25th January, 2011

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, we all do. And really, that’s what the cover is for – it exists to advertise the book and to entice readers to pick it up and take a look. If, for a moment, you imagined your local bookstore stocked with nothing but books which used a generic cover template of black text on a plain white background, you would be totally lost.

I’ll admit, then, that I’m something of a cover nut. When I seek out a book on Amazon, I’ll often take a look at the other editions available, just to see if the book was ever printed with a better cover (if the current cover is a bit lame). Plus I also buy a lot of books from the US, where covers have undergone something of a renaissance and are now often better than their UK equivalents.

Earlier this week I was pointed to a new piece of cover art by one of my favourite book artists, Dan Dos Santos. This guy paints his covers in oils, and as his website shows, he’s a freakin’ genius. His new cover knocks it out of the park:

This is for My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland. Thanks to this cover, I’m definitely going to take a look. Which kinda proves my point about the purpose of covers, as looking at Diana’s website, she appears to write exactly the kind of urban fantasy that I have no interest in. On the basis of the covers of previous books on display, I wouldn’t give them a second glance in a bookshop.

But thanks to this killer book cover, I’m going to read her work for the first time. And who knows, if I like it, maybe I’ll try some earlier books.

Writing
Nothing yesterday thanks to a very busy day gig. I’m free today, however, so I should be able to catch up a little and finish draft 0 of The Wasp in the Lotus.

Project: The Wasp in the Lotus (steampunk/clockpunk novella)
Words today: 0
Words total: 19,827/20,000 (99%)
Total words for 2011: 44,308

Reading
Death’s Disciples continues to impress. I don’t need to say anything more except go the hell out and buy this book. Also, the cover is brilliant. See? Covers are important.

Books: some pages of Death’s Disciples by J. Robert King.
Comics: On hold until February.

  • That cover is great. I’ve just had a look at the artist’s website and he has done some really nice stuff, just the kind of art I like.

  • He’s good, isn’t he? Seeing fully painted covers is something of a rarity these days, with most covers photo-illustrations and assembled in Photoshop. But his work just reeks of quality.