Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blacklands - Cover Opinions

This week's selection for "cover opinions" is the US and UK covers for Belinda Bauer's Blacklands which has just won the CWA Gold Dagger.

So what are you thoughts on the US (LHS) and UK (RHS) covers? Which would entice you to pick the book up if you were not familiar with Belinda Bauer?

If you have read it, how well does the cover match the story?

Bonus question: Does it winning one of the UK's highest crime fiction awards make you more likely to read it?

Here is the Euro Crime review by Paul of Blacklands.


Bernadette said...

I quite like them both but actually think the US one is more striking, and does have a little more to do with the story (though the UK one is related too).

I have already read it, and loved it so the award-winning question doesn't really count but it wouldn't make it any more likely to read it. I have hated several award winners of late so I don't find awards to be a particularly useful gauge of what I will enjoy reading.

Anonymous said...

This is a no-brainer. Blacklands is a very atmospheric book and the UK moor scene reflects that. I vividly recall a friend raving about Blacklands at a dinner party not long after the book was published. I purchased it at Harrogate where Belinda Bauer was a Crimefest panelist and read it a week later on a cruise! It's no wonder it's a best seller because it has all the ingredients - tension, sympathetic characters, fast pace and a great plot. Belinda Bauer is lovely too. She came across as very modest and took time to chat to her readers.
I would definitely read it again - regardless of whether it wins awards. My (signed) copy is currently on loan to a friend who isn't a crimefic fan simply because I know she'll love the intensely emotional plot. A couple of other friends have purchased it on my recommendation - but I think that's what happens with great novels. Word of mouth can be more powerful than advertising :-)

JLMartin (Twitter)

Maxine Clarke said...

I don't think either cover is that great. The US cover of a spade is not informative taken out of context. The UK cover is relevant to the book but I don't like it much as an image, and it would not encourage me to pick up the book (not keen on skulls on covers, even when clearly not human!). I like the cover in Bernadette's review the best, which is an audiobook version (maybe Australia only?) . It's an attractive image, though does not have anything "crimy" about it (I don't mind that).

I have to admit that I read this book when it won the gold dagger, though I think I would have read it anyway in view of the recent good reviews of it on various blogs I read regularly. When I first heard of the book, I was put off by the subject matter (serial killer of children) and the fact that the narrator is a child. Yet, I do admit, I enjoyed it and think it is a good book, definitely not sensationalistic or into "violence or sadism porn", thankfully. The ending was a bit weak I thought, though the rest of it is jolly good.

Anonymous said...

Karen - Thanks, as always, for this. I like the UK cover. Somehow, it pulls me in more, even though the US cover is relevant to the story.

Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Prefer the British cover ((RHS).
The prize itself does not make it more likely for me to read it, but it does help me to read a review that otherwise I might have probably skipped.

KK Brees said...

The UK cover appears more professional to me, although I'm not crazy about either one. The fact that an author has won an award does make me at least pick up the book and take a closer look.

Dorte H said...

I don´t mind skulls, but the grey nuances do not appeal to me so if I didn´t want to read Blacklands already, these covers would hardly make me buy it.

Lori Thornton said...

I'm not super crazy about either cover. I definitely prefer the UK cover. I can state from experience that the US cover enticed no users to pick it up during the period we had it in our library on the lease program. It had great reviews -- and should have had a market there based on other books that circulate well -- but she was an unknown author, and it was a bad cover.

kathy d. said...

Don't like either cover, but if had to choose, prefer the UK cover, but really, but perhaps more designs should have been submitted to the publishers.

I would take a second look at a book which has won some awards, like this one, but that doesn't get me to buy a book or take it out of the library.

It would propel me to read reviews of the book. I have done that and am impressed by the great reviews and 5-star ratings, but the subject matter and the narrator put me off somewhat.

I have a huge TBR pile already and would just add this a "to-be-gotten-out-of-the-library list.

offmytrolley said...

I prefer the UK cover. I'm actually reading this at the moment. Although I may have got around to it at some point, winning the award moved it to the top of the TBR pile.

Pat said...

Of the two shown here I definitely prefer the UK cover, but I do think the audiobook cover shown on Bernadette's blog is much more appealing.

I've not read this yet, though I do have a copy. It winning the Gold Dagger will most likely mean that I read it sooner rather than later, so I guess that counts slightly in the favour of awards, although I bought it because I'd already heard how good it was from fellow bloggers. So it's been more the power of the blogosphere and less that of the award in my case.