The God of Small Things

8 Jul

Look inside The God of Small Things on Amazon.

After having had a rant about the praise included in the inappropriate yellow box on the cover of Palestine, it’s only fitting that I should offer an example of a cover that includes praise in a way that I (in all my designerly wisdom) see fit. The gold medal does wonders: I know that I get sucked in by it (‘Oh look! That book has a medal … it must be good. I’ll buy it.’). The ‘New York Times Bestseller’ header discreetly adds to this. Bravo.

While I like the cover image itself (so perfect for the book), I won’t go into detail about it here.

If you look inside the book you can see that the short author bio page is followed by further praise for the book. I think this is a great way of using up the spare pages of a signature at the same time as reinforcing the medal and bestseller tagline on the cover.

I did find that this book had a lot of introductory pages for a novel – a dedication, a quote, acknowledgments, and a contents page, followed by a half-title. While I think it’s really effective to have  a quote or dedication on its own on a page because it lets it really speak for itself, I think you need to be careful not to have too much introductory matter. Having too much can take away from the impact you’re trying to create, as well as being just plain frustrating.

I’m still not sure I’m such a fan of centre-aligned contents pages. I know this was in keeping with the centre-alignment of all the introductory pages and the cover, but I find centred contents pages quite difficult to read. It’s kind of tricky for your eye to jump between lines of different lengths and try to find page numbers that are all at different positions as a result.

And, as a final point, I do like the detail of the little fish and squiggly header detail of the title page. Plus the font is a great choice, simple but also kind of exotic looking.

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