Wednesday 20 November 2019

Book Review: No. No. No. No. Yes: Book Design Uncovered by David Dunn

Last Updated: 11 October 2021

Book Design Uncovered by David Dunn book cover

AD* | All designers will tell you that the design process is one of perseverance, failure, hard work and eventual triumph. Book cover design is no different. The idea for the book stemmed from attending a talk at St. Bride's Foundation, watching Jon Gray and Jamie Keenan present a carousel of beautiful covers that have never seen the cover of a book as they were rejected (for various reasons) along the way. The proverbial lightbulb went up - why not publish a book about rejected covers?

'No, No, No, No, Yes: Book Design Uncovered' brings together 25 published book covers and 100 alternatives seen in print for the very first time. Drawing on submissions from book cover designers from across the world, the book is part peek behind the curtain of the book cover design process, part alternative history of book covers.

Bringing an intriguing glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes in the world of publishing, this book brings together a whole host of rejected book covers and compares them with the final accepted cover.

It's interesting to see the thought process behind each design; some have only minor tweaks, while others have a variety of varying covers in different colours, patterns and themes. It's amazing how much work goes into each cover design - only for so many to be discarded and left by the wayside. For the designers, this must be a wonderful opportunity to finally see their hard work recognised and showcased, rather than simply being left behind in the rejects pile.

While it's hard to know which cover best suits a book you haven't personally read, I actually think some of the discarded covers work better aesthetically than the final versions. Of course, I am by no means an expert, but it's really interesting to know how the publishers made their decisions.

Intriguing and insightful, Book Design Uncovered is a quirky addition to any book lover's library and would make a great gift for anyone interested in publishing or design.

Rating: 3 stars

No. No. No. No. Yes: Book Design Uncovered is available to buy now.

If you like the sound of this book, you might also enjoy...

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be grabbing a copy? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. I'll make a note of this book for the time when (or if) I ever finish my novel!

  2. An interesting concept for a book. Some covers can be quite off-putting. But the text here is quite grabbing. Reminds me a bit of when I reviewed the children's book "The Book with No Pictures" which still remains a favourite of my boys #readwithme