"Designing a book cover is great because you can treat it as a piece of packaging, a mini poster, corporate identity, something to use illustration on, or photography, be purely typographical, figurative or conceptual with just the right amount of type to play around with, have complete ownership; and even if you mess up totally, nobody dies.”
Q: Does putting a series of covers together offer more or less challenges?
A: I think a series of covers is much easier. Turd Theory (one of The Twenty Irrefutable Theories of Cover Design, written by myself and Jon Gray) works on the idea that in a scary world of disorder and chaos people are programmed to seek out repetition and order. So even the worst cover in the world, repeated 20 times in different colours of the rainbow will get you an award or two.
Adonis, the great Syrian poet, has reproduced and adapted one of the ancient Muallaqat (The Suspended Odes) originally written by Zuhayr. The reproduction is hand-written on a scroll of paper, and then painted on, thereby “creating a new and contemporary interpretation of the text.”
Sometimes when people say ‘show, don’t tell,’ what they mean is that they find the characters sympathetic, the story is moving forward, and they even like the conflict, but they just don’t like the way you wrote it.
What they’d really like to do is steal the idea and write it themselves, because honestly, they would do a much better job.