12 March 2013 - JUDGING BOOK COVERS


JUDGING BOOK COVERS
G'day guys,
Here is an interesting article courtesy of C Max Magee - Judging Books by Their Covers.

"As we’ve done for several years now, we thought it might be fun to compare the U.S. and U.K. book cover designs of this year’s Morning News Tournament of Books contenders. Book cover art is an interesting element of the literary world — sometimes fixated upon, sometimes ignored — but, as readers, we are undoubtedly swayed by the little billboard that is the cover of every book we read. And, while many of us no longer do most of our reading on physical books with physical covers, those same cover images now beckon us from their grids in the various online bookstores. 

From my days as a bookseller, when import titles would sometimes find their way into our store, I’ve always found it especially interesting that the U.K. and U.S. covers often differ from one another. This would seem to suggest that certain layouts and imagery will better appeal to readers on one side of the Atlantic rather than the other. These differences are especially striking.

USA
UK


I much prefer the U.K. version here. The woodblock art is sublime, and the red and black are nice and bold.

UK
USA


Both of these make great use of a wild ’70s aesthetic, but I like the subtle menace of the U.K. cover over the day-glo U.S. design.  
 

USA
UK


The U.S. is my winner here with that intriguing and very “meta” book on a book design. The U.K. cover isn’t quite fully realized.  

 USA


UK
Against any other cover, the clever ripped-and-repaired look of the U.K. design would be my winner, but I love everything evoked by that big can-shaped slab of gelatinous cranberry on the U.S. cover."

Clancy's comment: Thanks, Mr Magee. Naturally, ask ten authors an opinion and you'll get ten different answers. However, when I've designed a cover, I've always thought of two things: that the cover relates to the story within, and that it is appealing to countless readers who all have different tastes. The 100 word blurb is also vital - the most important 100 words of your entire novel.


 So, what do you think? 

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