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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I know both my publishers work to get input from booksellers, which is probably far more important than any input I could give them. My book The Caretaker of Lorne Field is somewhat a mix of allegorical fable and horror, and the cover Overlook was originally going to use gave the book a literary feel, and that created resistance from the chain stores who wanted a more horror feel, so they worked with them and were able to get them a cover that the bookstores liked (and I liked also), and got the chains to increase their orders.  And I know Serpent's Tail does the same in the UK to make sure they have a cover that maximizes orders from bookstores.

Wow.  Japanese woodblock printing is a labor intensive process.  Since you wrote the books, they should give you the blocks.  Think of the great Christmas cards you can make from them.  :) I agree with you, though.  It’s your book and your vision.  It seems only fair that you should have say on how the cover is presented.  cj

Umm, these are photo copies.  Not originals.  Actually, they cut an image out of a larger print (or rather its photographic reproduction) and use that.  I do buy Japanese art-themed Christmas cards, by the way.  Old originals are very expensive.  Even new prints made from the original blocks are costly.

Book covers are becoming ever more important now that so many readers buy books online. I designed my own bookcover and have had many compliments on it. A good cover, in my opinion, must do 4 things;

hint at the book's content

be intriguing enough to make someone pick it up (in a bookstore) or read the synopsis/teaser on a website

be reasonably artistic and tasteful

have the author's name in letters BIG ENOUGH TO READ.  


The latter point is especially important for display on an internet website.  I'm trying to upload a thumbnail of the cover, hope it works.


I've gotten a lot of compliments on the cover of my debut thriller, to be released in hardcover and Kindle ebook by Oceanview Publishing May 2011. The gist of the CBS clip is spot-on, but unfortunately brick and mortar bookstores probably aren't going to be around much longer. Seen many record stores lately? Video stores? I love going to stores and browsing, but it's hard to resist the cost and convenience of online retailers and digital media.

I’m curious.  Why did you receive a lot of complaints about the cover of your debut book?  It’s not like you showed spewing intestines all over the place at a crime scene or something.

Compliments, lol. Not complaints. An artist named George Foster did the cover for Oceanview. A great job, I think.

Oh, I need to start wearing my glasses more often when I’m chatting online.  Compliments!  Ok, I got it now.  I thought Pocket-47 is a nice cover.  I didn’t understand what people were complaining about. ;)  

Yes, I like that, Jude.
Thanks I.J. and C.J.
Thanks for putting up the piece, even if it was a bit on the BSP ... But isn't that why a lot of us are here?

Jack, you got to admit it was pretty cool (and very unusual) BSP.



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