Judging a Book by Its Cover (and title)

Fire Answers Fire Cover 3-18-14To the left is one early draft cover design for Fire Answers Fire showing the 1937 burning of the Hindenburg and to the right is the current cover based on the 1934 cover of Ernst Toller’s autobiographyFire Answers Fire - Cover 2

The question is, with the official May Day publication only an hour away at all major ebook outlets, did I choose correctly? Would sales benefit from a little touch of the famous ol’ flames and terror?

Which also brings up the question of the title (which, for me, is no question at all). There is an abandoned (and fictional) Toller play within the novel entitled Fire Answers Fire that sparks this conversation in Chapter 12, “And Happy Endings with Dead Villains”:

“Well, there’s nothing I’d rather hear than the songs that weren’t written for Fear Answers Fear.”



Fire Answers Fire.”

“What did I say?”

“Fear. Fear Answers Fear. It was a mistake Grandpa made too, wasn’t it? Maybe that shows it wasn’t the best — or even a good — working title. Wasn’t very memorable. Maybe it should have been something like I Blew Up the Hindenburg!!, so the audience would know exactly what it was gonna be getting.”

Would I Blew Up the Hindenburg!! attract more readers than Fire Answers Fire?

If so, is attracting the “wrong” readers a bad thing? (And can any paying customers be considered the “wrong” customers?)


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