Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘covers’

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Costume ideas… for your books

So you’ve figured out what to be for Halloween. But why shouldn’t your books get in on the fun, too? The website Facsimile Dust Jackets sells reproductions of early-edition dust jackets, sized to fit whatever book you want–so you can “dress up” your volumes for Halloween or year-round. Here’s the cover of Of Mice and Men: Or why not let your staid dictionary let its hair down and disguise itself as Barney O’Hara: Trapper? If these are out of your budget, you can always make your own book costumes–uh, I mean, dust jackets. Craft blog Hydrangea Girl has a how-to. […]


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"The blowtorch is the secret weapon in design"

Think book designers are namby-pamby design nerds hunched over their Macs? Think again. The Guardian reveals the secret, extreme lengths designers will go to in order to get that perfect cover: Deputy art director Glenn O’Neill tells me that the original jacket concept for Robert Harris’s Cicero novel, Lustrum, was to feature an image of a raging fire. Not content with plucking any old flame image from a picture library, however, the team set a field in Gloucestershire on fire. (No, it wasn’t arson – they had the farm owner’s permission). “We created a big bonfire from old crates and […]


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U.K. vs. U.S. covers

When British books are published in the United States, and vice versa, publishers don’t generally change the text to cater to their audiences across the pond. Okay, they often adjust the spelling of a few words, like “realise”/”realize” and “practise”/”practice.” And some small punctuation changes occur—British writers tend to put their periods and commas outside quotation marks, Americans within. But these changes are quite minor. There’s one major thing that changes when a book crosses the Atlantic, though: the cover. The Millions has an interesting analysis of the UK and US covers of the books involved in the 2011 Tournament […]


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DO Judge a Book By Its Cover.

Speaking of judging books by their covers, one branch of the New York Public Library recently asked readers to do just that. The NYPL blog explains: At the Webster Branch, we recently put up a display with all of the books covered in brown paper. Above it there is a sign that reads: “Do You Judge a Book by Its Cover?” The rules are if you unwrap a book—based on the short description taped to it—you must check it out. Even if you’ve read it before, or if you think you won’t like it. Take it home, give it a […]


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Beautiful Bindings

As usual, my holiday shopping consisted of lots of hours lost in bookstores, just browsing around, and finding at least as many books that I wanted, as I did books for friends and family. Yep, I’m a bit of a one-trick pony on the gift front – the equivalent of an aunt who always gives hankies. Usually I’m on the hunt for specific things, so my head isn’t all that turned by covers, but this year I couldn’t help but notice the attention to aesthetics that many of the houses are putting into their bindings. Here are some favorites. Europa […]


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Book covers in your mailbox

For better or worse, I’m one of those people who the postal service could charge $2 to send a simple letter and I’d still ante-up. With more of us sending email, especially in a work setting (I’m all for the environmental benefits of this), municipal mail service around the world has suffered. But there’s still something thrilling about receiving a handwritten letter – and they’re rare enough these days that a note from a friend in the mailbox can make my week. Enter: the perfect intersection of my admiration for the handwritten note and a love of cover design. Penguin […]


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Book Covers in the eBook Era

Imagine you’ve walked into a bookstore, browsing for something new. Besides an explicit recommendation, how do you decide what to read? If you’re like most people, you reach for a book that looks interesting… based on the cover. Mokoto Rich of the New York Times discusses how the e-book era may prevent us from judging a book by its cover and the ramifications that has for authors: Among other changes heralded by the e-book era, digital editions are bumping book covers off the subway, the coffee table and the beach. That is a loss for publishers and authors, who enjoy […]


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Book Design Nerdery, Part I: Designing a Cover

Have you ever wondered how book covers get designed? This video shows how Orbit Books’ Creative Designer Lauren Panepinto designed the cover for an upcoming novel. The whole process took over 6 hours, but the video condenses that into just under two minutes: On Orbit’s webpage, Panepito explains: Trust me, no one wants to watch it in real-time…and even then I left out the not-as-riveting-onscreen stages of my cover design process, such as reading the manuscript, sifting through Alexia photoshoot outtakes, background photo research, etc. And since this is a series look that has already been established for Soulless and […]




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