FORMAT FOLLIES, PT 4

One of the big big hand-sell titles for Australian indies last Christmas was Chris Cleave’s very strong book The Other Hand, whose cover went through many different permutations before arriving at the final choice. The first time I saw the book was when the publishers sent an advance copy to the shop, along with a batman mask (if you’ve read the book, you’ll get the joke). At this stage, the cover looked a little like this:

When the book actually arrived in the shop on its release date in September 2008, it looked like this (it was also available in a version where the colours were reversed, i.e. with a cream background, black writing and orange detail):

As I’ve said with other books, this cover leapt off the shelf, and was very identifiable as one book and one book only. Add to this Cleave’s successful appearance at the Brisbane Writers Festival, and The Other Hand racked up some impressive sales figures.

Which is why the mind boggles as to the wisdom behind not retaining the branding for the cover for the B-Format (released June 2009) and instead doing this:

Now, again, I don’t actually mind this cover, but it does have that overbearing feel of a parenting book to it.

You can also import a hardcover edition, should you wish, with another cover:

Or you may prefer the American edition, which has not only a new cover, but a new title:

*Tomorrow’s Format Follies: The Ones That Worked*

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