Tagged cover art

So Much Awesome ~ An Author & Her Team

I’m so very lucky, Gentle Reader, to have a killer team behind me when I publish a new book.

I don’t talk about them much, and frankly the most they tend to get is a nod in the acknowledgements. I thought, perhaps, I would share a little insider trading on some of these fabulous people so you could appreciate them too.

My Photographer

I’ve used a number of different cover model photographers over the years, but whenever I can, I go to Evan Butterfield. (Do yourself a favor and check out his site. No, really, I’ll wait.)

When I say “my cover photographer” I’m generally talking about Evan, because I feel very personally connected to him (and the models I chose of his).

Quinn, my cover model, holding the book featuring himself.

Here is a picture of Quinn, the cover model for The Sumage Solution, holding The Sumage Solution ARC at a recent shoot. This is taken by Evan. How awesome is that? It’s the meta-ist of meta.

Who’s a lucky authorbeast? ME!

How’d I find Evan?

Evan and I (virtually) met because of The Airship Ambassador (a dear friend of mine via the Steampunk community). I pinged Evan to use his photo for Curious Case, and the rest, as they say, is history.

My Cover Art Designer

Starla of Designed By Starla does all my indie cover art. She is also an amazing author in her own right. I’m a particular fan of her Flipped Fairy Tale series. If you like fairy tale retellings, I recommend them. We are part of a private writer’s group, wherein she has the reputation (well deserved) for making me cry during readings (in a good way, because her prose is so beautiful and her voice is amazing).

How’d I find Starla?

Via the podcasting world. Below is my favorite of her covers (aside from my own, of course):

My Developmental Editor

Sue Brown-Moore of DavinciKittie is my developmental editor. DE is basically the same kind of editor as my acquiring editor at a traditional publishing house. I chose Sue because her specialty is romance and my novellas tend to lean that direction. I wanted someone who would have that focus in mind. She’s extremely helpful and I find if she and my beta’s agree on anything, then it needs to be altered in the story.

G.L. Carriger, Sue Brown-Moore, Lea Kirk

How’d I find Sue?

Sue is a member of my RWA chapter and a veteran romance blogger at GraveTells.com. She also edits an author friend of mine, Lea Kirk, who recommended her.

My Copy Editor

I use Richard Shealy (of SF/F Copyediting) for my copy editing. He edits for traditional publishing houses but also freelances. He specializes in SF/F but that specifically made me want to use him for my more romance-focused books because I’ve found CE’s catch more if they aren’t invested in the story. He’s excellent, fast, and efficient.

How’d I find Richard?

Via author forums and general pinging of author friends.

My Proof Editors

I use Flo Selfman (of Worlds a la Mode) and Shelley Bates (of Moonshell Books) for proof pass editing. This is like a second copy edit to make certain everything is PERFECT. Shelly has a particularly busy schedule but because she also writes steampunk (as Shelley Adina), her expertise on the Victorian era is not to be sneezed at. I will often beg to be fit into her schedule.

Flo is wonderfully meticulous. I tend to use her for my contemporary set stuff. She’s also a consummate spy, having infiltrated the Ripped Bodice to take a picture of my books on the shelf there.

How’d I find Shelley & Flo?

Shelley is a member of my RWA chapter and that’s how I met her. Flo came via recommendations.


My Audiobook Producer

AKA Producer Bryan is also a member of the sacred writer group (with Starla). His specialty is actually full cast audio work, but I needled him into doing single point narration for me. Occasionally I find the narrators (Romancing the Inventor and The Sumage Solution), occasionally he does (Poison or Protect), but he does all the leg work interfacing with them, adding in special sound effects, and cleaning up the files.

How’d I find Bryan?

Podcasting, of course. All good things come from podcasting.

Logos & Other Fun Stuff

Kim Killion of the Killion Group wears many many hats, but I use her for quick logo creation. She and her team can handle pretty much all an author’s design needs, including covers. If you want  a one stop shop, I suspect it’d be difficult to find better.

How’d I find Kim?

RWA forums.

My Formatter

Nina Pierce is my last line of defence. She comes along and makes everything pretty in print and digital. I’ve never had a single complaint, and I know my readers, they would say something. They’re polite, but they aren’t that polite.

How’d I find Nina?

Recommended by a friend.


So there you have it, a small sample of my team in action.

I usually do a blog post about book-specific team details around the announcement and launch of that book. For example, here’s a blog post all about Evan, Quinn, Starla, and the cover of The Sumage Solution.

I hope it goes without saying that I recommend every one of these people.

That said, not every author has the same kind of work style. The kind of team that works well for me may not be what you’re looking for. And for those of my blog readers who are just interested in behind the scenes… now you know.

Yours as ever,

Miss Gail

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Sumage Solution by G. L. Carriger.}


  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 0r 2019.


The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Greer Garson and Ann Rutherford in Pride and Prejudice directed by Robert Z. Leonard, 1940

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

The Many Ways in Which We Are Wrong About Jane Austen ~ not sure I agree entirely but it makes for interesting reading.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Twelve Questions To Ask Yourself After That First Draft Is Done

Book News:

Shannan Bloom says of Romancing the Inventor:

“Imogene Hale is a great addition to the pantheon of Carriger characters. She’s different than anyone else in any of the books I’ve read by Gail Carriger, but her plucky attitude, intelligence, and passion make her a perfect fit.”

Quote of the Day:

“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!

Sumage Solution ~ All About The Cover Art

Posted by Gail Carriger


So one of the things I knew the cover for The Sumage Solution had to be was different from everything I’ve done before.

Since The Sumage Solution is pretty darn racy I needed visual markers for telling my readers that this is something different from me…particularly my YA readers! The best way to do this is with cover art.

So in addition to a new pen name (more on that in another blog) I really focused on a spectacular cover that said “sexy and urban fantasy” but was different both from what is out there right now and what I’ve had on my covers in the past. This meant a different layout (centered), different font (serif), and a clean smooth background.

The first thing I had to do was find a gorgeous model to portray my hot mage, Max. So what did I do first? Went to Evan of course!

Evan is a killer photographer, his images are sensual, powerful, and interesting. And, let’s be honest, hot. I found out about him via the Airship Ambassador years ago. Steampunk is such a small world, we tend to all meet each other one way or another. I’ve used his photos before (Marine Biology & Curious Case) but he also has a boudoir line, so I went to check those out for Sumage Solution.

Marine Biology 

And who did I see first thing for a recent shoot on Evan’s website? Quinn Knox. And Quinn looked so close to my vision for Max it was almost uncanny. It’s like Evan read my mind! Or read my book.

As always, Evan was grace personified to work with and soon I had Quinn in hand, so to speak. Then it was merely a matter of some chatting with Starla, my cover art designer. She fooled around with silhouettes and fractured mirrors and color options. I dithered over fonts and arrangements and finally everything gelled into a truly spectacular result.

I can’t tell you how happy I am with this cover.

If you want to see the Pinterest inspiration board that I made for Starla to use as inspiration for this cover, you can check it out now as I have made it a public board.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is Radiance by Grace Draven.}


  • Poison or Protect Audiobook.
    Status: Battling ACX. (AKA Audible/Amazon)
    Can one gentle Highland soldier woo Victorian London’s most scandalous lady assassin, or will they both be destroyed in the attempt?


The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

The Groundbreaking Silhouette Animations of Lotte Reiniger

The Groundbreaking Silhouette Animations of Lotte Reiniger: Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and More

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Taste of the Past Podcast discusses Tea Time. (Yes the ceramic stuff is still wrong, but interesting buy in to the propaganda of the Victorian era ceramic production companies.)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

~ Toni Morrison

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life.”

~ Helen Exley

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


The Range of Cover Art ~ Gail Carriger’s Changeless

Posted by Gail Carriger

Good morning, Gentle Reader.

Today I thought it might be fun for you to see the range of cover art that my book Changeless got over the course of its publication. Changeless originally released on this date 7 years ago.

Here’s a picture of Changeless (original mass market) in my office with a thistle teacup, because it takes place in Scotland.

The Cover of Changeless

Here we go…

First off, on the left is the original mass market paperback as produced April 4, 2010. Next to it I have the Polish version so you can see how a foreign publisher might tweak the cover for their market.

Here on left is the Japanese translation version, this is the smallest of my books. It’s about the size of a 3X5 card. Next to it is the manga adaptation of Changeless, called Soulless Vol. 2.

Here are the two German versions. The first was a limited run collectable hardcover, the second is the original paperback translation.

Aside from Germany (and the pocket edition in France, which re-uses the German cover art) and Japan, every other foreign publisher chose to do a take on the original cover image for their translations. This is pretty unusual and rather flattering.

The first three Parasol Protectorate audiobooks were produced by Recorded Books (not Hachette Audio) so they got different covers too.

There it is. What do you think of the different covers? Anything surprise you? Any one you really love?

Praise for Changeless

  • Talk Supe says: “Carriger’s wit is incomparable, the books have a sheen of silliness to it, but the characters deliver their crazy lines in straight faces (I’d imagine) and in such a matter-of-fact way, I have to double back several times just to make sure they’re serious. I mean Ivy’s hats and outfits alone turns haute couture on its head!”
  • Bookish Things and More says: “I think this one may be one of my favorite in the series.”
  • Keep Calm with Coffee & Books says: “It continues to impress me how integrated the supernatural and Victorian customs are. I continue to enjoy that aspect of the story. The writing is fabulous and some of the lines had me in stitches.”
  • The Infinite Curio says: “Gail Carriger has a talent for creating intriguing lore and weaving it into the plot.”
  • Ramblings on Readings says: “Gail Carriger writes some of the wittiest dialogue, and she has very clever ideas about the supernatural. I will never tire of her writing, and I so look forward to reading the rest of the series.”
  • My Thoughts…Literally says: “I love the way this series effortlessly combines steampunk and supernatural elements into a historical setting and that’s exactly how I felt here. In particular, the steampunk elements were turned way up. There was much more talk about technology and inventions here (hello, Vieve was there) which was really cool.”

Elizabeth Tyree has a book chat:

“Gail Carriger’s writing style is just amazing. I love the sass and the way sentences are put together. It’s a great deal of fun.”

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman.}


  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: With Copy Editor
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.


Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia)
Stack Arms, from the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Office Book Nook Shelf

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

UK’s First Sci-fi and Fantasy Centre Opens in Cambridge

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

SDCC 2017 Special Guest Announcement (including yours truly)

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

Cover Art & Its Purpose in Life

Posted by Gail Carriger

Hello, Gentle Reader!

I’ve been thinking and talking a lot about cover art recently.

It came up unexpectedly (for me) on a podcast interview over on SF & F Marketing. I’ve also been embroiled in the back-and-forth of creating the cover for Secret Project SAS (which is also the start of a new series and a new identity as G.L. Carriger so it needs to be LOTS OF THINGS) and then re-doing Marine Biology to match.

More on that later.

So Cover Art…

My new saying? The pretty is the enemy of the correct.

Covers are like a visual elevator pitch for a book, they don’t need to say exactly what’s in it so much as what’s it’s about. The point of the cover is not to find AN audience for that book but to find the RIGHT audience. I think a lot of indie authors forget this, and get embroiled in trying to make it look too much like what’s inside and not enough like packaging that represents the book’s theme. That last statement may have made some of you angry, because it smacks of manipulation. But stick with me, okay?

Goodreads put up a ton of books on sale today and three interesting things happened.

  1. I wasn’t interested in a single one of them. (I’d either read it already, or it’s not to my current reading taste.)
  2. The range of art as meets genre was fascinating, and many of the covers did catch my eye.
  3. I really wanted to blog about it.

So let’s run a little test?

Here are 10 covers that stood out for me:

So without knowing anything else but having those small images…

Which one might you click on to read the blurb. Or pick up in the store and flip to the back?
  • Smoke & Bone 19%, 50 votes
    50 votes 19%
    50 votes - 19% of all votes
  • Heirs of Empire 17%, 45 votes
    45 votes 17%
    45 votes - 17% of all votes
  • Dragon Bound 14%, 37 votes
    37 votes 14%
    37 votes - 14% of all votes
  • Under Different Stars 11%, 29 votes
    29 votes 11%
    29 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Imitation 11%, 28 votes
    28 votes 11%
    28 votes - 11% of all votes
  • The Last Girl 8%, 21 vote
    21 vote 8%
    21 vote - 8% of all votes
  • Skewed 7%, 19 votes
    19 votes 7%
    19 votes - 7% of all votes
  • Whisper 7%, 19 votes
    19 votes 7%
    19 votes - 7% of all votes
  • The Curse Keepers 3%, 9 votes
    9 votes 3%
    9 votes - 3% of all votes
  • A Taste of Magic 3%, 7 votes
    7 votes 3%
    7 votes - 3% of all votes
Total Votes: 264
March 20, 2017 - March 27, 2017
Voting is closed

Now, without reading anything about each book, I’m gonna tell you what I thought when I saw its thumbnail, let’s see if you agree with me?

What I like: Clear indication of romance given the swirly font and large female author name. Horses indicate old west or plantation setting. Red and cream is a tasteful color match.
Issues: Can’t read whole title, cover is very generic.
What do I think this book is about? Heterosexual romance in a historical setting. Demure pose and the fact that she is alone in the picture with a horse in the background suggests sweet romance (little sex).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes

 Smoke & Bone
What I like: The color pallet, the starkness of the lighting, the slash nature of the mask and the title.
Issues: Didn’t realize the title was Daughter of Smoke & Bone until I really squinted, can’t read author name at all. Not sure how I feel about three different fonts on the same cover.
What do I think the book is about? I’m going with suspense of some kind, in the Gone Girl oeuvre maybe? Because of the mask, perhaps it’s either historical or set in a theater, makes me think Phantom of the Opera.
Was I right given the blurb? Sort of. Suspense but also urban fantasy?

 The Curse Keepers
What I like:
KILLER title! The shadow box to make the title pop while still over the figures is a neat trick, centered text.
Issues: Author name is not legible, weird tattoo stuff on left not necessary, whole thing is generic.
What do I think this book is about? Without a doubt this is in the Cassandra Clare, Beautiful Creatures, etc. YA angst show knock off. This one will be witches and warlocks and stuff like that, no vampires (because of the sunlight and lack of blood red color).
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

 A Taste of Magic
What I like: Very easy to read title and author name, bold color choices.
Issues: Not a lot, actually, while this might not be my kind of book, I think it reads as a near perfect cover for the kind of book it is. Let’s see if I’m right.
What do I think this book is about? Romance, chick lit version of Practical Magic. Contemporary set urban fantasy but with a very light touch and gentle upbeat text, probably involves food. Beach read.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes.

What I like: Fantastically striking cover, retro feel, very basic but impactful, color choices. Title and author are clear and easy to read.
Issues: Absolutely no idea what it is about. Could be anything from a quirky adult version of Awkward (that MTV show) or a non-fiction tell all about the music/photo/modeling industry.
What do I think this book is about? Really, no clue. If I HAD to guess I’m going with quirky mock-tell-all of a photojournalist’s crazy hi-jinx. Possibly set in the 1960s.
Was I right given the blurb? Turns out it is about photography, but also celebrity, and crime, modern setting.

 The Last Girl
What I like: As with the romance one above, I think I know exactly what I am in for with this book. Title and author name are clearly visible.
Issues: I really strain to see the figure, I wish it were just big enough for me to make out something about her clothes as that would give me a bit more to go on for setting.
What do I think this book is about? Gone Girl type thing again, maybe post apocalyptic, but could also be country western setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. Turns out to be an epidemic crisis book. Looks like that movie Children of Men.

 Under Different Stars
What I like: Striking image for the main photo, stark and atmospheric feel. This gives a slightly uncomfortable and weird feeling.
Issues: The title and author name are kinda hard to make out.
What do I think this book is about? Lit fic, just because of the contrast between the watery image but “Stars” in the title. I’m very wary because it could be a “Cancer Mom” type story. Read: depressing as hell.
Was I right given the blurb? Not at all. Turns out to be a sci fi YA romance.

 Dragon Bound
What I like: Again this is one of those that tells me exactly what I’m in for. I like a cover that uses blues and pinks for contrast, and I tend to gravitate towards centered lettering.
Issues: No idea what she is holding, hard to make out author name. Quite generic.
What do I think this book is about? Straight up no frills female main character urban fantasy. Probably heterosexual and featuring dragons as the hook. Modern setting.
Was I right given the blurb? Not really. It’s fantasy not UF, and historical-ish. (I did wonder since she’s in a dress and not leather pants, but the white t-shirt underneath threw me off).

 Heirs of Empire
What I like: Strong female central figure, power pose, can read both title and author name. Interesting choice on both serif and sans serif fonts.
Issues: Generic title, cover comes off as old fashioned. Makes me think author and text may be old guard out of touch. Male author with female protagonist is a red flag for me, personally.
What do I think this book is about? At first I thought epic fantasy because of her armor and the title and serif font, but then I noticed the spaceship in the background and the author name is sans serif, so I’m going with space opera.
Was I right given the blurb? You know what, I still don’t know if this is fantasy or space opera. I think maybe something like Dune? But the blurb doesn’t make this clear.

What I like: This cover is everything. I really adore it. I think it is stunning and beautiful and stark and so much more.
Issues: None. I like it a lot.
What do I think this book is about? Future, possibly far future, something to do with genetic manipulation or cloning. It reminds me of Orphan Black. This is the only one on this list I’m tempted to investigate further, read the blurb and possibly pick up. I’ve not been into SciFi recently, but I might buy this just because I like the cover so much.
Was I right given the blurb? Yes. Only thing I missed was that this is YA. Which actually turns me off (I love YA but struggle with YA scifi like Cinder). Blurb reminds me of the movie Never Let Me Go.

Right then, what do you think?

Cover art, yes or no?

Do you agree with my predictions?

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}


  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Beta read (fifth draft).
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.


Romancing the Inventor in Audiobook. A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1887 Albert Aublet (French artist, 1851-1938) Sur La Plage, Le Treport

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My office sitting area

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Historical Look at Why Science Fiction Always Gets Screwed at the Oscars

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Why Writers Should Read

Book News:

Pinterest inspiration board for Gail Carriger’s Custard Protocol series. Characters Spoo & Virgil. Spoo is head deckling, Virgil is a valet and sometime helmsman.

Quote of the Day:

“A bookstore is a good place to go to be brave.”

~ Kate DiCamillo

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

© 2017 Gail Carriger | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Site built by Todd Jackson