Monday, June 29, 2009

Covers Across the Pond

As promised, the stunning debut of The Pain Merchants cover.

And here's the full jacket all spread out. (They took that back cover copy from my website! For some weird reason I find that really cool.)

As I mentioned last week, the cover process for the UK version went a little differently than the US one. I wasn't included, except for one tiny little detail. My lovely UK editor said the design team wanted to do something iconic, and asked if the Healer's League had a logo. I said no, but told her I could whip something up if she'd like.

I gave her five simple black and white logo designs. Nothing fancy, as I knew her art department would work their magic and make it look all nifty cool. For funsies, here they are:

It's easy to see which one they went with, and how the others influenced their final design. They took this basic line art and turned it into a gold and enameled-looking image. To make the cover fit the story, I added a line that described the Healer's League pin into the story.

The two covers have a lot of similarities, such as the idea of the hands, the swirly stars and the blue (which is the color of the magic metal, pynvium, in the book). But they're also quite different. The Pain Merchants has an edgier look, and I love how the font style captures the Byzantine feel I based the architecture of the world on. You see some of that in The Shifter cover with the city along the bottom. I think they're both great, though my husband likes the UK version better--I wonder if he's secretly British?

Here they are side by side for easy comparison:

I find it fascinating how the same story is represented in two different cultures. And I'm curious how my UK readers will look at these compared to my US readers here on the blog, so let me know your thoughts.

For another look at covers across the pond, my agent did a post a while back.


  1. I'm pretty partial to the US edition although I love the original title of The Pain Merchants-so cool! I can't wait to read your book!

  2. All being equal I would have gone with the original title but the US cover. ;) The UK cover seems a little ... generic is the best adjective I can think of. Just a symbol on a background. The US cover has a very evocative design and the cool architecture.

    Either way, it looks and sound great!

  3. I love the font on the UK cover, especially the M in Merchants. Very sharp.

  4. Lol only the Americans will say the UK version seems normal/generic. Everyone I've shown have said the UK version's a lot better. Quite frankly, the Pain Merchants sounds better than Shifter, but all is good still. I'm happy I live in the UK. I'm getting this book on day 1! :D

  5. Really cool to watch it morph! Sounds like you're happy with how it came out, too.

  6. See? My US folks loved Shifter and my UK folks loved Pain Merchants :) Goes to show those art folks on both sides know hat they're doing. I can't wait to see them both in final form.