Literary Hub

The Unused Alternative Covers Behind 5 Modern Literary Classics

As you may have noticed, we love book covers here at Literary Hub—and we particularly love seeing the covers that never made it to the shelves. The following is an excerpt from No. No. No. No. Yes. Book Design Uncovered, edited by David Dunn and designed by Common Curiosity, which showcases 25 published book covers from around the world—and 100 of their unpublished alternatives.

The idea for this book was the proverbial lightbulb moment—I knew instantly what this book would be. Sat in the dark hall of St. Bride’s Foundation watching slide after slide of book covers never used, rejected or otherwise discarded, I thought “these covers are great, it’s such a pity nobody gets to see them.” One meeting in a greasy spoon, one nerve-wracking call for submissions and hundreds of brilliant covers later, I am proud to present No. No. No. No. Yes. Book Design Uncovered. Part alternative history, part peek behind the curtain of the book design process, this book collects 25 published covers and 100 alternatives seen in print for the very first time. My heartfelt thanks goes to all the book cover designers who submitted their covers for selection and for the support of the book design community.

–David Dunn, D&B Books

George Saunders, <em>Lincoln in the Bardo</em>; design by Greg Heinemann for Bloomsbury UK, 2017

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo; unused design by Greg Heinemann for Bloomsbury UK, 2017

George Saunders, <em>Lincoln in the Bardo</em>; design by Greg Heinemann for Bloomsbury UK, 2017

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo; unused designs by Greg Heinemann for Bloomsbury UK, 2017

George Saunders, <em>Lincoln in the Bardo</em>; design by Greg Heinemann for Bloomsbury UK, 2017

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo; unused design (L) and final design (R) by Greg Heinemann for Bloomsbury UK, 2017

Max Porter, <em>Grief Is The Thing With Feathers</em>; unused design by Ivan Maslarov for Labyrinth, Bulgaria, 2016

Max Porter, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers; unused design by Ivan Maslarov for Labyrinth, Bulgaria, 2016

Max Porter, <em>Grief Is The Thing With Feathers</em>; unused design by Ivan Maslarov for Labyrinth, Bulgaria, 2016

Max Porter, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers; unused designs by Ivan Maslarov for Labyrinth, Bulgaria, 2016

Max Porter, <em>Grief Is The Thing With Feathers</em>; unused design by Ivan Maslarov for Labyrinth, Bulgaria, 2016

Max Porter, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers; unused design (L) and final design (R) by Ivan Maslarov for Labyrinth, Bulgaria, 2016

J.P. Donleavy, <em>The Ginger Man</em>; unused design by Niall McCormack for The Lilliput Press, Ireland, 2015

J.P. Donleavy, The Ginger Man; unused design by Niall McCormack for The Lilliput Press, Ireland, 2015

J.P. Donleavy, <em>The Ginger Man</em>; unused design by Niall McCormack for The Lilliput Press, Ireland, 2015

J.P. Donleavy, The Ginger Man; unused designs by Niall McCormack for The Lilliput Press, Ireland, 2015

J.P. Donleavy, <em>The Ginger Man</em>; unused design by Niall McCormack for The Lilliput Press, Ireland, 2015

J.P. Donleavy, The Ginger Man; unused design (L) and final design (R) by Niall McCormack for The Lilliput Press, Ireland, 2015

Mariana Enriquez, <em>Things We Lost In The Fire</em>; unused design by La Boca for Portobello Books, UK, 2017

Mariana Enriquez, Things We Lost In The Fire; unused design by La Boca for Portobello Books, UK, 2017

Mariana Enriquez, <em>Things We Lost In The Fire</em>; unused design by La Boca for Portobello Books, UK, 2017

Mariana Enriquez, Things We Lost In The Fire; unused designs by La Boca for Portobello Books, UK, 2017

Mariana Enriquez, <em>Things We Lost In The Fire</em>; unused design by La Boca for Portobello Books, UK, 2017

Mariana Enriquez, Things We Lost In The Fire; unused design (L) and final design (R) by La Boca for Portobello Books, UK, 2017

Mike McCormack, <em>Solar Bones</em>; unused design by Fiachra McCarthy for Tramp Press, Ireland, 2017

Mike McCormack, Solar Bones; unused design by Fiachra McCarthy for Tramp Press, Ireland, 2017

Mike McCormack, <em>Solar Bones</em>; unused design by Fiachra McCarthy for Tramp Press, Ireland, 2017

Mike McCormack, Solar Bones; unused designs by Fiachra McCarthy for Tramp Press, Ireland, 2017

Mike McCormack, <em>Solar Bones</em>; unused design by Fiachra McCarthy for Tramp Press, Ireland, 2017

Mike McCormack, Solar Bones; unused design (L) and final design (R) by Fiachra McCarthy for Tramp Press, Ireland, 2017

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