Tuesday 30 April 2013

Breasts Seen from Above

An interesting example of marketing at work: a  publisher changes the title and cover design pretty radically between the hardback publication and the paperback version. This is the most unsubtle case of this I've ever seen (and this is no knock on the author: I've really enjoyed Tim Parks's novels and translations over the years, and his NYRB posts about translation and literature are always fascinating.)

Original hardback

Forthcoming paperback

The bust-featuring cover also features a much more lowbrow paper to quote a blurb from.

My original assumption was that this was a case of the publisher desperately compensating for poor hardback sales, but it's more complicated: Sex is Forbidden was Parks's original preferred title, and the title under which the book was published in translation.

Wednesday 24 April 2013


A funny, nostalgic design for The Art of Failure, a new book on the frustrating nature of video games from MIT Press:

(Designer as yet unknown)

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Fire, Water

Following this marvellous cover for Ben Marcus's last novel, The Flame Alphabet...

..Peter Mendelsund has done it again with a matching watery cover for Marcus's new story collection. Both books are from Knopf. (See my interview with Peter here.)

Sunday 21 April 2013

Peacocks in Russia

One of the most beautiful books I have bought this year is the new, massive collection of novels, novellas and stories by the great Nikolai Leskov, published by Vintage UK. The cover design is by Suzanne Dean, making glorious use of an illustration by Finnish artist Klaus Haapaniemi. Here are the front and back...

Click for bigger--you really need to

..and here is the full book, shown with the reason for the lack of recent blogging, for scale.

Here is the US edition, which is very elegant, but it can't help but look diminished in comparison.

Wednesday 3 April 2013


From Penguin South Africa, a pair of books describing the author's euthanasia of his mother, and the legal consequences. The covers are really clever: stark and elegant.

Designer unknown. Click for much bigger versions.