Cover designs: whose vision is best?

I've always been baffled by the way that album covers are the same all over the world - because artists naturally want to project the same, consistent image - but book covers change in every territory, because publishers believe that only they know what works in their market. I think that's nuts. Seems like an incredible waste of effort and it harms authors' ability to create their own personal brand. BUT ... it does have the advantage for a writer that tyou get to see how lots of different people, in different cultures have responded to your book. Here, for example, are the UK and (proposed) US designs for The Accident Man. The British one is very dark, intense and grabby - not least because it has cover-lines on it, much like a magazine cover, that give you the whole set-up instantly (I love 'em, by the way, and I can say that because I had nothing to do with writing them). The US design is much cooler, more classy and elegant - it's a reversal of what the usual stereotypical clichés about our two nations would be. So which works best? Which makes you think, 'Wow! I really want to find out more about this'? If I can ever work out how, I'll stick both versions on my front page. in the meantime, I've posted both covers in my pictures section (tho' my US publishers will probably kill me for doing so). I'd love to know what people think, and which they prefer ...

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Comment by Tom Cain on June 7, 2007 at 3:35pm
Yeah, I told my US editor that I thought it needed something extra to punch up the specifics of the story, the way the cover-lines, and tunnel image do in the UK version. It does look very elegant, though, which definitely appeals to women readers, if the ladies in my family are anything to go by ...
Comment by Mirmont on June 7, 2007 at 5:58am
I prefer the british one. It's much more punchy. The US cover could be for any book, even for a tourist guide.
Comment by Tom Cain on May 27, 2007 at 8:04pm
Thanks for the technological advice. Sounds way too complex for an oldie like me ...! And thanks for the kind words about the title. It was a helluva relief when we finally came up with it because I'd spent two years trying to think of something, but as soon as The Accident Man reared its head, I just knew, 'That's it!'
Comment by Laura Benedict on May 27, 2007 at 1:07am
I find them both moody, and very cool. I would pick up either. Great title, by the way!

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