Shareware Heroes

By Richard Moss

The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the internet

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Final cover reveal!

Last month when I told you about the book's final title (Shareware Heroes: The renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the internet) I promised we'd reveal a new cover to go with it in the new year.

Well, here we go; below you'll find a render of the book's final cover, which I think is brilliant. I've also attached a fun little video reveal Unbound made to this post. Then toward the end of this post I'll have some background info on how we ended up with this design.

Feel free to share this far and wide, with anyone and everyone who has even a tiny chance of being interested in the book. And if/when you do, please link to the Unbound product page, where people can preorder it.

The more people who preorder via Unbound, the better it is both for the book and for me — as I get a larger slice of sales revenue for these direct sales. It's better for the people preordering, too, as you get the special supporter edition hardback and your name included in the book.

On a related note, the supporters list for the book closes at 11pm GMT on the 13th of February — after this date you will still be able to preorder Shareware Heroes, but you'll no longer get your name in the back of the book.

The cover story

I'm sure some of you may be wondering "what about the old cover design?" Well, that was a mockup that my commissioning editor got made by a freelancer to help us with the crowdfunding pitch. She's since left the company and apparently there's no record of who the freelancer was, so Unbound decided they'd do the final version in-house.

The idea was to keep the overarching concept of four hands holding a floppy disk, which is of course meant to signify the nature of shareware's collective, communal roots, but to refresh it with a photographic quality and a vibrant new colour palette. (And to update it with the new subtitle.)

The first draft I saw looked cool and had a nice orange retro pop to it, but the hands and disk were out of proportion with each other and the hands looked like they were wearing blue like medical gloves. The designer then came back with the colour palette you see above, in a great throwback to the pitch page cover as well as the typography and aesthetics of the 90s.

I just love zooming in on the fine detail in the image — the faded dotted lines behind the text, the textured black plastic of the disk, the metal grain of its dust cover. It'll look amazing in print.

Speaking of which, I'm pleased to also confirm that the publication date for Shareware Heroes is the 18th of August, 2022. I can't wait, and I'm sure many of you can't either.

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