This or That: Comparing English/American & German Book Covers!

A while ago, I saw a post over at Lais @The Bookish Skies comparing Brazilian and American book covers and I was super intrigued by the idea. Somehow, I forgot about it though, or other things just became more pressing, until I watched Jack Edwards and Steph Bohrer compare UK and US book covers over on booktube. I just knew, I had to do this for German covers (and titles? Cause they often change them?) before I’d forget it again. So, in short, we’re going to compare UK and US book covers with those published on the German market! I don’t know who does it better, but this post might give us an indication.

(This was really inspired by all the people above, please check out their content!)

ROUND #1

       

I don’t remember if the left cover is the British or the US version, but whichever one it is, but I fully intend to finally read the book this year and that’s the version I own (I think).

For once, they did not actually change the title, but I legit couldn’t find a cover image without the silly “BookTok sensation” sticker. When they’re not actual stickers and cannot be removed from the book, I often feel like they might just become my villain origin story.

In general, there’s just something more mysterious, luxurious and enticing about the English language cover. This round clearly goes to the US/UK!

ROUND #2

       

Okay, where do I even start? They stuck to translating the title correctly, but that’s about where I stop liking the German cover.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a very slow paced, atmospheric book. It’s about prejudice and perseverance. It’s about love and life and family. There’s a lot of harsh realities and even a murder mystery, but I feel like the German cover leaned into that last bit way too hard. Somehow, the darker color scheme makes it reminiscent of crime and thriller books rather than the celebration of nature and societal commentary it is. Again, points go to the English language cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #3

        

There are a couple different variants of the English language cover, but they’re mostly in the realm of what is shown above. Please, do get ready for the translation of the German title though – I still can’t believe they called it that: “Destiny is a lousy traitor

While I think the German title sort of relates to the story, I just don’t know where they got that particular phrase from. It feels clunky (in German) and I would have never guessed it’s supposed to be TFIOS. The rest of the German cover is also just so random. 1) they ignore the stars in the OG title, but put them on the cover, 2) there’s a random city skyline? and 3) Is that a dandelion floating about?

The English cover isn’t particularly creative, but I feel calmer looking at it. English language covers keep winning.

ROUND #4

        

I chose the blue cover, because it’s the one I own. I know there are different versions out there, but it’s what’s on my shelf, so it’s what I’m going to judge it on.

I kind of like the German one more, but wish the head wasn’t part of it? I’m just confused, is that supposed to be Achilles? Either way, it looks a little more exciting than the blue cover, which is just very plain. So, while I don’t feel compelled to give either one a point, this one reluctantly goes to the German cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #5

        

They tried to do entirely too much with the German cover! Why do they always want to pack half the plot into the imagery, when a nice understated font can be so much more enticing. I don’t even know if the person in the crystal ball (where is that even coming from) is supposed to be Addie or Luc. I feel like this just leads you astray, because so much of the story actually takes place in the now. This is a disaster … English language cover wins again!

Read my review of the book here!


That’s it for today! The UK/US covers easily won with 4-1 points! If I ever do this again (should I?), I will have to make sure that I do a better job at finding nice German covers. Although … there are several reasons I don’t own many German editions and it’s apparently not just the language …


What did you think of this post? Would you like to see more comparisons? Let’s chat!

19 thoughts on “This or That: Comparing English/American & German Book Covers!

  1. First, yes would love to see more comparisons and I’ve actually been considering doing something similar to this since PT translations have absolutely horrible covers most of the time…

    Where the Crawdads Sing’s german cover is pretty interesting, though. I wasn’t a fan of the book, but I think the german cover translates the feel of it well despite the huge difference.

    And the TFIOS title is so odd, why not translate it directly? I know that structurally english and german work differently, so some phrases might not work or sound strange I guess. what do you think, would it have sounded better translated more closely to the original title?

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    • Awe, thanks! Glad you liked the post and want to see more. I personally love these comparisons, so I’d be here for some Portuguese examples as well ❤

      I just didn’t experience the Crawdads book so dark in my mind. Somehow that covers squarely falls into the rest of the cheap crime novels here.

      I don’t think a direct translation of TFIOS would have worked. I’m not even sure that constellation of words would make sense, but I still don’t like whatever they came up with in German …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m fully with you on all of these, the German covers just don’t do anything for me! I actually noticed this on a recent bookstore trip because somehow sooo many German covers and translated titles just suck?! I guess they work in the German market or they wouldn’t exist, but there’s a few I truly despise haha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. omg “Destiny is a lousy traitor” ahahahahaha. I mean, it is the truth about the story but that is so different from the original version and the cover doesn’t match. I agree with all your choice.. although I may go for the original TSOA cover because of the head.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha this is very relatable. So often concerning both the covers and the titles I’m so confused as to what they are trying to accomplish with it but apparently it’s working?!?! Like, last week I was recommending books to a friend and came across the german version of An Ember in the Ashes and they decided to just call the series „Elias & Laia“…. whyyyy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i loved this post a lot! it is so interesting seeing covers in different places and even more interesting because we can also compare the tiles in this case.

    i actually really enjoy the german cover for evelyn hugo. the covers in brazil are all pretty ugly and it’s hard to find one that captures the essence of the book without being too much or too little. however, the german one looks stunning! just a shame that the booktok sensation sticker had to be there hahah

    i am also so surprised by the fault in our stars cover! not only because indeed the title is… confusing haha but also because i remember the little clouds being an icon back in the day, when the book first came out. i thought pretty much every cover worldwide would contain them, because they’re such a fault in our stars thing!

    i did love the cover for song of achilles though. the font and flower border are so pretty! i can imagine that if they go through the book’s spine as well, it would look stunning in a shelf. tysm for sharing this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lais! It was really fun reading your thoughts on the covers, especially since we have different impressions of them. TFIOS especially surprised me as well though. I definitely would have thought that the clouds were a universal symbol for the book everywhere haha
      Unfortunately, I don’t know if the design for Achilles goes through to the spine.

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  6. Hello Kat, please read Evelyn Hugo, thank you goodbye. Kidding ahah but, seriously, read itttttt I just love it soo much!
    This is such a fun post, I love seeing these comparisons. Definitely a fan of the evelyn hugo US/UK cover. I’m shocked by the title of TFIOS in German, why 😂😂 Overall, I feel like the original covers are often better than the revisited ones. I know it’s 99% the case for French covers. I was SO happy they kept The Ones We’re Meant To Find original US cover, for the French translation of the book ahah.

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  7. Loved this post! ❤️ Most German covers are so bad that I’m glad I collect the US/UK versions 😂 I also have no idea why the retitled The Fault in Our Stars?? And the cover just feels so random 😅 The German Addie LaRue cover at least doesn’t have a person on the cover, but the crystal ball looks weird somehow. I haven’t read the book so idk if it’s even relevant to the story? 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yeah I agree with you about the song of achilles german cover (although it also makes me think it needs the kind of glorious cover that circe has) And I honestly love the US version of Addie Larue so much I actually did something I never do and got that version instead of the UK version (I had to wait a year to order it cos of covid)- it’s just too gorgeous!!

    Liked by 1 person

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