Hi everyone, today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite bookish things: book covers!
It’s not a secret that book community is pretty US-centric and english-centric. Most authors are from the US and to break through the international market, books have to be written in English first even though it’s telling non-English story. Sure, there are cases where books are actually being translated to English from its original language, but in most cases, this means that in for the books to read wider market, it has to be translated to another language.
I’m not bitter about it, in fact, I’m happy with it! Translated books allow the stories to reach more audience since it can be understood by more people and it’s so much cheaper than reading imported books. It also open up the job market for translator, editors, printing, and of course, cover designers. This is because one of the upside of book translations are all the new covers the books are getting! Publishers can used the original covers of course, but it’s not rare for local publishers to instead redesign the cover.
I haven’t read books in Bahasa for the longest time, but whenever I went to the bookstore, I’m always in awe with all the gorgeous covers we have! In Indonesia, the translated YA books have the most gorgeous new covers that sometimes, ahem, better than the original. This post is inspired by a twitter thread I saw yesterday and honestly, I agree with the op. We have so many talented cover artists whose work could actually be used as the original cover art!
Since today is our Independence day, I’m supposed to write a post about my favorite Indonesian folklore. Instead, today I’m bringing you my favorite Indonesian covers since I don’t think I’ve written much about my country’s literature scene. I hope you guys enjoyed it!
This include young adult, adult, and middle grade fiction, whether it’s SFF or contemporary.
I’ve only read Shades of Magic series so I can’t talk about how much the book covers for others reflect the story within, it’s purely for aesthetic in this section 🙈 I love the Indonesian cover for the Shades of Magic series, it really fits the story! We got the main character (Kell, Lila and Holland) on each book their story arc is the most prominent. I also love the cover for Not If I Save You First, it’s super fun and I’d say so much better than the original! The cover for Convenience Store Woman gave me an idea on what the story is about (plus I’m a sucker for yellow).
I love love LOVE the cover for The Poppy War! Again, I haven’t read it so I don’t know how much the cover represents the story within, but they just look epic and mythical 🤩 The UK edition for Strange the Dreamer is my all time favorite book cover, but the Indonesian cover for Muse of Nightmares is my favorite edition because look at how gorgeous and detailed it is ✨😍 Both The Song of Achilles and The Silence of the Girls are stories set during the Trojan War and I think the covers managed to convey the difference in their story really well. The Song of Achilles felt more militaristic while the Silence of the Girls felt more… quiet and sad.
I haven’t read any of these books, but I always love the covers for Agatha Christie’s books! The omnibus have such a vibrant colors (there are 3 books, I just picked my favorite) while the standalone books have a more minimalist design with small illustration against white background. I don’t think the Kafka one actually match the content in terms of design as it looks very ~edgy~ but at the same time, I love its style 😂 There are so many covers for classics in Indonesia, but I love that edition of Little Women! The illustration felt like a warm quilt, comforting and vibrant like the stories and characters told. And finally, I love the new covers for Murakami’s books!
From left to right, we have Pemetik Bintang by Venerdi Handoyo, Kau, Aku, dan Sepucuk Angpau Merah by Tere Liye, Tiba Sebelum Berangkat by Faisal Oddang, Cara Berbahagia Tanpa Kepala by Henny Triskaidekaman, and MainZine Childhood Magic.
Of course I couldn’t write about beautiful Indonesian edition without mentioning books by Indonesian authors! Again, I haven’t read any of these books and I’m honestly really behind on my Indonesian books reading challenge, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring the covers. I think at this point you might’ve guessed how much I love detailed illustrations and vibrant colors, which is used in all of these covers! Tere Liye is one of the most prolific authors in Indonesia and her books are definitely blessed by the best cover designer!