The personal brain-dump of Garrett Coakley

Penguin to publish books with “naked” covers

Now this is a stroke of genius. Penguin are starting a new series of classic books, but with plain white covers, giving everyone the opportunity to create their own design.

According to consumer research conducted on what factors matter to people when they decide whether or not to pick up a book in a bookshop, the cover design comes out as most important. So this might be the stupidest thing we've ever done.

These “naked” covers will be made of art quality paper and shrink wrapped to stop them getting dirty before purchase, there is also an associated gallery for people to submit their creations.

The first six to be released are:

  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Magic Tales by The Brothers Grimm
  • The Waves by Virginia Woolf
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Emma by Jane Austen

I've always had a soft spot for Penguin, I feel they've been a genuine innovator in publishing ever since their inception in 1935 (the history of the company is a fascinating read), and this latest idea is right up there with their best.

By a complete coincidence I'm right in the middle of The True History Of The Elephant Man, their presence in my book collection is that pervasive.

Hat tip: BoingBoing