Let’s have a look at your … oh.

Let's have a look at your ... oh.

The evolution of a novel cover: On the left is the original cover for the First Edition, designed by an actual graphic designer. I think it looks great, although I don’t know if a dead deer in the road would actually get painted over, but hey, it was my first book publication — I was happy as a pig in [poopy].

But when it came time for the Second Edition with a new publisher, I said to myself, “Self, let’s get a new cover out there, something closer to the edgy subject matter of the book. How about a “grungy” typeface and a new, more gruesome “animal carelessly painted over in the road” pic…

It was a great idea in theory, but in practice… meh. The type just looked slapdash, and the part at the bottom with the five most important words in the English language — “a novel by Sean Hoade” was too close to the edge, but really couldn’t move without overlapping my dear departed armadillo. It looked like [poopy].

So I threw the baby out with the stitch in time, and counted my chickens before they hatched. (I’m not good with those sayings.) I went for a typeface the kind they used to use on 1950s advertising posters and propaganda about the atomic bomb and the Red Menace and such. Still with the bold yellow because HELLO IT’S BOLD YELLOW.

I found that by blowing up the size of the type and also rotating my name 90 degrees that it took on a feeling of urgency. “A novel by” was gone — now the canting of my name letters was all a reader had to go on. It’s just so very THERE. So incredibly PRESENT.

Now I move on to formatting the interior again, a tedious process made more tedious by my complete lack of patience. Luckily, Ann keeps me in line, and she’s a book packaging professional like for real, so I listen.

Any thoughts about the new cover? I’d love to hear them.


2 thoughts on “Let’s have a look at your … oh.

  1. Covers are always such a tough dilemma – particularly as the image itself is only part of it. Nothing against your new cover but for some reason I like the original more. I think it’s because you can see the road stretching away (draws you in more) and the vehicle approaching adds a bit of drama. The dead deer is also a bit more central so it’s a better focus – and again because it’s a bit further away draws the eye in.
    Although your name is definitely way too small on the first. (I agree, though, that ‘a novel by..’ is superfluous.

    • Thank you for the input! Yes, the old cover had the advantage of being made of constructed elements (the deer, the RV) where the new cover is an actual photo that I’m using, so I’m fitting stuff in around it. I remember that the designer of the first one, who had never done a book cover before, didn’t like how small the text for my name was on the final cover, but by that time it was a fait accompli and we lived with it. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

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