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Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Thu 31
Mar
2005

Mmm… cover

Company Company coverThis morning Doubleday shocked the hell out of me by sending me the book cover for Company. I didn’t even know they’d started work on it, which was crafty of them. If I had, I would have been all over them, raising concerns and highlighting issues. Because I’m helpful like that. Instead: bang! Here it is.

And I like it! The majority of novel covers, in my humble opinion, blow like crazy, so I’m hugely relieved to get one that’s clean and cool and kind of intriguing. The design is by Michael Windsor, the same guy who did the Jennifer Government cover, so if you noticed a certain similarity of style, well done you.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Well, Max, that looks all right, I guess, but… I dunno, what’s the donut for?” To which I am happy to tell you: oh, you’ll find out.

Comments

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Machine Man subscriber Kramy (#818)

Quote: ""it's the way of the future""
Posted: 5287 days ago

Wicked! That cover does look awesome...I like that minimalistic look :)

Machine Man subscriber Kramy (#818)

Quote: ""it's the way of the future""
Posted: 5287 days ago

Mmmm what could the donut mean? Perhaps the book is about ... a donut company ? Just a guess - possibly Dunkin' Donuts?

But don't judge a book by the cover...I wonder if you have to put the ingredients of the donut on the book?

Mondy (#71)

Location: Melbourne
Quote: "You know, it's time like these when I really wish I'd had that lobotomy"
Posted: 5287 days ago

Max, the cover looks great!

Very much looking forward to Company.

Seeya,

Mondy

Matthew (#16)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Quote: "Unicorn on mountain top. Wind blowing through mane."
Posted: 5287 days ago

Cool cover.

I really, really wanna know what is on the inside of that cover.

*Can't wait any longer, dammit*

Machine Man subscriber Danni (#357)

Location: England
Quote: "Eagerly awaiting the European Tour."
Posted: 5287 days ago

That cover looks yummy! I'm sure the story inside is just as good, if not better ;)

Peter Baker (#475)

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Quote: "I reject your reality and substitute my own."
Posted: 5287 days ago

Absolutely beautiful cover.
I agree with Matthew about the contents... I don't want to wait anymore!

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @: http://www.shabooty.com"
Posted: 5287 days ago

oh I thought it was a bagel at first glance, lol
whoops
:)
let me guess... the back cover has creamcheese on it?
oh wait oh yeah it's a donut I forgot already.

Morzaria (#463)

Location: Bangalore, India, well, most of the time atleast...
Quote: "We are gonna run run run to the cities of the future.."
Posted: 5287 days ago

Now thats a nice looking Donut.

Tim Ashwood (#595)

Location: Sydney
Posted: 5287 days ago

What the hell is it with publishing companies anyway? Honestly Max, does anyone pick up a book and think "Hmmm, you know, if it weren't for the words "A Novel" right here where I can see it, I'd think this was a toaster."

Chez (#419)

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "Keep Thinking, Question Everything"
Posted: 5286 days ago

That certainly is a interesting cover Max. The concept certainly is very minimalistic. I love the half eaten doughnut, the words A novel certain is intersting... maybe something to do with the story???

But I guess the only thing I don't really like (don't shoot me for it) is the font that Company is written in. I guess it's just does fit quite right for me. Just a little too boldly plain? Anyway other than that I reckon it's a wicked cover. Cna't wait till it comes out!

Matt (#808)

Location: AZ
Quote: "The only 3 books I've read in the last few years have been from the Barry Collection"
Posted: 5286 days ago

I love it, looks like the original glazed Krispy Kreme. People will want to buy that exact donut to go along with the book, I am sure of it :)

Thanks for all the updates Max, can't wait to read your next masterpiece :p

John Doe (#797)

Location: Live from Omicron Persei 8
Quote: "You're just jealous because the little voices only talk to me."
Posted: 5286 days ago

There's a problem with it. If I were a person who has never heard of Max Barry, or if I were superficial enough to only look at book titles (oh, yeah, that's difficult), I may get the wrong impression.

"Company".. is that as in 'companion'? Bah, probably just another mushy love story. That might not be such a bad thing, other people might actually buy those sort of books, it's just that I don't. :)

Now, if that were a corporate branded doughnut instead, ... I would think this is about a doughnut corporation.. not good either, huh?

Well, I'll just leave it at that. You figure it out. :)

Machine Man subscriber Thomas Rice (#952)

Posted: 5286 days ago

Yeah, I saw the cover and instantly thought of a Krispy Kreme glazed donut. Then I drooled on my keyboard.

Paul (#104)

Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote: ""Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. " --Brazil (1985 movie)"
Posted: 5286 days ago

Yeah definitely a Krispy Kreme. I'll admit, when I saw the doughnut on your cover, my gut reation was... WTF?!? And I'll agree, the plain-jane font for Company is not quite doing it... then again, this makes you pretty much stare at the doughnut, and say... yeah, you guessed it... "WTF?" (Intentional I wonder :) )Strikingly similar to JG... do you know if this is a draft or a prelim almost final one?

Paula (#853)

Location: Germany/Texas
Quote: "When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt!"
Posted: 5286 days ago

Want to leave a comment, Paula?

Yes, thanks.
Donuts are the hottest thing in Germany right now. So make sure they don't change the cover! and make even surer they don't change the TITLE. The one for Jen Govt gave me migraines. Disgusting really.

kolyn (#914)

Location: Calgary, Canada
Posted: 5286 days ago

Mmm... I love donuts. Wow, I haven't had a donut in a really long time, I should go on a donut run tomorrow, that would be pretty stylish. The cover is so pretty, and it has aroused a desire for donuts in me, maybe Tim Horton's will be able to thank you and el artist for a little extra cash.

Emily (#609)

Location: New York
Quote: "When in doubt, fuck it. When not in doubt, get in doubt!"
Posted: 5286 days ago

Yay! Great cover, man! I want this Michael Windsor guy to design MY eventual novels. *plots*

I cannot wait for this book.

teh Hack (#931)

Location: Elsewhere
Quote: "Admit Nothing, Deny Everything, Make Counter-Accusations"
Posted: 5286 days ago

NS Mods get free, signed copies, right? *wink wink*

Myrth (#22)

Location: London, UK
Quote: "A quote must have a beginning, a middle and an"
Posted: 5286 days ago

Yeah, what with all the hard work we do...

John Doe (#797)

Location: Live from Omicron Persei 8
Quote: "You're just jealous because the little voices only talk to me."
Posted: 5286 days ago

Oh, great, I can see the headlines now.
"Max Barry generates doughnut frenzy. National health levels drop to all-time low." :P

Justin Holt (#147)

Location: Rochester, NY
Quote: "www.justinholt.net"
Posted: 5286 days ago

Very Office Space meets Crispy Creme...

I love it.

My favorite all time book cover is Jennifer Government. I very much like this guy's style...

EM3 USN (#821)

Location: navstanorva (naval station norfolk, norfolk, va)
Posted: 5286 days ago

could donut be a kin to a certain stapler? hmm... *goes off to watch Office Space*

Mr Nick (#1166)

Location: Wayne, MI
Posted: 5286 days ago

The avatar for Company should now be that delicious donut...

Scott Hajek (#674)

Location: South Elgin, IL
Posted: 5286 days ago

This is one book I'm really anxious to read. Until then, donuts anyone?

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5286 days ago

Another Max Barry update, another blog by Adam.

Thu, 31 Mar 2005

I am currently sitting on my soft spinning computer chair thinking about the new cover. It is intriguing, yet simple. I like it.

In my non-Max Barry life, I have been playing with a band(the circle of Studliness) wiht some people from school. That's right, I still go to school. Step off!

Since it is spring break, I have had a lot of time on my hands. Almost too much time...I have come to the conclusion that 2% milk should be called 98% milk because it is 98% milk and 2% fat.

And until Max posts again, you stay classy, Max Barry Fans.

Adam

Jason (#1193)

Location: Indianapolis, IN
Quote: "The bulwark of the suggestion box has failed."
Posted: 5286 days ago

Love the cover, but...

Why do publishers insist on putting "A Novel" on the covers of so many novels? That's like putting the words "A Shovel" on a shovel or "A Car" on your car.

Just annoys the hell out of me.

But aside from that, love the cover and can't wait for it to hit the shelves (it being the book, not JUST the cover, hitting the shelves).

John Doe (#797)

Location: Live from Omicron Persei 8
Quote: "You're just jealous because the little voices only talk to me."
Posted: 5286 days ago

In regards to the 'A Novel' label.

Perhaps they do it because it's not obvious that it's a novel? What if your first thoughts with the book are 'Oh look, a _cookbook_ for gourmet doughnut lovers'. :D

Sorry for posting so many comments, Max. I just realised that this isn't a forum.

Melissa (#888)

Location: WI
Quote: "When you can't run anymore, you crawl, and when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you."
Posted: 5286 days ago

Very "sweet" looking cover...hehehe, I couldn't help myself.

Man, now I want a Krispy Kreme...

Charles Greathouse (#219)

Location: Ohio, USA
Quote: "...for they are subtle, and quick to anger."
Posted: 5286 days ago

I'd really like to be able to contact Michael Windsor so I could tell him how much I like the covers he did for you. They're great!

Luckdragon (#1116)

Location: Connecticut, USA
Quote: "Totally addicted to the online, all the time, never gonna go outside."
Posted: 5286 days ago

I think it's a good transitional cover, like your first few covers for Jennifer Government.

Yes, I guess it can afford to be plain, it's going to be another year before everything is finalized anyway.

Seppuku (Dont call me Chris) (#1056)

Location: Maryland
Quote: "I may have failed you as your hero, but I will triumph as your conquerer."
Posted: 5286 days ago

The cover looks great, but now I'm hungry as hell.

Jack (#1196)

Location: Ann Arbor
Quote: "I want to be famous."
Posted: 5286 days ago

When the book finally comes out, I'm going to read it, eat it, then buy another copy.

Toni (#1195)

Location: Boston
Quote: " Mr. Meany says, "Hey!", "You look like shit today!""
Posted: 5286 days ago

I think the cover is great. It's inventive and very "Now" and it does look good enough to eat. ;)

OverlordBill (#1197)

Location: ~2B, -4B
Posted: 5286 days ago

People, people. You're missing the point. Is that donut computer generated or did the lucky artist get to take bites out of a multitude of delectable pastry confections and photograph them all? Much like an American Idol process. Except with donuts, and there's not even the flimsiest of facades to hide the fact that the winner was chosen months in advance.

Tom Hurst (#1186)

Location: Marketing
Quote: "Now with blue bits."
Posted: 5286 days ago

I preface this by saying I manage book cover design at the company I work for.

There is something about a half eaten donut I find repugnant. It says 'rubbish' on my perceptual map. Aside from a metaphorical sense, which I cannot comment on haivng not read the book, I understand why the donut needs a bite taken out of it, quite simply it would have looked like a brown circle with a hole in it and communicated nothing.

The blend of the 'rubbish' image and clean typography (I like Michael Windsor's typography) rankles like fingernails down the chalkboard. If that is the intention then bravo Max if not then I think a better image should be considered.

Machine Man subscriber Jeff (#787)

Location: Cleveland, OH
Quote: "Give a man a match and he'll stay warm for the rest of the day; Set a man on fire and he'll stay warm for the rest of his life."
Posted: 5286 days ago

I'm hungry.

Jamie (#111)

Location: Auckland
Quote: "Anyone still spelling "internet" with a capital "I" is probably struggling with the complexities of their new-fangled electric typewriter."
Posted: 5286 days ago

I think the bitten doughnut looks more like a pause in an episode of careful enjoyment.
The eater's first bite is careful, allowing for following bites to leave the hole to be eaten last - probably a sign of the mental state of the eater.
A bigger sign of something a little unbalanced in the eater is that this interupted eater has taken the time to balance the doughnut - not something easy to do with a doughnut. (Yes, I've tried).
All in all, I like it.

Machine Man subscriber Jarrad (#837)

Location: Hobart
Posted: 5286 days ago

Don't joke Jeff - a chiwawa ate my copy of Jen Gov!

I don't understand why they have got the cover doen on the sly in early 04 but refuse to release the book until 05?

Is a 8 month (minimum) lead time really necessary?

Jjuulliiaann (#1111)

Location: New York
Quote: "Religion is the Opium of the People --Karl Marx"
Posted: 5286 days ago

It's a great look, but why does it say "Max Barry | Author of Jennifer Government?" Syrup was awesome! I think it should be "Maxxx Barry | Author of Jennifer Government and Syrup."

Ari (#1107)

Location: somewhere around California
Quote: "Can I be a random member of the moment?"
Posted: 5286 days ago

Very nice! I didn't even know the donut had any significance until you mentioned it. Hahaha! Now you've left me wondering. Can't wait 'till I get my hands on it. But I guess you'll have to change the picture of that question mark to a picture of a donut now.

Scott (#354)

Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Quote: "Max Barry tastes like awesome"
Posted: 5286 days ago

Great... that's all I need. Trying to read a great novel and will constantly be made hungry by this cover.

Really though, it looks great.

Jason Wallwork (#675)

Location: Peterborough, Canada
Quote: "If it ain't broke you're not trying hard enough."
Posted: 5286 days ago

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, do-nuts...

Ariel (#1199)

Location: California
Quote: "I will show you fear in a handful of dust (T.S. Eliot)"
Posted: 5286 days ago

I think the cover would have looked way cooler if it was black, had a powdered donut that was three quarters gone and the writing that said Company was red. that would have been sweet, but i also like powdered donuts better than any other kind. granted, i don't know what the book is about, but i don't get the donut...we have bagel breaks at my work.

Rock on

Nines (#1203)

Location: California
Quote: "Go then. There are other worlds than these."
Posted: 5285 days ago

Very nice cover. Damn them for pushing the book back. Looks like I'll have to get geeky and buy some of the new Warcraft books until then or something. =/

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 5285 days ago

Out with the question marks and in with the donuts!

I've updated the icons.

FergHova (#834)

Location: Woodstown, NJ
Quote: ""I once shat on a VHS copy of Down periscope to prove a point.""
Posted: 5284 days ago

Is there a release date yet?

Robert (#413)

Location: Los Angeles
Quote: "A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
Posted: 5282 days ago

I like a book that I can carry around and people will ask me what I'm reading just because of the cover. This will to that.

Uncle Wiggles (#1091)

Location: Vancouver, BC
Quote: "In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move."
Posted: 5280 days ago

OMG thats the best cover EVER. Its just soo cool.

syrup6 (#1224)

Location: Arkansas
Quote: ""Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion" - Kierkegaard"
Posted: 5278 days ago

can you tell us just ONE itsy-bitsy little thing? is it more like syrup, or jenn. govt.... or is it entirely new?? ... waiting... agony.

Uncle Wiggles (#1091)

Location: Vancouver, BC
Quote: "In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move."
Posted: 5275 days ago

Ever think of getting Syrup redesigned by Michael Windsor?

wolverine (#1261)

Location: Australia
Quote: "People who take you at face value will always be your true friends. Truth + laughter = good friendships."
Posted: 5245 days ago

Gah! American spelling! It's doughnut, people, doughnut...sheesh.

Aside from that, I like it very much indeed. Intriguing, enough so to capture someones attention for the first time, for those who aren't already going to buy it anyway. I don't like the 'A Novel' bit, it looks so out of place to me. I could understand it under the title or something, but right in the middle of the page just looks... weird.

Bony Tony (#1343)

Location: United States
Posted: 5229 days ago

I love the simplicity of the cover. I think it will intrigue reades to pick it and at least take a look at it. And that doughnut's shininess is making me salivate.

I'm sure the book will be great, just like the rest of your work.

David (#1848)

Location: Texas
Quote: "Delighted!"
Posted: 5031 days ago

Ok, I am having a paranoid moment right now, and one of the reasons is because I can't tell if I have an insight regarding the cover art, or if I instead (and more likely) have simply noticed something so obvious that no one else even considers it worth mentioning.

So, let me know, if you don't mind, with a few "Well, duh's", so I can relax.

The doughnut picture is a logotype for the abbreviation of the word "Company" (Co.).

Right?

That's what so cool about it, right? Surely THAT is the point the artist was trying to make, right?

Love it, it's perfect!

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