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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Verve Books: Publisher Spotlight

By Laura Wallace, Megan Coote and Abbie Wright 

Verve Books, launched in 2018, is an independent UK-based publisher that publishes a wide range of fiction across all genres. They have an exciting frontlist and an equally exciting backlist of diverse and interesting fiction novels. Verve Books’ cover designs are so intriguing, we’ve selected our favourite covers from their vibrant catalogue to analyse in more detail. 

Paper Names by Susie Luo

Paper Names is one of Verve Books most recent releases. It was published in 2023 and is author, Susie Luo’s, debut novel. The novel traces the stories of three different characters from different backgrounds, Tony from China, Tammy, a first-generation American and Oliver, a white American Lawyer. Their lives become intertwined as a result of an attempted mugging. The author’s narratiojn of these stories works to create a powerful novel about generational relationships from unique perspectives.

The cover is cleverly simplistic and eye-catching. Whilst the colours and patterns are bold in nature, they are toned down by the grainy texture of the book. There are geometric lines cutting across the cover, dividing it into blocks of colour; the image of a girl facing backwards follows this simple block colour design. The running theme of simplicity of design is compounded by the simple sans-serif typeface for both the author and book title. These are coloured in white to highlight this element of the cover against the background of bold colours. The imagery and typeface are designed to attract attention equally, creating a beautifully balanced cover.

Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter

Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter follows protagonist Cassie, a young woman who lands her dream job at a cutthroat Silicon Valley startup. However, her excitement quickly turns to disillusionment as she grapples with long hours, toxic bosses and unethical projects. The cover design for Ripe is instantly alluring and striking. The use of fruits on book covers has been a popular trend in recent years; it is aesthetic but ambiguous. The central feature on Ripe’s cover is a pomegranate sliced open with its seeds exposed. This raw feeling of being exposed mirrors Cassie throughout the book as you are privy to her darkest and bleakest thoughts whilst her world begins to unravel, leading her to consider whether her dream career is what she first imagined. The pomegranate is a recurring motif throughout the book and has multiple meanings. In some cultures, they represent fertility and abundance and these are recurrent themes in Ripe. The concept of abundance is prevalent throughout the novel as Cassie struggles to reconcile the contrast between obscene wealth and extreme poverty, which both exist in the city. The vibrant and almost-neon, red colour choice used for the design gives the cover image a disconcerting, surrealist feel. This creates a sense of urgency and danger which would instantly grab the reader's attention whilst browsing but without revealing too much about the book’s content. 

Deliver Me by Elle Nash

Elle Nash’s contemporary horror novel Deliver Me follows Dee-Dee, a young woman who has suffered a number of devastating miscarriages. The story joins Dee-Dee as she is pregnant again, now no longer a member of the Church and instead living ‘in sin’ (according to her mother) with her boyfriend. This is a dark and disturbing novel, definitely not for the faint-hearted. However, Nash portrays these dark themes beautifully.

The novel’s cover highlights its macabre nature, with its central image being an open mouth that has a cockroach crawling inside of it. The eerie image is a direct reference to the content of the novel, as insects feature heavily throughout. This image sits within a circle in the middle of the book, to catch the reader’s eye and to emphasise the disturbing nature of the image. The rest of the cover is black, which keeps the design simple and elegant in spite of the graphic image, while alluding to the cockroach. The orange font for the author’s name and title stands out against the black backdrop and also links to the orange details in the image. The black and orange colours work to emphasise the horror genre. Overall, the cover works well to portray some of the central themes of Deliver Me, whilst also drawing readers before the book is opened.



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