On a freezing cold winter’s day in lockdown, too drizzly to even venture out for a Sunday walk, I started thinking about book cover designs. I’ll keep this post relatively short but I ended up with 3 designs and would very much welcome some comments, here, with regards to which one works best. Bearing in mind that when designing a book cover it is more than just a picture; more a shop window for promoting your master piece, so the balance of imagery text and colours is important.
Lethal Ties is a tense psychological thriller set in West Sussex.
Two characters, who met in a children’s home, share traumatic memories. But as they attempt to seek the truth and trace a missing friend, they are plunged into a vortex of online threats and intimidation… until a police investigation is launched.
The thinking behind this first design is fairly simple. Female lead character, Maisie, has a recurring nightmare, where she finds herself trapped in a forest. Staring up, she sees a circle of trees, the night sky just visible through the bare branches.
It is a chilling image and the lack of any other detail leaves an element of mystery, but is it too understated? Perhaps a little boring?
I was wondering if the inclusion of a character would make the cover more appealing. Sam, an angelic but vulnerable 11-year-old boy vanished in 1995, never to be seen again. But 20 years later, Maisie is haunted by a vision of a similar looking boy stood on a dark wooded roadside.
I’ve blended in the same trees image from the first design. My only concern is the boy in this photo and although he seems traumatised, he looks younger than 11.
This photo was taken by the same photographer (and could be the same boy) but the back-of-the-head image portrays a sense of departure. When Sam disappeared from Joe and Maisie’s lives they never knew what happened to him. The tree in the background is very evocative of Maisie’s nightmare, as if the two are connected.
But is this image attention grabbing enough to make you stop and look? What about the title and wording? Would it tempt you to read the synopsis?
Now the book has now been professionally edited and soon to go out to beta-readers I’d love to get some opinions on the three designs. Please leave a comment in the box below to reveal your favourite cover.