My latest adventures in the art of the book cover

Here’s the latest cover of my book Battle for Crete: New Zealand’s Near-Run Affair. What do you think?

Wright_Battle for Crete 450 px

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.

The 2003 cover.
The 2003 cover.

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 2000 cover.
The 2000 cover.

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.

Battle for Crete: New Zealand’s Near-Run Affair is of course, available on Amazon. Right now. Just saying.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015


5 thoughts on “My latest adventures in the art of the book cover

    1. Thanks. It’s my favourite out of all the covers this book has had. The other two in the trilogy will get the same make-over in a little while. I have a feeling that no matter how many covers this book gets, it’ll never get as many as The Lord Of The Rings, but hey… 🙂

    1. Please do! 🙂 Crete is, indeed, a seldom-told story – though the context is curious: we forget, looking back from our vantage point, that even as late as 1941, there was still ‘international diplomacy and politics’ associated with the Second World War – in this case, Churchill’s attempt to lever the Balkan states and southern Europe to fight the Germans. It failed, but the intent was there. My book’s a brief introduction to the NZ story – our failure at Maleme airfield set the seal on any attempt to get any kind of result out of the whole debacle, at all. We’ve been running in circles ever since trying to find people to blame. I interviewed some of the people closest to command when I wrote the book in 1999 – all of them since passed away – which offered some interesting insights.

      (Curiously, of the NZ commanders there, at least two have given their names to high-schools, and the great-nephew of one of them is a bass player in our top metal band export to the US (‘Shihad/Pacifier’). About 18 months ago they played in a venue up the road from my house, and I didn’t need to attend because they sounded like they were in my lounge anyway… and I am a HUGE metal fan. Just saying… 🙂 )

  1. As you asked for critique: I like the imagery, I don’t like the font of the big letters. The smaller lines look good but I would use a more dramatic font for the big lines, one that looks not so utilitarian and has serifs.

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