On the Nile, the final cover

Back in July I posted about my new book, On the Nile (in the Golden Age of Travel) and accompanied it with snapshot of the book’s cover. Well that was just a working cover, a dummy. It was a very fine image but it was based on a poster that we had already included as a full page in Grand Hotels and we felt we’d be shortchanging readers if we were to run it again. More significantly, it shows locals sailing in feluccas, whereas the book is all about foreign visitors cruising the Nile on steamers and dahabiyas, which is something entirely different. We (we being myself and the book’s designer, Gadi Farfour) were able to find several posters depicting steamers, but none of them quite worked as a cover. So we commissioned an illustrator to have a go at coming up with something suitable.

He was Ross Murray, a talented Kiwi who does a lot of work for the magazine-publishing company where I’m editorial director. One of the things he did earlier this year was a set of four illustrations (below) for a story on the romance of travel. One of these, as you can see, depicted a Nile cruise and Gadi and I thought that with some tweaks it would make a perfect cover for our new book.


We sent Ross a photo of the cover of Grand Hotels and asked him to match the style, plus swap the sail for a steamer’s rail and replace the Pyramids (which feature on Grand Hotels) for a temple. This he did, along with plenty of changes of his own, and the resulting image is  amazing. I’m sure that anybody who didn’t know otherwise would assume the finished work is an original vintage poster.

The two books look fantastic together.



Right now we’re playing around choosing the correct colour for the spine, back cover and flaps.




These are the absolute final stages in the preparation of the book and it will be going off to print (in China) in about four weeks time. The publication date is now next March. I can’t wait.


Filed under Book news

9 Responses to On the Nile, the final cover

  1. Christina Harris

    How exciting, Andrew. The cover is in keeping with Grand Hotels.
    I prefer the darker green colour on the far left, for the jacket cover, if that is any help from one of your readers.
    Good luck. I look forward to reading the new book.

  2. Christina Harris

    Or is it the green next to it? Anyway, it’s the one shown on the opened book. It matches the man’s jacket.

  3. Janine

    It looks smashing! Can’t wait!

  4. Lajos

    Hi Andrew, Great cover, but would have one comment: the birds on the cover should be dark, as these are resembling very much scarlet ibis which ives in Americas only. However there is a very similar in Egypt, just need to change it for dark. Google for glossy ibis!

    • AndrewH

      I was expecting somebody to point out that Ross, the artist, had got Luxor Temple back to front (artistic licence) but I never imagined that our birds were the wrong colour!

  5. John Bosch

    The cover really pictures the mood of the titel !! (I don’t know if you can say this in English; it’s a rough translation of a Dutch expression).


  6. Stephen Harris

    A wonderfully evocative painting!

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