At long last, the cover is done. I’m absolutely thrilled by the results. Without further ado:

My initial desire had been something very different. I’d even gone so far as to commission custom artwork for it. But, I couldn’t find a way to make it effective as a cover. I chalk that up to my not knowing how best to communicate with the artist, and my failure to understand what makes a great cover. So, I decided to toss it over to professionals rather than try and continue to rely on my poor Photoshop skills.

Bookfly Covers had some great work in their portfolio, so I reached out to them with the intent of letting them start fresh, without any preconceived imagery. James put together a design that works from top to bottom. His choice to have the title reflect some of the qualities of the real Domino Sugar sign that overlooks Baltimore’s harbor was perfect. I asked to have the Bromer Seltzer clock tower added as another marker for Baltimore, and had him replace an image of a dragon (there’s no dragon in the novel and I didn’t want to confuse readers) with an airship (mentioned in the novel and part of the overall setting and ambiance) to signify it’s not just a noir mystery, but fantasy.

Domino Sugar sign at Baltimore harbor

I paid for the cover twice, but live and learn. I’m lucky I can afford to make such mistakes in my life right now. Next time, I’ll trust myself to stick to the writing and let professional designers handle the cover design. As much as I love custom cover art, sometimes it’s not the right choice.

Barring delays on the supply side and/or with the ARC, Shadow of a Doubt will be released on November 23rd, 2021.

Leave a Reply