As I wrote the title for this musing, I immediately started to grow concerned - my fashion sense has, after all, commonly come under scrutiny for not being the finest.
However, take heart! On this occasion, I'm talking about a book jacket.
Work has begun on the cover for the new tvdetective novel, The Justice Mirror.
This is a time of high excitement for an already easily excitable author. Suddenly, the reality of publication is coming home and it feels most delightful. All that work nearing fruition!
But first comes the sizeable matter of acutally agreeing on a cover.
This is a curious process. It tends to happen relatively late in the lifetime of producing a book. We've gone through all the initial talk about plots and characters, then editing, the marketing angles, publicity stuff, and the blurb for the back.
Then, as if as an afterthought, someone says - Oh yes, we mustn't forget the cover.
I do sometimes wonder how much help I am in this. I want to get across so much - a sense of darkness, mystery, drama, intrigue, suspense and shock, twists and turns, the TV angles to the books, and lots more besides.
And all that in a few square inches of space.
What tends to happen is the publisher, agent and designer calm me down (often with the assistance of a couple of pints of ale (they know me well enough by now)) and go through some drafts, based on my summary of the book.
The images that work best, in my humble view, hint at the theme of a book, but without being too overt. I like a sense of mystery; I think that draws people in.
Because that's the basic ambition of the cover - to get itself noticed. To tempt someone to pick up the book and look at the blurb about the story, then perhaps try a few pages etc etc...
We're early in the cover design process, but happily I'm liking the look of some of the ideas.
So now it's several weeks of images flying back and forth on email, the disussion of fine details, then lastly another conference (some "full and frank discussions", as the old euphemism goes), before the final look is settled.
And only three and a half months now before the thing comes out. I must contain my excitement somehow, or I shall be appear to be a blur when May 1st comes.
Some events are being organised to mark the publication of The Justice Mirror. I'll put them on the News and Events page - www.thetvdetective.com/news.html as they arise. Hope to see you at one.
But for now, excuse me. I must be off to do some more agonising about a certain book jacket...