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Books, Print design

February book round-up and critique

I’m doing something a little different for the February book round-up. I thought I’d find a book cover that I liked and then talk about what I think is working for it. I was looking through the online catalog for the Cincinnati Public Library and found this book: As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti.

What’s working great about this book cover

Book cover for As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

  • First, the title is pleasingly short with short words. I love short titles with short words. It means I can make the words larger, which is great for online. Long words and long titles need to be smaller to fit the page. Since this title is short, the designer has made the title the focus of the cover.
  • Nice font choice: I love hand-drawn fonts, but they can be difficult to use. Five letterforms look fantastic! And then there’s one letter that just doesn’t work. This font, or at least these words, has nice readability. I can’t tell if it’s created for this cover, or if it exists, but the extra splatters around some of the letters is a nice touch.
  • Intriguing imagery: While the title is easily read, the imagery takes more scrutiny. It’s definitely for the bookstore browser. If you’re looking more closely, you’ll see that there are 18 candles in various states of meltedness (is that a word? Probably not.) Also, if you get this far, this is probably the point where you read the synopsis. The book is about a town where every resident has the wish they make on their 18th birthday come true.
  • And more good thing: The author has written another book, easily plugged on the front of this one. Nice cross-sell. The subtitle is not easy to read, but I think the rest of the cover pulls me in. I’d probably give it a shot.

Probably not a good thing for this book

Book cover for As You Wish by Cary Elwes

I looked this book up on Amazon also and found two other books with the same title. And unfortunately for this book, one of those books is As You Wish by Cary Elwes and is all about The Princess Bride. Now, I don’t know if everyone looking for an interesting fictional read would swerve and take the Elwes title like I would. It’s possible that sharing the same title might get it in front of more eyes when searched. It is something to consider though. Oddly, I think more thought was put into Sedoti’s book cover than Elwes’. I like the font choices for sure, but I wish the Dread Pirate Roberts had been illustrated like a steel cut engraving. That would have been cool. I also think the subtitle badge and the banner with the author’s name could have been more integrated.

And then the other book

Book cover for As You Wish by Jude Deveraux

A lot of book covers trade on the popularity of the author, and I think that As You Wish by Jude Deveraux is doing just that. II find this book cover fairly forgettable. Deveraux has about 43 books to her name, however, so if you like romance and you like her, you’ll pick it up. At least it’s not like so many romance novels with a hunky dude on the front.

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