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Cover design for the living dead

July 23rd, 2010

The choice of cover design for a book is always a tricky process, at least for authors like me who are more comfortable with text than images. A while back Eszter at CT dealt with the problem by crowdsourcing the cover for her book Research Confidential.

I got lots of input from readers here on the text and title of Zombie Economics, but I left the cover design to the professionals, and I’m glad I did. Here’s the cover, based on a horror comic and here,at the Princeton University Press blog, is a discussion of how it came about.

There was one anxious moment when we discovered that the design included a reference to a chapter (on central bank independence) that I’d deleted at a late stage in the process. But the designer came up with a clever tweak that changed the reference (to refer to financial markets) without affecting the impact of the design.

This is the first book I’ve done since I took up blogging (I use to say blogs kill books, but this book grew out of the blog) and the process has left me with renewed respect for the range of skills that are involved in turning an idea and a rough draft into a book.

Posted via email from John’s posterous

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  1. David Peetz
    July 24th, 2010 at 05:31 | #1

    Great cover, very apposite. I particularly liked the comment in the link by the book designer:

    “The idea came from Seth, the editor. He showed up with a printout of an old Tales From The Crypt comic with that dark, pulp artwork and twisted text. The challenge was translating that to an economics book, which is easier than you might think.”

  2. Donald Oats
    July 25th, 2010 at 01:57 | #2

    Excellent cover illustrations! Combined with the Halloween launch date, it’s a cracker!

  3. fred
    July 25th, 2010 at 12:09 | #3

    Um, sorry, but my instant reaction, the sort of thing that prompts me to lift a book off the bookshop shelf and check out whether I’ll think about buying it or not, was completely negative.
    I assume book retailers know far more about marketing than I do but that cover just doesn’t srike me as appealing to those people who want a serious discussion of economic policy and looks far more like something put out by ‘A Current Affair”.

    The fragmenting building by itself would convey the meassage by itself I reckon and I’d put a small print description of who JQ is to give the cover some credibility.

    I’ll buy the book but hide it in my bookshelf.

    Sorry, just trying to give honest feedback, feel free to dismiss it.

  4. Jill Rush
    July 26th, 2010 at 23:51 | #4

    I think that non economists would pick it up out of curiousity.

  5. Hal9000
    July 28th, 2010 at 13:05 | #5

    I love it. I particularly like the blood dripping down the wall as illustration for ‘trickle down economics’. So true in so many ways. I agree with Jill Rush – the cover will attract a whole lot of readers who otherwise wouldn’t look twice at it.

  6. July 29th, 2010 at 18:09 | #6

    It’s good . Should help attract a wider audience.

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