Last Days Covers

I’m back!

Man, a couple of weeks without internet is like . . . having to look stuff up in books.

But I’m back online, and I’ve got some new pretty pictures from my Penguin/Razorbill editors. They’re very rough covers for The Last Days, the sort-of sequel for Peeps. It’s not about Cal and Lace, but it’s set in the same zombie apocalypse reality. It’s about a band struggling to make it big before the world ends.

I’m only about 10,000 words away from finishing the book. But it’s due next Monday. Argh.

So without me saying anything more, here’s the cover number 1:

And cover number 2:

Let me know what you think. Would you buy such a book? What would you think it’s about?

But remember, the designer is just playing with images, and these aren’t completely cleaned up. So don’t be mean. I’ll be posting two more possible covers soon.

Also: I’ll be telling you which book is going to be a movie . . . on Friday!

42 thoughts on “Last Days Covers

  1. Honestly, Scott, I don’t care for either. I don’t really like the photographs in general, and think it should maybe be more suggestive of an image that is central to the book like Peeps. I rarely like any books with color photos as their cover though, so keep that in mind. Black and white photos are fine, but even then, I think the image itself should be more provocative than a band on stage reaching out to fans. It needs something more interesting, more magical or intriguing. I wouldn’t buy the book based off the cover, but I would based off of having read Peeps and loving it. I’d just be disappointed with the sequel’s cover.

  2. I prefer the first one – the second seems a bit chick-lit to me, while the first is a little more mysterious, because I can’t see the lead singers face. However, I loathe the MASSIVE BLOCK LETTERS. Why, I have no idea.

  3. I like the top one a lot. Dislike the bottom one. The top one doesn’t scream to me “sf book,” but if that’s where I found it, I’d pick up a book with that cover and read the beginning.

  4. I don’t think either one says “SF”. I’m getting more of an “angry Josie and the Pussycats” vibe. Maybe if the singer had noticeable fangs? 🙂

    Also, in the top one, why does the girl playing the Byrdland look like she’s plucking a bass and the guy with the Jazz look like he’s strumming a guitar? Reminds me of the “Behind The Music” on the Patridge Family where David Cassidy used to yell at Danny Bonaduce “You don’t strum a bass, dammit!” 🙂

    Really excited to get a hold of the book, no matter the cover. Peeps was great.

  5. Aside from the the lovely crotch view in the bottom one, I think I prefer the top one. But truthfully, I’m with David. I’m not sure either says zombie apocalypse. And zombie apocalypse is something that must be said, loudly, and like with zombies.

  6. #1 is better, i think, if they’d fix the fonts. lovely inner thigh shot on #2… but i find neither particularly appealing.

    and the strange resemblence of the bass player to .. other bass players i have known is just weird.

  7. The habit of showing most of the body but not the face is really going to date ’00s covers in a decade or so. I miss the grotesque eye motif from your other books, but I don’t know if it’s appropriate for this one.

    I’d be more likely to pick up #1 than #2, but neither is all that appealing. And neither one looks the slightest bit like the zombie apocalypse or even sf. One of the things I liked about the Peeps cover was the imposition of something as intimate and individual as an eye over the bright cityscape; it said this was an individual story, but one that would act as a microcosm for or entry into a larger world. The cover for So Yesterday also gave the sense of entering a strange world, with all the multiplex shots and the subtle repetitions. The thing that’s most lacking in both these covers is the sense of “Hey, you are now entering the strange world of a Westerfeld novel. You can fasten your seatbelts, but it probably won’t help”

  8. I like the second cover as far as the composition, fonts, and colors, but I like the first one better for the photograph. Having not read Peeps yet, I can’t comment on how the cover for a sequel should look, but I would have to say that both of these covers look like they should be the sequel for So Yesterday instead of Peeps. Like has been said, neither really screams “zombie apocalypse” to me.

  9. The first one is more aesthetically pleasing, but I now think the book is about a rock and roll band. While, based on what you’ve said, this is superficially true, I don’t think that’s the message you want to convey. I would go with some tasteful font and a nice simple goth graphic of some sort with blood dripping off of it or something, rather than this picture. Which is not to say that I recommend that either. :’)

  10. They look like teen mag covers, to be honest. Or a bit like what you’d expect on one of those little book/booklets about Madonna or whatever–the story behind the story books. I wouldn’t pick them up even though I like music a lot because they look too corporate, too Top 40. But I don’t think I’m the potential audience for this book. Shouldn’t you really be asking teenagers and young adults?


  11. I’m with Mr. Barzak in not liking either all that much. The composition in the top photo isn’t very good, and the title completely overbalances the image. The balance is better on the second, but the photo is too glam and glossy for my taste. FWIW.

  12. I dont care for either. They come off as dull,lifeless, and like Jeff said, a bit on the boring teenish side.

  13. I actually really like the first one. *sheepish grin* I like the proportion of the title to the picture, having it so huge. And the little block of your past novel is very well-placed.

    And I’m starting to think that the movie will be So Yesterday because it’s mentioned on these covers. Am I right?

    I think the band looks darker, more vampy. But the second one just looks like a pop diva. Not interesting. If it didn’t have your name on it, I probably wouldn’t read it. 😀

  14. I like hte first one better than the second one. I think both look like the sequel to So Yesterday rather than Peeps, especially because they both have “Day” in the titles.

    I’m so glad you and J have your connections up!

  15. I don’t like either of them at all. If i saw the book i wouldn’t pick it up if those were the covers. I have to wait and look at the other but if i had to choose right now I’m like th others the top would be more eye catching.

  16. Has the designer actualy read this book?! If they have, then I dont know what types of drugs they were on when they were making these covers and acutaly thinking that the public would like them, much less give people a clue what the book was really about. And since you asked what I thought the book would be about judging by the cover, at a glance for the first cover, I would presume it was some teen wanna be rock band trying to become big stars while thier poor little friendships fell apart or something, and for the second cover, I would think that some little girl with a britney spears attitude was lipsinking while she wanted men to look up her skirt while at the same time her friends would be drifting away from her as her singing career took off…Or something like that. * vomits*

  17. I like the first one better than the second… I’m not sure what type of music the band plays, but the second one looks like a pop diva which would put me off…

  18. I like the first one, the second seems too “american Idol” and would send me away…as far as covers go anyways. Although the different colored fonts are pretty neat in the second.

  19. I like the first cover, the one with more than one band member on it. I think that it shows that it is about more than one person. I would definitely buy this book for two reasons. One, you wrote it, and two, from what little detail you gave about the book, it sounds really interesting.

  20. I like the first one better because the giant title supercedes the photo, so “The Last Days” is what I notice first. And since the title seems to be implying the end of the world, seeing a gothish-dressed rock band underneath would make me want to turn the book over to read the description.

    With the second cover, the picture is more noticeable than the cover, and I got the impression, like has been mentioned, that it’s a book about a rising pop star dealing with newfound fame and drugs, or something similar, which is not nearly as interesting as a band in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

    I do agree that the cover could use a little more of the zombie apocalypse feel, unless the goal is to suck in unwary preteens who are looking for a sappy pop princess story. Which might not be a bad thing. Bring them over to the dark side! (evil laughter)

  21. Is it just me or is anyone else tired of blatant fellatio images? These covers definitely convey a “sex, drugs, & rock n’roll” theme–but thats not really what the books are about, right? I wouldn’t sign off on either cover…

  22. i dislike both sorry. but they are to pre-teenie looking for an sf book you should go for something more creepy looking and the letters are too LARGE. no good. mabey the picture should be of a vast barren land scape that would go good with the title…but i would still read it anyway no matter what the cover was…

  23. I don’t know…maybe if you gave the girl some more creepy images. It might sound cliche, but nice creepy eyes (like on the front of Peeps) or even some fangs might help. If you think about it having what appears to be a girlband on the front is a rather creepy image. It looks innocent. Well, innocent for our society anymore. Darken it a little more, add some creepiness and I would say I really like it. Maybe the band has something big with the plot. You have interesting twists on society, like plastic surgery in Uglies, so maybe there’s more to it.


  24. They’re both OK covers — I prefer #1 — but neither speaks of Zombie Apocalypse to me, though the title is a pretty good clue, I guess. I think someone who didn’t know Peeps or your other books would be expecting a different sort of story inside. Maybe that’s a good thing?

  25. ok everyone. THOSE ARE NOT GOTH OR EVEN GOTHY LOOKING KIDS. The kids in that band are portraying that look of light rock/emo crap. If any of you have any idea what goth really is, you wouldnt call those kids even close to goth looking. Why dont you check out marilyn manson, or cradel or filth just to get an idea.

  26. Looking at the covers…and if I’d never read Peeps before, I would’ve immediately assumed that the book was about a rock band whose members are dying of some disease (last days?…) like AIDS or something. Or maybe I’m thinking of Rent. You should minimize the title a bit so that we can see more IMAGE and get a better idea of what this book will be about. If the rock band are PEEPS, you should give its members a darker look…heavy on the eyeliner and w/e. I don’t really care though. I JUST WANNA READ IT!!!

  27. I dislike them both. But I like the top one a little better. I think you should have like a contest or something. On the cover page and people who read this blog can try to design a good looking cover page. and the design you like best you send like an autographed book.

  28. like Chris Barzac i agree. I prefer the first cover better but it needs some fixes. I know that it isn’t the permanent but a few suggestions would not hurt. The band does need to look gothic and like Max, you can’t really read what the book really is about by just looking at the cover.

  29. forcher, you have to realize that some of us commenting here are, like, really old. back in my day, you were goth if your hair and nails and t-shirt and jeans were black. bonus points for black lipstick. ah, the simple old days!

    scott, i like ’em both. top one seems like it would appeal to a slightly older, more world-weary set (like, 15, 16?) and bottom to those still interested in colored clothing. bottom one would definitely put off anyone browsing for a zombie apocalypse, though. i know that when i wanna get my zombie apocalypse on, i don’t want britney spears getting in the way. (i mean, think about it. it would take a family of zombies all day to eat her.)

  30. I like the first one better, mostly because I can’t handle the obnoxious variety of font colors on the second. Neither one stands out as an excellent cover, and I wouldn’t guess from either one that the plot is as interesting as you describe. There’s no hint of an apocalyptic vibe, but I can’t really give a full opinion on that because I’ve yet to read Peeps. They’re allright, but they could be better.

  31. I dont mean to be negative (although I dont know how to put this nicely) but I dont care for either of the covers. I dont like the characters on the first one because they look like TheSims the game characters and on the second one, I dont like the view of the thighs which look a tad strange taking up more or less of a third of the cover. But I’d have to go with most ppl and go with the first one. Plus, I agree with ppl on the font in the first definitely shocking…well at least it stands out.

  32. i don’t really like either of them, but i like the first one a lot better than the second. it’s true that the font is a little too big but it’s ok.

  33. uhhh. uhhhhh! oh my god. I mean seriously. The first one’s okay with a bit of dark lighting and the guy in the back is actually is looking a little dark, apocalytic (sorry 🙁 bad speller) as well as the girl. It just seems very cheap YA. I mean seriously, there was a comment on the other cover page that said that maybe the coverdesigners wanted to bring in not only SF fans but non-SF fans with the chicklit cover. Puh-lease. Save the fans the horror. I mean I wouldn’t like The Last Days any less but I’d like to keep a hardback copy on my bookshelf for all to see because I will be very proud to read the book. And don’t even get me started on the Block Letters and the second cover. I’d seriously like to see some cool digital effects though.

  34. i will buy/read any book written by scott westerfeld, no matter what the cover! still, i like the first one much better cuz . . . i dunno, its cooler!

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