Monday, 30 June 2008

me and death - one

I had many moments in which to ponder this weekend. Many, many moments. Small-town hospitals have their charms, but readily available doctors are not one of them. So as I sat in the Emergency waiting room (and that's an interesting idea, isn't it?) watching the sun sink, and set, and twilight come and go, and the moon rise, and, later set (I'm serious -- poor Imo, her mysterious spots, and I spent Saturday afternoon and night, and some of Sunday morning, in the ER) -- as time passed in a dream of worry, crossword puzzle clues, jokes from The Simpsons and vending machine snacks, I pondered the cover for my new book.
That's it over there, of course. The preliminary draft. My publisher floated it by me last week and I've been thinking about it.
Covers are important. They are the first thing a reader sees, and very (very!) often the deciding factor in whether to buy. They are designed to get you to pick up the book. Once it's in your hand, you're halfway to the check-out.
Sometimes you know about a cover. The first time I saw the cover for Mystical Rose, I knew. That lady in the dated photo, staring away from the camera, was perfect. Same for Into the Ravine. I opened the email attachment, saw the rough mock-up, and went, Wow.
I'm not saying, Wow, this time. Not right away. My own first idea was to have a dead black cover -- Metallica style -- with the only writing on the spine of the book. Cool, huh? I said to my publisher. No, she said. But it's about death, I said, all cool and black. No, she said. (She's got her considering and thoughful side, my publisher, but when she doesn't like something she lets you know. I still hear about a shirt I wore in 1998.)
So you've had a minute or two to look at the cover. Look again. No, not the Metallica one -- mine, up at the top. Okay. What do you think? Let me know. Pixel art is supposed to be a hot ticket right now. Retro-chic. The designer has just come up with another version. I'll run it in a couple days. You can get in touch here or through the website contact page. (If you are too lazy to check back it's I'm interested. Would you (this is the question) -- would you, without knowing anything about the book, pick it up?
Okay, enough for today. Imo's awake now. I'm afraid to ask how she's feeling.


Marilyn said...

I'm not crazy about it. I like the shade of green they've chosen, but there's too much green space. Also, not crazy about the typeset...too serious. The graphic is weird.
I like the idea of the black cover better and the silver writing.
Not sure I would pick up this book if I didn't know you. The cover seems too empty.

Anonymous said...

Hi Richard,

I'm with you on the black cover & the silver writing. The skulls make me think of Space Invaders -- is that supposed to happen?

Can "Death" have a little drippy, creepiness? I'm all for the silver -- will grab the boys better.



Richard Scrimger said...

So far we have a few votes against the green cover, and one vote for it. And here on the blog there's one vote against the green cover and one vote for Metallica. Thanks, everyone. I'll get back to you in a couple days with the next installment cover.

Anonymous said...

One more against this cover design. Green is one of my favourite colours and yet this one doesn't do it for me. Somehow reminds me of golf. Yeah, "space invaders". I thought about that game too, with those tiny, tiny, easy-to-miss skulls. Will your audience get the reference to "behind the eight ball"? I assume that's part of the story. Perhaps the eight ball could look more like a skull? What about something fun like the cover of Christopher Moore's A Dirty Business?
I agree with Marilyn's comment. The only thing that sells me that book is your name.

Richard Scrimger said...

Okay, okay, the people have spoken. More tomorrow.

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