Tuesday, March 01, 2011

When wrong is just right!

Cover design is a big deal in book publishing. Get the wrong one, and buyers pass you up in the store faster than you can hiss "don't judge a book by its cover!"

We have been very fortunate to have brilliant covers for Gary Corby's two books from Minotaur.  His debut, THE PERICLES COMMISSION is one of my all time favorites:

The Australia editon went in a very different direction but I love it as well:

Now, what you and I probably wouldn't catch right away, but Gary (meticulous researcher that he is!) did was there is something very wrong about this coin!  Here's his blog post about finding out what was wrong.


KLo said...

Great, one more thing to stress about ;-)

Anonymous said...

I love both covers, although I personally like the Australian more, lol. It must be the bright colors.

I would really like to read the blog you linked because I'm curious what's wrong with the coin but the link doesn't seem to be working!

Cat Moleski said...


Margaret Yang said...

This book has just zoomed to the top of my TBR pile. Anyone who delves that deeply into research must have written a detailed, rich story. Can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

The head on the coin should be in profile. (I collect these!)

But, both are still lovely covers. I like the Australia edition a tad bit better.

ryan field said...

I wouldn't have caught that.

I like both covers. I'm just more familiar with the US version.

scaryazeri said...

Love Gary, love the covers, must reed the book. :)

Gary Corby said...

Hi KLo, you have nothing extra to stress about. Covers are under the control of the publisher, not the author. I happen to be well-blessed with editors who go out of their way to ask my opinion, and I appreciate it hugely, but ultimately this is one extra thing for my editor to stress about, not me!

Seesabrinarun, you're right. The head *should* be in profile. There were a few face-on coins, but not many. Also as you certainly know most coins were silver. So this one looks interesting right away.

It fascinates me how different the covers are, yet they both accurately portray the story. It just goes to show sometimes you can judge a book by several covers.

Tana Adams said...

I'm a huge fan of Gary's. Love both covers, but they do each evoke a different feel. The book was great!

Kristin Laughtin said...

That's really awesome (and now I feel rather smart, because when I saw the coin but before I saw the text below, I thought it was rather odd-looking for a Greek coin)! It reminds me of the making-the-book-cover video for one of Gail Carriger's books, where they put in the Eiffel Tower before realizing it hadn't been built yet at the time of her novel. I don't know why, but catching historical discrepancies is fun.

ARJules said...

I LOVE it when I know an author has done so much research that they know the world inside and out!

And I have to say, I love both covers shown as well. I have passed on books because I didn't like their cover. I know. I'm horrible. I'm a horrible reader. And biased. I shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. But there's something so great about having a really amazing cover that makes you want to pet it.

Or is the petting thing just me?

Joel said...

I'm not a big fan of airport covers, like the peek-a-boo Medusa (BADGER, BADGER, BADGER ...) but I understand its place, and I respect it.

But I loved the other one. It was bright, clever, whimiscal, sharp. It told me I was smart to buy this book and that other people will think I'm smart, too. The perfect cover.

dylan said...

Dear Ms Reid

I agree that Gary Corby was very fortunate in both of these covers.

All my life as I haunted used book sales, I always turned-up my nose at the ubiquitous "Dick Francis" mysteries I encountered, because I didn't like the stylized equine art on the covers, and, if that isn't petty enough, I thought he had an insipid, douchey name (sounded to me like a contrived marquee moniker from the fifties or sixties).

When I finally read one a year or so ago (maybe had its cover torn off?) I soon realized I had inadvertently set aside a trove of treasure to discover later in life.

As I whiled away a long winter burning through his scintillating body of work, I reflected that even shallowness has its advantages.


Joie said...

I have to be honest, as someone who comes from a design background, the first cover doesn't grab me at all. If I saw it sitting on the shelf, I would pass it by. The second one is more striking, but still not exactly my cup of tea. Better, though. I did enjoy reading about the mystery behind the coin!