I am just a little way from being able to publish my first conventionally printed hardback book: Aspects of Wilde by Vincent O'Sullivan. The introduction has been written by a very respected authority on the 1890s and O'Sullivan in particular, the 'type has been set' (or whatever the digital equivalent of that is), the text has been proofed twice (by my mum and by me), and I am nearly half-way through creating the 'Index of names and titles' for the back of the book: an essential addition I feel as it is one of those rambling, anecdotal kinds of books which drips with the names of the great, the good and the not so good.
So, during a break in proceedings, I began thinking about the cover. The book is to be the first in a series of books which reprint work from or about the 'long end of the century' - the 1890s to 1930s - so in thinking about the design it has to be something which is adaptable to the next book and then the next... Also, I'm aware of a trend in the covers of republished classics at the moment, which is to give them a very sleek and modern look, often with b/w photos. Without wanting to appear derivative, it is both a look which I like and a 'brand' which I can opt into.
The cover illustrated here is, genuinely, a trial run. I needed to check that my digital camera was capable, with a little help from photoshop, of taking photos which were good enough for a book cover (the jusry is still out on that), certainly the photo is to change. The thought I have at the moment is the photo wil be of one of Wilde's flowers, a sunflower, a carnation... and that will be used in place of the current picture of an orchid (which we just happened to have around the house!) I expect the final cover will look very different but, nonetheless, as a first attempt, a sketch if you like, I'm reasonably happy with the way this looks so far.