Care to help me decide on a cover my upcoming novel?

Here are 11 draft designs around five images. and here’s your chance to tell me if I’m on the right track. Note that these rough specs, and any final cover will need to be tweaked. Before I get into that, though, let me know how these strike you. Please take a look (clicking on a cover will open these in a slideshow format, if you wish).

After that, simply put your reactions and thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

  • Which one most strongly grabs your attention?
  • Which image do you like the best?
  • Do you have any thoughts in regard to where the title and author go on the cover?
  • Considering that this will be an ebook, which cover do you think is most effective in thumbnail size?
  • Should I start over? If so, any pointers?

Once a final choice comes into view, I’ll report back with your insights. Maybe even with more questions needing your help. Just what makes an effective book cover, anyway?


Thousands of lights.
Thousands of lights.

Each year the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, commemorates its gratitude for relief Boston extended in the aftermath of a deadly harbor explosion in 1917. The Canadians deliver a large Christmas tree, which is then erected and decorated in the heart of Boston.

The lighting itself is quite an extravaganza, as I learned the first time my choir participated in the event at historic Quincy Market. Imagine seeing yourself on the Jumbotron while you sing.

Boston is a rich and varied destination – the Hub of New England, or the Universe, as they used to say. Living a little more than an hour to the north, we’re well within its orb.

A perfect combination.
A perfect combination.


reading the inscription on your tombstone an abandoned road soon becomes impassible except on foot or horseback dumplings, broiled, steamed, and fried involving pork, chicken, Chinese cabbage, tofu. more ginger and any amount of garlic, scallions, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts a bronze bespattered snake coils elegantly through an alligator-skin sandal nothing funny about us, […]


a trio of Asian dancers a topless dancer in a red mask squats with a white banner a ring, as wholeness allowing the hole that opens opportunity white laundry in autumn yellow have enough for us, the good steward tide marsh as a frosted tangle the luxurious interior of a log cabin with plank floors […]


to lovers who were never quite present *   *   * good-bye in the night who never were lovers repeatedly saying good-bye in the night who never were lovers repeatedly saying good-bye in the present night who never were tubercular contortions or squiggles good-bye tubercular squiggles to lovers’ night repeatedly saying never quite contortions squiggles repeatedly […]