Who ever said you can’t judge a book by the cover (does everyone start this article like this?) was only half right. Its true, but people still do. A crappy cover can ruin your book’s chances before its even published. You need something striking for people to pick it up among all the other books. Fortunately, my publisher, Bloomsbury, have always come up with stunning covers. ‘The Auslander’ has a great cover, courtesy Bloomsbury designer Kate Clarke and design company Blacksheep.
When it first arrived, as a proof, I was a little worried that the running fellow looked too modern – a bit too ‘Indie bass player’ – but they fiddled about with the image and got him looking a bit more 1940s. I love the graphics on the cover – that creepy red glow and the slightly decrepit edging – it's sinister, which is just right – it’s a real-life sinister topic. I wanted the unfathomable evil of the Nazi regime to be transparently apparent and the cover captures this well.
I think its been a real success, that cover, because several other publishers have used it too – in Italy, Germany and Spain, for example.
Curiously, my French publisher went for this:
And my Dutch publisher went for:
The British paperback cover is great too – quite different but still capturing that mixture of ‘World War Two Historical’ and ‘major sinister goings on’, which sums up the book effectively.
You make up your own mind about which one you think is best.