Hardcover vs. Paperback

When I first saw the hardcover jacket for Swim the Fly by Don Calame (2009), I thought it must be a draft. It didn’t have the look of a finished cover – none of the pieces seem to fit together very well. I’ve talked about green before – here’s one of those places where the green just doesn’t work well. One blog review said “If you are a boy, have boys, know boys, or enjoy boys … this book is for you!,” but I don’t imagine this cover was much of a magnet for boys.
But then what do I know? Another blog saysWe love the final look–represents the contents very well and should be eye catching on the bookstore and library shelves for its target audience.” Hmm.
Fortunately, the paperback cover is much better. I like the water & bubbles effect. Colors are good too, orange and red – warm colors – against the cool blue of the water. Far more pleasing to this artist’s eye…

Swim the Fly: Swim team members and best friends Matt, Sean, and Coop, set themselves the summertime goal of seeing a live girl naked, and while the chances of that happening seem very dim, Matt’s personal goal to swim the one-hundred-yard butterfly to impress the new girl on the team seems even less likely to happen. Ages 12+. Reviews 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.


7 Responses to “Hardcover vs. Paperback”

  1. The other thing that works for me for the paperback is that it reminds me of a James Patterson novel. Since those — at least in my experience — are big hits with the boys, mimicking that will certainly help this title that totally screams “boy!”

  2. Agreed! The new cover is much better — and the subtitle helps, too.

  3. I never knew a cover design could be changed from Hardcover to Paperback. That’s so interesting.

  4. I’m not sure you know. The second cover looks like a Peter Benchley book as viewed through a front loading washing machine window. Super-generic, and it looks like something your dad might read. The original is nothing special but at least it’s typographically playful.

    • Jacket Whys Says:

      Point taken, for sure. One of the things a wrestle with all the time on this blog is that my POV is just one POV. It amazes me when I’m reading book reviews and one will say a book has exquisite character development – and then I’ll read another review of the same book that will say that where the book is lacking is in its development of character. We’ll never all agree.
      So then, why bother? To bring elements into the light in order to create discussion? We all bring something different to it. In hearing what others bring, we educate ourselves.
      Or something like that. :-)

      • Well exactly! No one is right, I get so cross on the internet because every view is taken as black and white. Which is nonsense, we all bring a different perspective to the table. I’m certainly not righter than anyone else.

        I think that the morning I wrote this I had a bee in my bonnet about something or other. I really like your blog!

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