Cheating, Death – cover preview

I’ve been working on the book cover for Cheating, Death, tweaking the copy, et cetera, and would appreciate any feedback you have.  Note that this is the full wraparound cover, so the front cover is on the right and the back cover is on the left, with the spine in the middle.

Click the image to see a bigger / readable version:

If you saw this cover, what would you expect from the book?  Would you want to read it?  Would you want to read Appendix Z immediately?  Any reactions & first impressions are appreciated.  Thanks.

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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.

8 thoughts on “Cheating, Death – cover preview”

  1. Oh, so is this a retrospective on FWYCR? Or a Prequil? (reading the back of the cover)

    I like the way the picture wraps around the book.

    When you post it on Amazon, are you going to do the “book preview” and make the zombie index viewable?


  2. My first impression of the cover art is that the most modern looking thing on it is the publishing company's logo. This book looks like something out of the 1970s. Unfortunately, cover art means a lot more today than it did in the 1970s (when the contents are what sold the book). I would suggest taking a look at modern covers and take note of the fact that they usually contain pictures of the characters, a specific spot of scenery, or a very detailed view of a special object in the book. “Detail”, as the mantra says, “is key.”

  3. Re: Amazon: I've tried to get Amazon to do anything particular with my books' pages, for years. I can't get them to respond at all. It's quite frustrating. If Lightning Source didn't push my books' descriptions & cover images through their channels, they probably still wouldn't be there. I would love to have search inside & look inside enabled for all my books. At worst, I'll put it in a “review” like I put more description in my “review” of FWYCR.

    This book covers roughly 1 day in Denver, starting where the zombie outbreak starts & following Melvin Spall's experiences during the outbreak.

  4. Hmm… An interesting take. For reference, I am definitely more interested in selling the contents than the cover – the new tagline I'm trying out at Modern Evil Press is “Books for people who like to think.”

    I quite like the idea that it looks like something out of the 1970s. I was looking at some vintage covers from the '60s and '70s just this morning & thinking that I'd like to do some covers like that for future books (or future editions of my existing books). I feel I'm quite a bit away from where I could be, but am glad that was an initial impression. If you look at my other book covers, all visible at, you may see that I have an intentionally minimalist aesthetic at work, and that I incorporate elements in my fiction book covers to extend the branding; these books look good together on a book shelf. I want the book covers to have the feel of “classic” or “timeless” books, and for you to want to keep them and to display them proudly on your book shelves.

    In case you don't read a lot of modern zombie books, the reaching hand has actually become shorthand to readers that communicates “zombie book” – it even works with Forget What You Can't Remember's cover, which is a relatively plain photograph of a completely normal hand; a lot of people know at a glance that there are zombies in it. Since it's a more detailed look at the zombie outbreak in that book (and I'll be trying to sell them side by side), I intentionally used a hand that was the opposite of FWYCR's cover – it is a light hand on a dark background rather than a dark hand on a light one, and is (either a left hand rather than right, or) reaching toward the reader rather than away. It's supposed to communicate a relationship with the other book, when they're together.

  5. I stopped myself there. I was getting into a bit of a ramble about all the care I put into designing the cover. I don't mean to come across as defensive; I'm trying to communicate my thinking. I do appreciate feedback, but I feel the only thing you said about MY cover was “it looks like something from the 1970s” and then went on to talk about something else, rather than to talk about the cover presented. It felt like I'd presented you a Lemon Pudding Cake and asked what you'd thought and after noting that it reminded you of the 1970s, you started talking about all the great chocolate desserts the restaurants are serving these days– instead of talking about the cake I'd made.

    It isn't helpful.

  6. It just occurred to me: Amazon customers don't normally see my back covers, anyway, for the same reason; Amazon won't respond to my inquiries. Because I'm being so bitter about it, I've just re-requested access to their “Inside the Book” program for the umpteenth time. Perhaps I shall hear back from them this time? Sigh.

  7. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be unhelpful, I suppose that I was beating about the bush in an effort to not be overly critical. If I walked into a bookstore, say Bookman's, and saw your book with this cover I would probably not pick it up. This is based on the fact that It does look like a 1970s cover, and the 1970's books I've read never did anything for me. As for your writing style, it isn't 1970 and is unique unto itself, but I wouldn't know that based on the graphics. As for the pluses to the current cover, I agree with Hillary, the wrap around cover is nice. The blues and darker colors are very nicely blended and the general haphazard placement of the headstones is appreciated.

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