A couple of weeks ago, I teased the cover of the upcoming sequel to Who Watches the Watchmen?, and now, it’s time to show the whole thing!
And here it is, the cover for Hidden Agendas!
Lots of secrecy and hiding implied there. I found the graphic of the hand and eyes on pixabay.com, where you can download and use public domain images for limited commercial use.
I’m no graphic artist, but I’m becoming more adept at using Canva to design covers for some of my smaller work. For my upcoming series of novels, A Perfect Hatred, I’ll be using professionals!
Pretty cool, and even more exciting is it should be ready for pre-ordering for your Kindle by Monday, October 16, 2017.
As I explained in the previous post, this sequel details a significant change for The Directorate. I didn’t know it at the time I wrote it, but Hidden Agendas perfectly sets up the story I want to write for this year’s National Novel Writing Month.
This year’s NaNoWriMo project has a working title of A Squalid Procession of Vain Fools.
I love it, right? But where does it come from, you ask?
I recently finished re-reading John Le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Toward the end of the book, the protagonist, Alec Leamas, is having a heated discussion with his former lover, who questions the ethics of spies. Taken back by her naiveté, Leamas says,
“What do you think spies are: priests, saints, and martyrs? They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes; pansies, sadists, and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.”
That second sentence stood out for me, and I decided it was a perfect working title.
What do you think?
And if I have a working title, I should have a working cover, right?
This cover holds a certain amount of symbolism as well. The final scene of The Spy Who Came in from the Cold takes place at the Berlin Wall in the 1960s. The public domain image I used for the cover is a portion of a photo of graffiti on the Wall before it came down.
I’m ready for November!
Despite all the studies otherwise, I rarely buy a book based on its cover art. The back cover blurb, plus a scan of several pages, is what sells me. I find many covers appear contrived or unrelated to the interior, that esthetics won out over a connection to the story.
As a result, my own covers have been minimalist. I prefer eye-catching, solid-color covers with simple, if any, graphics. I’m sure you’ll recognize these:
Then, I attended the Hampton Roads Writers Conference back in September and got quite a few statistics about how covers sell a book. Even a writer friend said to me, “I’ve been meaning to speak to you about your covers.” [Eye roll]
So, for my second novella, to be released on December 1, by the way, I decided to go non-minimalist. And here’s the cover reveal for the new novella, The Yellow Scarf, courtesy of selfpubbookcovers.com (Check them out; very reasonably priced.):
When I saw this cover on the web site, I recalled the final line of the novella:
“The bar’s rear exit led him to the deserted street, where the cold air cleared the last of the liquor from his head.”
With the yellowish/sepia tones on the cover, I couldn’t have found a more perfect fit. Even the outfit the man on the cover is wearing is very reminiscent of the character in the novella he represents. When the proof arrived and I saw the cover on an actual book, I remembered how I felt when my first book came out more than a decade ago and I saw the cover the publisher had designed. It’s as if your story has come to life, is tangible. The image formerly only in your head is there for all the world to see.
I don’t know if this cover will make a difference in how many copies are sold, but, actually, I don’t care because I love it.
I guess we’ll find out on December 1.