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.


Chasch said...

Funny you mention that, I was just at the London Review Bookshop yesterday (were I first discovered Tim Parks' books a couple of years ago) and was quite confused when I came across the sexed-up paperback of The Server. I wasn't sure if it was the same book at first.

As you say Tim Parks is a wonderful writer, though, and his series on living in Italy have really great covers that go beyond the classic sunflower field imagery one usually sees on memoirs about foreigners living in rural italy: http://booksend.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/tim-parks-italian-neighburs.jpg

frilled_shark said...

I know you love book cover blogs, so have you seen Talking Covers (http://talkingcovers.com/) yet? I'm reading their long piece on the design of the Vintage Contemporaries series.

JRSM said...

Chasch: I made the same mistake at first, assuming it was a new book, and wondering why it was straight to paperback. His Italian books do have great covers, you're right.

Frilled Shark, thank you for that: I need to add a link in the sidebar--it's a great site.