Friday, February 8, 2013

JIHADI -- not the cover, but ...

We live in a visual world, and so one of the decisions you face while creating a book is what kind of visual marker to use for it.

People need to see something when deciding whether or not to read bits of your novel. Up to this point, I have been using a piece of public domain wallpaper in Arabic: the word JIHAD, in Arabic script, quite attractively laid out. A CIA agent's coming to terms with the one-dimensionality and prejudice connected to the English usage of the word JIHAD is part of what this book is about.

However, the novel is in English. Not Arabic. The foreignness and inaccessibility of the image, I realized, were not helping my cause, even though I liked the script and it served as a good writing prompt for me. I decided I needed to reflect the fact that the novel is about a CIA agent who, after converting to Islam, is left by his wife and ostracized by his peers.

So I changed the image I am connecting to this work in progress. Here it is.

I am NOT a credible graphic artist, but I do think this is an improvement. It's not the cover, and not not the cover. It might be a starting point for a discussion about the cover with someone who actually knows about cover design.