Fri 09

Lexicon Covers

Lexicon My next book has gained not one but TWO covers: one for the US & Canada and one for the rest of the English-speaking world. They’re super different. This means either that one publisher is making a big mistake or that each understands the tastes of its own market best and those tastes are quite different. Or else that art is subjective. It’s one of those.

Click a cover for a larger version.

I am happy with these covers. I especially like the boldness of the American version. Although maybe I’m biased because my name is freaking huge. It’s hard to dislike that.

I would like to name and thank the cover designers, but I don’t know who they are. I’m going to find out and update this post. I assume it’s someone.

Lexicon is due for publication in June 2013.

Update! The US/Canadian cover is by Will Staehle, who has a really amazing portfolio there, and the UK cover is by Ben Summers. Thank you Will & Ben! Unless my book tanks, in which case it’s all your fault.


This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Machine Man subscriber gstein42 (#585)

Quote: "That's not change! That's more of the same!"
Posted: 4183 days ago

Why do your covers always include "a novel"?
Did someone confuse Company with a real life account of a corporation?

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 4183 days ago

I think "A Novel" is common on US covers but not British/Commonwealth ones, and it's just tradition... if you're used to seeing novels tagged as such, a book without the tag would look like non-fic.

Machine Man subscriber Stygian Emperor (#2947)

Location: the Stygian Empire
Quote: "Flesh is a design flaw."
Posted: 4183 days ago

I like the Jennifer Governmenty-one more, except that it looks too much like Jennifer Government. I live in the U.S. though so I guess I won't see it.

The one I get is too warbly.

Machine Man subscriber Kyle (#3321)

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
Posted: 4183 days ago

The U.S. cover sucks..

Machine Man subscriber Kyle (#3321)

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
Posted: 4183 days ago

I suppose I should qualify that statement by saying its too bold, too garish, and too busy for my tastes. My eyes are flitting all over the place when I try to look at it, and this bugs me.

Machine Man subscriber Stygian Emperor (#2947)

Location: the Stygian Empire
Quote: "Flesh is a design flaw."
Posted: 4183 days ago

Yeah, warbly.

Machine Man subscriber Roger (#1653)

Posted: 4183 days ago

Yea... The US one is all over the place, literally it would seem. The idea isn't bad, but the finished product looks way too cramped. The UK one reminds me of what you'd see for a supernatural/occult thriller. Which, maybe Lexicon is? :P

Machine Man subscriber L (#4960)

Posted: 4183 days ago

I like both covers. And I like that there's a new Max Barry book behind both of them. And... did I hear the movie rights have already been optioned? Max, you are on fire!

Sally F. (#5444)

Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Quote: "Budokan made Cheap Trick famous, Cheap Trick made Budokan famous. -Rick Nielsen"
Posted: 4183 days ago

I really like the blue one, but I'm in the US, so that's not the one I will be able to buy. Oh well, it's the inside that counts, right?

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: 4183 days ago

I love the U.S. one :) But, knowing me, I'll find a way to get the other copy and buy it too. Darn you, making obsessive fans out of us all. You know, obsessive fans TOTALLY trying to play it cool, because who geeks out this much over a writer?

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Posted: 4183 days ago

Samuel Johnson in 1755 was the first great lexicographer but now 257 years later we have Max Barry the second great lexicographer - mazel tov Max - Yours S.

Agnes (#1457)

Location: Canada
Posted: 4183 days ago

Where do they find their eye models?? I agree the eyeball reminds me too much of Jennifer Government, looks cool, but has already been done!
I'll look forward to this one's release next year. I've got Machine Man on my Christmas list, I can't believe I don't own it yet!

Machine Man subscriber Philipp Schumann (#4005)

Location: Germany
Posted: 4183 days ago

I like the US Cover better. The other is too much like the Jennifer Government one. Always presuming, that Lexicon is different... I guess in Europe they prefer to have covers that have something like brand recognition.

@gStein: With the title "Lexicon" the additional "a novel" might be helpful - for the poor unknowing masses never having heard of Max

Machine Man subscriber Sara Leigh (#4075)

Location: Northern Virginia
Posted: 4183 days ago

I like the US cover. It's very in your face, which seems appropriate for the concept of the book. Can't wait for June!

Machine Man subscriber SRD (#2889)

Location: Ogden, Utah
Posted: 4183 days ago


Chelsea (#5402)

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posted: 4183 days ago

alright. time to add it to the top of my Goodreads "to-read" list. :P when can i preorder?

Machine Man subscriber Guy Wright (#2861)

Location: Toronto, Canada, eh
Quote: "push the button max! (Jack Lemmon as Prof. Fate)"
Posted: 4183 days ago

I like the US/Canadian cover just fine, although it is hard to say how apposite the style might be without having read the novel. Were you tempted to add another letter "x" to the title? ;) That would be a great inside joke for all Maxx Barry fans.

Machine Man subscriber Randy (#2374)

Location: Ravena, NY
Quote: "I could write a book about being lazy. I just don't feel like it."
Posted: 4182 days ago

I like them both, but I think the UK version would be better off without the "Nothing is alive..." teaser. I'm looking forward to picking it up.

Johz (#4719)

Location: Birmingham (In the Good Ol' UK)
Quote: "So Quoth Me"
Posted: 4182 days ago

I prefer the American one, but having your name larger than the title of the book? That's a scary path to go down...

Machine Man subscriber Bob (#4095)

Location: Kansas
Quote: "Freeze!!! This is the Government!!"
Posted: 4182 days ago

I like both the covers, but I do like the UK one better. I think its nice with the resemblance to Jennifer Government... and I just like blue a lot besides. More importantly I just want to read it!! Really looking forward to it... and will you be making a trailer for this book as well?

Chris (#6002)

Location: Canada
Posted: 4180 days ago

I haven't been this excited since the last time you updated your site Max!
I've always said the biggest problem with literature is that I can read faster than my favourite authors can write... So thanks for doing your part to once again quench my thirst ;D

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 4173 days ago

So the recent upheaval involving Penguin and Random House will have no effect on Lexicon's arrival? Penguin can tell Random House to step off and leave their properties & authors alone?

Dustin (#6152)

Location: [email protected]
Quote: "[email protected]"
Posted: 4172 days ago

First, not fond of the American cover.

Now, what I wanted to say: used to, when I pictured Australia, I pictured kangaroos, surfing, koalas, desert, operas, and trains. Now, I picture you boxing a kangaroo while holding a koala, surfing on top of a train through the desert while singing opera. ... What a great country!

towr (#1914)

Location: Netherlands
Posted: 4163 days ago

I like the UK cover best; but I'll buy whichever is cheapest.

What's the story about anyway? I'm gonna buy it anyway, just curious :P

ryandake (#2199)

Location: scenic monterey, ca
Quote: ""The rest is not our business.""
Posted: 4162 days ago

i like the US cover, which is good, cause that's the one i'm getting.

whenwhenwhenwhenwhen!!!!!!!?????? waaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnttttt!!!!!!! can't wait.

Jesse (#6165)

Location: Maryland
Posted: 4157 days ago

Any chance you can convince your publisher to use the UK cover here in the States, it is by far superior.

Machine Man subscriber Russell (#3897)

Location: USA
Quote: "O Lord, Protect us from those to whom you speak directly"
Posted: 4118 days ago

...maybe im a little late, I like the US and Canada one more because it has "Why did you do it?" hidden in the random lettering scattered around the cover. i didn't notice at first, when you first posted this, but now that i look again...well, now i want to know why i did it.

Machine Man subscriber Scolopendra (#3998)

Location: San Diego, CA
Quote: "Hrowar!"
Posted: 4116 days ago

When did you change your name to "Mvabx?" Is this some sort of retread of the old "Maxx" mistake, boss? ;)

Joe (#2270)

Location: Campbell, CA, USA
Quote: "I'm subverting the system from the inside. I think."
Posted: 3986 days ago

I don't "pirate", and I've bought four of your books, Max. But digital books are such a complete ripoff that I expect they'll drive me to take illegal action once they displace conventional books (like pay, but break the DRM and save the file in a way that it can't be taken away or locked to a device I don't control).

Publishers are currently selling new digital books for nearly the same price as conventional books, even though a digital book is vastly less expensive to distribute, and also a digital book has much less value.

How so? With a conventional book, it must be printed on paper and shipped to stores, and the publisher has to guess accurately what the demand will be, and if they guess wrong either they will lose sales (more demand than supply) or they have to eat the extras. They have to share the profits with the whole retail chain, and allow for markups at each stage. With a digital "book", there are no printing or storage costs, and no remainders to deal with. The author's royalties are (or should be) the same, as is the cost of editing and preparing the markup. After that, costs are miniscule: the marginal cost of preparing and electronically "shipping" one additional book is near-zero.

OK, I "buy" a digital book. But I own nothing! With a paper book, I can sell it (and recover some of the money), or donate it to a library (and get a tax deduction), or give it to a friend (saving the money I'd have to pay to buy that friend a copy of the book). The electronic "book" is locked to a specific electronic device, and the company that controls access to that device reserves the right to lock me out of all "my" digital content if there's a dispute about my account (and yes, Amazon has done that), or even "disappear" the book entirely if there's a rights dispute ... just electronically delete all of the customers' copies, including the notes they might have written (and yes, Amazon has done that).

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