Welcome to Judging a Book, a new feature I want to make a regular one on this blog. Now, normally I don’t go in for posting about the difference between cover art in different areas or different editions, but one has really been sitting on my mind lately, and so I felt that taking a look at both editions was worth the time. The cover art difference for Adam Slater’s The Shadowing: Hunted.
First we have the cover from the Kindle edition. The image fairly accurately shows what the major enemy of the book looks like, as it’s described as a person without a face, just slick muscles and veins showing where there should be skin. However, it’s fairly crude, and puts me in the mind of old Goosebumps books, with a sort of childish shock value to it that doesn’t really do the story much justice.
Then we’ve got the cover art from the hardcover version of the book. A hazy dark figure in the mist, indistinct, very atmospheric. However, it doesn’t give you much of an idea about anything in the story at all. This could be a story about a ghost, or a coming-of-age tale about a man trying to discover himself in mysterious times. It definitely has artistic value, but is more vague about conveying what’s in the book.
Ultimately, even though it’s not perfect, I find myself preferring the hardcover art far more than the Kindle art. I can’t get over the crude shock value of the Kindle image. One of the reasons it took me so long to read the book was because although the story sounded interesting, but the Kindle art just kept putting me off, making me wonder repeatedly if I’d made a mistake in requesting a copy in the first place. I was glad that I finally did read it, because it was indeed an interesting story, but it just proved a point very well. While we’re advised not to judge a book by its cover, sometimes the art really does make all the difference in drawing in the right audience, giving the right first impression, making somebody want to look at the inside based on what’s on the outside. Very often, it doesn’t make too much difference, and the differences between editions are so superficial that I pretty much don’t care what’s on the cover.
But here’s a case where I found it made all the difference, if not in getting me to read the book, then certainly in delaying my reading of it.
What do you think? Which cover to you prefer?