We had some last minute changes and suggestions for the cover this week. But in the end, we decided to go with the same design and just change the subtitle. It was Null_Pointer A Novel, now it’s Null_Pointer A Joshua Jones Mystery. This was done because when the book stood alone, you could not tell what genre it was. It looked techy and even sci-fi-ish, but it did not look like a crime novel or Mystery.
My options were to either put Mystery in the subtitle, or put blood on the cover. The design did not favor blood on the cover. Yes, bright red blood would have popped and drawn your attention to it, but it looked kinda silly. In fact it looked like a code ball had fallen on someone and that suggested content that did not exist.
Yes there is bloodshed in the book, but the preferred method for killing by the bad guy was with computer code, not a gun or knife. So to maintain the dignity of the book and the original meaning of the cover, I changed the subtitle instead of adding blood.
This decision is a critical one and it could cost me sales at the bookstore or on the web. But I had to remain true to the book and the audience I wrote it for. I did not write NP for traditional Mystery fans. I wrote it to lure Geeks into the Mystery genre. Geeks love their Science Fiction, but they typically don’t read crime fiction.
NP features a programmer as the amateur sleuth, instead of an old lady or whatever. It has a _lot_ of computer related technical information in it. The average reader will not be slowed down by these details, but they are in there to gain the respect of actual programmers and computer Geeks. Trust me, every programmer who has read the book has loved it and “gotten” all the geeky things in the story.
So begins the grand experiment. Will traditional Mystery genre fans read a book about a programmer sleuth and will Geeks be lured into the Mystery genre to read the same book? We shall see.
I ordered the final proof copy today and expect to have it next week. If it passes muster, I will approve it for sale and hopefully, by the end of the month you will finally be able to purchase a copy or two, for yourself.
The blood concept, done in ink and colored pencil. Below, the final wrap around cover.