Selkie Shares #1: Cover Changes

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Selkie Shares is a sporadic blog feature of The Selkie Reads Stories, wherein we share our personal cogitations and insights about a particular issue or topic related to our passion for books.

Note: This post is in no way attacking any individual or group. It’s mainly the personal opinions of the author, meant to be shared and discussed.

One issue that has been bugging many bookworms (and has been quite a trend lately) is cover changes during mid-series. This is when a particular book in a series suddenly changes cover design; putting an end to the first and original look of the books—which some people have already bought.

There are two sides to this issue:
  1. Publishers target another or a wider market. Aside from spreading the love for reading, publishers need to make money in order to continue doing the former. It’s a marketing strategy to reach out to more readers.
  2. Book collectors (or simply book lovers) would often want their books to match. Others tend to get irritated by these cover changes. It might also affect their outlook of a book/series.
Having said that, I also have two contrasting opinions/reactions on this:
  1. I like that publishers would want to reach out to more readers. It’s definitely a thumbs-up for me as I totally want the interest for reading to spread to more individuals.
    Also, I appreciate the interpretation of another artist on a certain story. I value creativity a lot, and I love seeing what others have to say about a book (through art).
  2. Admittedly, my view of a story changes the tiniest bit when the book covers are altered. I know “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but it plays a huge part when I purchase books. Of course it’s the first thing that entices me to see the book’s synopsis.
    And it’s just really fulfilling and lovely to see your books on a shelf matching. Even if I don’t overreact that much when this happens (I am bothered, but I’m not the type to rebuy copies just to have them the same), I still prefer seeing the similar cover art for my series books.  
However, in the matter of cover changes, there are those that go horribly wrong, and some, awesomely right.
I APPROVE! I prefer covers to stay the same until all books in a series have been published, but there are cover changes so good they’ve redeemed themselves already for me.
  1.  Anna and the French Kiss – Don’t argue with me. These redesigned covers that focus on the typography and setting are beyond GORGEOUS. 
  2. Curse Workers – It’s probably just me, but there’s and old-ish feel to the original covers—with that leather jacket complete with the gloves, as well as the typography. Like it could have been published before I was born. I prefer the redesigned ones with the cool face art. It’s more… YA. 
  3. Blood of Eden –I really just don’t like a full close-up of a face on my book’s cover. The new covers feel more symbolic and would definitely reach a larger target market.

UHH.. JUST NO. On the other hand, there are books that have gone a little bit too wrong with the cover changes.
  1. Across The Universe – I like the attempt on the cover change. Actually, I really like that the new ones say a lot about what happens in each book, but I just ADORED the space-y and starry and lovely original covers. Why did they not release all the original covers until Shades of Earth?! 
  2. Starters – Apparently, they had to change the covers into close-up faces that have no significance to those who haven’t read them yet. Also, the cover of the 2nd book matching the original one will only be released in another language. Talk about torture. 
  3. Dust Lands – I don’t know why they had to change the one with a more creative illustration and typography into an overly simple one with silhouetted figures. Well, I like the color choices, at least. 
  4. Shatter Me – Now don’t hate me. I like the art of the new ones with the eyes, but the silvery one is just striking and shouting FIERCE, and more dystopian (even if it’s a girl-in-a-ball-gown cover).

In this particular post, the intents of the publishers, authors, and design artists are openly understood and appreciated. We value the creative effort these people put into producing books. We do not mean to offend anyone in any way.

What can you say about Cover Changes? How do you react to them? Leave a comment below!

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  1. I'm starting to get easier when it comes to cover changes. IF they change the cover, I always hope they make it look prettier, because.. why would you bother if it only looks horrible?

  2. Hi Kyle! Nice feature :-) I come to be really, really baffled when they change the covers.. Unless it's for the best, but others? NAH. Like the cover of This Girl (Slammed #3), it was so different from the past two covers and it's just so frustrating! The other two covers look great, and then when you lay your eyes on the third one... ARGH (Oops, my OCD is showing)

    Moving on, magnificent discussion post, Kyle! I'll be on the look our for more. :)

  3. I admit that I am somehow fascinated to buy a book just by its cover. We, as readers can;t help it though. But as you've posted there are really some books that were redesigned which was totally a no-no for me. The actual book that made an impact on me because of the sudden change is the Across the Universe trilogy, I can't seem to see why do they need to change the cover when the first cover of the two books are already good. Bottomline of this, yeah, there are some changes that needs to be done at some point. I loved your insights of this one. :D

  4. I really hate cover changes and admittedly, that's the main reason why I haven't picked up Across the Universe. It just bothers me that the last book in the series is so different from the previous two books. However, I really like the cover redesign of Anna and the French Kiss and Shatter Me. I don't really like girl-in-the-ballgown covers, hehe.

    Great post and looking forward to more of your discussions! :)

  5. I super agree with Across The Universe. I don't like the new covers and prefer the old ones. However, the original cover of the first book told a different story to the story itself. I thought it'd be more romance than mystery. Oh well. The new ones did say a lot to the story, even if it's nay.

    Disagree with Shatter Me, though. The original doesn't scream dystopian to me. And she doesn't picture Juliette at all. She should be like a girl hiding on the corner. :3

    I hope that pubs shift covers after the series end. They'd still be targeting book lovers (because they'll eventually turn into collectors if the new covers are THAT gorgeous) minus the hate.

  6. I am not a huge fan of cover changes. I easily get frustrated whenever it happens and we're in the middle of the series. Tho if the new cover looks pretty, why not? But that rarely happens, so I think they should just wait for the series to finish before they change the cover. :-)

    Nice discussion, by the way! I will surely be waiting for your next one. :D

  7. Great first discussion, Kyle!! BUT WHAT EVERYBODY LOVES THE EYE COVERS FOR SHATTER ME!!!! You're right though, the previous one had a more dystopian feel. I actually have that cover because I read Shatter Me way back and that one was what I had signed by Tahereh when she came here.

    I agree with you on the other "Just no" covers! Especially with Across The Universe! The first design was already so pretty- why did they have to change it? *facepalm* As for the redesign of Stephanie Perkin's books and also The Immortal Rules series.. I loveeeee!!! But for Curse Workers, I don't like the first design and I don't really like the redesign either. LOL HAHAHA. Can't wait to see what you'll have in store for us next! :)

  8. I hate it when they redesign the cover for the second book, and publish the paperback of the first book with the redesign. Then the hardbacks of both books don't match, but the paperback of the first matches the hardback of the second. Lol if that made sense. Its just annoying because they don't match. Like, the Throne of Glass series and the Confessions series by James Patterson. I like the redesign for Throne of Glass, but not really the one for Confessions


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