A good book cover design stays on message, pleases the eye and provokes a strong emotional response.

A good book cover design stays on message, pleases the eye and provokes a strong emotional response.

While I am no expert in book cover design, as an avid reader my point-of-purchase opinion counts. This is my favorite book cover and it dresses one of the best war books I have ever read and reviewed. It is written by  a colleague in the Media Club of Ottawa who gave me the confidence to set up  a weekly community newspaper — but she has been dead since 2002. My Memorial Weekend blog honors her memory.

The cover designer has limited tools to work with but a good cover packed with emotion and information can have an awesome impact. You the author have to judge whether you’re getting your money’s worth.

Here is why I like this one so much:

Overall It Is Strong and Elegant

  • It has unity
  • Everything on the cover strikes the theme of patriotism and courage
  • The gray background sets a mood of gloom

It Is Pleasing to Look At, with Attention to Detail

  • The picture is a close-up of the author’s face
  • The picture frame shows her efforts were focused
  • The title letters are outlined with a disciplined black, showing this is no light topic

It Conveys a Message

  • The title has only three essential words
  • The plain black news font of the author’s name and the subtitle suggest it is a work of non fiction by a journalist

It has economy and space yet stirs excessive emotions.

  • The colors denote red for bravery and blue for loyalty
  • The colors of the frame are the colors of the British, American French and Canadian (except for the blue) flags
  • The flourish of the title italic script is like a woman’s skirt in the forties.

The back cover reads:
“There have been many memoirs of World War II, but none as remarkable as One Woman’s War http://amzn.to/1p7s56B. Remarkable because, unlike other war memoirs, it is written by a woman — and a marvellously engaging and courageous woman at that. Remarkable, too, because it is a story not of military campaigns and grand strategy, but of the joys and sorrows of life on a civilian battlefield — the battlefield of the French resistance. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Gladys Arnold http://bit.ly/1nHYRaI was sent to Paris by Canadian Press in October 1939, and was the only Canadian reporter to experience the sudden traumatic invasion of France by the Germans in the spring of 1940. Fleeing Paris only days before it was occupied by the Nazis, Arnold returned to Canada passionately committed to the cause of the Free French — a cause which from 1941 on she tirelessly promoted as information officer with the Free French office in Ottawa. One Woman’s War is Gladys Arnold’s vivid, eyewitness account of the fall of France and the growth of the Free French resistance. She was one of the first journalists to interview General Charles de Gaulle, and she brings to life many of the memorable people, French and Canadian, who fought in the underground war. One Woman’s War is a moving, unforgettable portrait of the Free French movement and of an extraordinary era in human history. Elegantly written and emotionally powerful, it evocatively captures the drama, excitement and tragedy of the war years, an era that resonates with the pain and heroism of an entire generation.”  Published by James Lorimer & Company in 1987; republished as an e-book in 2011.

Here is the review I recently posted on Goodreads http://bit.ly/1gt9NKp: “Gladys Arnold was a friend of mine in the Media Club of Ottawa.  If you would like to meet an elegant, intelligent, warm single woman who ventured abroad as a reporter for the Canadian Press in world war II, fought for the Free French and was given a French Legion of Honor Award, then read this book. I gave it as a birthday present to my husband soon after she wrote it in 1987 and we both loved it. The original book cover design is my favorite of all time.”

One Woman’s War is on sale in the gift shop of the Canadian War Museum and on Amazon.

Thank you for spending some of your precious time reading this post. Please browse around from tip to toe and, if you like, write some comments.

  Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qJadk5      Yola: www.margaretvirany.com

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