Salisbury Square – Cover Reveal #coverreveal

Oh heck. My next book is reaching a crescendo and one of the peaks that I find especially daunting is the cover decision and, boy, is this tricky.

This is the synopsis:

Jerzy Komaza is adept at turning a blind eye. He has allowed his father’s assaults on his sister, Maria, to continue. Yet when, one hot summer day, he finally snaps, it is Maria who sends him away, fearing the consequences if he stays. Desperate and unsure, he heads for London where his old friend Jan has promised him work.

At first he is completely disorientated. Worse, there’s no sign of Jan.  Feeling lost and adrift, he overhears a young woman’s cries. Memories of his sister stir him into action and he intervenes.

The woman is Suzie Thomas, a meth addict dependent on a local thug, Paul Rogers for her supplies and for whom she turns tricks. Rogers runs gangs of workmen around the city and for whom Jan works. Gradually Jerzy is dragged into Suzie’s world, a violent dog eat dog existence of the underclass living next to but apart from London’s affluent citizens.

Jan has his own problems with Rogers and when his cousin Ola Nowak is slashed with a knife, trying to sort out Jan’s debt, he is bent on revenge. Jerzy is torn between stopping Jan and, because of his own growing hatred of Rogers’ casual violence towards Suzie, helping him.

Suzie’s family are hunting for her. Her grandparents hear she has moved back to London and seek her out. In doing so they too find themselves pulled into Rogers orbit.

As the heat builds and the rain pours down, the various forces begin to drag these desperate individuals towards a violent confrontation. And into this mix comes Lech Komoza, Jerzy’s half-brother intent on his own revenge.

This story contains elements of revenge, love, the clash of classes and cultures, the isolation of large cities and the single minded determination to survive. Set against a backdrop of one of the most affluent cities in the western world one hot summer about now, it is a modern parable about the lure of redemption and how hope can be corrupted by desperation.

In considering the cover I’ve decided on an image of Jerzy and Jan. A lot of the action takes place in the Salisbury Square of the title but a significant amount in and around Herne Hill and Brockwell Park in south London. So far so good. As you will see we have used, variously, shots of the two seated in the park, the Square and its obelisk and a general view of the London skyline reflecting what they can see from the park.

My cover designer has come up with a variety of interpretations and, well, here’s where I need help. Below are 7 images. I want to select one and then work on things like the placement of the title, my name, the font etc.

I would be most grateful if you would look at each and vote for your favourite. If, in deciding, you prefer a title layout and/or font from one of the others perhaps you would note that in the comments. Most kind.

SS cover 3 3 June

Picture 0ne

SS cover 4 3 June

Picture Two


Picture three


Picture four

Front cover SS 3

Picture five

SS cover 1 3 June

Picture six

SS cover 1 June 14

Picture seven

Finally, while I’m here, I’m keen to find a couple of beta readers for my next book, Buster and Moo which I wrote in weekly parts, here, last year, although I never quite finished it! Of course anyone kind enough to undertake this task would be able to pigeonhole me for a reciprocal beta read if they needed it. I won’t be in a position to provide the book until end of July at the earliest but if you are interested please let me know on glepard-at-saqnet-dot-co-dot-uk.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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61 Responses to Salisbury Square – Cover Reveal #coverreveal

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    Hi Geoff, a book cover needs to work as a thumbnail for today’s online market, so have a look at the covers in postage size too. This may show you that some of these choices are too busy. I’m not getting the ” revenge, love, the clash of classes and cultures, the isolation of large cities and the single minded determination to survive.” from these covers, just two blokes sharing a bench and checking out the view. The beer can? Is it a significant role?, it draws the eye in large form, will be lost in thumbnail, could suggest an alcoholic? Is this correct for your characters?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a tough choice, Geoff, but I’ve gone with picture two. I don’t particularly like the idea of any images under the bench. I also prefer both men looking towards the city rather than each other. My first thoughts if they were looking at each other was that it could be a LGBT story. Just my thought because of the way they are looking at each other. Picture two over picture one because of where your name is placed. It looks better at the top rather than the bottom of the book for the image you have used. Those are my thoughts. Hope they help.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Salisbury Square – Cover Reveal #coverreveal – Hugh's Views & News

  4. Sacha Black says:

    Geoff – I want to beta for you, but can’t just yet – if you have a book ready in October time I’ll happily beta that for you – I’m sure you will have so put me down for around then please. And don’t let me forget

    Love cover 2. Although I do like your name at the bottom of the front cover too. *hmmmm one and two are fab.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Geoff, I’m agreeing with Rosie and Hugh. Your synopsis is full of danger and desperation and I’m not seeing that hook expressed in the cover. I do like the cool visuals. Hope this is helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AYR says:

    I think picture two is the best. It is more balanced. As Hugh stated pic or text does not look good below bench. The others with reflections below are just to busy and as mentioned by Rosie it will be thumbnail size in some cases and that will not display well. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ula says:

    I’m going to be honest. I don’t love these. I don’t think they do your story any service. The beer can bothers me as well. I think Rosie’s idea about a thumbnail is a great suggestion. Good luck. It’s so exciting the book is getting closer to published.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not sure. The image of the two is almost too friendly to me ? It doesn’t evoke the mood of your synopsis. I like the overlay of the city, though. Best wishes, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. willowdot21 says:

    Hi Geoff, I really like number three, I am drawn to it . I like the road sign and the inverted image under the bench , I like where the tile and name are set . Yes I really like number three.
    I also like number seven because it has all the elements of the story and it is weird ! That’s just my opinion!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. jan says:

    Congrats! I voted. #7 was my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Autism Mom says:

    I agree with Willow – the inverted view of the iconic London skyline in three best conveys that the story is about the seedy underbelly of a city generally perceived as sophisticated and modern. The road sign clarifies that it is set in a microcosm of that great city, that there will be on-the-ground connection with characters. I agree with others that the guys seem too comfortable for the plot summary provided – like looks more like a chummy coming of age story instead of one of struggle and redemption. If the guys were standing that would convey more tension and if they were made smaller than the inverted city and road sign, it would heighten the suggestion of underdogs struggling against the unfeeling juggernaut of life in the city.

    This is so cool! Congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Voted. 😀 I too wonder that the cover doesn’t reflect the story between the covers. Much too tame. Like. I agree with Hugh the incorrect idea this cover may project. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ack! You just released your anthology. I can’t keep up with you.
    I’m thrilled, though, and love the synopsis. Agree with all above about the thumbnail. I think you went through this with My Father and Other Liars (when it was God Bothering). ? I like #2 out of these though I agree with others as well that such a complex story doesn’t seem to be reflected here. But how would you do that? I have no ideas on that.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Judy Martin says:

    I voted for number 5 Geoff, as I think some f the others are too busy. i think it would have been a bit better i the guy on the left was looking straight ahead though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve voted for 4, but largely because I thought that the images of the two blokes looking at each other were better than those of the backs of their heads. Having read previous comments, that just goes to show that you won’t get consensus.
    As for the title, font etc, I spent more time on that with Ravens Gathering than I did on the image, because I realised that the style would form part of my brand (when I ever get round to publishing a second). So it might be worth revisiting your previous covers to see how you’ve dealt with it there. And if you get that right, for future books you’ll only need to worry about the images used.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. olganm says:

    I’m also with people who say it doesn’t seem to quite reflect what the story is about. I do like the transparency with the name of the square (and title of the book) and the bleeding at the bottom of five gives it a bit of edge but not sure about the characters looking at each other… (Hugh is right on that). The can is also distracting. Perhaps if it was squashed on the floor? (I’m notably bad with visuals, so you’d probably be better off ignoring my comments). I like elements of most of them but yes, not sure about how they reflect the story, although the most important thing is that they make people stop to look and then read more about it. And I think they are all striking.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Erika Kind says:

    Definitely picture one for me! I like the upside down idea when it comes from above. Also, I like it better when both are looking towards the scenery and not towards each other like watching what is going on in this world while sitting there with each other. I also like it when the title is on top and your name on the bottom – everything has its place. You are not part of the book, so I like when your name is well visible detached from the title wich is perfectly placed on top in that upside down image. Good luck and lots of joyful hours with the last steps now!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Number Two is just neater, cleaner, and non-fussy. I like the title with your name directly beneath it. This cover is the definite winner with regard to which will work best in thumbnail size.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. livingincyn says:

    Hi Geoff! (Fabulous to meet you — albeit briefly — at the Bash this year). I agree with Rosie’s comments most. I think the London skyline upside down is a little confusing too, and I’m not sure about seeing the two blokes looking at each other, or talking to each other. Seems to “easy like Sunday morning” to me. Still, I think some things could be done during your rethink. Maybe if you changed the color filters so there’s a bit of a clash between the images and the text. Check out Derek Murphy’s page on designing your own book covers in MS Word. Not only does he talk about color and font expectations for various genres, but he also walks step by step through the design process in Word. Worth a look anyway:

    Also, I would love to be a beta reader for your book, but I won’t be available until July 11. I’ll send you an email under separate cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. dgkaye says:

    I prefer #2 because of the background and font. The city’s reflection upside down does denote a bit of chaotic story, but I’m inclined to agree a little with Sacha and Rosie on not connecting the story type with the two men on the bench, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Ali Isaac says:

    Good luck with choosing! And all the best with the new book too. I have to say, though, I feel the same as what’s been said here. Your synopsis is powerful and the story is dark. The cover is none of these things. For me the inverted London skyline doesn’t work either. Its jarring because it’s upside down. If it was the right way up and maybe a night scene, it would better represent your story, I think. We maybe need to see one of those dirty mean streets from the city’s underbelly that you mention.Just some random thoughts. Feel free to ignore! 😁


  22. jjspina says:

    I like #2 but I think it needs more intrigue to reflect the story. The two men look too comfortable and relaxed. Best of luck with your book. If you need a copy editor go to

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Helen Jones says:

    I’m with the majority of commenters in that I’m not getting the sense of love and revenge from any of the covers – the men just look too relaxed. I voted for the first cover, because I think the layout works well, but I’m not sure the images are correct. I actually quite like the blued out image of the London skyline – I think turned the right way up that could be quite a strong cover.
    And I’m sorry I can’t beta read at the moment – I have a couple of other books I’m reading for someone so I wouldn’t be able to do it in a timely fashion. But please put me down for future books!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sherri says:

    Hi Geoff, hope I’m not late for the party, as per…but trying to manically catch up here in blogland. I think I might have to disappear for a while if I am to get my memoir finished as the way I’m going, it’s not going to happen… I honestly don’t know how you do it…I haven’t even read ‘Sherry Trifle…’ yet, to my shame! Help!!!!! But enough of all that. Right, scrolling down on these quickly, which I find the best way, the one that definitely sticks out for me, by far the best, is picture number two for the layout, font and the photo of the two men, but they almost look too neat, too office by day/pub by night. Perhaps they need to look a little more roughed up, tattier, hair a bit longer, more unkempt? I don’t think the ones of the two guys looking at each other works at all going by your synopsis as it looks too laid back and doesn’t match the tension and seriousness of the story. Even with 2 though maybe you could darken the city in front of the guys a little, making it look more sinister somehow? I love the idea of the upside down skyline as a contrast. I think a little more touch of menace hinting at the roughness of those London streets lurking just beneath the apparant ‘normality’ of every day life would really bring this cover home. Hope this helps…and all the best with this, your latest of what is fast becoming a wonderful collection of stories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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