Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Candy Cover, Round III

In these last few posts I’ve been talking about the evolution of the cover design for my forthcoming novel, Candy from Strangers. After being given the opportunity to review seven concept covers from my publisher Bleak House Books, I provided some feedback, indicating which of the seven my favorite was and suggesting some other themes that might be mined for future concepts.

A little time went by and Bleak House provided another concept for review, emphasizing the heaven/hell theme in the book. Here’s what it looked like:


I decided I still preferred number 5 from the first round of concepts, but I provided some feedback, like so:
I do like the idea of juxtaposing heaven and hell, but the first comment I have to make is the positions are backwards. Hell, of course, should be at the bottom, and heaven should be in the sky. This is also a little reminiscent of the James Bond movie intros with the girls in silhouette, but that maybe that's a good thing.

I'd also wish for some indicators that make heaven and hell more identifiable. In particular, I'm thinking the designer could take a photo of a girl in angel wings and use it for one of the stencils in the heaven montage. A photo of a girl with devil horns would be good at in hell. Finally, he might throw in some sort of tattoo--maybe of a butterfly--somewhere in the montage (could it be made to work for the eye?).

I'm still struggling with the tag line. Maybe I'm being too literal, but calling the book sweet seems like false advertising (ignoring the slang connotation of "cool"). And, of course, there is more than one murder involved. If we want to stick with the "themed" tag line (rather than a reference to the Riordan series or THE IMMORTAL GAME), how about:

"A sugar-free novel about murder by Mark Coggins"

which contrasts with Candy and makes the point that the contents really aren't "sweet"

Or:

"A not-so-sweet novel about murder by Mark Coggins"

If not that, then at least:

"A sweet novel about murder by Mark Coggins"

to deal with the plurality of the murders.

As I said last time, I do like the girl's leg in isolation, but this one has possibilities with some jiggering.
Thus ends Round III. Next up: the break-through design.

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