Don’t judge a book by its cover! Or do.
A brief overview of the modern book cover-age. From a Waterstones near you (other bookshops are 100% better)
rather a lot of illustrations so may take a while to load if you’re on phone broadband…
This cover for the first volume of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is an example of how to do it wrong.
The title of the series is bigger than the title of the book. The fact that it’s a TV series is more important than the book. This image from the show doesn’t tell you anything about the book. Literally any other edition of the book is better than this absolute trash.
This is Pullman done properly. I really like the world he created, even if the man himself is some kind of crazy SJW on Twitter these days. Another prequel was really not necessary, but OK.
This is how to do a fantasy cover right. The cover is nicely embossed and doesn’t need colour to convey its power across. This isn’t even a Tolkien Estate approved edition, it’s just a spin-off by another author. But then I find reading about Tolkien’s world is often more fun than trying to work through one of his massive tomes anyway.
Bonus view of inside the cover:
Example of a book cover being better than the actual book: Not even a fancy die cut window in the cover and being endorsed by Bram Stoker’s descendant can save this from being another prequel cash-grab. The story might actually be good, but modern day language creeping in to a supposed rediscovered manuscript ruins the verisimilitude. I would rather go read some Hellsing manga.
Book Design: Terrifying. This classic cover for the George Orwell is the stuff of nightmares. It’s my favourite 1984 design that I’ve found so far. NOTE: this was not from Waterstones but the Oxfam down the road.
The official Doctor Who annual for 2020 is already reduced to 99p. There might still be a hardcore group of fans who watch it on TV, but no one is buying this hateful crap. Good hair, though.
Join us next time when we’ll roast more book covers and show up early 21st century design for the drek it is, and try to find a few more diamonds in the rough. Lets hope the twenties will be a better, more considerate time.