The cover is important. Its what we judge the book by. We’re told not to by our mum’s, but we all know that’s a load of shit. We all judge a book by its cover, as well as everything else in life.
I’ve spent a year writing this book and I wanted a cover that it could be judged by. I had a good old think about – and then, as I tend to do, I drew a picture of it in my mind and knew what it was going to look like. It was a picture of the Liverpool team holding the European Cup aloft, the picture that everyone now identifies with that night in Madrid. Above it, there was going to be a picture of Klopp, a serious look on his face, gazing out into the distance, an almost dreamy look on his face. The message to the reader was that he had masterminded this journey to the European Cup. It was going to be a like a Star Wars poster, where the picture of Darth Vader floats above the rest of the cast.
I’m my own worse enemy when it comes to these type of things. I fix the picture in my mind. I even drew it on my ipad, cutting and pasting the images from the web. Despite me not having a design bone in my body and not really having the first idea about what sells books, I was fixed on this layout. That was a big mistake.
As I have already done a couple of times, I turned to Fiverr to find a book cover designer and found the wonderfully patient designer Prudence who is based in South Africa. Of course, I didn’t know she was wonderfully patient then, I have only found that out since I have been working with her – she clearly has the patience of a saint – with me at least!
I sent her a very prescriptive brief, telling her exactly what I wanted. She said I would have to source the images myself – this is where things started to come undone.
I have used Getty before, many times, both in here and in Australia. Getty are the people who manage all of the image rights for photographers. When I used to be a Marketing Director for a cruise company in Australia, Getty used to love me, take me for lunch, invite me to major sporting events. I used to spend a lot of money with them. Since then I have always had a budget for image rights. I’ve never given it a second thought. Need an image, no problem, go to Getty (other companies are available!). How much does it cost, don’t care, sign it off.
Things are different now. I’m not working with someone elses budget, I’m working with my own money. Its not a budget anymore, its cash. And when you are working with cash, suddenly Getty becomes a very expensive option. VERY expensive!!! I needed a Plan B!
This is where my wife comes in. She has some wonderful ideas. Why did I want them images anyway? Why did I want to make it all official looking? The book isn’t official, its anything but, I needed images on there that weren’t official, that communicated that fans eye view of things. What the people in the stands see. But were was I going to get that??
Cut to Madrid. There were seven of us went to the final in Madrid. Seven of us had tickets. (Only six got in but that’s a different story.) Of the six that got in, my mate Rob was on his own. Unimpressed with his seat he decided to go for a bit of a wander and somehow found himself sitting in the first row of seats behind the Liverpool dug out. That’s were he watched the game from. There is only Rob who could do that. Only Rob.
He sent us a message about where he was and we didn’t really believe him until these two amazing images appeared on the WhatsApp group. Taken from behind the row of official photographers of the team lifting the trophy. It was the perfect example of a fans view of the game to illustrate the fans view of the season.
So I sent the image over to Prudence and told her to ignore my own view of what this should be, to design something that would look strong and would tell the reader exactly what the book was about. I think she’s done that. It’ll be out by the end of the week…and here’s the front cover!!!