You know, I actually think Hatchette is fucking with us.

E!Online shows us the cover of J.K. Rowling’s new grown-up book, and to be honest, I think it’s pretty damn ugly.

I’m fairly sure the book will not use Jo’s picture on the front.

I have a board on Pinterest called Book Cover Examples, in which I analyze what works (or doesn’t) about certain book covers I’ve poached from Goodreads. I’m afraid this cover doesn’t tell me much about the story inside except that the residents of Pagford identify as Gryffindors and have terrible taste in retro art. It kind of looks like Hatchette recently fired their graphic designer and had to replace hir with someone who couldn’t get accepted to art school. And before anyone tells me not to throw stones, I’ll point out that I don’t live in anywhere near the same kind of glass palace as J.K. Rowling. We’re talking about the woman who is probably the most successful author currently alive, working with a publishing house that thinks it’s okay to charge $19.99 for an ebook. The Scholastic covers on the Harry Potter series were beautiful and descriptive. The Bloomsbury covers were not quite as esthetically coherent, but they showed us a little of what was going on inside. This one is just…”Look, everyone! Flat primary colors and a pretentious retro cursive font!”

I think they’re trying to emulate the esthetic feel of The Marriage Plot, which at least gives us the wedding ring element but is still rather ugly. But even above that, I think Hatchette is trying to see what they can get away with. I think they know perfectly well that The Casual Vacancy is going to fly off the shelves simply because it has Rowling’s name on the cover, and they’re phoning in the cover because they can.

However, if they’re going to charge $19.99 for the goddamn Kindle version, I think they can afford to hire a better cover designer.

1 thought on “You know, I actually think Hatchette is fucking with us.

  1. Reblogged this on jbcultureshock and commented:
    Wow… there is a lot of controversy over this book cover. I don’t mind it, but it does look similar to stuff I can do with just paint- I guess people were expecting more from a professional house. I think the simplicity of it is pretty interesting. It also leaves me wondering “what on earth is this book about”? Definitely check out the pin board she was talking about… I love some of the analysis she does on the covers.

    So what do you all think of the Casual Vacancy cover? Hit? Miss? Comment below and let’s chat :)

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