Sunday, 24 February 2013

Go Ahead and Judge a Book...Part Deux

So here it is, the cover for the new book.  I have to say, I'm delighted with it.  The skyline you can see through the open window is, in fact, Dublin.  I love this fact.  It brings what's inside the book and what you see on the cover together in some way I can't explain but which works.

I'll say it again:  Emma Barnes, the cover designer over at Snowbooks is a pro.  We went through four or five drafts total, with New Island kindly letting me look over each one and kick in my two cents.  Some of what I suggested was taken on board, some of it wasn't and thank God for that!  I suggested adding blood, a la Peeler. Bad idea.  It's not that kind of book, though it is bloody in places...  I suggested this font or that font.  I was ignored.  Rightly, properly, and strategically ignored.  But isn't it my work?  Shouldn't I know what's best in a cover enshrouding my precious work? No, actually.  Not at all.

You see, writers write.  I know something about writing, something about what's inside books--novels, anyway.  When it comes to cover art, I know what I like, as the saying goes.  But what book designers/cover artists and publishers know is why I might like what I like. It's not an exact science, obviously, or every author would have sales like James Patterson or JK Rowling, but there is much expertise employed in the presenting of the product being sold in the form of the packaging.  I know, I know, I hate that way of speaking about books, novels in particular.  They're art, they expand the consciousness, tap the senses, mine the emotions and...they only do these things if people bleedin' buy them.  And people buy books based on the cover art.  Not always and not alone this, but often.  I do it and you do it too.  The packaging is important and, though I know what I like, I really know nothing about what sells books or why.  So I leave that to the experts at New Island and Emma Barnes over at Snowbooks.  Blood you say?  Ummm, yeah...we'll look into it...


  1. Dear Mr.McCarthy,Having read and greatly enjoyed "Peeler",I tried to access "Irregulars" from Amazon.It was shown to be unavailable.Has distribution been delayed? Best Alan Klaw New Mexico USA

  2. Hi Alan, Thanks so much for your comment. Irregulars is somewhat 'delayed' though it will be out at the end of the month/first week of May. I actually just finished final proofs and returned them to the publisher. I'll announce here on the blog when it is imminent. Thanks again for your kind words and I hope you like Irregulars! By the way, I'm delighted to have a reader in New Mexico. I have only ever driven through but what a beautiful place. Cheers, Kevin

  3. got Irregulars for kindle. what a superb book. Loved the Sean/Nora storyline, please let us see more of the characters in another book. Would love to see Sean and Nora back together.

  4. Great, I'm delighted to hear you liked it! I may just do that, alright. I really like NOra myself. She's tough but human, brave but not heroic, I guess. Cheers!