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Today Little, Brown released the cover for J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy!

It takes on a vibrant, vintage red/yellow color scheme with an ‘X’ mark in a box – presumably a voting ballot. How do you think it looks?

In addition to today’s art, Little, Brown reveals that the character previously known as Barry Fairweather is now Barry Fairbrother (reportedly an error on the publisher’s part). The confirmed page count is 512. Mario J. Pulice designed the cover, with illustration and hand lettering by Joel Hollan. The audiobook will be read by Tom Hollander.

UPDATE 3: Amazon shows an alternative angle of the book, which reveals the spine (ooooh, aaaaah):

UPDATE 2: We’ve confirmed that this is the worldwide cover.

UPDATE: We’ve obtained this larger version of the cover from the publisher…

FUN: We took the Harry Potter books and made cover art spoofs based on The Casual Vacancy’s!

Finally, this updated cover copy was shared:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

The Casual Vacancy will be released September 27, 2012.

  • Nicole

    I can’t get used to the non hp format…. :l

  • Marie

    The style is very vintage, simple but interesting. Looks amazing, I can’t wait! 

  • https://twitter.com/#!/HP4eva121995 Ally

    Im not gonna judge this book by it’s cover. Not that it’s bad…Maybe it’s my inner HP nerd wanting a cover which can be analyzed in 1000s of ways. Can’t wait for the book though!!!

  • Hermione


  • pc

    OMG I want it NOW!

  • Abi

    Simple design, I think because it is an adult’s book and the quality of the writing, not the cover is important. It has a retro feel about it. Simple but effective, the cover is bold but does not give too much of the plot away. A mystery like the book itself.

  • http://hypable.com Selina

    That awkward moment when a JK Rowling book cover uses a Coca Cola font-alike…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_72TDYOGTQX5TPTA2B3HV55XCAQ Corin

      Had the same thought…

  • ZerminaK

    Looks very 70′s ish… The font etc… But I certaintly wont judge a book by its cover!

  • http://profiles.google.com/hplunatic Runa Zaman

    Aw, and Lauren Fairweather was so excited about the last name :(  

  • Ian Miller

    SO EXCITED!!!!!

  • Pixie

    If a book is not supposed to be judged by its cover, then why display the image of the cover at all? But seriously speaking, I expected the cover to be something completely different – the town of Pagford as described in the book synopsis, with a black-and-white scheme, signifying foreboding events occurring behind a quiet façade.

    • Pixie

      Having a yellow border for a vibrant red cover does nothing to convince anybody that this is actually a book for adults. Parents could actually end up buying this book for their kids simply because of its attractive-looking cover!!

      • Kate

        I disagree. Illustrations of any kind would make it look like it was for kids. I love the cover how it is – bright, vivid (hinting at comic undertones), with the ballot box representing politics. Plus, hopefully the fact that this book will be in the “adult” section and since it has a not-kid-friendly title, parents will be dissuaded from buying this book for their kids without researching it.

  • Mrs_Badcrumble

    Not my favorite cover at first look, but I think this is one of those covers that will look better printed. Anyway, no cover would stop me from reading this content!

    • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com/ Ani Sharmin

      That’s a good point. I’ve noticed that sometimes I have a different opinion of a cover based on what it looks like on a computer screen compared to what it looks like on the actual book.

      • Mrs_Badcrumble

        Yes, it happens quite a lot. The digital version usually looks too plain (specially in these “clean” looking ones), but the printed cover has texture and a feel that the digital cannot reproduce. And this cover looks a bit amateurish when seen here. But I’m sure it will look good in a shelf.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690341156 Andrew Davies-Land

    oh its very nice, defiantly in fitting with the crime drama genre of the novel, it kind of reminds me of Agatha Christie 

  • http://www.roofbeamreader.net Adam

    Looks appropriate for a book described as a black comedy… intriguing!  I’ll definitely be buying it (not because of the cover – I was going to buy it anyway, of course).. but, yeah, I actually dig it. 

    • http://benchpressabear.tumblr.com Joan

      I agree! For some reason, it reminded me of Batman’s onomatopeias: POW!! ZLONK!! ROWLING!!

  • http://twitter.com/NiallJAdams Niall Adams

    Nice cover, definitely grabs your attention. On another note for some reason I’m annoyed that how they left the ‘i’ in “J.K Rowling” lower-case whilst the rest is in capitals. Not sure why, but it just annoys me…

    I also struggle to believe that the name was simply a printing error. Either they decided to change the characters name or whoever wrote the press release needs to proof-read their work.

    • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

      its not a mistake, it was likely done on purpose – probably something to do with the book’s plot or she just preferred the way it looked.

      • Hermione

        Knowing JKR, it probably has all the meaning in the world. 

  • http://twitter.com/vonchambers Devon Chambers

    I’m torn while I love simplicity I think it has to be super clean and this is a bit busy (weird Coca-Cola esque font) and the red and yellow but I’m incredibly excited to read all 512 pages (a nice size novel) 

    I think naming her new book’s main character Barry is a bit goofy though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Mangum/1820064015 Joey Mangum

      I don’t think he’s the main character, since he dies at the start of the novel… We might see him through the use of flashbacks, but I feel like we’re looking at more of an ensemble sort of deal with all of the issues of Pagford coming together at some point in the novel. Either way, it’s bound to be a good read.

      • LGray1983

        That’s how I see it, as well. It would be interesting if it’s told from multiple perspectives with some surprise twist at the end.

  • Lotte

    Don’t like the cover. At all. However in the end I only care about the story anyway. I am so curious how much I will love/like/dislike/hate Rowlings writing without the beloved world of Harry Potter. My expectations are after all are ridiculously high! (after all she is the writer of THE Harry Potter)

    • Tom

      Safe to say her writing will be better than yours ;P

      • Lotte

        Never claimed to be an author. So I really don’t get your argument. 

        • Tom

          It was just a joke. Sorry.

          • Lotte

            Okay, than I am sorry for overreacting :).

  • http://twitter.com/emilyecstasyTM Emily Bryan

    I like the cover! Very bright, will definitely get people to look twice & notice the name.

  • Samuel

    Love the cover. Not many new books have this retro cover style. From this and the synopsis this book seems great already. 

  • http://twitter.com/Snapescape Laura Cain

    Awesome! It’s very retro-looking, I love it. I like the fonts used too :)

  • Ekta

    I just can’t wait! This cover is OK. At the same time, I’m sure it’s just the first of many…

  • Hermione Granger

    Well red and yellow together always manages to remind me of McDonald’s, no matter what, so the colors are not the most pleasant in my view. BUT I don’t really care, this is a book no one’s going to buy/not buy because of the cover… I’ll bet JKR & Co. didn’t want to feel like they were revealing ANY details. So, mission accomplished! (I, of course, will read it regardless). 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Mangum/1820064015 Joey Mangum

    I like the idea of an old school stereotypical thriller jacket cover. I wish we knew what time frame the events of the novel are supposed to take place in. The red kind of makes me think of Communism… If anything, I’m sure the red has to mean something symbolic… 512 pages… LOVE IT!

  • Voldy

    Love the minimalist design! Can’t wait to read it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Mangum/1820064015 Joey Mangum

    What if the yellow on the cover is symbolic of the facade that the town is putting on, and the red in the center is supposed to be the lies, control and war that’s raging underneath the “sunny” exterior, all centered around the vote for a council member to replace Barry…. Just a thought… 

    Also, notice the “I” in “Rowling” is lowercase… I feel like that could mean something too… 

  • http://twitter.com/LiamFloyd Liam Floyd

    Wow! I was expecting something a lot… classier, I guess. But I love this.

  • Chellearia

    It looks adultish except for the font Rowling’s name is in – that reminds me of a children’s book

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.lalljee?ref=tn_tnmn Jason

    I actually liked the GoodReads placeholder with J.K. Rowling’s face and the title in classy times new roman a little better. Have to say, a little disappointed in its profound ordinariness. 

    ….Although that’s not to say I won’t show u p at midnight to buy this. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.lalljee?ref=tn_tnmn Jason

    Mary GrandPre should have designed this. 

    • Tom


  • http://theoncomingriver.tumblr.com/ Kate

    I’m really sorry, but i’m not a fan of either font. Love the colors, ballot box, etc, but the font seems really…photoshop-esque? 
    I adore minimalist posters and such, but this doesn’t really scream “arguably the best current author” to me. It seems more like a movie poster or a fan-made cover?

    I don’t really know. I think I’m going to reserve judgement until I get the book in my hands. 

    Also, 512 pages?! YES.

  • Tucker

    hmm… my thoughts that the cover is very bland looking. Maybe they were looking for something very simple, maybe to match the normal themes of the village before Barry’s murder, but I could be looking into it to much..

  • anon

    I love how un-Potter-y it is. It’s iconic and simple and adult. It’s exactly what it needed to be.

  • http://twitter.com/Nik_Lit Nikki Krueger

    Boring cover. I guess it will pop out on bookstore shelves or in a big display, but it is still pretty ugly. I couldn’t see people picking it up if it weren’t for Jo’s name on the cover.

  • Katie

    I think i’d like it more if it were different colors… I’m just not feeling the clashing red & yellow…. 

    But obviously you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, and the synopsis sounds pretty great. Plus, 512 pages?! YES!

  • Delena

    I like it! It’s simple, but it’s a ballot check box, so it makes sense with the synopsis we’ve heard. I don’t think it would’ve made sense for it to be anymore than this. If it had multiple characters on it like the Harry Potter books- well, I just couldn’t see that working for this sort of book. Look at the U.K. “adult” covers- they’re simple, aren’t they? The book it more “adult”, so naturally the cover would reflect that. It isn’t Harry Potter and I like how different it is. I also like how old fashion it looks. Personally, I’m digging it. I’m super excited to see JKR doing something very different- even if we all would like more Potter :P

  • http://twitter.com/angrykittykj Krystol

    I don’t think a more boring cover exists… but it certainly fits the description of the book. I’m sorry, small town British politics has got to be the most boring setting for a book ever. Politics don’t interest me in the least.

    • Samuel

      each to their own. 

    • https://www.youtube.com/TheBabarSuhail Babar Suhail


    • Tom

      Don’t read it then.

    • Luigi_barraza

      I’m sure a writer like J.K. Rowling could make ANYTHING intresting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Wang/542480760 Maria Wang

      haven’t you ever heard of the phrase, never judge a book by its cover.  Although i have to agree, i don’t normally read political thrillers or political mysterious.  But it’s by JK ROWLING! Hellooo.  I would at least give this a shot and you should too.

  • Wildling

    I like it, it’s not fantastic. I also think it does look a bit young, especially how JK Rowling is written. It definitely hasn’t turned me off this book; I’m very excited for it. I hope there are midnight release parties near me! 

  • Amy


  • jGuest

    Wow, this is some sneaky marketing stuff – the strange color combo and solid shapes make it easy for someone sitting across from you on the subway to figure out what you’re reading. We used to learn all about this stuff in my advertising class. Talk about trying to hype up a release with subliminal marketing….

  • Julie L

    I feel like this cover is good enough. It looks adult and professional which is exactly what I expected from Jo this time around.

    Remember everyone, don’t judge a book by it’s cover! :)

  • Hehedied

    Omg I like that cover a lot

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000142251658 Rhiannon Carter

    Well…. everyone will know what your reading when you pull this bad boy out. I’ll be honest – I think it’s a bit tacky. But of course, I will buy it and read it immediately. Like others have said – you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. 

  • Siriusly?

    I really like it, the sheer simplicity makes it noticeable. Also it’s fairly old school with the font which gives it a ‘vintage’ feel which is mirrored in the way English villages are often like stepping back in time. But that is just me…

  • Catherine

    The first thing I thought of when I saw this was … a diner. Based on the colour and font, I think. 
    But yes, quite vintage. It’s interesting. 

  • https://www.youtube.com/TheBabarSuhail Babar Suhail

    Looks pretty dull!

    • Josh

      It’s an ‘adult’ book. It works.

  • Remus Moody


  • http://twitter.com/brookesalmons brooke salmons

    I like it :) and I majored in graphic design so that settles it :P lol

    • http://twitter.com/hmycx2 Helen Chang

      I too graduated with a major in Graphic design… The typography for her name bothers me way too much for me to like this cover. 

  • Kyle

    I’m kinda wanted it to say Jo Rowling, but oh well

    • Andrew_ww

      That would be cool. But they would never do that..ever. People know her by J.K. Rowling.

  • http://twitter.com/HUGzO7 hello.

    ooooooo retro. i like it.

  • Elphaba Thropp

    Barry? Sure it’s not Harry?

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

    I LOVE IT!

  • http://twitter.com/dreamfall31 Kevin Slechta

    Simple, but awesome!  Reminds me of a 40′s noire movie poste or something!

  • http://theoncomingriver.tumblr.com/ River

    LOVE the alternate angle photo. Looks way less violently colored.
    So happy with this version :)
    It’s no HP, but it’s really good. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/gfludal gfludal

    like the spine better than the front for some reason

  • severus<3lily

    idk know if i like it. It is kind of vintage though.

  • LGray1983

    The more I look at it, the more I like it. As someone else wrote, the bright colors will  make it easily spotted from a distance– which I’m sure was the intention for publicity’s sake. 

    Maybe the vintage look is a clue to the time period of the story? It’ll be interesting to see if the story takes place in another decade, the 70s for example.

    Actually…I was originally pretty disappointed, but I like it a lot now. It’s simple but bright. Definitively adult-looking and unique. And who knows? Maybe the paperback or other editions to come later on will have a different design?

  • Zack

    I’m sorry, but this is so boring! Who designed this? Its just the title with a check mark on it…
    I hope the book is better. Knowing Jo, it should be.

    • Zack

      …I thought it was a check mark…
      Anyways, you get the point.

    • http://twitter.com/altonium Alton de Jesus

      When I saw the cover, I thought it was such a cool cover. Minimalistic and oldy. It has character. 

    • Jay

      I like it.  It has a vintage feel to it.

  • WeasleyWrock

    Does anybody know the length of the book?

    • GinnyWeasley002

      512 pages.

  • Maroon Wombat

    I really like it, but I think that the lower-case “i” in “Rowling” is going to bother me a lot.

  • Guest 1D!

    Hahaha lol! What an awesome day it will be! Thats my b’day!

  • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

    The cover is slowly growing on me. I like the minimilist style, but I’m not crazy about the colors.

  • Brian

    I love the vintage feel of this, and that it’s so different from any of the Harry Potter covers. Can’t wait for it to be released. 

  • http://twitter.com/acjub CK

    Looks like a really old  book, I kinda like it

  • http://twitter.com/fire_whiskey Radhika Mehrotra

    Awesome! It somehow still makes me live the HP saga! Indeed the lower case i is *take it away please*

  • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh


  • http://www.facebook.com/skeekeedee Amber Murray

    I’m not a fan of the colors. Meh

  • Wxskall


  • http://www.facebook.com/Christie.A.P Christie Pereira

    Doesn’t sound like my type of the book. But I would read anything by JK Rowling, even a shopping list.

  • Jefferson Alves

    I can’t tell whether I liked the cover or not, maybe I will fancy it when I read the actual book and relate to it somehow. But, for now, I can’t see any meaning, apart from an X that marks an election? Perhaps, not sure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheManWhoCantBeMoved.75941 El Retorno Del Rey

    it looks pretty boring.

    no offense.

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