So, eh, my boss, the son of the late author John E. Mack, M.D., has received a contract that proposes reprinting his father’s last book, the 1999 title Passport to the Cosmos. That is great news, as it is a wonderful book — more of a philosophy book than it may appear.
But here’s the crunch: the new publisher will need to create new cover art by January 18, because that is when books are promoted to retailers. I.e., in 3 days, they need a new cover since they do not own the original cover. The original cover was quite nice, but it is owned by the original publisher. We have heard that the new publisher has some ideas in development, but they did not consult with the Mack family before working on those ideas. So in case they come up with crap, I’ve taken an hour or two to come up with my own suggestion.
Here is the original 1999 cover, followed by my suggested revised version. Like the 1999 hardcover, in my suggested version there is a purple glow on the horizon, but unlike the 1999 hardcover, instead of a hillside at the bottom with a figure standing there looking up at a star, there is instead the curved surface of the planet Earth in a warm golden tone. It is beautiful, peaceful, and not scary. And hopefully just different enough from the original to be legal.
The 1999 original, created by someone at Crown Publishers:
My suggestion for 2008 reprint:
The fonts of my revised version are Adobe Garamond Pro — note the more elegant “R” in “Passport” — and Tw Cen MT Condensed.
Hey, alien nerds, don’t take and post this image around as if it is the new cover art. It is not. It is just one of many suggested covers that will be discussed. The real thing may look entirely different. In a few days, we’ll know. Oh by the way, we do not in fact know who is writing the new preface. I just put in the name of someone I know is a great writer.
Update: Well the publisher has a direction in mind so it is unlikely that my idea will even come up. I am not allowed to show the publisher’s concepts so I’ll just show an exceptionally tiny, blurred image. You can sort of see that they’re thinking of a retro 1970s look. What can I say, I prefer the 1980s. But here’s their first pass:
It doesn’t blow my skirt up, though I can easily imagine it on a table at Barnes & Noble and perhaps that is the important part. My problem with 1970s retro designs is that it makes it look like it really is a book from the 1970s, rather than a modern book designed to look like a book from the 1970s. Plus, I recognize that they’re using a flying saucer based on George Adamski’s design. George Adamski was a ufo photo hoaxer from the 1950s, so I’m not keen on perpetuating his design.