Book covers: IVP responds … Plus another request for your views

Thanks for all the feedback on the draft covers for my forthcoming books. Eleanor Trotter, from IVP, has responded and asked for your help.

We are keen to encourage constructive criticism which takes us forward, and with this in mind would like to know from individuals:

a) Which covers from the general market do you like / dislike (browse Amazon)?
b) Which covers from the Christian market do you like / dislike (browse Wesley Owen or Eden)?
c) Which of IVP’s covers do you like / dislike (browse IVP’s website)?

In each case above (a, b and c), it is vital to bear in mind please the genre of the book and not select a cover which doesn’t match (in your case) the serious content. It’s very common for people to chuck in the covers of novels at times like this, as these have an enigmatic quality that appeals very widely. However, the cover of a novel won’t unfortunately work on either of your books.

Book covers are, as you know, very subjective, and Christian publishers often err a bit on the side of conservative, not so much because it’s our preference, but because it appeals to those making book-buying decisions. We also think of the global sales aspect and of the fact that the book needs to look just as relevant a few years down the line. If we are selling large quantities to an organization like UCCF and the bookshops don’t feature so highly, then that’s a bit different.

If you’re interested in contributing your favourite book covers then I suggest you find books you like at the websites above, and then simply cut and paste the URL (the web address for that page) into a comment box. I’ll pass feedback on to IVP next Monday (31 March).

For what it’s worth, here are my own choices …

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Ways-Reactivating-Missional-Church/dp/1587431645/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205954572&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Experiential-Storytelling-Discovering-Narrative-Communicate/dp/0310255147/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206530156&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Foucault-Very-Short-Introduction-Introductions/dp/0192805576/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205954626&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trinity-Kingdom-God-Doctrine/dp/0334023688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205954963&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gilead-Marilynne-Robinson/dp/1844081478/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205955425&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Adventure-English-Melvyn-Bragg/dp/0340829931/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205955464&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Pi-Man-Booker-Prize/dp/0151008116/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205955502&sr=1-7

10 thoughts on “Book covers: IVP responds … Plus another request for your views

  1. Having just got my copy of Vintage Jesus… man, phenomenal design work.
    The dust jacket is cool, and underneath is brilliant. Much like Rob Bell’s stuff, someone really thought about how these look.

  2. Well done to IVP for doing this. I’m too late but here are my thoughts…

    Just stick in Penguin Classics or Vintage Classics into the Amazon search engine and you come up with loads of great covers (when they venture away from the standard format – Vintage Classics seem to have hoards of truly exceptional covers at the moment). Eg:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gormenghast-Trilogy-Mervyn-Peake/dp/0099288893/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206660019&sr=1-1
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/North-Vintage-Classics-Elizabeth-Gaskell/dp/0099511487/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206660019&sr=1-2
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Woman-White-Vintage-Classics/dp/009951124X/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206660019&sr=1-12
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catch-22-Vintage-Classics-Joseph-Heller/dp/0099470462/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206660035&sr=1-18
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0099466031/ref=s9at_3-rfc_g1_wish_c6?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1P84G7K75OO0U&colid=2CL6J634ZFY6E&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=1B9X5DEFHMJZB6EE97RP&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=139294791&pf_rd_i=468294

    Lots of these seem to rely on great artwork but not all of them.
    I also like Continuum Impacts and Routledge classics which use simple images but striking design which they repeat:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Discourse-Free-Will-Continuum-Impacts/dp/0826477941/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206660204&sr=1-1
    http://www.routledge.com/classics/

    I can’t think of many Christian ones of the top of my head and without spending a load of time searching. I like the following IVP ones though (they are all really good):
    Where is God in a messed up world?
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/pages/394.htm
    Creating Space for Strangers
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/pages/data.asp?layout=product.htm&IdISBN.exact=9781844740598
    How Long O Lord?
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/pages/data.asp?layout=product.htm&IdISBN.exact=9781844741328
    Fabricating Jesus
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/pages/data.asp?layout=product.htm&IdISBN.exact=9781844741724
    War on terror
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/isbn/9781844741755.htm
    Why Trust the Bible?
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/isbn/9780851119939.htm
    Pierced for our transgressions
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/isbn/9781844741786.htm
    Why good arguments often fail
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/isbn/9781844741366.htm
    Generosity
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/isbn/9781844740208.htm
    Mend the Gap
    http://www.ivpbooks.com/isbn/9781844742844.htm

    All of these good IVP covers are striking to the eye, sensitive to the subject (not just another sunset), and not overly sentimental.
    IVP do produce some some of the best produced books, with the best writing and best covers in the market.

    Hope that gives an insight.

  3. Pingback: You Can Change the cover « Tim Chester

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