Judging a book by its cover — MASH UP cover creation.

The eBook cover for Mash Up is ready (and the book is close behind). Covers are fun to work on, but have special challenges for eBooks, so I thought it might be fun to talk about this one. The first challenge is creating something that can be read when displayed small on the web, usually against a white background, and yet stand out when shown beside a list of other books. Here’s the Mash Up cover small:

fc1-frame166The title and author’s name are clearly visible, yet the key elements of the cellist, knife, white page are also recognizable. This is a balancing act between detail and size.

Challenge number two requires that the cover look compelling on the black-and-white display of Kindle Paperwhite and other such devices. The black-and-white, high-contrast film-noir, almost chilling effect helps say “Suspense Novel.”

MU kindle size bw

The primary challenge, though, is the design of an image that is appealing and memorable, while saying something intriguing about what’s inside the book (and not looking like every other cover you’ve ever seen). Mash Up is about two detectives (Kandy Dreeson and Qigiq, the Alaskan detective you met in RATS) chasing what appear to be hate crimes against musicians; in particular, a young cellist studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of music. So we see the cellist in repose (sleeping?) in intimate contact with her beloved instrument; leaning onto a knife blade held by an unidentified hand; over a blank sheet of paper, which itself floats above a gray sky punctuated with mathematical symbols.

If we’ve done our job, you have at least a slight urge to open the book and read a few words—click here to preview the first two chapters. And watch for Mash Up in December, 2013. (Sign up for the New Releases newsletter if you would like to be notified when it’s available). Thank you for visiting; your interest is much appreciated.

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