The paperback of The Pile is coming out in February with lots of great quotes from people who enjoyed it, including Sarah Vine, Lisa Jewell and Wendy Holden. Hodder, my publishers, chose to change the cover for the paperback. I think they’ve done a brilliant job in that, at first glance, it is very recognisably the same book as the hardback with the strong red and blue colours. However, they’ve pared it down so that it’s become starker and more graphic. You could also say less overtly ‘female’ in that the objects at the bottom of the stairs have now been replaced by the letters tumbling as if they were the detritus cluttering Mary’s life. I’ve included an image of the hardback for comparison.
I’d welcome any thoughts about these covers – do you prefer one or the other? What are the elements that you like, or don’t like, about these two or alternatives? Covers are a very contentious issue. Many female writers that I know feel that their books are pushed towards pink or loopy writing, or the ubiquitous girl in a red dress that’s so popular now. At the same time, publishers want the books to have an immediate resonance with readers scanning the shelves at the shop or supermarket and one way to do that is to have a look that echoes previously successful books.
As you can see, I don’t have this issue with Hodder for which I’m grateful. Their cover for David Nicholls’ One Day was so successful that it’s paved the way for this pleasingly minimalist look.
Fingers crossed that readers feel the same way…
PS did you see how I avoided the phrase ‘judging a book by its cover’ in this blog post? Oh tarnation, I’ve just blown it.