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Judge a Book By Its Cover – Weekly Geeks

I don’t normally participate in Weekly Geeks (not because I’m not interested, but because I can barely keep up with what I do now), but this one caught my attention.

This week it’s all about judging books by their covers! Pick a book–any book, really–and search out multiple book cover images for that book. They could span a decade or two (or more)…Or they could span several countries. Which cover is your favorite? Which one is your least favorite? Which one best ‘captures’ what the book is about?

I’m going to take this and tweak it a little bit (hopefully I’m not breaking any Weekly Geeks code of conduct. If I am, I apologize profusely and plead ignorance.), because I read something (three months ago…and I’m still thinking about it!) I thought you’d all be interested in.

This is from Pub Rants talking about the cover of Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. She says everything so succinctly, that I’ll just quote her and link back to her original post:

Often AREs go out with a plain cover (sometimes blue paper) but RH did the galleys with the actual color cover. Lots of AREs were mailed out for early reviews, feedback, bookseller comments, etc. Now based on that feedback, Random House decided to do a few tweaks. Now I find the whole cover process fascinating so I thought you readers might as well.

For HOTEL, RH decided that the maroon filigree was a bit too heavy and de-emphasized the title. They wanted the title to be more prominent and in bigger font.

So, here’s the original cover.


Here’s the final cover with the tweak.


And I’m curious…which do you like better? The first one with the filigree or the second one where the title is more prominent? I’ve set up a poll for you and if you want to expound on your answer you can do so in the comments.

[polldaddy poll=1352808]


26 Responses to “Judge a Book By Its Cover – Weekly Geeks”

  1. claire

    At first I couldn’t decide, really. I actually like them both a lot. The first one because I love jewel tones and am attracted to filigrees. The colours are rich and the cover has a certain punch to it. However, what tipped me over was the designer in me. The heavy maroon filigree really does seem too heavy, not just on the title, but on the overall picture. The second one, though at first glance looks plain, is actually very balanced. The softness of the white filigree just peeking through creates an overall effect of nostalgia without Oriental overtones as the first one gives off. So I vote for the second, softer cover. πŸ™‚


  2. Darlene

    I like the second one much better. I do think that the maroon filigree really takes away from the cover of the first one by being the only thing you see when you look at it. With the second one I’m drawn into the actual picture instead which I much prefer.


  3. Vasilly

    I like the first cover better. It makes me take a closer look at the cover while with the second cover I can just glance at it before putting it down.


  4. Erin

    I like the second one, where the title stands out a little more on its own. Really pretty cover, either way!


  5. bermudaonion

    I like both of them, but think I prefer the second one. The filigree in the top one distracts from the picture some.


  6. Chris@bookarama

    I like the second one the best. It’s simpler.


  7. Frances

    What a clever set-up you have here today! I found myself in the minority preferring the first cover. It was not so much just the filigree but the deeper color in general is more attractive. Also, for me, the filigree makes the title the focus whereas without it, the umbrellas are the focal point. Perhaps they could have softened the line of the filigree?


  8. Ruth

    The second one is much more aesthetically pleasing to me. In the first, I’m looking at the filigree. In the second, I’m looking at the title, the umbrellas, the water…a lot more of the details. The softened colors also compliment the title more, I think.


  9. Staci

    I liked them both but the dark color caught my eye right away….


  10. pussreboots

    I prefer the first one. I think so often the modern book covers are too focused on the pretty photo or illustration and nothing else.


  11. Robin of My Two Blessings

    I definitely like the 2nd cover better. Once they got rid of the filigree, then the title stood out and easy to read. I don’t like clutter and the filigree was too cluttery.


  12. Stacie.Make.Do.

    I like the first cover better. It is true the second makes the title easier to see/read, but the first is much prettier and would hold my attention long enough to make me want to pick it up and actually flip through it or at least look at the back. The second is an “Oh. Huh.” look to me.


  13. Amy @ My Friend Amy

    I like both covers, but I read Pub Rants, too. πŸ˜‰


  14. Biblibio

    The filigree adds charm to the cover but it is a bit heavy handed. Plus, I’m sick of the flowery-framing for titles. The second is simpler, lighter, and all in all looks more serious. How’s that for judging a book by its cover?


  15. Melody

    I like both covers, but I agree the filigree looks a little too heavy…


  16. Kerrie

    Thanks for the poll. It gave an interesting touch to see how others voted


  17. Cindy S.

    Hi Trish, That was a great poll. My fave is the first one. I would spot that on the shelf right away and would probably pick it up faster then the 2nd one. Both covers are nice though.


  18. kaye

    I prefer the second one also. If people are using umbrellas, that implies rain. I associate rain with a light washed out sky and a softness to the air. The second one evokes that softness for me, the first one with the heavy color is brash. Getting past the cover, the inside is wonderful. One of the best books I have read in a while.


  19. sagustocox

    I really like the heavy nature of the filigree…I think it would more likely grab my attention in the bookstore than the second cover.


  20. Lisa

    I think the filigree is too heavy for the picture, but I do like it.


  21. kittykay

    Both look good, but in the end I voted for the second one. I think the title is more visible. Although the filigree is really beautiful, I think it doesn’t go that great with the image under, I feel there’s too much going on.

    To be honest though, the first one might be the one that catches my eye more amongst a pile of new books in a book store, but I really appreciate more the second one.


  22. softdrink

    Geek! πŸ˜€


  23. sherry (nite swimming)

    Making use of a poll is pure geekiness. Bravo!


  24. alirambles

    I like them equally. Which is why I’d be a terrible cover designer. Fun to see you participating in Weekly Geeks! (And here’s a motto for you: nobody freaks if you tweak a Weekly Geek)


  25. Care

    LOL! I’m laughing at softdrink’s comment. too much fun. what a community we have, huh? geek or not.


  26. gautami tripathy

    I like the second one!



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