NE David Author
NE David                                      Author

4 MARCH 2013

YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

A DAY AT THE RACES

 

There’s an old adage from the part of the world I live in. ‘You can always tell a Yorkshireman – but you can’t tell him much’. I first heard this from Richard Whiteley, the one-time host of Countdown and a great Yorkshireman himself. The occasion was an outdoor concert he introduced several years ago on Yorkshire Day (1st August for those who didn’t know) and it’s stuck with me ever since, so whenever I hear ‘You can’t tell …’ it’s always the first thing that comes to mind. Although the first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘You can’t tell a book by its cover’ is A DAY AT THE RACES. Why? Because I got it wrong and I’ve always wanted to change it.

 

In her article on the subject in The Independent (http://ind.pn/13Bq5ce), Katy Guest suggests that ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ is true about just about everything but books. A bad, or good, cover design has the power to sink a book or spawn a thousand imitations, she says. Max Rivlin-Nader writing for Lulu agrees (http://bit.ly/12o5NTZ). ‘Covers, even in the age of eBooks, are still an incredibly important part of the browsing experience and are often the first interaction a prospective reader has with a book’. How many times have we been told this? We read it in all the articles about self-publishing and in my case, I must have seen it a dozen times. But I still went ahead anyway even though I knew it was wrong.

 

A DAY AT THE RACES was conceived at the end of 2006 but didn’t make it into print until March 2011. Plenty of time (you’d think) to get the cover design right. After all, I’d done it twice before. Both CAROL’S CHRISTMAS and FERIA have great covers that truly reflect the style and content of the books and although CAROL’S CHRISTMAS has yet to prove itself, I firmly believe that much of the success of FERIA is down to the terrific design on the front (my thanks to Ant for that). I wish I’d asked him to do the same for A DAY AT THE RACES but time did not allow and I suddenly found myself with a deadline to meet, a book launch planned and limited opportunity for creative thought. In fact, I seem to recall spending the period between Christmas and New Year 2010 supposedly on holiday visiting my parents but having to hurriedly cobble something together for

4 MARCH 2013

YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

A DAY AT THE RACES

 

There’s an old adage from the part of the world I live in. ‘You can always tell a Yorkshireman – but you can’t tell him much’. I first heard this from Richard Whiteley, the one-time host of Countdown and a great Yorkshireman himself. The occasion was an outdoor concert he introduced several years ago on Yorkshire Day (1st August for those who didn’t know) and it’s stuck with me ever since, so whenever I hear ‘You can’t tell …’ it’s always the first thing that comes to mind. Although the first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘You can’t tell a book by its cover’ is A DAY AT THE RACES. Why? Because I got it wrong and I’ve always wanted to change it.

 

In her article on the subject in The Independent (http://ind.pn/13Bq5ce), Katy Guest suggests that ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ is true about just about everything but books. A bad, or good, cover design has the power to sink a book or spawn a thousand imitations, she says. Max Rivlin-Nader writing for Lulu agrees (http://bit.ly/12o5NTZ). ‘Covers, even in the age of eBooks, are still an incredibly important part of the browsing experience and are often the first interaction a prospective reader has with a book’. How many times have we been told this? We read it in all the articles about self-publishing and in my case, I must have seen it a dozen times. But I still went ahead anyway even though I knew it was wrong.

 

A DAY AT THE RACES was conceived at the end of 2006 but didn’t make it into print until March 2011. Plenty of time (you’d think) to get the cover design right. After all, I’d done it twice before. Both CAROL’S CHRISTMAS and FERIA have great covers that truly reflect the style and content of the books and although CAROL’S CHRISTMAS has yet to prove itself, I firmly believe that much of the success of FERIA is down to the terrific design on the front (my thanks to Ant for that). I wish I’d asked him to do the same for A DAY AT THE RACES but time did not allow and I suddenly found myself with a deadline to meet, a book launch planned and limited opportunity for creative thought. In fact, I seem to recall spending the period between Christmas and New Year 2010 supposedly on holiday visiting my parents but having to hurriedly cobble something together for the printers. The result, although acceptable, was not ideal.

 

As it stands, the cover reflects the title of the book rather than its style or content. To look at it now, it suggests something pleasant, an enjoyable day out. True, a bottle of champagne, some glasses and a wad of money figure heavily in the book but not in the manner you’d expect. A DAY AT THE RACES is actually quite dark and is more to do with crime, infidelity and revenge than it is to do with the jolly the cover implies. I’d thought about dangling a pair of boxing gloves on one side, like the ice-skates in CAROL’S CHRISTMAS, and I even tried looking for images of horses but both of these seemed even more incongruous than the final result.

 

So there you have it – a botched-up job. It’s too late to change it now so I’ve resolved to try and make something out of my mistake and hence the article today. If the book’s not successful, I may well be inclined to get it redesigned (cue Ant). But if it is, I won’t need to …

 

What are your thoughts about book covers? Why not let us know about your experiences, good and bad? If you’ve anything to share on the subject, let me have your comments in the box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

4 MARCH 2013

YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

A DAY AT THE RACES

 

There’s an old adage from the part of the world I live in. ‘You can always tell a Yorkshireman – but you can’t tell him much’. I first heard this from Richard Whiteley, the one-time host of Countdown and a great Yorkshireman himself. The occasion was an outdoor concert he introduced several years ago on Yorkshire Day (1st August for those who didn’t know) and it’s stuck with me ever since, so whenever I hear ‘You can’t tell …’ it’s always the first thing that comes to mind. Although the first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘You can’t tell a book by its cover’ is A DAY AT THE RACES. Why? Because I got it wrong and I’ve always wanted to change it.

 

In her article on the subject in The Independent (http://ind.pn/13Bq5ce), Katy Guest suggests that ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ is true about just about everything but books. A bad, or good, cover design has the power to sink a book or spawn a thousand imitations, she says. Max Rivlin-Nader writing for Lulu agrees (http://bit.ly/12o5NTZ). ‘Covers, even in the age of eBooks, are still an incredibly important part of the browsing experience and are often the first interaction a prospective reader has with a book’. How many times have we been told this? We read it in all the articles about self-publishing and in my case, I must have seen it a dozen times. But I still went ahead anyway even though I knew it was wrong.

 

A DAY AT THE RACES was conceived at the end of 2006 but didn’t make it into print until March 2011. Plenty of time (you’d think) to get the cover design right. After all, I’d done it twice before. Both CAROL’S CHRISTMAS and FERIA have great covers that truly reflect the style and content of the books and although CAROL’S CHRISTMAS has yet to prove itself, I firmly believe that much of the success of FERIA is down to the terrific design on the front (my thanks to Ant for that). I wish I’d asked him to do the same for A DAY AT THE RACES but time did not allow and I suddenly found myself with a deadline to meet, a book launch planned and limited opportunity for creative thought. In fact, I seem to recall spending the period between Christmas and New Year 2010 supposedly on holiday visiting my parents but having to hurriedly cobble something together for the printers. The result, although acceptable, was not ideal.

 

As it stands, the cover reflects the title of the book rather than its style or content. To look at it now, it suggests something pleasant, an enjoyable day out. True, a bottle of champagne, some glasses and a wad of money figure heavily in the book but not in the manner you’d expect. A DAY AT THE RACES is actually quite dark and is more to do with crime, infidelity and revenge than it is to do with the jolly the cover implies. I’d thought about dangling a pair of boxing gloves on one side, like the ice-skates in CAROL’S CHRISTMAS, and I even tried looking for images of horses but both of these seemed even more incongruous than the final result.

 

So there you have it – a botched-up job. It’s too late to change it now so I’ve resolved to try and make something out of my mistake and hence the article today. If the book’s not successful, I may well be inclined to get it redesigned (cue Ant). But if it is, I won’t need to …

 

What are your thoughts about book covers? Why not let us know about your experiences, good and bad? If you’ve anything to share on the subject, let me have your comments in the box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

the printers. The result, although acceptable, was not ideal.

 

As it stands, the cover reflects the title of the book rather than its style or content. To look at it now, it suggests something pleasant, an enjoyable day out. True, a bottle of champagne, some glasses and a wad of money figure heavily in the book but not in the manner you’d expect. A DAY AT THE RACES is actually quite dark and is more to do with crime, infidelity and revenge than it is to do with the jolly the cover implies. I’d thought about dangling a pair of boxing gloves on one side, like the ice-skates in CAROL’S CHRISTMAS, and I even tried looking for images of horses but both of these seemed even more incongruous than the final result.

 

So there you have it – a botched-up job. It’s too late to change it now so I’ve resolved to try and make something out of my mistake and hence the article today. If the book’s not successful, I may well be inclined to get it redesigned (cue Ant). But if it is, I won’t need to …

 

What are your thoughts about book covers? Why not let us know about your experiences, good and bad? If you’ve anything to share on the subject, let me have your comments in the box below. I look forward to hearing from you.