Mar 5, 2010

Covering Covers 1776 Edition (US vs UK): For the Win by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow has a new YA novel coming out this May. After the success of Little Brother, I'm very excited for this one. I saw the UK cover for the first time today and I thought I would share, along with the US cover.

UK Cover Artist: Unknown                                 US Cover Artist: Unknown

[YetiNote: Is there any recommended site or way for finding out cover artists? If I find the cover via amazon I have no way of tracking down except via google search. You try finding searching "For The Win" on the internet and finding the result you want.]

So we have two covers, each of which communicates significantly different ideas. The UK cover has a silhouette of a teen jumping over a fence and a giant two-tone robot. The teen makes me think of rebellion and sneaking out; the robot makes me think of anime or Japanese video games. The UK text is similar to that of Little Brother's with a graffiti look that also creates a teenage rebellion type of look. The US cover on the other hand makes me think of a police state and riots. The characters behind the masks do look young though, possibly suggesting something about children being soldiers behind the anonymity of the internet. The US text I'm not quite sure if there was any purpose behind the grid lines. At first glance though, it makes me think of flood lights. I'm not sure if that is intended. The mustard color choice links the text with the shields of the child soldiers.

So different feels but which represents the book best? Here's a description
In the virtual future, you must organize to survive

At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual 'gold,' jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world's poorest countries, where countless 'gold farmers,' bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay.
Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of 'General Robotwalla.' In Shenzen, heart of China's industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo.
The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power - including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister's people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once - a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all.
I would say that the UK cover is more representative of that blurb although in both cases the title For The Win, should let you know that the story is internet-influenced at the least. I do like the subtle touch of the children in the riot gear of the US cover but I think that it's too understated to pick up at first glance. That's a bad thing in book stores. From a business perspective, the giant orange robot of the UK cover is going to catch the eye of the intended audience more so that the US edition. Once again, I have to defer to the UK cover. It's more representational of the story and better for the target audience. It is important to note that both covers are strong and appear to have more thought put into them than the standard Fantasy (SwordCloakMan), Space Opera (Spaceship), or UrbanFantasy (VampStamp) covers. More like this please.

Which cover do you like better?

For the Win comes out on May 11th from Tor Teen in the US and May 12th from HarperVoyage in the UK.

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