Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cover Art

On behalf of BookYear Mysteries (a wholly-owned subsidiary of me), I am pleased to announce the publication of the fourth Henry Grave Mystery: Aleutian Grave.  

For tax reasons, specifically my intention to write off cruises as work-related activities, I had intended to finish this project in December.  But it didn't work out that way.  The first draft was deeply flawed.  Also, it was lacking in plot, tempo, character development, verbs, and font consideration.  So I spent four more months pounding it into shape.  And I'm pleased with the results.  

When it came time to thinking about the cover, I knew it had to have a cruise ship on it, but I'd already done that a few times, and I wanted to try something different.  Finally, I went with an old Russian stamp that I found online.  I bought the rights from a European image service, and then I went to work on it.  Below is the whole cover - wrapping around the spine.

Aleutian Grave explores crime in the Bering Sea. Henry Grave returns as an investigator for the Association of Cruising Vessel Operators. A World War II P.O.W., Henry is as cunning as he is charming, and at 85 years of age, he fits right in with his fellow passengers. The arctic exploration ship Nikolai Gorodish is cruising the Aleutian islands when a cabaret dancer named Rose DeSilva is found stabbed to death. More deaths will follow. But that’s only the beginning. Is there an an arctic demon on board the ship? Or is someone else cannibalizing the bodies of the dead? With the help of a horror film star, a Russian heiress, and an apprentice shaman, Henry draws on skills honed in a Nazi prison camp to track down a killer who might have his own reasons for taking this particular cruise, reasons unrelated to the sumptuous meals, delightful shipboard activities, and arctic ports of call. 

12 million people take a cruise each year.
Most have fun.
Some die.
Henry Grave investigates.

I had intended to have the Kindle version out today, but it didn't happen.  One of the chapters got buggy, as Kindle chapters do, but if you'd like to have a look at the relatively inexpensive print version, here's the link.  

I'll be doing a Kindle freebie promo shortly on the last book in the series - Grave Indulgence - in an effort to attract readers, that being the most effective way I know.  Any thoughts and advice on how to appeal to a wider audience would be welcome.


Charles Gramlich said...

That's pretty cool. I like that. It gives real feeling of time and age to the piece too, I think.

Liane Spicer said...

Congratulations on the new release, William! Liking the wraparound postage stamp concept muchissimo. Wish I had ideas to share on reaching a wide audience. Need some of those myself right now. :)

William Doonan said...

Thanks, Charles. That's pretty much what I was going for. It has kind of a far-away appeal, I think.

I hear you, Liane. Half the time I feel like I'm trying to master an antiquated skill, like setting type. By the time I can close to writing well, nobody will be reading anymore.

Sunny Frazier said...

Love the cover. Very unique.