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 firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.