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Why Book Covers Are So Important l Lee Matthew Goldberg @leematthewg

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by Lee Matthew Goldberg

The idea that you can’t judge a book by its cover is bull, since how else are you supposed to initially judge a book when wandering through the aisles in a store or clicking through Amazon online? The cover is the first and most important part of advertising before someone even cracks the spine.

I’m in love with the cover for my novel The Mentor from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. It was designed by Jimmy Iacobelli, who did an amazing job. St. Martin’s Press asked for my input prior, which I think is really important to a great cover’s success. They told me to look at covers I really liked and I pointed to Stephen King’s Finder’s Keepers. I said that didn’t want a busy cover, but for it to be minimalist and eye-catching. They nailed it on all fronts.

The design plays with the dark and light images of the book—the good versus evil showdown between the hero and the villain along with pages of a manuscript that reference the novel’s setting in a publishing firm. The use of yellow post-its adds a pop to the black and white tones.

When the book was being designed, I roamed the shelves at Barnes & Noble and found there were a lot of covers that didn’t make me want to pick up the book because so many resembled one another. I like ones that stand out and give a strong glimpse as to what the story will be about. For established authors, oftentimes their name will be the focus on the cover, since the name increases sales. But I like to think of covers as paintings that I would want to frame. The first cover for my novel Slow Down achieved this very well, since it referred a painting in the book with a bloody handprint that shows something sinister will occur. I can only hope that my third novel will match the success of the designs for my first two.

About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg

Lee Matthew Goldberg’s novel THE MENTOR is forthcoming from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press in June 2017 and has been acquired by Macmillan Entertainment. The French edition will be published by Editions Hugo. His debut novel SLOW DOWN is out now. His pilot JOIN US was a finalist in Script Pipeline’s TV Writing Competition. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his fiction has also appeared in The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, Verdad Magazine, BlazeVOX, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series. He lives in New York City.



About the Book:

The Mentor

Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 336
Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Mystery

Kyle Broder has achieved his lifelong dream and is an editor at a major publishing house.

When Kyle is contacted by his favorite college professor, William Lansing, Kyle couldn’t be happier. Kyle has his mentor over for dinner to catch up and introduce him to his girlfriend, Jamie, and the three have a great time. When William mentions that he’s been writing a novel, Kyle is overjoyed. He would love to read the opus his mentor has toiled over.

Until the novel turns out to be not only horribly written, but the most depraved story Kyle has read.

After Kyle politely rejects the novel, William becomes obsessed, causing trouble between Kyle and Jamie, threatening Kyle’s career, and even his life. As Kyle delves into more of this psychopath’s work, it begins to resemble a cold case from his college town, when a girl went missing. William’s work is looking increasingly like a true crime confession.

Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Mentor is a twisty, nail-biting thriller that explores how the love of words can lead to a deadly obsession with the fate of all those connected and hanging in the balance.


From Booklist – A junior editor at a Manhattan publisher reunites with his college mentor with disastrous results in Goldberg’s second thriller (after Slow Down, 2015). Kyle Broder has just acquired a probable best-seller for Burke & Burke publishing when he hears from his former literature professor, William Lansing, who pitches the still-unfinished opus he’s been working on for 10 years. Lansing’s book is not only badly written, it’s also disturbing, featuring a narrator literally eating the heart of the woman he loves. Lansing turns vengeful when his “masterpiece” is rejected, but Broder’s concerns about his mentor are dismissed both at home and at work: Broder’s girlfriend considers Lansing charming, and a rival editor feigns interest in Lansing’s book. Broder revisits his college and delves more deeply into the cold case of a missing ex-girlfriend, and as the plot darkens and spirals downward, it’s unclear who will be left standing. The compelling plot is likely to carry readers with a high enough tolerance for gore to the final twist at the end.




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