Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cover Talk: Other Covers

One of more interesting cover-related things is how books get different covers in different countries. Sometimes there are only slight changes, but a lot of times a different country/language warrants a whole new cover that better appeals to that particular market. I've seen other bloggers (most recently ComaCalm's Corner) do similar cover comparison posts and today I'm going to look at different foreign covers for a few YA novels, discussing which ones I like best and which looks like it fits the story best.

Book #1: Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi
Top: American; Left: French; Right: German.
I've never been a huge fan of the American cover of this book; it's very glitz-and-glam for a book that's incredibly bleak. The French cover captures that bleakness (and also, with the stars, the poetry of the novel and of Juliette's character, I think) so much better. And while the German cover is undeniably beautiful, it's a bit too bright for how I imagine the setting of the story. My choice: French, which translates to "do not touch me," according to Google.

Book #2: Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler
Top: American; Left: Dutch; Right: German
This is a tricky one, because here's the truth: I like all three of these covers. But at the same time, I'm not sure that any of them are as eye-catching and pretty as I'd like or capture the story as well as I want. I like the symbolism of the American cover because the colored sea glass is a pretty big part of the story. Meanwhile the Dutch version, with the couple walking on the beach, is pretty and simple but not so unique. The German cover isn't at all what I'd expect from this book, but I really like it; it's cute and bright and the girl reminds me of main character Anna, especially near the end of the book. My choice: German, which according to Google Translate means "the stars still shine." (love that)

Book #3: The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green
Top: American; Left: Dutch; Right: German
Ah, another interesting one. On the whole (aside from the Dutch cover) these all seem a bit... bright... for The Fault In Our Stars, which is at best a melancholy book. That said, I absolutely love the German cover, even if I don't think it's totally 100% spot-on. My choice: German, which Google Translate tells me translates to "is the fate of a dirty traitor."

Book #4: The Future Of Us, by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Top: American; Left: Spanish; Right: Danish
The American cover doesn't quite work with me, despite the fact that I like the inclusion of binary code. The Spanish cover has models that, at least in my mind, look like Emma and Josh, but doesn't really get at what the book itself is about. The Danish cover, on the other hand, isn't perfect, but has a sort of 90s-zine look and incorporates the technology of the book. My choice: Danish, which translates to "yesterday today tomorrow." Or something.

I should note that the fact that I didn't choose any American versions doesn't mean I don't like American covers. But sadly, many of the books with covers I love haven't been translated into other languages (and if they have the cover hasn't been changed much.) So, which covers are your favorite?



    Yes, that deserved capitals because I hate the hardcover and now maybe I'll actually buy the book.

    1. yess and OMG, mad love for the paperback cover. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll be buying the pback even though I already have a (signed, even) hardcover. The paperback is JUST SO MUCH BETTER. prettyyyy.

    2. This is one case where I was crossing my fingers that they'd switch covers in the middle of a series, glad to hear that the next 2 books are going to match it instead.

  2. It's interesting the German cover of Shatter Me is the same stock image as the American edition of Carrier of the Mark:

    Different backgrounds, though.