Monday, 24 September 2012

Beirut - I Got It Covered

Isn't this all exciting? So the final edit of Beirut - An Explosive Thriller is back from proofreading and ready to be formatted for CreateSpace, Smashwords and Kindle. I promised Jordanian tweep John Lillywhite a post on platforms for self publishing, so I'll do that later this week as I work on putting the book into its different formats.

In the meantime, here's the cover. It's a wee bit more stark than Olives, isn't it? I'm also now looking at a refresh of the Olives cover to come into line with this style. It ticks my boxes for a cover, which are as follows:

A book cover these days needs to survive as a thumbnail. While the real estate of publishing in the age of the bookshop was shelves (and spines were vitally important), these days an idle click on catchy icon is what you seek.

Your book will rarely be presented alone on a screen, so if you can make it thoroughly eye-catching, so much the better.

On an e-paper Kindle, it'll display in mono, on a Kindle Fire or other tablet, colour. (It has to work in a 1.6 to 1 ratio and be 2500 pixels high for a Kindle cover) So, ideally, it should also work in mono.

Sell the book
This is where I had huge problems: many of the cover treatments I had considered just reinforced the annoying and outdated 'Looks like Beirut' syndrome - choppers over the mountains, revolvers et al just brought 'war' to mind. So I was looking for a cover image that was cleverer than that. I came up with a crude lipstick  bullet, but art director pal Jessy came up with this much more sophisticated image. It's supposed to make you do a mild double-take, to resolve clearly as lipstick and bullet. It's about sexy and violent, which are two words I would definitely pin on Beirut. And Beirut, come to think of it!

It's got to be sensible as a print book cover, too - that means for POD like Createspace, a clear 5mm around all page edges for trim, unless you're 'bleeding' (material that's designed to run over the cover edge), in which case you need a 5mm margin all around.

It also ticks a rather esoteric little Font Nazi box for me - it uses Eric Gill's stunning Perpetua, a true serif 'stonecutter's font' and a true design classic by that most fascinating of typographers and artists.

For those who care about such things, the slug's a 9mm parabellum, which would be nicely compatible with Lynch's weapon of choice, the versatile Walter P99. The lipstick is a... just kidding.

I also tested the cover with quite a few people to guage reactions - I'd love to know yours, so do feel free to drop a comment!
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Macthomson said...

Excellent cover art and your list of points to be considered in this regard is very pertinent.

Mita Ray said...

Would it be available in Kobo? Are you doing nothing in print this time?

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