Take Cover

Today, a little market research. As you know, I don’t believe novels can be written by committee, which is why I’ve only ever listened to my editor, my agent and my husband, and not always to them, but in the matter of marketing a book, I’m a novice, and therefore all ears.

Dr Dan’s Casebook will be the first book of a series, so I need to create a brand ‘look’ for its cover that will be adaptable for future books. I’ve identified three possible approaches and I’d appreciate any feedback from my readers, bearing in mind that Dr Dan’s covers will only be seen online and thumbnail size. So, adaptable and clear, are priorities.

First option, an image of a patient. Second option, an image of a doctor (but no white coats). Too non-fiction-y? Third option, a simple graphic, such as an ECG trace. Fourth option???

Here are some test images. Email me your thoughts. Heaven knows, I got some lousy covers when I was in the hands of experts. Let’s see if we can do better.






  1. Julia L on July 18, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Option 3 .. funky & punchy!

  2. Jilly Watson on July 18, 2019 at 10:08 am

    First up can I just say that I CAN HARDLY WAIT until September!

    But now to the matter in hand. I think I need a bit more background information – is Dr Dan nasty or nice? Hapless (why do I think that he may be, I wonder?) Admired by his colleagues? Feared by his patients?

    I think you could (rightly or wrongly) judge a book by its cover, you see. Or at least its spine. And I have to say I’m afraid I agree with you about the covers of some of yours and I’ve designed many alternatives for them in my head – but only with the benefit of hindsight. I tend to decide whether to buy if I like the first line . . “We was in the Tamarind bar last night drinking ankle-breakers” springs to mind.

    So, for the time being a) no (too Adam Kay) b) no c) yes.

    • Laurie Graham on July 20, 2019 at 8:00 am

      Young, sweet, not too sure of himself…. yet.

  3. Irene Mc Gonagle on July 19, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Hello Laurie,
    I prefer the one of the ECG trace. Looking forward to the books. Hope all is as well as can be expected with Howard.

  4. Margaret Hampden on July 23, 2019 at 3:40 am

    ECG trace. And by the way did you see the Times on Monday 22, Libby Purves writing on the Booker and its many duds said “Then there are those who never get near a short list…like the massively underrated Laurie Graham”. Too true

  5. Margaret Hampden on July 23, 2019 at 3:44 am

    Oh another comment on the cover. The figure at the laptop could be anyone: a teacher, a tax inspector, a minister etc etc. Graphic is more eye catching too.

  6. liz Pearce on August 2, 2019 at 10:01 am

    like the stressed doctor!!

  7. Claire T on August 12, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Option 3 – others wouldn’t make me think of fiction

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