Okay. I was working with potential cover art for my work-in-progress, Mailboat. First, the paragraph summary:
Bailey Johnson landed the coolest summer job ever: mail jumper on the historic Lake Giovanna Mailboat. Falling into the lake is pretty much a hazard of the job. Finding a dead body underwater is pretty much not. Turns out the first victim was only the ripple before the storm.
Now the cover art. I have two versions right now. You ready? Tell me what you think.
I know. Variations on the same theme. Still plenty of tweaking I could do, but they both seem to capture the essence of what I want. The water. The tree-lined shore. The mirror-like calm. And then I just sort of jar the whole thing with a blood splatter. Haha. Such a me thing.
The photo on the left is one I took on a camping trip last summer at Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota. The serenity of the photo is breathtaking and does an outstanding job of expressing the get-away-to-the-lake feel of the story’s setting.
The photo on the right was from just a few nights ago. Literally looked out my window, saw the awesome sunset, and ran down to the river. Yeah, it’s a river photo, not a lake photo. (Pity.) And it’s a shame there aren’t more trees. But you can’t beat the drama of that cloud cover. The photo is still unspeakably serene–and yet it hints at brewing danger.
Neither one of these designs is final. I’ll keep exploring shorelines and sunrises and sunsets, looking for that perfect shot. Maybe one of these is it. Maybe it isn’t.
But I do want to finalize a cover design as soon as possible. The story is already gaining interest wherever I mention it, and I’d love to have some bookmarks to help people remember the title.
So tell me your opinion. Which cover design do you vote for? And does either one even look like a novel you’d pick up and read? Thanks in advance!