Cover artless

So here I am, thinking about what I should do next. And I remember–Cover Art! I plan releasing my new book in the fall, but I should already have a cover selected that I can splash across the internet in advance. After all, that’s one key to attract interested readers. Right?

Here’s the problem though… I have no idea what I should put on the cover. Producing effective cover art is, well, an art. It takes thought, research or the artwork on comparable titles, should provide hint of what you’ve included between the covers, and–most of all–reach out, grab readers by their collars and say “BUY ME!”

I suck at that. I dread guessing at what elements I should include in my cover, so I’ll just throw this out there. Make a suggestion! I know there are many talented writers out there who’ve worked through this dilemma before. Below I’ll list a mini-synopsis of the plot, along with a description of the most notable elements and characters in the book.

Tell me what cover images you feel would best reflect the story. I know there are some rules as to what works. I just don’t know the rules.

The Tides of Earth

After escaping their K’laadian captors and commandeering a ship full of alien technology, Maggie and her crew have finally returned to Earth, intent on using their newfound resources to defend humanity. The only trick is that some of the weapons they have onboard are too dangerous to trust to any governments and more dangerous to share with all governments.

So they devise The Terran Council, a body that will remain forever in exile and never interfere in terrestrial matters, but which will assume responsibility for protecting humanity from all alien threat. However, they need each nation to cooperate and work together as their allies in building that defense.

There is Maggie’s biggest obstacle. While immediate public support is strong, the Council faces an extremely divided world… not about to join hands and sing Kumbaya. Their government allies still want to steal their weapon technology. Nations are uneasy about keeping truce with other countries. Politicians just want to get re-elected. Terrorist groups don’t care about aliens–they still want to inflict harm on anyone in the way of their cause, including the Council. And businessmen still want to make a profit.

It’s a big bag of worms, but Maggie has to bring it all together, build new industries, come up with a viable line of defense, and win the worldwide support for a vote–where humanity decides whether to fight or flee. The clock is ticking, and they have six years at best before the K’laadian ships arrive.

Key character: Dr. Maggie Kestler, Physicist – early to mid-fifties, dark hair with gray highlights, competent and determined woman, capable of seeing through insincerity. Dedicated entirely to saving humanity both from itself and the K’laadians.

Story elements: The K’Leestra47, a interstellar spaceship using both a gravity and Alcubierre drive. “Looks like a fat football” from underneath, but otherwise saucer shaped with articulated edges which rotate to form the Alcubierre drive. It has ten very large fan shaped holds/hatch covers–five on top, five on the bottom. Holds can be used for cargo or as hangers for other cargo and military spacecraft. Overall length is about 1500 meters. Overall height is about 300 meters. K’laadian troop/cargo transports, similar in design to the K’leestra47, but squarer in design and able to fit inside its holds. K’laadian shuttles– about the size of six school buses, similar looking to the transports. Kitty Hawk–decommissioned US aircraft carrier, refitted as training ship and based temporarily in the Australian outback, then re-assigned to the moon. K’laadian cannisters–described as schoolbus-sized drums with hollowed out, open ends. Referred to as a K’laadian ‘Swiss Army knives,’ because of their versatility. These can accurately and automatically target items as small as a dime from high Earth orbit, using highly focussed lasers (or any band of spectrum), gravity waves, or electromagnetic waves. It serves as both a formidable weapon and a tool. They is self-charging, using advanced technology, and can also beam energy to any available receiving stations.

Notable visual events–1. Total destruction (equipment only) of several military bases. 2. Lifting a 350 meter Drybulk (ore) ship twenty meters into the air, turning it around, and slicing it in half… all in about 10 minutes. 3. Launching a railroad engine into orbit then setting it on the the lawn of the UN Building. 4. Using a cannister to move a number of “stasis pods” safely into the hold of an old Drybulk ship that has been partly buried on the moon, with a dozen astronaut & and cosmonaut ‘wranglers’ assisting with any strays drifting out of position. 5. A bridge in St. Simons Island, Georgia being blown up by terrorists. 6. Heavy equipment being delivered by K’laadian launch to a mining colony on Mars. There are others, but these seem more notable.