I thought this was a good piece that ran on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday, and I particularly liked their take on what makes a good crime novel cover ;)

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Thanks for that.  Very interesting.  I don't altogether agree with all of it, though, and it managed to make me angry again. I disagree that all covers are art.  Too many covers are recycled photo images from some free masterfile, and mysteries in particular have some really boring covers. I also don't agree that that covers disappear completely with e-books.  Amazon runs cover images for these, and I have designed my own for just that purpose.

I got angry again, seeing books displayed in book stores with the cover up.  Publishers have to pay for that kind of display and reserve it for their stars.  The rest of us end up on the shelf with the spine showing, or not at all.

IJ, I had my ulterior motive for posting that story--I do think it's a good piece, but at 1 min. 40 seconds in they also give one of my books some nice exposure.


I saw that.  Very nice!  :)  But the story is good also.

Oh, that was very nice.  Thank you.  And since you may have asked about it, they may order a few.

Actually, the Amazon copy is considerably cheaper than the 29.95 list price.

The man silhouette ought to be banned from covers.

Yes.  And he's always walking away from the camera.  I also dislike the eternal night time city street scenes.

All those romantic notions about how books look and feel and smell aren't going to keep the stores open. There just aren't enough customers walking in and buying product. Dead tree books will go the way of the vinyl LP. They'll still be around, but ebooks will eventually capture the lion's share of the market.

I don't think it's a bad thing to have the media putting out positive stories about books. Maybe these are the types of stories authors should be embracing.

I thought this was an interesting piece on cbs.  I have never purchased an ebook in my life.  I have no idea what goes on inside those kindle tablets.  Do they feature a cover art of some kind before you view the text?  I was also wondering how much input the author had in deciding the cover art?  CJ  

There's a cover associated with the Kindle and Nook books. With my print books I have had input with Five Star, but none with Serpent's Tail or Overlook Press.


Here's a cover that my German publisher came up with for my book Outsourced, which I think is remarkable--the book is a bank heist book, so they did the cover as the book as a bank vault being opened.

I agree.  That’s a great cover.  Not something you see everyday.

Some have done me the courtesy of showing me the design or a draft before finalizing.  I grumbled only once and some adjustments were made.  I've also gotten into trouble trying to explain to a foreign artist what the next book was about, making a suggestion that an armed warrior would work. My then editor wrote me a very nasty note pointing out that the publisher pays for the cover and it's none of my business to meddle in the design decision.  My French publisher has come up with many stunning cover designs, but also one that was totally wrong. I see the foreign covers long after the fact. 

In most cases, the artists take the easy way out.  They know about Japanese woodblock prints, so they use one of those, notwithstanding the fact that the images show 18th century actors who are heavily made up and look nothing like 11th century noblemen.

I do believe that authors should be consulted about cover designs.  At the very least it would avoid getting misleading images on the book.


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