There are three versions of a cover in play for Pontiff, which is described here and here. All are variations on a theme. There are certain constraints on how you do covers in the e-book world, which I’ll talk about sometime. The main one, though, is you don’t want to spend a bazillion dollars, ’cause it’s your own money.
By the way, I don’t have to choose one or the other of these choices; I can mix and match elements, adjust the color or the font size, etc.
Anyway, here is Version A:
And here’s B:
And here’s C:
So, help me out here.
Paula and I like B.
Rich, I like A. It’s a story in itself, as a good cover should be: the hat (mitre, or something? Anyway: the hat!), the cross, the cross-hairs. And PONTIFF, in case you thought that was just any archbishop or something in the cross-hairs. I also think the colors in it are perfect. This one made me suck in my breath when I saw it.
As for B and C, at first glance they look to me like: politician making a typical political gesture during a speech. I didn’t even think of him as the pope.
So that’s my vote.
I love A. It is powerful. The others are more political for my blood.
Of the three, I think A is best. Like Mary, I don’t really see the pope in the silhouette in B and C. He looks like a guy with a strangely shrunken head and misshapen shoulders, holding a…what? A rifle? No wait… Too hard to parse at a glance.
But A isn’t quite there for me, either. The cross you used, with the slumping Jesus, suggests a particular kind of pathos and struggle of faith that (as nearly as I can remember) isn’t the main thrust of the book. I wonder if a more iconic cross, perhaps more ornate, would better suggest the papacy as an office (which is being threatened, in more ways than one). Maybe I’m overthinking it, or ruled by my inbred Protestant sensibilities; but whatever the reason, I didn’t care for that choice. I think having a cross is good, just not that one.
Just to be difficult, I thought that C was the most eye-catching. Simpler color palette — red grabs the eye. But I like all three. And I think that’s a great tag line for the book.
We don’t seem to be converging on a solution here.
I came up with the tag line myself. Turns out it’s not that easy to summarize a 140,000-word novel in a sentence.
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