Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Cover Blues

I submitted the cover of Speedster to the cover contest at Joel Friedlander's website, The Book Designer, last month. I thought I would get some useful feedback, maybe some praise, and possibly some free publicity that would result in a few more sales. Judging by Joel's comments (below) my cover was not nearly so good as I imagined. That got me to thinking that the cover might be part of my problem. It's a well established fact by now that, in spite of the old saw that you can't, readers judge a book by its cover—especially the readers of ebooks. If that cover is confusing, inscrutable, and illegible, as Joel says mine is, it doesn't have much hope of attracting attention.

Jonah Gibson submitted Speedster designed by Jonah Gibson. “I had this photo of an Auburn Boattail Speedster that I took at a car show several years ago. I’d already excised the car and created a poster. When I finished the book, it seemed only natural to use the poster as a cover. It all just kind of fell into place.”

JF: An odd background choice, a car that appears to be flying, and typography that’s inscrutable and in some cases illegible

Legible, scrutable,
grounded, and red.
Is this enough? IDK!

Taking that thought to heart I have redesigned the cover for Speedster. Here is the new one.

I think it's better, at least insofar as it addresses Joel's misgivings about the old one. On the other hand, I clearly don't know a good cover from a mediocre one since I was pretty jazzed about my first effort. Maybe you can tell me how I did by leaving a comment. Or maybe this whole subject just bores you to tears, in which case I apologize for taking up your time and your bandwidth. Either way, if you got this far, thanks for listening.


  1. Hi Jonah
    It's been a while. Just catching up with old acquaintances who I remember had blogs with excellent writing (e.g., you). So here I am! Part of the catching up process involves going through oodles of old blog posts I've missed, which is why I'm at this particular one.

    Well, your second cover is far superior to the first. Good job! I, in fact, would be hard-pressed to conclude that both covers were done by the same designer. Major, major improvement, that second cover.

    I'll keep in touch...

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Eldon. I appreciate your effort and your kind words.


Comments are always welcome. Tell me what you like and what you don't. Information, encouragement, criticism--I don't care. A day where I don't learn something new is a day lost to me.