A little more on covers

I care a lot about covers, and a small selection with very little text might illustrate why. Covers can make every difference in getting a book to jump off the shelf, and I often suspect word- driven editors of slighting the cover’s importance. Specialized knowledge of a cover subject can point to things your editor or publisher ignores. I always thought that putting a conventional “street pigeon” on the Pruett pb of Aloft kept all the pigeon fanciers from buying it!

Here I will show three late 20th century Goshawk covers, plus the original and the one that was on “mine”, the Wilder Places edition (no, I didn’t pick it). You tell ME what would get you to pick one up.

The first, English hardbound, front and back; three paperback editions; then the not very good cover on “mine.” Right or double click for bigger.

Finally, for comparison, the excellent Lyons pb of Edge (Quinn’s “Blue” my suggestion, but they designed it), and the hapless pigeon.

A new cover for Querencia- the- Book?

As my backlist comes up for reprint by Skyhorse, chances come up to change things; from wrong to right, from ugly to visually striking, or just from old to new (a new cover always catches my eye).

Querencia the book has always looked just fine, with its cover by Russ Chatham, its brilliant design, its quality paper. Most readers of this blog are happy with the esthetics of their copies, I trust. But with a whole new generation of reader, why not try something new? I collect TH White, and have first editions of almost all, but I treasure the interesting covers of the mass- market paperbacks of The Goshawk as they mix images from the 19th century up through some very odd ones in the Sixties to a near mistake on the last edition by the NYRB press, whose catalog featured Holbein’s portrait of Sir Robert Cheseman at the court of Fat Henry (VIII), with his Gyr on the fist! (This would have followed their edition of Baker’s The Peregrine with a Redtail). Luckily at least one person who knew hawks saw the mistake in an early catalog and raised the alarm. With the bit of power that came with having presented an edition once myself (in the Wilder Places line for Nick Lyons), I was able to let them know, and the edition is now graced by Liljefor’s Gos striking into a winter flock of blackgame, one of the finest paintings of predation ever done.

So I am hoping to persuade Skyhorse to do a new cover. No one is going to paint me a new one, and I wouldn’t insult Russell; the thing to go with, I am convinced, is something that evokes the melancholy and haunted beauty of our hard land, as Russell did in his painting. Here are five images, all by either me or stepson Peculiar.

The “covers” are arranged more or less from my favorite down, but please give me your votes and reasons why you prefer one to another. I may then do a post on your responses. And if this works, consider becoming my advisors on similar issues in the future.

Number three and number four courtesy of A. Jackson Frishman ; others by me. First and last on Henderson ranch a few miles out of Magdalena, where we hunt; others in town except for rainbow, taken on another big spread up in northern Socorro county, now subdivided for ranchettes not yet built. Or as Jack called it even pre- “Breaking Bad”, “Summer Storm over Meth Labs.”