I’m not certain how the process of dust jacket creation works. I imagine it begins with a designer either reading, or hearing about the contents of a book. This designer probably draws a series of mock-ups, which are then discussed with a team of marketers, publishers, editors, and, possibly, the book’s writer. Decisions about typeface and font size are made, an illustrator or photographer hired. At some crucial point, the designer passes the final copy to an editor who looks over the cover for design flaws and typos.
Poor Adam Ardrey: the American edition of his work seems to have missed that last step. While the front fly of the dust jacket, and the spine and pages of the book proper display his title, Finding Merlin, accurately, the spine of the dust jacket (the part that, if the book is standing upright on a store shelf, is the first thing a reader sees), displays the proud title Finding Merln. (The monosyllabic, with that prominent “merl,” comically robs the Arthurian legend of his elegance, no?)
Maybe it’s a marketing strategy: glancing at the book merely, the typo is not immediately grasped, though the glance does leave the impression that something is wrong (we went back for a second look). More probably it’s a glaring error in editing. I wonder what the consequences for such an an oversight are.
The publishing company that produces the book is, of course, delightfully fitting: Overlook Press. (Yes, small coincidences do delight me.)
21 July 2009 ~ St. Catharines