Thoughtful Ramblings

‘Thoughtful Ramblings’ is where we discuss bookish topics. One’s that have us all hot and bothered and we need a good rant to air our grievances or topics that have us all thoughtful and we just need to have a bit of a ramble…

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UK vs US Covers: Who does it better?

Over the past few years there has been a continuous evolution of my opinion when it comes to UK vs US covers. I have always usually sided with the UK, not necessarily because I am from the UK but because I found the covers more visually pleasing. However, more recently I have started to prefer the US covers. I am definitely on the fence when it comes to which side of the pond has the best covers, so I thought I would take a peep at some examples from my very own shelves. The UK Cover will be on the left and the US cover will be on the right.

The Morganville Vampires Series by Rachel Caine

Last Breath - UK  9780451234872_LastBreath_JK.indd

 This is one of the first series that I started and I am definitely with the UK when it comes to the cover. I think that having models on the cover a a book that are supposed to be one of the main characters (in this case the USA cover is Clare) takes the opportunity of forming your own image of a person. I know we are told eyes or hair colour in every tale but I think that if we are told a character is beautiful, we should be allowed to have our own image of that. Also, the UK are more consistent in this series, which allows them to look better on anyone shelves.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - UK  Daughter of Smoke and Bone - US

This was one of my favorite books of last year and when I saw the US hardback version (I have the UK hardback), I must say that I kicked myself a bit for not getting the US one. Although both are beautiful, the US cover has the edge, I think that they are more relevant to the story in the novel and the fonts and color scheme have more of an impact and they are more eye catching. The boldness of the electric blue against the black background is stunning.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

The Huger Games - UK  The Huger Games - US

I am with the UK when it comes to The Hunger Games series. The black and the different colored Mockingjays on the front have a certain sleekness about them, they are all very consistent when it comes to where the titles are place and they also look good on the shelves. I also think that these formats appeal more to adults. I have never been a fan of the US versions. They look, dare I say it, a little bit tacky, I think the fonts are a tad childish. The UK wins for me in this case.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Rogers Epic Detor - UK  Amy and Rogers Epic Detor - US

I luckily have the US paperback when it comes to this novel (yay for The Book Depository). I love the US version so much more as the two individuals represent the two main characters in the novel and them coming together and holding hands is symbolic of when happens in the novel. I think the cream, brown and orange background comes together perfectly and the font that is used is just divine. I am not a fan of the UK version. I think it is babyish and the glaring pink may put people off. I do like the fonts used and road signs as they represent the road trip but I think that the US cover is better.

Divine by Mistake by PC Cast

Divine by Mistake - UK  Divine by Mistake - US

This is one of my favorite trilogies of all time and I luckily have the whole set in the UK editions. As with The Hunger Games, they have a certain sleekness about them. The electric pink on the black is easy on the eye and is quite elegant. I think that it represents the novel a lot better than the US cover and that the US cover is quite an anomaly as it is bland against any other US cover that I have seen.  The fonts look pretty standard to say it is a fantasy novel.

A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole 

A Hunger Like No Other - UK  A Hunger Like No Other - US

Again, I prefer the UK version  of this one. The actual cover art of the US version is good and fitting with the novel, however the font ruins it for me. It is quite garish and it seems that they would rather the title stand out than have a good quality font. The UK is so much better the font is very distinguishable from others as when ever I see it, without looking at titles, I know that it is one of Kresley Cole’s books. It is also consistent with the rest of the novels in the series and again, looks good on the shelves.

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Succubus Blues UK  Succubus Blues - US

I picked up the Georgina Kincaid novels about 2 years before her Vampire Academy series. I borrowed them from a friend and I never have had a chance to buy them. If I ever did break my book buying ban, I would go for the US version. I think that the UK edition is dull and it doesn’t represent Georgina as a character as good as the US edition. Without reading the novel you can tell that she is going to be sarcastic, witty and full of sass. To be cliche, I think that the UK edition looks an amount of oomph that the US edition has.

Working Stiff by Rachel Caine 

Working Stiff - UK  9780451464132_WorkingStiff_CV.indd

Rachel Caine is one of my favorite authors of all time. I have many of her books and with this one I unfortunately have the UK edition. However, I think this is a prime example of both sides of the pond getting it wrong. Having a model at the forefront of a cover is a turn off for me. As I said before, it doesn’t allow the reader to form their own image of a character. I think the UK version looks a tad tacky and the font that is used for the title is awful. The US edition is more stylish in terms of the background and the fonts and, the model on the fronts looks more like Bryn Davies (the main character) that the UK edition.

Overall I think that both US and UK covers have their strong points. I think here in the UK we are good at consistency when it comes to series and keeping the color schemes of novels more or less the same. This is good for people like me who like seeing a series on the shelf and them being all the same size and color. There is a problem with this though, as you tend to find that a big portion of YA books are black. In terms of representing a novel and the plot within it, bold and eye catching images and beautiful fonts, I think that the US has it covered (see what I did there). I have a few US versions of books and they are all aesthetically pleasing and tend to have an over the top thing about them that I love. It’s like they are screaming “woo look at me!” every time I go past.

In conclusion, I think I do tend to like the US covers more than the UK versions. However, I would love to hear what you think when it comes to covers and whether the US or UK do it better. Do you always go for the UK version or do you try your best to seek out the US version? I would love to hear all of you thoughts. 

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Alex

A devoted reader studying Spanish and Psychology at college. Favourite genres are all things YA and branching out into fantasy, thrillers and mysteries. (Alex no longer reviews for BCC).

12 Comments


Lorraine Powell July 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

I like this post, it could have been a game to see which way we ‘voted’ in a ‘blind’ test. For every one I liked the UK covers best, though I agree, not keen on either of the Working Stiff covers. I don’t think I preferred the UK version because I am from the UK….but who knows!

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Alex July 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

That sounds like a great idea! :)

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Sherre July 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I think I sisded the same as you on everything. I’m from the US though, so I figured I liked US covers more because they make them for us.

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Alex July 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I thought that! But sometimes, I too go for the US covers. You guys have some beautiful hardbacks! :)

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Carolyn July 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm

In the majority of cases I would say that I prefer US covers to UK covers, but there are always the odd book/series that UK do better.

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Alex July 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

There is always a diamond among the rough when it comes to UK covers :) x

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Laura July 9, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hmm I’m totally mixed on this one about 50/50 so I’m not help lol! I tend to change my mind series to series.

Morganville, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Amy and Roger, Divine by Mistake, Kresley Cole and Succubus Blues I think the US covers are winning.

Hmm actually maybe I prefer the US ones now I’vs written them down lol! ;)

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Alex July 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

haha! I am like that sometimes! Especially when it comes to contemporary romance books as the UK and US do them so differently! :)

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Traci Loudin July 12, 2013 at 3:08 am

Maybe it’s because it’s late here and my brain is starting to shut down, but I’m a little confused as to which cover is which. In your intro, you say “The UK Cover will be on the right and the US cover will be on the left.”

But then on Epic Detour, where pink is on the left, you say: “I am not a fan of the UK version. I think it is babyish and the glaring pink may put people off. I do like the fonts used and road signs as they represent the road trip but I think that the US cover is better.”

Just a little confused. Great topic, though. It always fascinates me how different they are!

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Carolyn July 13, 2013 at 6:44 am

All fixed :)

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Traci Loudin July 13, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Thanks! I’m going to share this with the Speculative Fiction Writers Community on Google+ later today for sure.

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[…] in the UK. Because book covers are very interesting! This made me think about the UK vs. US covers game, and that made me want to do a blog of my own about […]

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