Choosing a cover for a book is not easy. Conventional wisdom suggests that covers must signal genre, be recognisable and yet stand out on a table full of similar books. A glance at any bookshop display tells you that what this means is that all thrillers look the same, the only distinction being the name of the author, ditto for romance, women’s fiction and every other genre.
For the Letty Parker books I have gone down a different route. Being lucky enough to have the artist, Anuk Naumann, for my sister I give her a brief synopsis of the story and an idea of what I’d like to see on the cover and she comes up with her ideas.
For “Island of Fear” she sent three different pictures. I loved them all but one I felt did not quite work as a cover.
It was then a choice between the remaining two.
They both reflected the feel of the book but while one was a little too abstract, this one was perfect. It showed the pirate ship sailing into Discovery Bay where Letty will have to go ashore and brave duppies and dark magic to fulfil her promise to Hepzibah and solve the Harrington family mystery.
Once I’d chose I sent the image to Peter Coleborn at Penkhull Press who came up with the final design.