What’s in a Cover – 1?

In one of the Archies comics that I read as a child, there was an episode where Waldo Weatherbee is playing baseball. He is a plus-sized man and not many take him seriously until they see him hitting home runs. Jughead, who is watching this game, turns towards those who were not sure of Waldo being a skilful player, and says, “Never judge a book by its cover.” The coach supplements Jughead’s comment by adding, “or an athlete by his profile.”  

Those of you who have read Archies comics know that Mr. Waldo Weatherbee is the Principal of Riverdale High, the school where Archie and Jughead study.

I had mentioned in my blog ‘What’s in a Name?‘ that there is a story behind the cover of Love Swipe Blackmail. In that blog however, we were focused on the story behind the name. In this piece I will tell you the story about its cover.

So, the novel was christened, the next step was designing the cover. How tough can it be, we thought. When we designed, we realised how tough it can be. And this is where as author and as the production team, we are in the suspense of what will work and what will not. There is no way of knowing it until the proverbial rubber hits the road.

Now we really wanted to make Love Swipe Blackmail count amongst the top Indian suspense novels. And we knew the role that a cover could play in it. In many ways it was like ‘is this dupatta going with this slawaar-kameez, or is this t-shirt going well with this pair of denims’? I was wondering how they design the covers for mystery novels by Indian authors?

Gustaeu says anyone can cook. If you have seen the movie ‘Ratatouille’ you know that what he probably meant was that a good cook can come from anywhere. Likewise, folks, a good design can come from anyone or anywhere. Just be open to the ideas.

In this blog I have shared with you what mysteries were running in our minds when we started designing the cover. In the next one I will share with you the process of designing that we went through and will show you the cover we finally settled with.

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