Posts Tagged: cover art

What’s in a Name?

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If there are indeed an infinite number of universes, it’s nice to think there might be one where all of the books we have come to know bear their original, author-intended titles. For the Paris Review, Tony Tulathimutte pulls back the curtain on the process of book naming to reveal that the title we see is often not given by the author, but generated by a marketing team with a very particular set of conventions and concerns:

The history of writers fighting for their book titles is extensive and bloody; so powerful is the publisher’s veto that not even Toni Morrison, fresh off her Nobel win, got to keep her preferred title for Paradise, which was War.

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Books as Beautiful Objects

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Perhaps some buyers do judge books by their covers. A designer has been turning classic literature into beautiful objects. Coralie Bickford-Smith, a London-based book jacket designer for Penguin, convinced the publisher to begin a line of books with traditional cloth covers and stunning jacket designs, turning the book into a object of aesthetic desire as much as a practical way to read a story.

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Judging by the Cover

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Covers not only stage an interaction between word and image, printed matter and visual representation, they also broker various connections among reader, designer, editor, publisher, and bookseller.

Using Peter Mendelsund’s amazing books Cover and What We See When We Read as a jumping-off point, and invoking covers of books like Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar, David J.

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Rigoberto Gonzalez

The Rumpus Poetry Book Club Chat with Rigoberto González

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The Rumpus Poetry Book Club chats with Rigoberto González about his new book Our Lady of the Crossword, cover image censorship, and the BP oil disaster. ...more

Choose Your Own Cover Art

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It’s well-known by the literary crowd that authors don’t get to choose the artwork for their book covers. Except when they do, as in the case of Naomi Jackson, author of The Star Side of Bird Hill, who convinced her publisher to use Sheena Rose’s painting “Too Much Makeup” as her cover:

I shrieked with joy when I saw the galleys of The Star Side of Bird Hill earlier this year.

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Cover Art Marginalizes Female Authors

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The disparity in the number of male and female bylines might very well have something to do with the artwork featured on their books. Cover art informs readers of a book’s contents, and publishers certainly try to manipulate readers, as Eugenia Williamson explains at the Boston Globe:

Harbach’s all-text cover has a hand-drawn, cursive script (for ladies) on a navy blue background (for men).

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