Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Candy Cover, Final Round

I've been talking about the evolution of the cover for my forthcoming novel, Candy from Strangers. In this final post on the topic, I'm going to show off the design my publisher, Bleak House Books, ultimately settled on.

The break-through came when Bleak House decided to use a photographic "contact sheet" layout for all the books in the series. The images in the contact sheet would change based on the specific themes in each book--The Immortal Game, for instance, used chess pieces and sexy shots of various female body parts--but repetition of the contact sheet layout would serve to tie the books together visually (and perhaps encourage repeat sales across the series).

The images used for the Candy cover are suggested of ones that might be displayed on a "cam girl" site, but also, in the case of the image in the second row where the woman is hunched over with her hands clasped above her head, convey a brooding sense of dread. And if you look carefully enough, you will see that the woman is covering a tattoo on her back in several of the photos, which speaks to another of the themes in the book.

Finally, the dollar sign for the S in strangers and the heaven and hell coloration are retained from the earlier concept covers, with the pictures at the top of the cover tinted blue and the ones at the bottom tinted red or pink.

The back cover looks like so:

The images from the front are repeated, but most of the real estate is given over to blurbs from Joe Gores, David Corbett and Marcia Muller. The shorter Michael Connelly blurb is on the front cover, where it takes the place of one of the contact sheet photos.

We went through six concept covers before we arrived here, but I'm very pleased with the final result. I'm also pleased with Bleak House's willingness to invest in the process.

Next Up: Real Time Blogging

Most of the posts I've done on the blog to date describe past activities associated with the development, sale and publication of Candy. With the October 1 release of Candy rapidly approaching, I'm now going to switch to "real time" and write about things as they happen. Stay tuned as I bit my nails waiting for prepublication reviews.


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