Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard about not judging a book by its cover. But it can sure give you a good idea of what to expect inside. And that’s why I’m excited about the cover my publishers designed for my mystery, Chasing the Case. You can see it above. Here’s the story behind it.
Chasing the Case is my first mystery and the first in a series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. after she gets canned from her newspaper. With time on her hands, she decides to solve the disappearance of a woman 28 years ago from her town of a thousand people. It was also Isabel’s first big story as a rookie reporter.
She has a Watson, her 92-year-old mother, who lives with her. And she takes a part-time bartending job at the local watering hole where she can get up close and personal with those connected to the case. Yeah, things are not just sweetness and light in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts.
So, how do I project that to potential readers? That’s where Laurence and Steph Patterson, of Crooked Cat Books, come in.
When I signed onto the publishing house, I was asked to suggest an idea for a cover. Given the title and a pivotal scene in the mystery, I thought of a woman running through the woods as if she’s giving chase or being chased.
But Laurence and Steph came up with a better idea.
Besides the images of women running through the woods available to us were athletic-looking babes in sporty gear. They were all too young to be Isabel, who, as the French say, is une femme d’un certain âge. Another consideration: the story takes place in the fall/early winter.
Laurence and Steph researched other book covers in my genre and considered what style would fit the mood of Chasing the Case and set the theme for its sequel, Redneck’s Revenge, which will be out this fall. They sent me sample images and encouraged me to look for my own.
The one image that intrigued me from the get-go was of a woman walking along a path — or it could be a dirt road. The air is dusky or foggy in the black-and-white image. It could be just before the sun breaks in the morning or after the sun sets in the evening. Without spilling any secrets, it could be a crucial scene in the story.
We went back and forth a bit. I showed the image to two friends who had read the book. I kept looking at other images.
But nothing was as good as that image.
Once I gave the go-ahead, Laurence and Steph came up with the wording and design. My name is in a dark red on top.
I love it.
And it appears those who have seen it on social media do as well. What especially makes me happy is that it is appealing to both men and women. Yes, a woman is the central figure, but I am hoping anyone would want to read it.
(By the way, my first two adult novels that I self-published — Peace, Love, and You Know What and The Sweet Spot — were designed by Michelle Gutierrez. A talented designer, she read both books before coming up with their great covers. You can find them on Amazon.)
So what’s next? There’s more work to be done before we hit the switch on Amazon and elsewhere for the eBook and paperback editions. We have a release date of May 18. You can pre-order the Kindle edition before that and it will pop into your device that day. But — smile — the paperback for Chasing the Case can be bought before that.
I will keep you informed without being a pest about it.
By the way, here’s the link to Crooked Cat Books so you can check it out and learn about its other authors and their books.