Here’s the latest cover of my book Battle for Crete: New Zealand’s Near-Run Affair. What do you think?
Battle For Crete: New Zealand’s Near-Run Affair has already been republished this year with new cover artwork. But it needed a radical re-jig on the back of its impending further issue as part of an omnibus collecting all three books I wrote on the adventures of the Second New Zealand Division under one binding. Four new covers had to be developed, reflecting common design and look, tying together the three individual books – which continue to be available – along with the single-volume collection, which is due out in six or eight weeks, I think. Watch this space.
I suppose the newest cover applied to Battle for Crete will also be its last. I like it: it seems appropriately abstract in look and feel and features a Junkers Ju-52/3m, ‘Tante Ju’, the aircraft of Generalmajor Kurt Student’s elite Fliegerkorps XI that enabled Germany to attack Crete. For the Kiwis, that aircraft was one of the symbols of the battle.
It’s not the first time this book has been republished with a radically different cover. In fact it’s the fourth cover this book has had. The most radical shift happened in 2003 when Reed NZ reissued it, three years after first publication, with a new cover to hook it more obviously into the series I was writing on the Second New Zealand Division. I always thought that was a rather cool design for its day. The radical part was the new title – in full, Battle for Crete: New Zealand’s Near-Run Affair, 1941. Before then it had been known as A Near-Run Affair: New Zealanders in the battle for Crete 1941. However, both my editor and Reed’s marketing department (wisely) felt that the word ‘Crete’ needed to be more up front.
The fact that the book had changed title wasn’t noticed by everybody and I later fielded a list of books I was supposed to have written in which both titles were listed as if they were separate books. I wish. Actually I have only ever written one book-length foray into this battle – although I devoted a chapter to it in my biography of the island commander, Major-General Bernard Freyberg, which focused (naturally) on his story.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015