Monday, July 18, 2011
Getting Oriented, The Cover
My novel, Getting Oriented: A Novel About Japan, is now available on CreateSpace. I know from my experience as a magazine editor and as a business book writer that the cover is the most important element in engaging potential readers. If the cover looks amateurish, if they cannot read the type, few readers will take the next step which is to read the blurb about the book or pick it up and read the first couple pages.
Getting Oriented is, on one level (the most superficial) the story of a 12-day tour in Japan. The group begins in the old capital, Kyoto; travels to a traditional inn in Hakone, a resort area in the mountains south of Tokyo; spends a night in Nikko, the site of the most lavish temple complex in the country; and winds up in Tokyo. How do you illustrate the diversity of traditional and modern Japan?
My friend Susan Brier, who is a brilliant graphic artist, and I talked about various possibilities. I wanted something that said "Japan" and, ideally, something that said "travel." After discussing the options, we came up with the idea of a bullet train (something my characters actually ride during the course of the story) passing Mt. Fuji. Susan was able to find a color photograph of exactly that and, without having to manipulate the picture, use it as the cover. I believe both the book's front and back covers reflect the quality I wanted the book to represent. I will be interested to hear what, if anything, readers say.