I have a thing for UK book covers. In fact, I love them so much that I am willing to pay extra money to have them. Not only do I find them more appealing to the eye, but they often give a more accurate picture of what the book is about. Sometimes, even the style of the cover feels closer to the the aboutness of the book. Honestly, I don't understand the changes sometimes, even after taking classes in book designs. Take these books for instance.

The UK cover isn't as dark, but it also has an actual picture of Mister Monday and the ever important clock. Also, my eye is drawn to this cover as it reminds me of an album cover and I'll admit, I still prefer artwork over photoshopped pictures.

I love this lizard. And I know I said I prefer artwork over pictures...but the lizard is a drawing and is less abstract than the US edition, and although I have no evidence of this, I think that this UK cover would appeal to more boys.

Wow. I mean, how wonderful is that cover? A kid standing up to a god with skyscrapers in the background and a beautiful blue shade that pulls the eye into it.

I like the target. The kid. Even the letters, as if Hunger Games has its own logo. Sure the mockingjay makes sense in the end, but which book would you be more likely to pick up? The one with black cover and a gold bird or the one with a target and a boy looking out at you...again...not black.

I was working at Candlewick when this one came out. I saw the original cover first and was impressed by the collage look of it. The angry kid and the burgers and fries flying around made me smile. Then the new cover crossed my desk and my eyebrow went up. A two-toned book with a gross hamburger on it. How is that appealing?

My real question is, are these the kinds of book covers that kids are actually buying or are these what adults think kids will like? Is America some strange place where bright colors and story-centric covers are ignored for boring covers of black, or if we are lucky two colors and one picture? I'm sure the UK has some bad covers too, but all these photograph covers with brunette girls looking out at me, aren't exactly sucking me in. I don't judge books by their covers, but I think a lot of people do, especially the under eighteen crowd.


Jason Kurtz said...

I love UK covers, too! I think book publishers there are not as obsessed with what adults think is appealing. I mean how many kids are doing market research for advertising firms? Anyway, I wrote a paper for one of my packets on covers and why they alienate boys. Interesting stuff! :)