by Libby Hellmann
My sixth crime fiction novel, DOUBLEBACK, will be published by Bleak House Books in October, and for me the most enjoyable part of the process is right now. With 4-5 months before the book is released, it's all possibility. The galleys are about to go out; promotion is underway; everything is still fresh and new. The struggle of slogging through the manuscript and revisions is forgotten; no reviews --disappointing or otherwise-- have come in; travel fatigue is just a concept. It’s much like the first day of school when you show up with new clothes, school supplies, and high hopes.
The only thing I’m uncertain about is the cover. I do know the right image (and font and colors) will grab readers. But I also know it’s subjective. What grabs me might not grab you. And I’m a writer -- not a designer or artist – so I really don’t know my ass from my elbow in terms of cover art. I was lucky with EASY INNOCENCE (its cover is on the right). I knew as soon as I saw the image that it needed – no had -- to be on the cover.
This time I’m not so sure. Below are some possible covers. I think the designer did a great job, and I like them all, but I’m not sure which is the most effective – each emphasizes different elements, sometimes subtly. So, can you help me out? Let me know which one(s) you like best and why. Both Bleak House and I will be listening -- the image with the most votes will indeed be the cover of the book.
Here’s what you need to know: DOUBLEBACK is a thriller that pairs both my series' protagonists, Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis. It starts with the kidnapping of a little girl in Chicago but ends in Arizona near the US-Mexico border.
Now for the covers:
#1A and #1B
#2 (the sand will look different, more Sonoran, like #3 or #4, and the title will be more prominent)
#4A and #4B
So, what do you think? Since this is a Chicago book -- at least in part-- you're welcome to vote early and often. Thanks!