I'd love to be in the room when artists and designers are brainstorming about some of these book covers. Just the other day Josh and I were discussing The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall which is soon to come out in soft cover. The American hard cover version gave you the choice of red or blue dust jackets each featuring an image of a ludovician "...a conceptual, unusual fish...it is a predator, a shark. It feeds on human memories and the intrinsic sense of self. " This image is formed of words strung together.
The British hard cover has a really neat illustration combining different elements of the story into an abstract ink blot akin to the Rorschach Tests which I think is just a brilliant visual representation of the story.
(UK Slip Case)
Now, here's my problem - the American paperback is dull. While Canada, Australia and Germany all get fun new covers with the shark theme we get...blue watery looking words on black. Where's the design, the originality? This is a fabulously written account of one man on the brink of losing his mind and identity, literally, to a memory eating shark . It should have a cover that conveys the depth and creativity of the novel.
(US Paper Back)
(Canadian Paper back- more interesting than American)
I believe that the design of a book cover needs to be true to the type of book it's representing. I know that we're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover but we all do and there's a good reason- we can't just judge a book by the blurb on the back. It's the combination of an honest cover, intruiging title and well written summary that informs the consumer and convinces him/her to take it home.
I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised when the paperback is released here in April.