When I started writing, I never intended to write a series. I had half a dozen or so novel ideas and each one represented an individual, standalone story. It was only after completing my third published novel, DIAMOND SKY, that I realised there was a great deal more story waiting to be explored with this particular set of characters. Diamond Sky is now a trilogy and though each novel is very distinctive and unique in its plot/themes, there is a wider reaching story arc running through all three books that I am really pleased with.
Of course, having a consistent arc is not the only essential ingredient of producing a successful series. The trilogy also needs to be easily recognisable as a brand, and this is where the cover art is so important. The original artwork for Diamond Sky was as follows:
Like with all of my published books, I designed the artwork using a photograph taken by me as opposed to purchasing a stock picture. At the time I was not thinking about any future consistency regarding the trilogy, and when it came to designing the covers for the sequels, this did pose problems and amendments were needed. Next is the updated 'Trilogy' cover for the novel:
As you can see, it is the same basic design but with two distinct changes. Both of which are necessary in order to create a brand or theme for the trilogy. Firstly, I added the subtitle "Book I of the DIAMOND SKY trilogy". The next, more subtle change, is in the background to the title. I removed the clouds and added a dense cluster of stars, which can also be seen reflected in the title. This fits better with the tone of the book, but also creates a common theme for the covers that follow.
Again, the covers reflect the individual themes. Emerald Sky is largely set among the Himalayas* and the "green mist" first referenced in the first novel plays a major part. Likewise, Sapphire Sky deals strongly with the issue of using the astral technology for space exploration** and a blue coloured Neutron star plays a significant role. Most important, however, is that the three covers are clearly related in everything from title to image and colour.
DIAMOND SKY is currently available for Kindle at Amazon or in paperback at most major online book retailers. EMERALD SKY and SAPPHIRE SKY are scheduled for release in Spring/Autumn of 2015.
*I stated earlier that I use my own photographs in the cover artwork. Having never been to the Himalayas, the image is actually a distorted image of Mt Cook in New Zealand's Southern Alps.
**Nor have I ever been to outer space. Sapphire Sky's cover does not use a base image. The star cluster and astral trails are purely overlay effects that are available for free with any good online photo editor.