Judging Books by Their Covers

This week’s cover of the week is The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

I am breaking one of my own rules and writing about a cover by an illustrator or designer that I cannot find the name of. But I have good reason (promise!) for using this book as my The Ship Hardcovercover of the week.

I was lucky enough to hear Antonia talk about her book at a recent Hillingdon Libraries event, and it was fascinating to hear the changes the cover went through. Antonia had to fight to have the cover of the hardback changed from a grey, military looking ship with a bold black font to the red, yellow and blue depiction of a broken London viewed from the bow of the ship. It was a difficult battle, as publishers rarely have the time or money to keep redesigning covers. Antonia was lucky, her agent thought the same way. A military ship sent the wrong message about the content of the book, a story about a dystopian London and a community living on a cruise ship. And she was right to fight for the cover she wanted, a book with a military style cover would have appealed to a completely different, and probably the wrong, audience for the content of the book. the ship paperback

Then after all the battle for the cover of the hardback, the cover of the paper back was different. But this time it was perfect, the dome is recognisably St. Paul’s cathedral and I love how the rest of the cover is left as negative space. This is my favourite manifestation
of the cover, I feel it has a more simplistic quality compared to the hard back. I love that the colours are less bold and bright and it feel altogether more contemporary than the previous colour scheme.

Antonia is a fantastic speaker, if you like the sound of her book then keep your eyes peeled for future author events in Hillingdon. Or you can check the website!


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