Finally, a Book Cover Almost as Ugly and Phallic as “Beyond The Beyond” May 1, 2013November 12, 2010 by Lee Goldberg
2 thoughts on “Finally, a Book Cover Almost as Ugly and Phallic as “Beyond The Beyond””
Glad you’re back, Lee.
Covers…hmmm…uhhh…. There’s cheesy, cheesy-good, and cheesy-bad. In any case, to paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis, no matter how you slice it, “there’s a whole lot of cheese goin’ on!”
But then, I like simple: a basic color like white, a title with an object in it at the bottom, the author’s name at the top, like Graham Greene’s covers.
Some titles I like are, and I’m making these up based on Sherlock Holmes story titles:
The Seven Orange Pips
The Three Gables
The Speckled Band
The Orange-Haired Man
The Engineer’s Thumb
The Emerld Ring
The Yellow Face, etc.
One simple clear image on one simple primary color.
I’ve been thinking about book covers, and I realized there was another aspect to a successful cover that I had left out: a subtle sense of place.
The covers for the “Diagnosis: Murder” books work well. I really like them. There is the basic primary color of white; a photo of Dr. Sloan smileing; and behind him, a sense of place. And that’s the x-ingredient that makes it good, for me. I had forgot that on Graham Greene’s covers, the graphic almost always suggests a sense of place.
The novel as an art form seems to thrive on a sense of place. Dicken’s London, for example. One of the very best writers who convey a sense of place is Arnold Bennet. See “Riceyman Steps,” for example, which has a superb Act 1. So, along with an object on a cover, I think it needs some background that indicates place. The cover becomes an invitation to the reader to enter this interesting world.