August 2010 CSFF Blog Tour Day 2: Foundling by DM Cornish

Christian Fantasy CSFF Blog Tour

As DM Cornish’s books have different publishers in the US, UK, and AUS/NZ (at least the best that I can tell), he’s acquired a variety of cover art with each edition. It’s fascinating to see how each publisher packaged the book. Here’s a look at the different faces of the Monster Blood Tattoo series:

Row 1: UK covers
Row 2: First US covers
Row 3: Second US covers
Row 4: AUS/NZ covers
Because the US covers were redesigned before the release of the third novel, there is no cover for Factotum in the first US style. And I could not locate the AUS version of Foundling, though I’d be interested to see it.

As a reader, which would you be most inclined to pick up? Do any jump out at you? Do any immediately turn you off?

I found the second set of US covers the most attractive, but they fail to reflect the uniqueness of the story or setting.  If measuring which best depicts the books, I might choose the first set of US covers, though the others convey story elements as well. However, the Australia editions are thick lovely hardcovers (pictured here), so if there was a way to get my hands on them, I most certainly would!

So what makes a good book cover? And why would each publisher choose something different? In my opinion, the best covers capture the essence of the book and appeal to the target audience. Both these elements are quite subjective, and the attempt to portray something of the story as well as make it appeal to individuals with different cultural backgrounds might explain the variety offered here. Usually writers have little say in their book cover designs, but since DM Cornish is an artist as well as an author (his drawings appear on the first set of US covers), I wonder if they gave his input a little more weight. Either way, he ended up with well-done covers in all editions, though some appeal to me more than others.

What do you think? Please weigh in with your opinions and stop by on Wednesday for more discussion!

Brandon Barr
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Morgan L. Busse
Jeff Chapman
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Jeff Draper
George Duncan
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Ryan Heart
Timothy Hicks
Becky Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Mike Lynch
Rebecca LuElla Miller
New Authors Fellowship
John W. Otte
Donita K. Paul
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Jason Waguespac
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler
KM Wilsher


  • Rebecca LuElla Miller
    August 24, 2010 - 1:43 pm · Reply

    I like the second set of US covers best, but I can understand how an author and illustrator would want art that is uniquely connected to the work. Thing is, since I don’t know the book as a browsing buyer, I don’t see those faces as real people. After I read the book, I’d probably love to go back and take a close look. Right now those covers say to me, a bunch of people I don’t know, sort of like jokers in a king’s court. The third row covers say magic, intrigue, mood.

    The silhouettes? I don’t know, they just don’t grab me and pull me in.


    • Sarah Sawyer
      August 26, 2010 - 4:14 pm · Reply

      When I first stumbled upon the author’s blog, I was immediately drawn to the second US covers also. They are absolutely lovely. It was only after I read the books did I appreciate the first US covers. The only problem with that scenario is that covers should draw first time buyers too! But I’m probably a bad person to test covers on, because book covers don’t deeply impact my decision to read a book one way or another. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Rachel Starr Thomson
    August 24, 2010 - 7:13 pm · Reply

    The UK covers are scary — but scary in an intriguing way, I think. I tend to agree with Becky. I think the best balance is when you get both: covers that are intimately connected to the book but also create the kind of atmosphere that can pull in readers and promise them something marvelous.

    • Sarah Sawyer
      August 26, 2010 - 4:18 pm · Reply

      Thanks for chiming in, Rachel! I agree that book covers should be distinct and evocative. It’s always an odd feeling when you read a book and the cover doesn’t seem to fit. As I mentioned to Becky, covers don’t have a huge impact on whether or not I’ll buy a book. Still it is nice to be able to enjoy the cover art!

  • Mike Lynch
    August 24, 2010 - 11:24 pm · Reply

    I find it interesting that different countries chose to change the covers. I wonder if this was something initiated by the author or the publisher. Anyway, thanks for sharing this with us.


    • Sarah Sawyer
      August 26, 2010 - 4:19 pm · Reply

      Based on some of the author’s comments, it sounds like the different covers were publisher decisions. Of course, I could be wrong about that. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jeff Chapman
    August 25, 2010 - 3:13 pm · Reply

    I haven’t read the books so I have no idea how accurate the covers are but if I were in the book store, I would be drawn to the American covers. The British covers would turn me off. The emphasis on MONSTER BLOOD (it really does scream) makes the book sound juvenile. Are they trying to appeal to adolescent boys?

    • Sarah Sawyer
      August 26, 2010 - 4:22 pm · Reply

      Yes, I like both the American covers better than the others. Maybe that means the publishers understand the American audience. 🙂

      I think the series may be targeted to YA, though certainly readers of all ages could enjoy it. But to me the emphasis on Monster Blood in the UK covers almost gives it a horror-type feel…which is far from the tone of the books.

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