've worked on a variant of the cover this morning incorporating the black bar. I wound up taking off the word "stories." It definitely makes my name stand out, especially at smaller sizes, but it also reduces the sense of movement created by the inky swirls in this area. I'll show it to Cheryl tonight and see what she thinks.