I’m reaching the final stages of writing and publishing my second book and follow up to Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest, and I’m keen to have your feedback about the book cover.
The book will be called Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo, and describes the build-up and journey that Edita and I took in 2017, when we reached the summit of Chimborazo in Ecuador after cycling from sea level, a journey that we believe may have been a world first.
The book includes my introduction to the country and earlier climbs of Ecuador’s volcanoes, as well as a training ride Edita and I did in Scotland when we cycled the North Coast 500. In keeping with my other writing, it includes a sprinkling of history.
I provided a thorough brief to my designer, Andrew Brown of Design for Writers, emphasising a number of key concepts.
Some of the more important ones were:
- The book is intended to have popular appeal, and attract all readers who enjoy the genre of travel writing, not just fans of mountaineering and adventure travel
- While some of the book is about trekking and climbing, it is also about cycling, and I’m keen to attract new readers who wouldn’t think of reading a mountaineering book but love reading books about cycling
- In the style of my previous book Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest, although the book is about an endurance challenge, it is a light-hearted story of ordinary people doing something a bit special
- This isn’t an epic tale of hardship and struggle against the odds in the style of any number of motivational speakers. Although exhaustion rears its head in several places, this is a humorous caper with plenty of jokes.
- Although some of the story takes place in Scotland, its main focus is the volcanoes of Ecuador
- The cover needs to fit the theme of my previous book, and feel like one of a series, so that readers might be tempted to read both books.
We’re at the first-draft stage and the cover is already looking pretty good, but I think there are some tweaks we can do to make it even better. This is where I would like your advice.
I have included the cover of Seven Steps below, so that you can see the kind of thing we are aiming for. The feedback I am looking for is very specific, and I would be grateful if you can answer the specific questions I have in the comments.
I’m pretty happy with the first draft that Andrew has created, but before I go down this route I need a quick sanity check from people who read my blog and are familiar with my writing, to ensure I will not be confusing potential readers about what sort of book they are buying.
My three questions are:
- If you were browsing for books on Amazon, would this cover (on the right) contain enough information to tell you what the book is about?
- If you’ve read one of the books and enjoyed it, would the similarity between the two covers tempt you to buy the other?
- If you were looking at the book cover on the right on Amazon, what other book(s) does it remind you of?
For question 3, feel free to suggest any book – it doesn’t have to be a book about mountaineering or cycling.
Thank you so much for your feedback. I plan to publish Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo as an ebook in the summer (if you’re in the northern hemisphere), and as a paperback soon after.
The ebook will be available to buy pre-launch for half price. You can subscribe to my email newsletter for updates.
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