Wednesday, August 17, 2016
I Have Sue Grafton Covered!
I've been doing a little "research" on book covers, and I think I'll have some interesting comparisons for you in the weeks and months to come. I'm happy to say that there's only one book that will have the old half-a-face or back-of-the-head gimmicks that I love so much (ahem). Could it be that publishers are getting tired of that old chestnut, or is it merely the luck of my draw? Who knows!
This week I'm comparing the US and UK covers of one of Sue Grafton's "Alphabet" series of mysteries starring Kinsey Milhone. Perhaps not everyone has read one of these books, but I would imagine most people could take one look at a cover and say, "Oh yeah. I recognize those." At least as far as the US covers go. Wait till you take a look at the UK cover! No... don't wait. Let's take a look right now!
I must be nosier than I thought because the sight of that open purse on the UK cover makes me want to take a look inside it. I don't know why because-- due to my previous employment experience-- I've had to look inside a lot of women's purses. I came away convinced that the vast majority of them need a really good clean-out. But I digress.
The UK Cover
It's been quite a while since I've read T is for Trespass, so I'm not sure what significance that purse has to the action in the book. The UK cover keeps the wording to a minimum. You get author, title, the fact that it's a Kinsey Milhone mystery, and a rather meaningless blurb that tells us that it's "A ceaselessly engrossing thriller." (Why bother?) The only thing the UK cover has that I object to strongly is that green background. Yes, it shows the other objects well, but I am not a fan. Hmmm... red and green. Did this come out at Christmas time? (Oh oh. I seem to be feeling a bit sarcastic today....)
The US Cover
On the other hand, the US cover couldn't be simpler. Erm... yes it could if the publishers got rid of the blurbs at the bottom and the top. Does Sue Grafton really need blurbs? Really? I don't think so, and since they both mention the New York Times, I'm going to be outrageous here and wonder if the aforementioned publishers owed the newspaper a favor.
As far as I'm concerned, the US covers for Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone books are iconic. Author. Title. That great big letter of the alphabet. All of those standing out sharply against the background. What more do you need?
Author. Title. Big letter of the alphabet. I can see that cover across the room with my glasses off. Sometimes big and bold and simple are all that you need.
My Verdict (as if you couldn't already tell)
Hands down-- the US cover. What about you? Agree? Disagree? Inquiring minds would love to know!