Smoke and Mirrors – Acer Sansom #3

Smoke and Mirrors 0602 (Medium)

Yeah, OK, I know it’s a bit ‘in your face’ size-wise, but for its first showing I think that’s allowable.

I really like the covers for all of my books. I have no regrets or what ifs regarding any aspect of any of them. I think the fellow who does my cover design does a great job. While we’re at it, he’s very easy to work with, very reasonably priced, happy to listen to suggestions and make any number of revisions to pander to the ‘creative’ input of me. He is Kit Foster you can find him here: 

I think that professional cover art is one of the most important aspects of ebook publishing. As Kit says on his website…because we all judge a book by its cover. I think he’s right. I’d also add that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

In his best-selling book Blink Malcolm Gladwell looks at the power of spontaneous responses – judging from first impressions. He coins the phrase ‘thin-slicing’ to describe one’s ability to make a rapid judgement based on a small amount of data.

Data doesn’t come much smaller than a thumbnail image. It’s the bait, the lure, the enticement. When they’re all lined up together you’ve got to encourage the reader to click on you out of dozens of possibilities. And if your cover screams professionally produced, among other things, then probably readers will feel some assurance that the rest of the book will meet a production expectation. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the inverse was true.) At least they might be encouraged to read the blurb, or try the ‘Look Inside’ feature, maybe look at other readers’ comments.

I feel like showing all three of my Acer covers. So I will.

Dirty Business Final (Large)    Loose Ends Final (Large)    Smoke and Mirrors 0602 (Medium)

This week, writing wise, I’ve been  working on Smoke and Mirrors. I had some editorial suggestions to respond to. It’s the most work I’ve had to do on a book I’ve written. I agree that the book needed the work. I’ve since read it again and I’m sure it is better for it. And I wasn’t chopping passages out, I was shoring them up. I added another couple of thousand words.

11 thoughts on “Smoke and Mirrors – Acer Sansom #3

  1. Really enjoyed the Acer Sansom books plus the first Romney and Marsh one, and looking forward to the next two. You are now on my list of authors to follow in terms of releases. Very good reading – spent a couple of late nights recently. Particularly like the attention to detail which is often lacking – some authors provide superficial detail in order to ‘churn’ books out which makes for lightweight reading – not so in your case. Your success will no doubt continue to grow as the books become more well known so please dont sacrifice the current quality for volume (even though we are all of course waiting for the next Acer Sansom edition!)

    • Andrew,
      Welcome to the blog.
      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the Sansom books and the first R&M File. I hope the others don’t disappoint when you get around to them.
      I appreciate your kind words for my writing. It’s always good and encouraging to receive positive feedback from readers.
      Writing and getting known is definitely a long-game. But that’s OK with me. I’m very happy going at the pace I am and switching between my series. I also have other writing projects that I’d like to get stuck into. One of the great things about self-publishing is the total control one has over one’s writing. No one’s cracking the whip for me to churn them out. (Well, maybe a few readers but that’s all right.)
      Best wishes.

  2. Hi Oliver,

    Seems I’m the first to respond to your blog and I must say I do like the covers of Acer. When put all together they look very impressive.

    I know what you mean about shoring up. I was hoping to get my third book out weeks ago, but when I read it again, for the umpteenth time, I too, added about 3,000 words. I usually shore-up then take-out in equal measure when I’m editing, but this time I shored-up, big style. I’m hoping to get it out in a few weeks, but, like you, I’m not letting it loose before I think it’s at it’s best.

    I never go to the supermarket without my face on, do you? A bit of blusher and mascara adds to the sparkle.

    Best wishes.

    • Hi Pat,
      Thanks for your thoughts, as always.
      Absolutely agree that you’ve got to be sure about everything before letting the book go. I was tempted this week to ping #3 off to my ‘gentleman friend’t. But that would be wrong. I have to read it again. Maybe twice more. It’s got to be the best I can make it even if that means delaying publication. I like your analogy. I never leave home without make-up. If you saw me without you’d understand why.
      Best wishes.

  3. “Never judge a book by it’s cover”? Well I think that all three Acer Samson covers are really very good and how could anyone resist these books if they saw them on a bookshelf, you don’t have to be British to love that iconic flag and then you have the clever design of all three titles. Excellent stuff, I’m looking forward to reading the content of this latest book. Russell

    • Thanks, Russell. I agree, there is something powerfully evocative in that rippling Union Jack in the background. But it’s subtle, too and deeply suggestive. I think, of all my covers those three would look amazing as glossy jackets on hard-back editions of the books. Kit’s a great designer. I feel very fortunate to have found him.
      Best wishes and thanks for your comment, as always.

  4. Love the new cover of Smoke and Mirrors…Just do not kill Acer off…great series and really looking forward to reading the new book. Make a good tv series :0

    • Thanks, Somnus. Kit did a great job. 🙂 I make no promises regarding Acer’s longevity. He just doesn’t listen to me any more.
      I looked up Luther. Being out here not heard of him. Naturally, I’m more interested in the author. Neil Cross has a CV to be envious of. He’s living the dream. My dream. Git.

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