Saturday 21 November 2015

The Making of Making Trakz

Finally...the little mouse gets his moment. 

After months of set backs and date changes, the final proof of Making Trakz was approved on 18th November 2015 after several changes to layout and some internal shuffling.

Available from all good bookstores, you can see the final product and reviews here. Released 30th November 2015 at just £7.99.

It took a great deal of planning and involved trialling the cover with an early release of the kindle version to test the market, but after some minor tweaks and adjustments, we think we have delivered another iconic cover.

In 2012 we released Spikez, but not without four years of development and design rethinks. Here are some of the initial design ideas and the final outcome of Spikez, and also some draft layouts of the future Spikez books to give you a flavour of the content and what to expect from us.

Near final cover proof August 2012
The first proof was adjusted slightly to make the green more futuristic looking and the title text to stand out more.   In the final version (below) you would hardly notice on screen but the difference with a hard copy can make all the difference, which is why ordering a proof is so important.

The final cover of Spikez October 2012

If you look closely you can see that the title was resized and given a gradient, and the author text was also adjusted to stand out more.  It really made the final product more striking.

After Spikez went to print we discussed the theme of future Spikez books, including the Making Trakz prequel.  The initial ideas can be seen below.

The idea was to make the covers more obvious when the book was opened and being read.  However, to make people pick up the book we really wanted a striking front cover.  Each subsequent Spikez book will keep the colour schemes shown above, but will look VERY different and much more striking as you will see.

Initially sketched on the back of a hotel notepad, the concept for Making Trakz relied on the idea of the mouse's feet trailing all over the book.  The font also needed to look futuristic and the blue needed a certain neon effect to it.  However, on paper the heavy use of black on blue gradient didn't make things leap out off the page and the mouse was in danger of looking more rat-like. So . . .

We started developing the idea further and added depth to the main title font and used a darker blue to contrast with title (the same way the author text of Spikez developed).  However, cutting the back cover in half created issues regarding placing text, and also the Z on the spine would have difficulty lining up with the Z in Trakz.  So we tried again...
Here we start playing with the fonts and being a bit creative with the back cover.  The book is starting to take shape, but still lacks impact.  The mouse needed some definition and the cover was in danger of being too busy.  So, with a few more attempts, we finally created...

Here you should be able to notice a few things.  Firstly, the continuation of tracks across the spine, and secondly the texture added to the rodent.  The use of binary code links with the AI theme of the book and the key words feature in the book blurb.   Adding the green in Spikez also gives the cover variation and carries on the theme into this book. 

And there it is, a brief history of cover design for Making Trakz, the latest animal-cyborg offering from Burton Mayers Books.  Sorry it took longer than expected.

We hope you enjoy reading our blog and love reading our books!

Thursday 5 November 2015

Make way for Making Trakz - Exciting new children's book

Finally, Making Trakz is hitting the shelves this November.

The Kindle version is currently on sale for just £2.99 at Amazon

The paperback version will have a distinct cover similar to the Kindle holder (above).  Branding stories about animal cyborgs is certainly one of the most enjoyable aspects of publishing a novel. More details will follow once the perfect bound proof is approved.

So, what's the story behind the book?

Making Trakz is a prequel, set approximately six months before the story events of Spikez.

The novel is standalone, which means you don't have to have read any of the Spikez books, and is also more conventional in that children feature quite heavily as some of the main protagonists.  The real stars of the book, however, are Windar and Trakz.  The story explores the origins of Trakz and the moment when Professor Windar made his breakthrough, thanks to some 'out of box' thinking from his inquisitive niece and nephew.

The book is only 55,000 words but adds plenty of back story to the Spikez novel franchise, and also foreshadows some of the events that will occur in Spikez: Red Dragon.  The project took three years to develop and promises to be more successful than Spikez.

The cost on Amazon Kindle is just £2.99, with a print list price of only £7.99.

Making Trakz