An Exception

On the left, the hardback cover of Prism by Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman (Harper 2009). On the right, the paperback cover to be released in June.  This is another one of those cover changes that make me wish I could have been a fly on the wall of the room this was discussed in… While the overall look from a distance is pretty much the same, let’s look at the changes. The authors’ names shrunk. The title font changed and moved. And there’s this girl’s face looking over the horizon like a rising moon.
What’s strange, is that I prefer the paperback better. I don’t understand why, because I rarely lean toward face covers. Especially partial faces.
Don’t get me wrong –  this won’t make my best of the year list – it’s still too busy for my taste. But I think more readers will be drawn to the paperback. The text change makes a big difference, both the change of font, and the shrinking authors. Maybe the names didn’t draw the teen audience like they might have drawn adult fans.

Prism: California high school students Kaida, Zeke, and Joy fall into a parallel universe in which all resembles their normal lives except that there is no medicine nor health care, which could mean big trouble for Joy, whose arm was injured in the accident that started their troubles. Ages 12+. Review 1, 2, 3.


4 Responses to “An Exception”

  1. The eyes have it in the paperback edition. Haunting, they draw you right in.

  2. i also think one’s wee reptilian brain gets confused when confronted with the names and the title spread out across the jacket, all in similar fonts. you don’t know where to look! now you go to the EYES and the title, and going to the eyes means you also actually SEE the broken glass instead of scooting your gaze all over the place in a panicky gecko-like way.

  3. Two authors on the cover always looks incongruous – especially when so much relies on that loyalty to a marquee name. On the hardback, Prism looks like the third writer of the book – I picture Prism as a sort of fantastically attired African-American lady.

  4. Not even a close call. The pb wants you. It is watching you. Come here, buy me. Come here, buy me… Grocery stoes often turnout all the books they shelve… Mass market is different.

    I wonder, too, if despite not tageting YA with the hardcover jacket (except the trend in YA right now for one-word titles), most bookstores won’t shelve the title with FK’s other books whether trade or pb.

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