They say don’t judge a book by its cover, however, most people do. This is why I (and, more so, the determined cover artist Jordan Henderson, AKA George Cruikshank reborn) have put so much effort into making sure the cover to the Much Ado About Corona novel does the job of attracting readers—making them curious enough to read the synopsis, the prologue, the first chapter and then purchase a copy for themselves, devour it in one sleepless can’t-put-down night, and then buy additional copies for their friends, their boss, their parents, their police chief, their postman, their dog…
Okay, no dogs. Who knows what they’d do with it. But maybe a dolphin. In Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams revealed that dolphins were the second smartest creatures on Earth… after mice. (Humans ranked third place.)
Third place goes to Alerrandre, a designer I hired through Fiverr…
While I (and apparently 24% of those who voted) really like his use of the coronavirus in the title, along with superimposing Constable Mackenzie’s head in front of the title, something felt a bit too cartoonish about it.
Second place went to an old friend, and local artist, Monika Andrékovic, whose rendering won 25% of the votes….
Her inverted silhouette of a coronavirus in the letter C was more subtle and appealing than the overt coronavirus in the O. She also created the header logo for this site, using the same concept.
And first place also went to Alerrandre with his other design winning 39% of the votes…
As much as I really like the artistic use of a coronavirus in the other two variations, as far as a novel cover goes, I have to agree with the results of the poll and add my final vote to this variation. The simpler design seems to stand out more.
Dianne Flieschauer, from Golden Acres Farm in Ontario, who ran a sign painting company for nine years, wrote to say:
Yes, the other designs have some very attractive elements too, especially the playing with the letter C, but look at them all lined up and cover D pulls the eye to rest on the bold grounded book title lettering, prompted by the arms (holding hands) that form a V shape that points to the name. This puts the masked cop at the top and amplifies the mystique and curiosity that is necessary to interest people to buy….
Monika also submitted another cover design (that I did not include in the poll) which involved extracting and rearranging the elements in Jordan’s original painting…
I found this version very appealing in its simplicity. Of course, knowing how much time Jordan spent painting (and re-painting) the cover, I’d be afraid he’d drink a bottle of cadmium red or stab himself to death with a paintbrush if I were to crop his hard work down to these elements. I also much wanted the “lock down” backdrop the winning cover offers, plus the blue sky. That said, the close up of Constable Mackenzie’s eyes in this alternative rendering are very moving and shows off Jordan’s attention to detail and emotion. For some reason, this version makes me want to cry.
While not winning the book cover placement, this cropped version may still have a home. I might use it on the back cover of the novel. Another possibility is the audio book, as audio book covers are typically displayed in much smaller formats (in both catalogues and in playback applications). I also may use this version for a “behind the scenes” book I plan on publishing looking at the making and meaning behind the novel. And, today, we were even talking about a Much Ado bookmark using the image.
The cover finalized, there is still much design work revolving around the spine, back cover and dust jacket. And, of course, I’m finalizing the last revision (draft number fourteen) of the text. But it’s safe to say I’m at the top of the mountain (after 1,000 hours of work) and it’s all downhill from here (albeit a rather steep incline). My current goal is to have this dystopian love story released on Valentine’s Day (or, at the very least, available for pre-order).