Book covers – compelling or irrelevant?


How many time do you hear someone say ‘never judge  book by its cover”? The fact is that we do. Book covers are important. They are the first thing we see – so if you aren’t looking for a specific book or a specific author, the book cover is what catches your eye. Hence the importance of the right book cover for the right audience.

Book covers change when books are relaunched or when films are released. They are also adapted for different markets. Cross-over fiction might have one cover for the child/teen market and one cover for the adult market. Equally book covers are different around the world. Time and money is spent to ensure that the book cover appeals to the country the book is being sold in – and this isn’t just a language issue: there are huge difference between book covers for the UK and US markets.

So what do you think of these different book covers – why do you think they are different and do you think they are effective? Which do you prefer and why? When you look at the cover, don’t just look at the picture, look at the writing, the font,  the words – they’re all part of the package. I haven’t put my own thoughts down because ultimately this is a matter of taste – but it would be interesting to know if you are attracted to the cover that is targeted at your market – I’m based in the UK and I did find I preferred the UK covers.

Release by Patrick Ness – the pathway cover is the UK one and the railway line is the US one.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – the yellow cover is the UK one and the multi-coloured cover is the US one.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – the red cover is the UK one and the blue cover the US one

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas – the blue cover is the UK one and the dark cover the US one.

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz – the black cover is the UK one and the blue cover the US one.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – the cover with the face is the UK one and the white cover is the US one.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – the red door is the UK cover and the face with the blue eye mask is the US one.

Finally – for something amusing: what were they thinking with these covers? Dreadful for any market. Check The Guardian article here.

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