Cover Story

A Book and it’s Cover

Don’t judge a book by its cover. A wise proverb, often applied to people more these days than books. When it was coined in the mid 1800s, book covers were plain – often merely the title. Today, however, the front of a book is carefully designed to signal it’s genre and attract the right audience.

So, a few months ago Lion-Hudson sent me suggestions for the cover art of my book – on the left. They were nicely done but felt a bit cartoony with a retro 50s scifi style. I did not feel they really reflected the tone or character of Pelagia.

I sent copies of their artwork around on email and social media and talked about it with family and friends – especially with reviewers who had read the manuscript.  Most agreed they were not quite representative of the story.

Counter Cover

My architect son Adam loves to sketch and draw.  He asked if he could try to come up with some alternate designs. Adam is an excellent artist, so I said ‘certainly’.

Within a week Adam had composed several stunning layouts and I sent them on to Lion as counter suggestions (not telling them who did them). To the right here is Adam’s rendering of a scene towards the end of the book: a Sea Wasp from the Marcelli Township returning to its base.

He also did one of the seastead vessel Ossë, on which the nomadic Battuta family live as they travel the Southern Pacific Gyre with their tuna stocks.

Got it Covered!

Lion was very impressed with these new designs and quickly accepted them over the original suggestions. Only then did I tell them they were done by my son. Proud to have his artwork on the cover of Pelagia!


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