More Last Days Covers

Thanks for all your cantankerous, feisty, opinionated comments about the possible The Last Days covers revealed in my previous post. I appreciate your brutal honesty. And you know what? They’re just rough versions and certainly I didn’t design them, so I don’t mind if you blast away.

Frankly, I didn’t much like the direction those covers were going in. I agree with a lot of you that the images weren’t genre-rific enough. Not really making me think horror, sf, dark fantasy. More like . . . Bop Magazine.

Like many of you, I have been asking for fangs, so maybe we’ll see one of these re-imagined with more tooth. Or maybe some Peeps-esque eyes. I also agree with those of you who want more goth, more zombie-licious grime, and more intimacy. We shall see what happens.

Just as long as they don’t go with this.

Below are two more possibilities. Now we all know we want more fangs and such. So don’t forget to talk about the composition, fonts, colors and such.

Rock on:

54 thoughts on “More Last Days Covers

  1. The first one it’d be great if there was blood dripping down their bodies, plus less guitars (boring instrument). Second one’s better but the skinny guitarist needs to be wearing black and dripping blood. No blood = no apocalpyse!

  2. yeah, well this is going in a better direction. i like both of these for different reasons, but I still think they need to do something more. the second one is actually interesting compositionally, but the guitar playing image just doesn’t say “Last Days” to me. I know it’s about this band, but is it really? Last Days, Last Days, Last Days. We need to have something more emotive to look at. Something FINAL. It doesn’t have to be blood, like anon says above. But something intimating The End of Life.

  3. I hate the composition of the second one. The first of this group is a bit more boring than the first of the last group, otherwise they seem the same to me.

    You know what would be cool? The band members standing on a city street utterly devoid of life. Empty. Now THAT says last days to me.

  4. I am senior at Heritage High School and in my english class we are picking authors to researchthem and read their books. I am interested in meeting you! Would you ever make an appearance in Michigan?

  5. I haven’t hated any of these covers — they’ve all looked like pretty normal YA covers, pleasantly edgy without being over the top. Definitely a ’00s feel, but for the YA market, I’d guess that’s a feature rather than a bug. (I’m at the upper end of the re-imagined YA demographic, if that’s interesting from a statistical viewpoint.)

    However, as observed by, oh, just about everyone — *none* of them have said SF to me. Not even whispered. And I have to wonder — is that deliberate? Because when it comes to covers, Razorbill generally does good work. Are they using the band images to try to capture a different segment of the YA market? Existing fans will read regardless of the cover, while non-SF readers might pick it up and get sucked in. Maybe they’d even start looking for other genre YA.

    Me, I’m definitely not against bringing new readers into SF. I’ve seen other commenters on this blog mention that they didn’t think they liked SF until they read Uglies, or Peeps. So if Razorbill is going for a stealth cover to try to tempt more non-SF readers into trying a little (just a little, come on, just a few pages, everybody’s doing it), I say amen.

    Or maybe they’re just anti-fang. It can be so hard to tell.

  6. Hi!
    My name is Coutney and I just literally got done reading Uglies. I am doing a report on you as an author and comparing your themes and exploring the qualities that make YOU unique! So it would be greatly appreaciated if you write back with a little information about you and the reasns for writing Uglies, Pretties, and Peeps…(because Pretties and Peeps are the other two i plan on reading.) I would also like to point out that the satire in your teen literature is what makes you so interesting and I feel that it changed my outlook on “pretty people”

  7. Sorry, me again! I forgot to add that I wanted to know what your third part to the trilogy was and that it should come out now… so I can do my project on it….thats all thanks!

  8. I like the way the top text was laid out, but plan white doesn’t say last day make more unplan. And the bottom one is so together and LAST is in bright yellow and DAY is in bright baby blue. those colors should do with first day not last day.

  9. Andrea says “it’s just like a messy floor! I can look at that at home!”

    I say “I want a Hello Kitty guitar! Now!” :’)

    “I am Hello Kitty, destroyer of worlds.”

    It’s hugely appropriate for your cover. Possibly the C.H.U.D.s in your book are actually incarnations of Hello Kitty, and you just don’t realize it yet. Get to editing, man!

    G. Jules makes a good point, although I shudder to think about all those happy pink-dress-wearing kids (like the ones Lemony Snicket says shouldn’t read his books) getting a snoutful of Parasite News, going catatonic, and missing the prom.

    I’m not sure there are actually any kids like that, though, so it’s probably okay.

  10. Well this is progress, but I think the first cover is to plain, and over does it with guitars. All you see is guitars! Guitars doesnt symbolize the end of the world to me. If I had to choose I would prefere the second cover,but I dont like that little picture of the one guitar there either. There are tons of ways to portray good bands, not just with guitars, they should get more creative.

  11. Hm. I guess I like the composition of the second of these better, if only because it’s very striking, but neither is quite there. I don’t think the Black-w/font on top, image on bottom is working. The image feels crushed by the weight of all that blackness, particularly that image. The second approach is interesting, but again, the black background creates a drama which this particular photo cannot support.

  12. #2, however, leads to a solid black spine, which isn’t great. dramatic as a stand-alone image, but doesn’t stand out among a shelf full of books.

    of all four, i think my fav so far is #1, option 1; maybe they can put her in a dress with fangs on it, like your fanged tee-shirt?

  13. Like G. Jules I assumed they were trying to capture a non-genre reader’s eye… composition-wise the last one is probably the most striking, although it’s always hard to compare onscreen compared to seeing it on a bookstore shelf…

    as far as the band goes, I think I prefered the look of the band in the first shot of the last two… but then that’s just my taste… the more top forty the band look the less it would appeal to me… but of course I haven’t read the book so I don’t know what kind of band they are…

  14. I actually like the composition of the second one, though not the thumbnail picture they used. If they switched that up for something more last daysish, I’d quite like it, though I agree that an all-black spine is just not attention-grabbing. I also like it when the title text is colored.

  15. I think the cover should feature a theramin. It’s a highly underrated instrument. Wink, wink. 🙂

    Seriously, I’m not really grooving on any of the covers, but if I *had* to choose, I like the first one of the first post. I also like the idea of playing with the color balance. The photo’s seem so contrived and flashy, I’d like them to be edgier, grittier.

  16. Alright, I really, REALLY like the second one here. It’s wicked cool. Except the little thumbnail thing looks out of place. I’d say cut it entirely and have a stark, all-text, no-picture cover with the words there. Black is apocalypsey, no?

    Or else add a row of little pictures like the one you have now across the entire lower edge, wrapping around the spine with perhaps a little fang showing on the spine picture.

    But I really like the dramatic flare of the all-black, centered block-font text. Very cool.

    And if it’s about a band, then for heaven’s sake have a picture of a band on it. Don’t throw that out.

    Looking forward to it. It’s marked on my calendar. Wooo

  17. I just contradicted myself.


    If it’s about a band AND you’re having pictures on it, have the pictures be about a band. There. Does that make sense?

  18. oh oh oh!!!!! i have a band!!!!!!! u should stick in a pic of THE USED!!!!!or if u want atleast some girls Metrics always good too.

  19. i like the idea of guitars on the cover but the pplz outfits look too……70s:S atleast i think. oh and maybe stick in some acoustics along with the electrics. but i like the colours used to rite the title for the 2nd one:)

  20. i like the first one a lot more than the two on your last post… the only thing is it seems to be lacking something… a little more excitement maybe… and yeah it needs to somehow seem less… just about a band.
    as for the second one, i like the font, but the pic looks a bit… weird on the edge like that, although, with any other type of picture, the font colors would definately be a little too much.
    hmm… maybe a combination of both covers – instead of one huge picture on the bottom, maybe several thumbnails of different scenes and all…
    eh, forget the covers – i just want what’s inside! although, yeah, having a good cover definately does attract more readers.

  21. The second cover is almost there. Lose the pic with the legs and the guitar. Put in a pic just of a busted guitar that’s been broken over the head of a fiend, with a discreet pair of bloody hand-prints or a nice long trickle of blood, stick on a quote from Neil Gaiman and you’re there.

  22. i like neil gaiman! is he the author of good omens? that book was HILARIOUS…although, being a New Yorker and all, I didn’t understand some of the British “jokes.”


  23. Got to say, I’m not a big fan of either. Though if I had to choose I’d go with the first in this post. I like the font treatment. The second cover on this post looks way to happy with the font colors to be about something apocalyptic.

    I agree with some of the other folks that changing the color balance on the photo of the first would be beneficial. Actually, I’d like to see it in black and white, a little more grainy and the contrast tweaked up considerably, to give it a really goth-y kind of vibe to it. That, along with the font treatment of the title, I think it would look pretty good. Also, I think maybe darken the red on your name on the cover would make for a good change as well. Just my $0.02.

  24. yeah i think if you had to chose a cover it would be the very first one in your last post cause i like the goth kids better being one myself…i don’t like the second one in this post cause the picture of the one lonely little bassest is not very imaginative. please try to stear the people that design the covers away from the band pics to something darker. these covers lack flair they are sort of boring but whatever i’m still gonna read it anyway no matter what you put on the cover

  25. I think they all look kinda like the So yesterday cover, I think a diffrent font would be good or something but my favorite is book #1 in your last post

  26. Ok, one other thing, I got to say, nothing SCREAMS end of the world like kids in Flip-Flops. Even if they went with that picture, the Flip-flops have GOT to go. Don’t get me wrong, I like leaving my toes out for the world to see as much as the next guy, but end of the world makes me think boots. Big, black boots. Preferably with lots of metal buckles. Or even some other kind of shoes, really, anything but flipflops.

  27. OK scott, you dont have to go for a gothy look for this book, becuase tooons of sci-fi books all have that similiar gothy cover and to me it isnt interesting or unique becuase they seem all the same. Dont go for gothy, but go for darker. That will grab peoples attention more.

  28. The font colors are killing me. Much too neon and capitalized, as though the title is being shouted at me.

    Diana mentioned this:

    ” … band members standing on a city street utterly devoid of life. Empty. Now THAT says last days to me. ”

    I agree, it’s a great image and much more apocalyptic. It’d be pretty dramatic if they were set up in front of a completely empty interestion and in the middle of the road, ready to play but with no one to hear it.
    I suppose that would be an expensive photo shoot, given what it could take to get an empty city interesction.

  29. Expensive photo shoot! Expensive photo shoot! With pyres of burning flip-flops!

    You guys are being funny and creative. This thread is a great read with some excellent ideas. (I believe it is being read by the Powers That Be.) If only the book were going as well as these comments. Or to put it another way, if only the book wasn’t DUE ON MONDAY!

    I’ve been reading Raymond Chandler’s letters and came across this: “If I could write another 12,000 words I should have a draft of a book finished. I know what to write, but I have momentarily mislaid the urge.”

    It was ever thus.

  30. You could just have them standing there holding their instruments (I mean the musical ones!) with a zombified look on their faces and then do some super cool photo editing…I dunno, just a thought.

  31. Oh, very clever, playing the whole time-zone card on me. But I’m going to release the info on Friday, NY time.

    I won’t be able to give the prodcuers’ name yet, though. So it’s still a bit of a tease.

    And I have about 7,000 words to go. Only wrote 1200 today. Argh.

  32. Well, you don’t actually need to have them standing on the street, all expensive photo-shooty. You take a stock band shot, you take a stock “empty street” shot. Bingo.

    The cover model assures you this can be done.

  33. My sympathies on the wordcount. But thanks to the time-zone thingy you actually have three days left, no, not two? 2333 words a day might be doable. If you’re writing a crappy NaNo-novel. Which you’re probably not. Anyway, my sympathies and good luck.

    And you know what? Those time-zones make me nervous, particularly now that you guys are ahead of me. People in America living in a different timezone I can deal with, because they are behind me. But you’re already done with Friday! You will have entered Saturday already! And it’s not fair!

  34. This is unbelievable, some people in new england have already gone to sleep and they havent even seen the book title yet. WHAT IS TAKING YOU SO BLOODY LONG?!?!?!?!

  35. I think the second one is pretty good.
    I like the solid background color; the photo in the corner, though,
    leaves a lot to be desired.
    Like, what is that?
    A chicken leg?
    It doesn’t scream anything at me besides “anarexia”.
    So, I say go with the everything else, but get a new picture for the corner.

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