One of the most frustrating things about the publishing industry is that, like most other enterprises, it’s a slave to supply and demand. Read: Why It Can Take So Effing Long For Books to Hit Certain Countries.
So when I saw Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron sitting on a shelf at the bookstore, I was immediately enamored, not knowing that it had already been out in the wild for three years.
This hardback cover is honestly one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen. I remember snapping a pic of it on my phone and sending it to my friend Lauren, asking if she’d read it. I’ll just go ahead and admit it — it was cover lust at first sight.
What’s immediately attractive about the design is its deliberate attention to detail. This cover was designed by someone who put an enormous amount of time into placing everything in its proper place. All of the steampunk elements, the muted tones, the surrounding vignette — they all work together to create a dark, mysterious, and alluring cover.
My favorite part of the overall design is the title. This is a far cry from Times New Roman, folks. I love how its own type borrows from that gorgeous key and incorporates clock hands. It complements the other design elements in adding to the overall tone of the cover, but also holds its own. The layering of each letter above and below the others, the vertical staggering of the characters — it reads fluidly without making me think Geez those letters need to breathe.
Just for comparison, here’s the US cover and the original UK cover. My heart still belongs to the US cover.
When I think about sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal covers for YA, it makes me frustrated that so many of them are clichéd. Their covers make it difficult to not glaze over them think, I bet this is the exact same story as novel X, Y, or Z. These genres definitely deserve more cover artists that are capable of telling each novel’s different, distinct story.
And because I love a series of covers that piggyback off of each other: