(I wasn't going to post this for a couple of days but a small - possibly intentional - slip last night meant that I let the cat out of the bag so, what the Hell!)
One of the problems with publishing without the backing of a large company is that you come to a point where you need to make decisions on something you didn't think you would have much (if any) input to.
When The Long Second was being written, there was a clear idea of how the cover would look. And then it became clear that the cover design would be something over which, at best, I'd be able to approve with minor tweaks and, at worst, be created for me and presented with a "like it or lump it" directive.
Suddenly having the creative freedom again was exciting. And terrifying.
A basic theme was found quite quickly; I'm reasonably handy with PhotoShop and know how to take a decent photo (I'm far from expert in either field - enthusiastic amateur would be more accurate) so was able to put something together without too much trouble (and without having to resort to Design Wizards and Stock Photo sites).
It was okay but a bit lacking.
I was about to call in the experts and actually pay somebody to do it for me (through gritted teeth) when I was referred to a friend of a friend, a top designer at a major London company... he wouldn't actually design the cover, but he'd help turn what I had into something approaching professional quality.
It was brilliant and hard work and at times I completely failed to understand what he was trying to get me to do, until he provided examples. But we got there and I'm really pleased with the result.
So the cover for The Long Second now exists, in both Kindle and paperback form. And this is it (the full paperback version - click for bigger):
And... if you're still with me, I'll keep this low-key: