09/07/2013 19:02 BST | Updated 08/09/2013 06:12 BST

Cover Judgments

You know what they say about book covers? Well I thought I'd give you a little insight into how we at And Other Stories ignore this advice completely. To be clear: we care because you do and we know you judge books by their covers.

 Captain Pavlov FRONT RGBBlack Vodka coverOPEN DOOR_FrontCover_Bformat_LOW RES

Our book design is inspired by German matchboxes, according to author Will Wiles who spotted this. We admit to the German part - our series design is certainly inspired by continental attitudes to book design. Our publisher Stefan lived for some years in Dresden and loved the way literature was presented there. (Not the same stock photos.) There seemed to be an attitude that it was the words inside that should count and that's something we also believe in strongly for our books. Our designer Joseph Harries makes stamps by hand for each book. Maybe you could get close with Photoshop? You might get close, but you would lose something vital. The look of our books is something our subscribers and supporters love. So we'd be mad to change it, right?

The reality is that while this look works very well for a series and for building the idea of And Other Stories, for some booksellers, promoting each book in isolation can be problematic. So, with this in mind, we have produced a completely different cover for one of our bestselling titles so far - Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos.

Down the Rabbit Hole cover lo-res


I'm sure you can appreciate just how differently Ben Anslow has approached this design brief. And yet it's exactly the same words inside the book. We love this new cover and it will be fascinating to see how this edition sells over the summer. The trade buyers we have shown it to so far love the new look.

One thing we are confident about is that when people read the book they will end up loving the words inside just as much as we did when we first opened the manuscript. Though it was in Spanish and had to be translated by Rosalind Harvey before the non-translators among us could read it . . . but then translation - that's another story altogether!