Behind the scenes at Crossroad Press, an incredible amount of work takes place. There is scanning, proofing, formatting, soliciting narrators and authors, promotions, the store, uploading things to the various sites… and there are book covers. When I started Crossroad Press, I had to depend on a couple of people to help out by providing covers. They were not fast, and in the end the most prolific of them turned out to be a crook. Along the way, though, something very cool happened. David Dodd, who signed on years ago as my business partner, got hold of Photoshop and started figuring it out. Over the span of years he and I have worked together, he has now done more than 1300 book covers. Yes… 1300… that’s an incredible output, and he has also become very, very good at it. I wanted to take a moment and thank him for the work, and share some of those covers with all of you – his five favorites, my own five favorites, the two we agreed on … and as an added bonus, we both picked a “branded series” that we like the best as a group…First up, the two covers we both chose from all of those available:
We both chose the cover for John McIlveen’s HANNAHWHERE immediately. This is a Crossroad Press original novel and has done very well. You can reach the product page for this novel by clicking HERE or on the book cover. John now runs his own press, Haverhill House, where he is putting out some very attractive and interesting books. If you like supernatural suspense, Hannawhwere is a book you should check out. We have it in eBook formats, Hardcover, trade paperback and audio.
I added the Dark Fortune cover to our shared favorites after I saw it on Dave’s list. I see all of our covers, of course, but I’ve been head-down building the store lately, and this is a newer one, so I had not seen it enough times to get the full effect. The novel is classic supernatural horror, with Tarot cards, a mysterious old curio shop, a congregation full of people in “immortal” danger. The stuff that the genre was built on… You can reach the product page by clicking HERE, or on the cover … while you are there (either of these two of course) check out the links to other books by these authors, or in the same categories by following the links provided.
And now on to the two top five lists:
These are Dave’s top five, more or less. Remember that the two we both liked were among his top choices. There is one other choice not included here that is missing because it has not yet been posted in the store, and I wanted to be able to link to all of the products… The thing that works about these covers, for me, is that you can read the text at a thumbnail size… the images are sharp and clear – the colors complement one another well, and the placement of the text is proportionate to the background, symmetrical and balanced. I could imagine walking into Barnes & Noble and seeing these sitting right in with the best-sellers, and that (of course) is the goal, though Barnes & Noble won’t order from us… a story for another day. You can find the product page for each by clicking on the cover image.
My own five (not counting the two ties) are a different group… which is also part of the magic of a thing like cover art. No one is attracted to the same types of things. Two people can love and hate the same cover (and often do). The important thing is that it draws the attention of people browsing for a book – and that it presents the portion of the marketing information that is necessary. It does not have to include something that is a scene from the book, or a character… your readers in most cases do not have the information you do and would not catch the references anyway. It’s better to be striking. Here are my choices:
Each of these caught my eye at one point, or another, and then I came back to them. I find them compelling and love the composition. Stacked Deck is a perfect image for a hard-boiled mystery collection – The Plot looks like an off-the-newsstand best-seller ought to – the skyline, the intrigue… Irving Wallace would have been proud. Slightly Off Center – the image and the way it’s sort of fish-eyed give exactly the off-kilter feel Neal Barret Jr. evokes with his fiction. The Jazz is cyberpunk-ish and cool with just the right colors… and The Enormous Hourglass (now in production as an audiobook) just grabs me… no idea what the book is about from the image but I want to KNOW… and that is what matters. There were a few that almost made the list… I’m going to drop those below, and then the first in each of the two series brandings we chose – Dave chose “The Instruments of Death” series by Paul Dale Anderson – which is a great police proceural, forensic thriller series – and I chose the Whit Pynchon Mysteries by the late Dave Peneau. Links (of course) to the covers.
Honorable mentions and series branding:
We are hoping that all of you reading this will comment on the covers, and go to the ONLINE STORE to check out the rest of the more than 1300 covers Dave has done. Tell us the ones that you like. 2018 is going to be a big year for us, and there are many more to come. And while you are on any product page or anywhere in the store, use the handy link on the right to sign up for our newsletter!