Dare to be different

How many people envy the ordinary? Think about the film stars you idolised as a child, or now even. Think about the bands and the singers that have caught your imagination. Or the TV personalities that get the greatest following on social media and the biggest spreads in the gossip magazines.

I’m willing to bet that most of them have something extraordinary about their look or their behaviour, something that stands out, over and above sheer talent. Perhaps that was what attracted you in the first place?

Image catches the imagination.

So much goes on when you first see someone or something, those split-second judgements can make you walk away or rush to buy. It’s no wonder that a successful image is quickly imitated (the sincerest form of flattery, right?) and a trend is born.

One of the toughest decisions for me in publishing my own book was around the cover art. Do I go with the flow… which in the current crime fiction market means a darkish background, maybe with the silhouette of someone in the background and a splash of red somewhere, or do try to find my own style?

In the end it came down to ‘fit’. None of the current trending cover styles fit my story. I wanted a cover that conveyed the basic premise of the plot. Without giving the game away, it all came down to unmasking a murderer, and given the title ‘A Confusion of Crows’, using the crow mask fit perfectly. Though I gave in to the splash of red with some of the text.

Even now, I confess I’m still not sure I did the right thing. My cover may not slip seamlessly in with others in the same genre but at least I dared to be different.

Only time will tell whether it was a strategy that paid off. But, suffice to say, it’s one I’m following for my next publication due out this Summer.


Photo courtesy of David Spinks (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode) Minor modification to re-size to fit

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