John William Jarrett, a long-time fan of the Spineward Sectors military sci-fi space opera series (and a heck of an artist across a variety of media), took one look at my old cover for this book and, even separated by thousands of miles at the time, it seemed like I could feel his lip curl at the sight of it.
Rolling up his sleeves, he went to work on a redesign (likely as much to keep his skills of an artist honed as to graciously lend his considerable talent to the Spineward Sectors–yet again, since he was the original creator of the font we use on the title graphics for these novels). Here is the new cover for your viewing pleasure:
Needless to say, I’m overwhelmed and humbled by his efforts and will be using this cover instead of the old one. It’s invigorating to have such a talented fan and fellow artist contribute his talents to the Spineward Sectors universe as only he can.
He even re-did the entire layout design, replacing the current shading of the letters with a much slicker version while making some very cool modifications to the layout itself. I opted not to use that bit simply because I’m gunshy, having run afoul of Amazon’s internal marketing systems several times in the past which have probably cut my buy-throughs by a third to half following book three. I thought (perhaps erroneously) that changing the cover layout would present an unnecessary failure point in my limited ability to reach previous customers. But I *much* prefer John’s version of the layout and intend to use it in the near future, either on a Book One re-cover, in the Tracto Tales, or something else entirely. He’s a top-notch artist, and I’m lucky to have received the benefit of his considerable talents.