The Shuts Ins book cover
Book covers

Book cover art: The Shut Ins by Katherine Brabon

The challenges facing book cover designers are many. In one frame, if you like, on a single canvas, they must endeavour to encapsulate the central theme of the book, be original, and produce a work that is also eye-catching. It’s a big ask, and I can’t say I envy the work of book cover designers.

I’m yet to read The Shut Ins (published by Allen & Unwin, July 2021), the second novel of Melbourne, Australia, based author Katherine Brabon, so I can’t yet tell you how well the first part of this brief is satisfied. And as there must be about a trillion book covers out there by now, I couldn’t say much about the second point either.

But when it comes to making a call on the third matter, I doubt there’d be many people who could tell they thought the cover was not noticeable or striking. How could any book browser miss this cover? It’s like sunshine on a bookshelf.

Incidentally, The Shut Ins is being launched this week, on Thursday 8 July, at State Library Victoria Readings, in Melbourne, at an event being hosted by Melbourne writer Anna Snoekstra, for those lucky enough to have secured a ticket.

Brabon’s first novel, The Memory Artist, which was published in 2016, also by Allen & Unwin, was named winner of The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award in the same year. Anyway, what do you think? What makes for a great book cover? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know.

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