Dave Eggers’ new novel hosts an experiment into the possibilities of the book cover

“I don’t like bullies,” Eggers told The New York Times. “Amazon has been kicking sand in the face of independent bookstores for decades now.” The Every is available in paperback in book shops and online, but the hardcover remains exclusive to independent book shops.
“One thing that making thirty-plus covers allowed us to do,” Thompson tells It’s Nice That, “was play with all of the book’s moods and themes. Typically, the job of a cover is to home in on some aspect of the text – a mood or idea or something – and approximate it visually.” Because books can be about a lot of different themes, Thompson and his team wanted to play with many of the book’s ideas “without having to cram them all into a single image”. For example, Ivan Brunetti’s jacket, says Thompson, satirises the “goofy utopianism” of the tech company portrayed in the book, while Robyn O’Neil’s covers “hint at the book’s darker underside”.
When the usual design challenges cropped up during the project, they were multiplied by 32. Sixteen jackets designed by Eve Weinsheimer, with a logo design by Jessica Hische, acted as the cover for the first printing of the book. “Each of Eve’s jackets needed to have a unique colour combination, and the challenge there was to make each of those colour combinations feel distinct from one another,” explains the art director. Noah Lang from Electric Works, a gallery in San Francisco, connected Thompson and his team to the many artists who made the covers. “We were lucky that nearly every piece of art we commissioned was remarkably close to perfect after one or two rounds of sketches. Once the first few covers started to come together, we figured out what worked and what didn’t and the process became easier.”
When looking for inspiration for the covers, the artists Thompson worked with seemed to immediately grasp what they were after for the cover, so finding inspiration wasn’t so much of a challenge. Thompson accredits this to the world we live in today, one where tech companies are king and “we’re all sort of immersed in a world of their making,” he says.