Monday, 27 July 2020

New artwork for Gallows Court

Gallows Court: a gripping historical murder mystery set in 1930s London by [Martin Edwards]

Today - a cover reveal of a slightly unorthodox sort. The artwork for the UK edition of Gallows Court has been given a makeover. This is, in a nutshell, because Ed Bettison's cover for Mortmain Hall has received a great deal of acclaim. As a result, my publishers in Britain, Head of Zeus, decided that it would be a good idea to commission fresh artwork for the first Rachel Savernake from Ed. And this is the result. As you can see, it's very different from the original artwork, and very much in keeping with the approach that Ed adopted when working on Mortmain Hall.

I find this absolutely fascinating. I'd never appreciated the importance of book covers until that fateful day when a rep from my first paperback publisher, Transworld, told me that in his job they mattered more than the content! This came as quite a shock to a young novelist who'd just had his first book published. But even if he was exaggerating, there was a kernel of truth in what he said from a commercial point of view. Much as authors may not want to hear it, artwork is crucial in helping to market books, and is very relevant to the commercial proposition. And nowadays the artwork has to be effective as an online thumbnail icon as well as in reality. Not easy...

I must say that I did love the original artwork for Gallows Court, and the publishers went to a great deal of trouble in their efforts to get it right. They also did a brilliant job with the special limited edition, which didn't have a dust jacket, but was quite beautifully bound. The paperback cover was a sort of homage to the Crime Classics, and again a lovely picture. But much as I loved those first edition images (and I did), I must say that the enthusiasm with which readers and reviewers have, without any prompting, reacted to the Mortmain Hall cover has been remarkable. Hence this new look. 


1 comment:

TracyK said...

I do love the cover for Mortmain Hall. But this one for Gallows Court is really gorgeous. I like books almost as much for the cover as the content.