Every picture tells the story – a guest post by R.S Pateman

I’m delighted to welcome the author of The Second Life of Amy Archer R.S Pateman to the blog today with an interesting post on book covers. I have to say I’m not really swayed by book covers, if I want the book I’ll buy it regardless of what’s on the cover. There is that age old saying “never judge a book by its cover” which is applicable in life to more than just books however I can’t help myself but have an assumption on the book based on the cover and have had my fingers burned so to speak. Jojo Moyes’ book Me Before You has a very pink fluffy girly cover yet the subject matter couldn’t be further from light and fluffy – lesson learned. Anyway, enough of me here’s Rob’s post:

Every picture tells the story

There are loads of wonderful things about having a book published, but the one subject I get asked about more than any other is the front cover. Did I design it? Why that particular image? Who writes the blurb?

There have been four different editions of my book now and each has had a different cover. I played no part in designing any of them although the publishers did ask my opinion. I’ve been blessed with great covers each time, so my changes were very minor – tweaking the shade of the background colour on one, the blurb on another and so on.

With the paperback about to hit the shelves, I sat back and looked at the covers collectively and realised they all tell different parts of the story. Of course, the covers appeared at different times but, if I shift the chronology around, the pictures say it all.


The UK large print edition, with its soft focus, warmly lit nostalgic glimpse of childhood innocence. Of what was lost. The calm before the storm.

Hva skjedde med Amy Archer - Copy

The title was changed to What Happened with Amy?

The Norwegian version has a panicked young girl fleeing through a threatening spookily foggy landscape.
the-second-life-of-amy-archerThe UK and Commonwealth edition. It has menacing trees stark against a cold and shifting blue. There is an eerie stillness after Amy has vanished.


The Second Life of Amy Archer

The UK paperback edition. Amy is back. Or is she? She’s only seen partially. The glow of sun through her hair and the colour palette gives a hint of promise. But the optimism is undermined by the typeface, the ink wearing thin, a veneer of lies, maybe.

It will be interesting to see how the French, Russian and Turkish editions interpret the story. I hope none of them takes the next logical step in the sequence and gives away the ending, although as it’s the ending that has caused the most debate among readers, I’d like to see them try!

The Second Life of Amy Archer is published in Orion paperback on 24 April.

Tell me…do you judge and buy books based on their covers?

Buy the new paperback

About the author R.S Pateman

rs-patemanR.S. Pateman has been a copywriter working with some of the UK’s largest ad agencies and companies. He lives in London.

Connect via Twitter | Website | Goodreads


2 thoughts on “Every picture tells the story – a guest post by R.S Pateman

  1. jennyinneverland says:

    This is a fab post! I don’t judge covers THAT much… But if I’m in a library or a book shop I am drawn to the prettier more physically attractive covers as opposed to the ‘alright’ ones. The nice ones are the ones I pick up and read the blurb of first so I guess that’s kind of judging anyway?

    I love all these covers – The one I won is the blue background with white trees which I agree, it pretty eerie! I love the Norwegian cover too! My mum’s just read this book so I’ll definitely show her this post too! xx


    • bookboodle says:

      Thanks for stopping by Jenny. Yes, I tend to do the same as you, unless I’m looking for something in particular I’m drawn to the more appealing covers as well, although that’s subjective in itself!


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