Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: The picture on the UK cover is on the BBC production of the movie, which as far as I know is not available in the US as of yet. Why not? Because it's about lesbians in Victorian times. I've come across a lot of people who think such things just "didn't happen back then." I think it's sad that Americans can't handle subjects like this. Noticeably, glancing at the US cover, you wouldn't even know it's about lesbians at all.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova: Here's a book that's gotten a lot of notice and a lot of buzz for its debut in July. Reportedly, the author got 2 million for it, and it's already on the way to being made into a movie. The rich tones of the US cover imply the combination of vampire and historical, and the hint of a face is interesting, even if it is sideways. I like the font and the script on the UK cover though, and the drops of blood, which draw notice to the vampire theme.
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith: I have a few friends who love Smith's books. The UK cover looks more like it would be true to African folk art (though I have no idea whether it is or not). The US cover just seems so clean, it looks more like a beach resort.
Lifeguard by James Patterson: Okay, here's one I don't know why they changed. Both show a lifeguard's shed (what do you call it?). Do they have lifeguards in the UK? I really don't know. I've never lived near the beach. Are they significantly different from place to place. Also, one cover emphasizes the sand, and the other the sky. I like the US cover, it looks warmer.
Lost City by Clive Cussler: Okay, both have a submarine, and I prefer the one on the UK cover, but that design behind Cussler's name is distracting. Though I don't really like the plain black and white either. I don't really like either cover here.
Olympos by Dan Simmons: If I were to judge solely on the covers, I would think the US book was a fantasy, and the UK book a science fiction. Interestingly, Ilium and this sequel are a combination of fantasy and science fiction. Does sci-fi sell better in the UK? Is that why the emphasis on it more? I think fantasy is on an upswing more than sci-fi in the US.
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde: Man, there is a huge difference between these two covers. If I were to go just on impressions, the UK cover has more of a humorous appearance that the US cover doesn't have. They both have books, and they are definitely both odd covers. I think I do prefer the US cover here.
Ten Men by Alexandra Gray: Okay, the first cover is of the US hardcover edition, the second of the US paperback edition, and the third of the UK edition. Obviously the publisher rethought the emphasis from the hardcover to the paperback edition, moving from showing multiple men to focusing on the heroine. But why the background difference between the US and the UK. I've heard that the most popular color for book covers published in the US is blue. Maybe blue doesn't sell as well in the UK.
The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks: These covers are probably the most different of the covers I've shown today. Traveler is also a book with a lot of buzz. Though at heart a sci-fi novel, it is being published by Random House's regular fiction imprint rather than by their Sci-fic imprint. They are obviously trying to find a mainstream audience for it. The UK cover has more of a sci-fi feel to it. Looking at the US cover, I wouldn't even guess that it was sci-fi, but I've heard it is supposed to be sort of like The Matrix. Oh, and why the different spelling on "traveler/traveller"?Is that the normal spelling in the UK. I guess I never noticed it before.