Caspar Walsh
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A Cover in the Making

Finding the cover photograph of me as kid for ‘Criminal’ was a detective story in itself. Chelita Salvatori took the picture of me sometime in 1973 in London. At the time she was Marc Bolan’s PA and my dad was a little star struck. She was beautiful. Sadly Chelita died in 1999 and that was the end of my contact with her family. I had a photocopy of the original shot. The publishers needed the original 35mm print for the cover. I had no way of knowing how to find her daughter who I knew would have access to the photo. I got in touch with a friend who was a private investigator. He helped a lot. I finally tracked a friend of Chelita’s through the internet and then after nearly 6 months searching I met up with Chelita’s daughter and she kindly let me have the photos.

The book jacket design - a journey in itself

The design of the jacket was fraught for me. I can be a control freak. I know what I like and I have a very specific eye on the kind of design I like and believe works. ‘Criminal’ is aimed squarely at what is known in England as the ‘Misery Market’. I prefer the American name for the genre ‘Inspirational Misery’. God bless America. There is very set design and style to misery book jackets. The major supermarkets are now a key player in the sales of this kind of book and my publisher needed to secure their interest and orders before we could launch. The supermarkets in effect dictated the design of the cover. The current book jacket is not classic Misery cover design – it has taken a risk but stayed within the confines of the genre. The cover we now have was accepted by one supermarket who placed a big enough order to set things in motion. Everyone was happy with the design we now have, including me.

In order for us to secure orders from the rest of the supermarkets the design for the paperback cover has conformed to the tried and tested misery style. I wasn’t initially happy with this but I believe what has been put together is stylish and well thought through. If it opens up an even wider market of book buyers and soul searchers then all the better.

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Criminal | A Cover in the Making

Current export paperback cover and hardback cover

Prototype cover not used


© Copyright Caspar Walsh 2008
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