Tuesday, 19 December 2017

"The Surrogate" by Nick Sharman - another terrific cover from Crossroad Press

Ooh, that's nasty! The Surrogate (1980) was by far the biggest-selling of my books...

... - Signet flogged 360,000 copies of the first edition in the US. It was also undoubtedly the best-written, so I've always been fond of it. Crossroad Press, who are publishing digital versions of all my old horror novels, sent me a couple of covers to look at over the weekend - this one and a busier, more colourful number - and I gave this one the thumbs-up. Having always been a bit sniffy about digital book covers (I had concluded that they bore the same relationship to paperback covers as CD inserts do to LP covers) Crossroad is making me eat my words - this is the fourth one they've produced so far, and every one of them has been on a par with (or better than) the impressive, hand-painted originals. Here, for instance, is the cover of the 1980 American edition:
Very effective - but too busy for a tiny digital image on sites like Amazon. 

I included the covers of the first three digital editions published by Crossroad Press in this post in October. 

The Surrogate is available on Amazon for £2.99 - what an amazing bargain!


  1. I still prefer the 1980 American edition.
    Being a bit of a statistics fiend I've always wanted to know how many copies were sold, and where, and how? If one had wandered into Grand Central Station for example around 1980/81 would it be on display in some bookazine booth to catch the eye of the busy commuter,or perhaps it was aimed at a more discerning reader in a refined bookshop?
    360,000 copies is colossal amount!

    1. Well, it crept into the top 20 paperback US sales chart for one or two weeks. It was a good read, and its publication coincided with the peak of the horror boom - and NAL/Signet were a BIG company with lots of clout. The follow-up wasn't as good, and sold half that amount - and thus began my long slide down the slippery slope to deserved obscurity. Fun while it lasted, though.

      As for the relative merits of the two covers, context is all - the impact of the original Surrogate illustration would be lost as a tiny Amazon thumbnail, and I suspect the new cover might be a bit overpowering on a paperback.

  2. At least, unlike Guy N Smith , no redux Crabs.

    1. If I'd had any commercial nous, I'd have started writing "Revenge of the Cats" the day I got the initial sales figures!