Cover story

[Edited version of post originally published 14 January 2013]

Every morning, I go for a 5km walk with Barney my big blond Labrador. It takes about 45 minutes, and is a great time for mulling things over: work, jobs, the garden, political news – anything that’s on my mind. Recently I’ve been reading the guide to producing covers for Kindle books and on my walk this morning I started thinking about the cover for King’s Ransom, if I ever get round to publishing it.

Part of me thinks that it just needs the words on a plain background, but that doesn’t appear to be the conventional wisdom. Almost every Kindle book I’ve looked at has a pictorial cover related to the subject matter – sometimes rather tenuously. Design isn’t my strong point: like many writers I don’t have a strong visual imagination, although I do know quite a bit about typography – hence the thought that I would have a type only cover.

I’m not sure where this came from, but halfway through my walk this morning I had an idea which is a compromise between a picture and type: it would involve using the binary notation of the words “King’s Ransom” and trying and make something illustrative of that. One of the things I love about the internet is that you can find an answer to just about anything, and I found a site that converts to all sorts of coding – including binary.

I used the site to convert “King’s Ransom” to binary notation (1001011 1101001 1101110 1100111 100111 1110011 1110010 1100001 1101110 1110011 1101111 1101101, since you ask) and I think I might be able to use it in a way that would be more attractive than just the words.

Once again, watch this space.

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