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NightJack book, other updates

2011 July 12

I am tired, peeps. Work and life have been busy, and I am about ready for a rest; later this week I’m heading out west to see family and friends (and, with some misgivings, to attend a 15-year high school reunion).

By knuckling down over the weekend I am in pretty good shape with the recent pile-up of projects, and should be fine to go away for a few days.

I have even found time to return to the personal project I mentioned recently, making a book from the splendid NightJack blog. I believe this will be the cover:

Proposed cover for NightJack book

Not likely to be on sale, anywhere, ever

It’s been very weird working on this cover, because I design book covers all the time and yet this is quite different in a number of ways. For one thing, the subject matter is much different. For another, it’s a personal project and I’m the only client, which brings many of my usual assumptions into question, e.g., should I be less demanding, or more? As-is, I tried out four or five different designs, but decided that I really liked this image.

It’s a slightly-modified stock photo (which cost a bomb, but I happen to have a bunch of photo credits near their expiration date, so what the hey). The image (post my own retouching) really seems to fit; according to it’s even from Lancashire, which if hardly essential (you could take a photo like the above just about anywhere) is still a nice bonus. It has occurred to me that this is also a kind of much-evolved successor to one of my earliest book cover designs… All told, the design probably won’t win prizes, but I’m happy with it.

And, as noted, it’s basically for me; I’m doing all this to order one copy from So my approval is good enough.

Anyway, I have a back cover also, though I need to add a spine; the “guts” of the book are pretty far along, meanwhile, and I will probably finish this up and place my order sometime next week after my return. (FYI, anyone curious can read the NightJack blog, here; you don’t need a printed book.)

2 Responses
  1. Richard Horton permalink
    July 25, 2011

    Hello Matt,

    You can only imagine my initial consternation before I read your post properly. The blog never will be formally published but if it ever had been, that’s the cover that I would have wanted. It absolutely fits with the tone and the intent of the blog.

    I would be interested in seeing what the book looks like and if you could send me the appropriate link I may well download a copy for posterity. As it is, there is Salted Slug’s archive, a copy that I keep on a usb stick and a copy in the UK National Archive. What I would say is the same as I said to Salted Slug which is, I have no problem whatsoever with people quoting or reproducing the blog or parts of it as long as they are not doing it for gain. I donated the Orwell Prize and all the money that I got from bits being published in the papers to the Police Dependents Trust and I would appreciate it if you did the same.

    I am sure having read your post that you have no intention of mass publishing and that you are doing this for your own interest. As I said, it is a great cover and when I do get round to writing something, I will be dropping strong hints to any publisher that they should commission you for the cover of that book.

    All the very best
    Richard Horton
    TAFKA NightJack

  2. Matt permalink
    July 26, 2011


    Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I could and did imagine that creating a book form of the blog could easily go awry, so I’ve tried to keep it as personal a project as possible. It won’t be sold for profit, or advertised, and isn’t even in the general “public” section of In fact, I’ll send an e-mail with the url, in a minute here.

    I’m really glad that you approve of the cover; design intuition, I guess. I’m also excited to hear that you’re still keeping the idea of a new book in mind. Best of luck with it! By all means keep me in mind when it happens.

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