What a difference a cover makes!

This mock-up cover for Surgeon’s Mate was created for me by Albert Roberts, who studied advertising design at Savannah College of Art and Design.  I met Albert on Facebook, where I’ve met all sorts of talented, interesting people who know something about  the complex process of writing, producing, and marketing a book.

Albert belongs to a group of history interpreters portraying the crew of the HMS Acasta, a British fifth rate frigate launched in 1797.  He is Dr. Roberts,  Acasta’s surgeon.

The purpose of the HMS ACASTA and the ROYAL TARS of OLD ENGLAND is to accurately portray a crew of His Majesty’s Royal Navy circa 1800-1810 for the educational benefit of the public and for the mutual research and enjoyment of the individual members.  (This, from the website HMS Acasta; being a log of the travels of the Royal tars of old England.)  Reenactors and naval history buffs, the crew gives demonstrations and also plays realistic games dressed in period clothing with period equipment.  It sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to explore history — much like writing a novel or acting in a play.  It is a form of learning, teaching, entertainment, and performance art.  A way of experiencing the past, first hand.
What I like about this cover is the color, the drama, intensity of the artwork.  The typeface looks professional and I like the little details he has added to the layout.   Overall I think it is high quality and professional in appearance.  What do you think?   How much influence does a book’s cover have on the prospective reader?


The original painting, an oil on canvas, is called The Battle of Trafalgar by William Clarkson Stanfield, aka Clarkson Frederick Stanfield (1793-1867)