Saturday, 20 August 2016

Cover me!

They always say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

I have received both praise and 'stick' for my covers. Interestingly, the praise has always come from readers, who appreciate the nuanced designs, with their nod to original Victorian covers. This is deliberate ~ if you read the novels, they are not just fast-paced detective stories, but a 'homage' to the style of novels of that period, which I frequently reference as I go.

The 'stick' has come from various publishers who've approached me to ask if I'd consider letting them take the series over ON CONDITION that they changed the covers.
Original early Victorian book covers

The fact that you are looking at the new cover for Fear & Phantoms (recently published via Amazon in both book and ebook formats) gives you an indication of my response. Thanks but no thanks. My covers are designed by designer and friend Gina Dickinson, thus adding an extra personal dimension to them. They also have background pictures supplied by photographer friends I follow on Twitter. They are now published under the Little G imprint (my own). They are special and it is a joy to share them with you.
It always amuses me, when scrolling through Twitter, to pick out the 'I bought an off-the peg cover' people. It's so easy to do. Frequently you see the same muscled bloke or shapely young lady with accompanying pout in different settings, and wearing different clothes depending upon the genre. There seems to be a smallish pool of cover models out there. And although many of the cover suppliers SAY they do not re-use a design once you have bought and paid for it ~ they do. Believe me. Seen it with my own eyes, Guv.

So I shall continue to have my own bespoke covers, using Rosewolf Designs and referencing Victorian ideas and scenes until I run out of ideas. And if you are interested, here's the blurb for the new book:

When a young man's body is discovered buried deep beneath the winter snow, Detectives Stride and Cully little realise where the discovery will take them. Is his murder a random, one-off event, or could the death be linked to the mysteriously elusive individual who has already brought down one of the City's long-standing private banks?

Mishap, misunderstanding and mystery dog their footsteps as the Scotland Yard detectives find themselves in very murky territory indeed, at times struggling to keep their heads above water in the umbrous underworld of murder and financial fraud. Can they unmask the dark brutal mastermind lurking at the centre of it all, before he strikes again?

A taut, gripping historical crime novel that lays bare the dubious practices of the Victorian banking businesses and entices the reader into the shady world of high-class gambling houses, where fortunes can be made or lost on the luck of the cards.
In the great tradition of Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this sharp witty series of detective novels brings back to life the murky gas-lit world of Victorian London

Grab DIAMONDS & DUST, the first in this electrifying series.

Praise for HONOUR & OBEY: 
“Carol Hedges has again delivered a book which is written to be devoured in one sitting.” ~ A Woman’s Wisdom

Praise for DEATH & DOMINION:
''I love Carol Hedges' portrayal of atmosphere .... and her gift for conveying exactly what a character is like.''   ~  Rosie's Book Review Team

So that's my cover philosophy. That's how I roll. How about you ~ what makes a 'good' book cover? And can you really judge a book by it?


  1. Call me what you want but I love the colour

    1. I call you a man of great taste and discernment!

    2. Thank you. I know at least one who wouldn't sign this.

  2. I love your covers, Carol - they fit the books. And of course we can't please all the people all of the time!

    1. Absolutely! And at least it's MY choice...and not a former publisher's.

  3. Love yours. My publishers refused the lovely cover I'd had designed for my Edwardian. There are times...

    1. I think publishers like to keep it all 'in-house' see my blog!

  4. I love and admire your continuing success with this series, Carol. The covers convey exactly the right nuance of Victorian England in all its glory!

  5. I also like the classic simplicity of your covers, Carol. They fit the period of your books beautifully. It's interesting that covers generate so much 'opinion'. In the past few years, I've entered a number of my books for a particular award and in the judging, the covers are given as much weight in marks as the content and editing. Sadly, I always lose points on my covers, but I don't care now. I choose covers and fonts I personally like. Yours have become identified with your books too, so that's great. When I see one of yours, I immediately know what it is. As Anita says, they convey Victorian style perfectly!

  6. I too love the style of your covers. You've created a Signature style, recognisable at a glance. Isn't that what advertising always strives for? And don't the big advertising companies charge big bucks to provide just that? Well done.


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