Regular readers of this blog know I love examining historical fiction cover art: admiring it, criticizing it, judging its appropriateness for the book and the genre, even tracking when it's reused.
That said, I haven't written before about the creative and gorgeous spine art I've been seeing on some historical novels, so I thought I'd dedicate a post to it. Because many works of historical fiction are lengthy reads, publishers and designers have been taking advantage of the added real estate to create art that will make their titles stand out on a crowded shelf. Let's face it, there are a lot of books vying for readers' attention, so they'll do what they can to grab us. And it works!
Here are some examples of what I'm talking about from my own collection; I gathered together some good ones and put them all on the same shelf.
You can enlarge the photo at the top of the page to get a close-up view.
Sometimes the designers replicate the images on the front cover in miniature, giving readers a good sense of the full design and using it to set a mood even when the book is shelved spine-out:
|From Polygon (UK)|
|From Howard Books / Simon & Schuster (USA)|
And at other times, they create a similar design that elegantly complements the rest of the jacket.
|From Douglas & McIntyre (Canada)|
|From Allison & Busby (UK). |
No jacket; the art is printed directly on the book. Very cool.
Would any of these designs entice you to pull the books off the shelf and read what they're about?