The End of Marking Time has elements of first, second, and third person perspective and I wanted the packaging to shout that this book is unusual. The front cover hints at Michael’s release from prison and I think Sarah Carroll, my cover artist, did a great job putting together a classic cover that warns of danger.
When you turn the book over, it gives you a good stiff poke in the cranium. You won’t notice the little trick I’m playing on the men when they handle the book cover, but I’ll tell you in a moment how you can test it out with your friends. The first thing you’ll notice is that the text is landscape (sideways if you’re not a graphic artist.) When you turn the book 90 degrees to read the text, I’m telling you that you’re going to have to think about this book differently. The second indication that this book will make you think, is that Michael immediately introduces himself and begins talking to you as if you already know him. One of the mysteries of this book is you. Not who you are, but who Michael thinks you are.
Michael is locked in a room facing a large window set into a concrete block wall. The back cover subtly shows the window and the wall, which are the setting for the entire book. Michael believes that you are behind the window, listening to his story and that it is your job to decide whether he is worthy of another chance. That is why there are two big buttons on the back cover. One red. One green. If you press the green button, Michael gets to go free. He doesn’t know what will happen if you press the red button, but he knows it’s not good.
If you knew about the buttons before you picked up the book, you might realize that I’ve tricked many of you into pressing the green button when you turned the book over. This works surprisingly well for men. Try handing the book to your friends and asking them to check out the cover front and back and tell you what they think. Most of the men will have their thumb on the green button when they first turn it over. You have to pay attention, because they will turn the book as soon as they realize the text is landscape. I can’t make women press the button consistently because they are too darn unpredictable. But if I could figure out women, I’d be writing a different sort of book, wouldn’t I?
I’ve created a Facebook group called, I pressed the (RED) (GREEN) button for you to share your own results. Stop in, tell me what you think of the cover, and which button you pressed. Enjoy The End of Marking Time and please join me for the virtual launch party on June 10th.
So... you've hung on just for the contest, right? Right. Here's how to win:
In the comments, post your favorite brain-bending book and why you liked it. All commenters will be thrown into a hat (well, not literally, but you get the idea) and a winner will be chosen on June 9 in anticipation of the launch party. You can only enter once, but everyone is eligible to win.