Or, maybe it’s just in Argentina that most book covers are truly horrible?
The Cultura section of this past Sunday’s Perfil, a very good Buenos Aires newspaper on Sundays, ran a profile of novelist David Leavitt. As you can see in the snapshot of the article, Perfil – as does many papers – likes to highlight the book covers of an author for the readers.
Let’s look a little closer at those splatches of yellow and red that Anagrama calls book covers. (Actually, Anagrama is based in Spain, so the problem is more global than just South America).
At the very top is Baile en familia, known in English by its original title of Family Dancing: Stories .
Let’s compare that to it’s norteamericano cousin:
Hmmm, quite a contrast there….Let’s compare a few more….
Arkansas: Three Novellas
The Body of Jonah Boyd: A Novel
It’s not the price
One possible reasoning for the lesser quality book covers could be the price. But, wait, the price of books in Buenos Aires is no lower than the price of books in the U.S. So, that doesn’t explain it. In fact, the price of new paperback books in Buenos Aires is actually higher than the price of new paperback editions in the U.S.
I think that it’s simply because many foreign language publishers do not value the book cover. Well, actually, I think that it’s because many of the foreign language publishers are just too cheap to pay designers a decent rate for a nice cover. But, those publishers should realize that a good book cover actually helps in selling more books. For the publishers and bookstores, at the end of the day, it’s all about selling books.
I want to see better book covers on the shelves of the bookstores in Buenos Aires!