Wednesday, August 10, 2016
I Have Linda Castillo Covered!
I haven't done any comparison posts for a while. Distracted by flood clean-up, reading, and other things I really wasn't reminded until I happened to be perusing the bargain bin at Book Depository. I can often find my favorite UK authors at Book Depository for less than I can buy them on this side of the pond plus delivery is free. Can't beat that with a stick!
Anyway, I happened to see some American authors there in the bargain bin, and seeing the UK covers reminded me that it wouldn't hurt to do a little comparison. So... here I am with the American and British covers of a crime fiction novel. Let's take a look, shall we?
The US cover...
Blue is my favorite color, so that is always going to catch my eye in any comparison, and I love the dark silhouette of the house with a person standing at a lighted window. It makes me wonder what's going on. Is that light in the sky sunrise, and is the person in the window waiting for someone who never came home? I like covers that get my imagination going, but... it would be nice if the one- and two-word blurbs (and who said them) were removed. The gold seal telling us that Castillo is a winner? I'll let that stay. (Magnanimous, aren't I?) The line running across the top should really mention Kate Burkholder, too. For me, the US cover is a case of something really good brought down by too much clutter-- and I also find it interesting that nothing says "Amish." I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that this particular subgenre is rather popular, so I'm wondering why the marketing team decided not to have anything overtly Amish on the cover.
The UK cover...
On the other hand, the UK cover has an Amish horse and buggy right out there for us all to see. I don't know about you, but this cover gives me a feeling of dread. We see the buggy through the windshield of a car, and the only thing we can see of the driver is a pair of mirrored sunglasses. The predominant color is black, and from the look of the trees and undergrowth at the sides of the road, it's late fall or winter... the dead time of year. I don't think the little descriptive sentence is really necessary unless Castillo has yet to become known in the UK. The only other thing I have to say is that the author's name and the book title show up really well against the black background.
As much as I like that blue on the US cover, I have to say that the UK cover wins this round. Everything combines to make this cover feel ominous, and that horse and buggy scream "Amish!" (Although the buggy is missing the reflective yellow triangle on the back. I grew up a few miles away from a large Amish settlement.)
What say all of you? Which cover do you think is better? US? UK? Too close to call? Don't like either one? Inquiring minds would love to know!