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We’ve decided to bite the bullet. We’re taking the two Astronaut’s Apprentice books off the market for a short period, in order to re-release them with new and (we hope you’ll agree) improved covers. The turnaround is likely to be a couple of weeks.

For those who are interested, this is why. For starters, we do all our design work in house, and we think we’ve just improved a bit since 2010. When City of Meteors was being developed, we felt hamstrung by the fact that we had to match the established style of The Astronaut’s Apprentice. Part of the problem is, we wanted a different colour for each title, but suitable colours weren’t exactly jumping out at us. Because the elements (UFOs, asteroids, etc.) don’t have outlines – just a very light drop shadow – you have to find a shade that a) contrasts strongly enough with everything else, but b) is neutral enough not to clash horribly with anything, c) fits the muted theme of the series, and d) is actually a nice colour. It turns out that it’s surprisingly difficult to find colours like that, and the problem only got worse with The Richest Man on Mars. We got a provisional cover ready, but deep down we weren’t that happy with it.

The idea behind the original Astronaut’s Apprentice cover was to make it look like everything was a paper cutout (the end result didn’t quite match that vision, partly because we ended up with glossier stock than planned). We’ve decided to go for something completely different this time. So, without further ado – and bearing in mind that these might change when we see the proofs – here are the new covers for the series so far, including the forthcoming third book.

A new cover for The Astronaut's Apprentice

A new cover for City of Meteors

The cover for The Richest Man on Mars

The original covers are still available to view down the left hand side of this blog. What do you think? Are these the big improvement we hope they are…?