Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I Have Kate Morton Covered!

I just experienced the strongest memory of standing in the fiction department of Harrods. Looking at all those lovely books-- several of them by favorite authors and not yet published in the US-- made me think of this series of posts comparing the US and UK covers of crime fiction titles. Okay. So it also made me think about buying a suitcase and filling it with several of those lovely lovely books. Do I sound like a normal bookaholic now? Good!

This week I chose to compare the covers of Kate Morton's latest novel, The Lake House, because it was just released yesterday here in the US. I love her books, and I wanted to see the differences in the covers. Let's get down to business and take a look!

The UK Cover...

Blue sky, birds, tall trees, and the top story-and-a-half of a marvelous old house. I mean-- look at those windows! And the chimneys and chimney pots!
I like the fonts used for the title and author, and they show up well against the sky. The only other information to be seen is "Number One Bestseller." 

This is a simple cover that fits the book quite well... and I want to walk into that house!

The US Cover...

By comparison the US cover is a bit busy. Blue sky and blue lake water. Trees. The side of a woman's head superimposed on a house. The fonts used on the title and author are simpler, but they don't stand out as well against the background. "New York Times Bestselling Author," "Author of The Secret Keeper," and "A Novel" round out the information on the US cover. 

The woman's face stamps this book as women's fiction. I wonder how many men would at least pick it up if it just showed the house and no woman? And speaking of the house, the title of the book is The Lake House-- I want to see the house, not the side of a woman's head!

Oh-- I'd like to have your opinions, please. Am I the only person who wonders why publishers go to all the trouble of slapping "A Novel" on a work of fiction? It seems unnecessary to me, but there's got to be a reason behind it. 

The Verdict...

Hands down, the UK cover. Simpler, prettier, and I love what I can see of that house.

What Say You?

Which cover do you prefer? US? UK? Neither one? Inquiring minds would love to know!


  1. Well, this inquiring mind agrees with your inquiring mind. The British cover definitely!
    And I agree on the fonts.

    However, I might have asked the artist to put the house a little further back in the design and put even a hint of a lake next to it. But definitely, no woman's head.

    Why does a publisher think that putting a woman's head on a cover is attractive or compels would-be readers to buy the book?

    1. Evidently publishers tend to think that we women stick together and will buy books if a member of our sex is represented... although all those bare-chested hunks on the covers of romance novels tend to belie that.

      In other words, I don't understand it either, Kathy!

  2. Most definitely, Cathy - the UK cover! I don't like the 'pigeonholing' of the US cover very much...

    1. I'll have to remember that term... pigeonholing... it's perfect!

  3. Another vote for the UK cover! I had trouble seeing the piece of the house that's on the US cover because of all the other detail, but that's not its biggest problem. The US cover is just very blue and otherwise blah; what I think is meant to be sunlight on the water instead comes across as that blue fading to nothingness, which is not at all appealing.

    1. Good observation, Kate. It made me look at those covers again. I love the color blue, but there's too much of it on the US cover. However, if you "plot it out" there's about the same amount on both. It overwhelms on the US cover because it's on top and bottom where the UK cover reserves it for the sky.

  4. The UK cover for me, too, definitely. I am just itching to get inside that house and explore!

    1. Now if Jasper Fforde's Jurisfiction were real, we could be like Tuesday Next and jump right into that book!


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