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It’s here – the cover of “Portraits of Pretence” has been finalised!


Like the other three Sam Plank books, it consists of several elements: the title, the background image and the foreground image.  The title was all your work, so thank you for that.  The background image was reasonably straightforward: I knew that I wanted an auction catalogue, so I found images of suitable ones and my fabulously talented cover designer created his own version, which looks very fine.  But the foreground image – readers, what a palaver we have had with this one.

To be fair, some of the fuss was of my own creation.  In my initial brief to the designer, I said that I wanted a miniature portrait of a little girl of about five.  But I wrote this brief before finishing the book, and the little girl portrait became less important to the plot in later drafts.  Plus, when I looked for suitable images, they were all a bit saccharine for my taste.  Moreover, when the poor designer did a mock-up of the cover with one of these images, it looked wrong because the three earlier Plank covers have full-length figures on them, not just head and shoulders.  Wording it as carefully as I could, I said that I didn’t like the girl, and moreover, I wanted an altogether less wholesome image to reflect the plot changes.  In short, I wanted a woman in the nude.

Now this is tricky when it comes to Amazon and Facebook, because they are rather puritanical in their tastes, so the search was on for a nude yet tasteful woman, in a line drawn format that could be adapted for foreground use.  (I’m not sure on the technicalities, but I know that colour images are harder to turn into lines, and some images are difficult to divorce from their backgrounds.)  My cover designer, trouper that he is, threw himself wholeheartedly into this new search.  And he came up with this young lady and – here’s the clever bit – found that the title could be positioned to obscure her derrière.  Thank goodness you were far-sighted enough to choose a title of the correct length – anything shorter might not have worked.

As far as the publishing process goes, I have now uploaded the interior and cover files to CreateSpace and am awaiting the result of their initial scan.  (Quietly confident, as I’ve done this before.)  Then I can order my author copy, which should be with me within the fortnight, and then – if all is well with that – I can order the copies that I will want to distribute on publication day, 21 October.