Friday, 19 June 2009

Book covers

I wasn't aware, when I first started novel writing, that the writer has little or no input into the design of his/her book cover. Unless you're a top-selling, famous 'name', at least. I expect JKR has some say.

Book covers, apparently, aren't that easy to design, hence the need for a specialist to fashion something that not only catches the eye but conveys the idea behind the book on one single page. It needs to be unique, creative and striking enough to jump off the shelf and scream 'Buy me'.

It's said that most customers browsing a book store will make up their mind within 20 to 30 seconds. Er...who are these people making snap decisions? Do they have a bus to catch? An egg to boil? Don't know about you, but I spend an age deciding on what to buy and often as not I don't choose from the 'Best-sellers' or 'Top Twenty' placed prominently by the door. They may be best-sellers but I feel kind of conned into buying them.

Not for me, either, is the piled high '3 for 2' table because I invariably pick up one I really, really want to read, then end up struggling to choose 2 others I know I won't ever get around to reading. No, I like to browse the far corners of the store. Find something maybe published years ago.

Just remembered something - When Accent Press published the first of the Sexy Shorts range, which carried one of my short stories, I had to go ask an assistant to find it for me. It was lurking (1 copy only) behind a pile of children's toys stacked against the shelves. Lovely book cover, shame about the placing!

But I digress - where was I? Oh yes, book cover design...if I ever bag an agent and get this damn novel pubbed, I know exactly what I'd like my cover to look like. Or at least what I'd like it to incorporate. Something like this:

And the book blurb for The Cuckoo Club:

One chef's deflated souffle, is another chef's frittata. Can Róisin Connor encourage her boss, Alex, to apply the same principles to his life?

Amongst the dated decor and padded banquettes of The Pink Pig Café, waitress Róisin (Raz) Connor struggles with the three men in her life. Foremost is cafe owner, Alex Dearly. There’s his cousin, the celebrity stylist Gabe Locksmith and lastly, there’s a corpse.

Alex is the love of her life though it seems unrequited, but right now it’s the corpse, Alex’s father, William, who is causing Raz the most concern. A wreath with a note pledging everlasting love from unknown ‘C’ arouses her suspicions. Is ‘C’ the mysterious veiled mourner who attends his funeral?

When Alex's old school chum, Sandra Montford-Jones appears on the scene, William’s widow, Maggie, starts acting even more oddly than usual. Raz makes an unlikely link between Sandra and the recently departed.

She's forced to keep her suspicions to herself as Alex becomes increasingly dependent on Sandra. Raz confides in Gabe, but it appears he too is keeping secrets.

What follows is a bitter-sweet tangle of love, lies and divided loyalties.

Oh shut up, I can dream, can't I?


Penny said...

We want The Cuckoo Club! The campaign starts here...

Sue Houghton said...

Ah, you're so lovely, Penny! Shall you have T shirts printed?