Judging a Book By Its Cover: Recently Read

It has been a while since I’ve written one of these! But I’m bringing Judging a Book By Its Cover back to talk about the different covers for a book I very recently (as in a couple of hours ago) finished reading: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti.

Luckily for continuity with previous iterations of this little ramble, there seem to be three versions of Zeroes. One’s the Australian cover (ie the version that my copy is), one’s the US cover and I’m pretty sure that the third is the UK cover. Us Aussies rarely seem to get our own covers for novels which are different to the US or UK versions, so it’s a bit of a novelty (omg geddit?) to have our own for this one.

Exhibit A: Australian cover


What I love about this one is the fact that all the authors’ names are in the same size fonts. Scott Westerfeld is one of my favourite authors, and the creator of Deryn Sharp who is one of my favourite characters ever, but I don’t like the fact that his name is in a bigger font on the other versions of Zeroes. Sure, he’s more high profile and marketing and all that, but it irks me and I think it’s unfair.

Rant aside, I do like this cover. It’s not going to appear on any list of my favourite covers of all time, but I like it. It’s got a suitable tone for the story and it’s fairly distinctive. The yellow’s perhaps a little clash-y with the grey and the black, but the design’s consistent in its sort of painted/graffiti-esque style, and is pleasantly rough aroudn the edges.

Exhibit B: US cover


I think this one looks a little more mature than the Australian cover, in a way. More clean and streamlined, less DIY. I like the blue paint effect with the crack in the concrete, but I’m not sure whether I like the way the font on “Zeroes” looks or whether it doesn’t match. I think I prefer how the “Every power has a price” tagline is displayed on this cover to the Australian one. Just seems to be fitted in a bit more nicely. Don’t like the fact that at first glance (between the larger font and the bestselling author bit) this looks like only Scott Westerfeld wrote it, with Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti’s names all but faded into the background.

Exhibit C: UK cover


With yet more disproportionately size author names, this cover seems to make me think of music. Why, I have no idea. Where the Australian cover and the US covers were the same idea presented in slightly different styles, this one is quite different. I feel like I’d have to see it in the flesh to really be able to decide how I feel about it, because it looks like there are lots of little details that you have to look closer to see. Fits the book quite well, I think, and is growing on me the more I look at it.

It’s interesting to see how the covers for books differs from country to country, and I’m sure it says something about how the marketing folks see their audience.

Plan on writing a review for this one in the not-too-distant future.

Which version of Zeroes do you prefer? Any thoughts on author name size ratios? Have you in fact read Zeroes? What did you think of it?



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