Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More than One Way to Skin a Cover

I've been writing a lot about possible cover ideas for my forthcoming novel, The Big Wake-Up. You can review my previous ruminations on the theme here: one, two, three, four, five and six.

As you'll see, all my mock cover ideas involve photographs. But as Thrilling Detective editor and publisher Kevin Burton Smith points out, illustrations--even illustrations that feature "swirling, pulpish impressionism that harkens back to the days of public works programs and working class murals"--are another way to skin the cat.

For instance, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine sometimes features covers like that:

And all four of the books from Michael Stone's Streeter series, chronicling the adventures of Denver bounty hunter and PI Streeter have covers like that:

Heck, even The New Yorker:

and singer Aimee Mann have gone with covers like that:

Maybe that's not a bad idea for Bleak House Books and me to consider. Just saying.



At 12:16 AM, Blogger Sophie Littlefield said...

I love that New Yorker cover. Might well be my favorite ever. Wish I'd framed it. No, wait - wish I'd killed a guy by reading him to death - then tugging on my garters...

At 8:32 PM, Blogger J. Kingston Pierce said...

I love the cover illustration idea. Maybe you could get Owen Smith, who did those wonderful Maltese Falcon posters for San Francisco in the summer of 2008, to put together something appropriate--and definitely memorable--for The Big Wake-up's jacket.

More on Smith here:



At 9:35 AM, Blogger Picks By Pat said...

How's this for a book cover? A model dressed like the provocative sirens of the 40s, with classic noir hair style (something like the one worn by Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity) and her photo done in black and white, of course.

Holding a gun, of course. Yeah...a doll with a gun. Gotta love that for a mystery book cover!


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