Book websites and the art of covers

As regular readers know, I’m really big on making stories with a high degree of supplemental media; art, music, interactive websites, whatever works with that book. That, to me, is the ideal aim with most written work. Not because it needs it, but because it meshes together so well to create a larger experience for a fan.

Stephen King’s latest offering is titled 11/22/63. While I really kind of love making a date the title to a book, so many parts of the world work with the format of day/month/year, so it encounters the problem of not being universal. Nevertheless, the title is so interesting on its own, I actually clicked the link in one of my bookstore subscription newsletters just to find out what it was (I know, I’m awfully sheltered from industry news at the moment).

I admit, the cover art came as a surprise. The US get a very striking cover, torn paper, cream, red and black colour scheme, a nicely “aged” look. It’s a strong cover, good layout, very bold and appealing. I really love it.

Then we get… a lens flare? No, no, no, no, really. A lens flare, made to look like it represents some kind of time warp, since the story is based around a character who goes back in time and all. Having seen the fantastic cover art for the US release, I cannot express how disappointing the UK/Aus artwork is to me. The only striking thing about it is how someone could have honestly thought using a standard lens flare on this novel was a good idea.

It’s not that lens flares are inherently bad, it’s just they are so overused, and so basic. That artwork would have taken a proficient computer artist all of a minute to create, with no exaggeration. Of course that’s disappointing. What made them think our market is so different that we wouldn’t love the original US cover?

Complaints aside, there is a very neat website associated with this book, and it made me super happy to see other authors leaning the same direction and including a greater degree of content to accompany their books! Have a little click around 11/22/63 and see the awesome touches around the site!

~A