Book Cover To Be Or Not To Be!




A Book Cover To Be Or Not To Be!

A Book Cover To Be Or Not To Be?

I’m told by so many people that a cover can make or break a book, in terms of drawing readers to it. Of course, the content goes a long way in deciding whether or not success comes its way.

Having just finished my 12th book, A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery, having worked within the constraints of Create Space for all of my book covers, the two shown above are those that come close to my parameters – Title on one line, Sub-Title on one line, Author on one line, and the image of Evil pretty much captured. Any other ‘theme fonts’ used would put the first three items mentioned on two lines. So, I came up with these two choices: one, bold, dark, and hard in visually presenting the book; the other, soft and rather elegant in its visual appeal.


 I’m still processing cover designs but thought you might be willing to comment on the two covers presented here and give me your thoughts. Label the top darker cover ‘A’ and the lower softer cover ‘B’. Or, just tell me to keep working on a cover. Those of you who might be reading this on Goodreads or my personal website (Weebly), please go to for a look at the covers. Thanks so very much.

It is ultimately the content between the covers of a book from which the reader will render a final verdict, but a visually attractive glossy front can be a good draw. If you have the time and inclination please leave a comment if you like the covers shown here or whether I should keep exploring.

Speaking of content, here is an early sampling from A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery:

When I raise myself for a look-see, the site appears under siege. Much of the shooting is coming from an interior villa, and through the moonlight and gun flashes I can see bodies, some moving, some on the ground, probably dead or dying. To my surprise, on one of the balconies in building 3 to my left, there is a machine gun set-up. The firing that reaches my ears is coming from pistols, semi-automatic rifles, and AK-47s. Clearly there is a strong presence of lawmen, Federales, and there are bad guys with guns, most assuredly members of the cartel.

Suddenly there are other sounds. Three Blackhawk helicopters dip and roar in from the sea, the guns aboard shooting down on precise points of the resort. It is all alarming and dramatic, like I’m privy to filming of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie…my mind stupidly thinks of “True Lies.” I’ve had some action and drama in my day but nothing quite as panoramic as this. The early morning sky, the color streaks from the ammo display, the distant town lights of the Pueblo del Mar port, and the shadowy figures flickering by on the ground below me, all are vivid Technicolor at its best.

For long moments I watch the battle play out, more mesmerized than gripped by fear. Somewhere behind me I hear Wendy calling me… I yell back, “I’m coming!” but stay fixed for more moments watching the gun display far down on the eastern edge of the resort’s grounds. Then I notice moving figures getting into a van and dashing toward the front gate area, more figures climbing over an 8-foot stucco wall to the neighboring resort.

As the rapid firing slows to periodic bursts I rise and discover that Wendy is crouched behind me at the arcadia doors. “What are you doing, Wen? Get inside, please!”

She gives me an instant reply: “You can’t figure bullets can bend and reach us up here, Bailey-cakes. But, then, I was always more swift of mind than you.”

“Point made, Genius, but stray bullets can and has hit some of our towers. That scattering shrapnel can harm and maim.” I grab her by the arm, and we move inside, close, lock the doors, and sit on the sofa in our great room. There are now faint, sporadic rounds of fire but it is my guess that the show is about to wind down… Of course, my clever wife has beat me to that conclusion.

Stunned by this early morning anomaly, my thoughts turn to our homeowners and resort staff. I have to find out more clearly about the health of our people and just what the hell is going on. (End of sampling.)

In case you can’t read the back cover of the first sample cover (‘A), I repeat it here:

Former sleuth Bailey Crane and lovely wife Wendy are enjoying their penthouse pleasures until a cartel sting operation at their Mexican resort brings chaos and emotional uncertainty into a blurry reality. Wendy is kidnapped, and Bailey faces the demons running loose in his mind as he struggles with his choices. Also President of the resort’s HOA, Bailey has not only kidnapping and murders with which to contend, but other problems which add to this suspenseful chapter in his life. The surprising end point brings back to Bailey and Wendy those memories better left in the memory vault. 

An exciting, intense thriller in the sand and cacti of Mexico’s Sonoran desert by the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

This is the final Book 6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’.

Evil can be so common as not to be seen.

A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery will be published in mid-July, 2014.

One final word about A Common Evil – A Bailey Crane Mystery, my wife and I lived in the lovely falsely named resort depicted in this novel. While the book is a work of fiction there are many elements of truth here as well. In fact, one of those truths was the real inspiration for the book. It is my hope that you watch for the publication of A Common Evil mid-July, 2014 (next month). I hope also that you will enjoy this suspenseful tale.

Each book in ‘The Bailey Crane Mysteries’, though showing the natural progression of the central character, stand alone and can be read independently – that is, there is a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion. The books in the series, some inspired by true events, are meant to be not so convoluted. Hopefully entertaining to the readers, the books allow the author through his characters and plot lines to muse, wander in his thoughts on life, while staying focused on the business at hand.

There, I have had my say!  

Billy Ray Chitwood – June, 2014

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14 thoughts on “Book Cover To Be Or Not To Be!

  1. I like yellow, but the picture is too small. For cover “A”, the darker cover, try a shade of blood red in place of the black for the lettering.
    I’m familiar with the limitations of CS Cover Creator, but if you want to make your own front cover, they have a template for that. Look up for put the title, etc. over the whole picture for the front cover. Just a thought.


  2. The top one (A) is much better. I’d change the font for the title. The one you are using is elementary schoolish. The elements of the design I think work are the eye patch and the cross bones. I’d enlarge the eyepatch and a mysterious looking guy behind it and use that as your centerpiece (well, off-center is better). Put your title in the eyepatch. etc. Subtitle is good where it is. Have fun!


  3. Bill, I prefer “B” because of the color and it is more consistent with the other books in the series (isn’t it? I’m trying to remember). It reminds me of “The Reluctant Savage,” which is good, I think, just because it’s your body of work. However, the Jolly Rogers flag reminds me of pirates, which is misleading for your new book. Is there an image that would better capture the drug cartels?


  4. I actually liked the cover you emailed me, Billy Ray; I feel that it is better than either of the above: the image is better, and the cover as a whole has much more ‘drawing power’. I’m sure it will be just great.


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