Thursday, June 12, 2014

Discussion Post
Why, Publishers, Why?!?! (Part 1)

One thing about the publishing world I will never understand: Why do publishers randomly change perfectly awesome hardback book covers to not-as-awesome paperback covers? It's weird and random and, frankly, seriously annoying. Why do you do this, publishers? And freaking knock it off. This is a part 1 post...

Some of my least favorite changes
(Originals on the left)

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Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano
Seriously, WTF is that? I just...I don't understand.

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Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
The original was just so whimsical and cute. 

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Again, the original is so whimsical and interesting. This may be the most boring re-do ever.

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The Diviners by Libba Bray
I don't despise the new cover, but the original is way more interesting.

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Across the Universe by Beth Revis
You know, I really don't hate the PB cover for this either, but the original was just SO MUCH BETTER. Seriously, look how pretty the original cover is. Why would you change that? 

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Seriously. Why, Publishers, Why?!?

What do you think? Do you prefer any of the redone covers over the originals? Are there any covers that you were especially pissed off to see changed that I should feature next time? Sound off below! 


  1. Dude, this IS super annoying. The only thing that annoys me more is when the covers are so different that they don't match the rest of the series. Have you seen the cover for Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3) by Kresley Cole? Wtf? It isn't a 'bad' cover, it just totally departed from what they were doing with the previous two. Le sigh....

  2. Unspoken is a ridiculous change. *shakes fist at cover changers whoever they be* The original cover is GORGEOUS. I don't understand why there are different covers. Period. Especially different from country to country. I mean, I guess it gives more artists work? But I really don't like the AUS Reboot covers. Have you seen them? They look so generic and kind of juvenile, compared to the barcode red/black American covers.

  3. I prefer all the originals! The revamp of Perfect Ruin is especially bad. My bugbear is when there's a cover change mid-series so I then have a mismatched set. Really annoying!

  4. This frustrates me so much too. I just don't understand. Why mess with a good thing? Luckily, I bought Unspoken with the first cover, but for The Diviners, I ended up with the second cover and I was not happy at all. But if I had wanted the nice cover, I would have had to pay more for the hardcover. It was quite the dilemma. The fairy tale retelling series was another one that bothered me. The first two books had these beautiful covers and then Fathomless came out with a new cover. Not cool. Great post! :P

  5. This is so infuriating, and oh my don't even get me started on Perfect Ruin, talk about RUINED! This is the reason why I want to work in the design area in a publishing house so I can at least have an opinion on these sorts of things (a job prospect I am currently working on). I can understand cover changed due to location as image licences change when they're being used outside of the country of origin but surely they can create something better?

  6. Ok, I totally agree with you...especially for Perfect Ruin!

  7. I haven't read Unspoken, but the old cover does look so much better! I love covers that make use of graphics like that, with silhouettes and colours. So much more creative!

  8. I compleettelly agree with you! It's just silly! And what makes it worse is when they don't redo the first book. So the people who are willing to buy the new version of the first book can't. ><

  9. I HATE cover redesigns, especially when I have the hardcover on my shelf already and they change the cover for the paperback release and all subsequent installments. Grrr. Of the ones you mentioned, I most dislike the redesigns for Unspoken and The Diviners. Why? Why was it necessary to change those to something so generic when they had gorgeous covers to begin with?

  10. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. Seriously. Not. Fair. And then most of the type the redesigned paperbacks follows through to the next hardback. Like with Kendare Blake's Goddess War series and I'm pissed. I actually liked the feather, and now my hardbacks won't match. Though I guess they try and make it more appealing to younger minds. Seriously, Unspoken hurts, it just makes it look like And yeah, what the hell is that, Perfect Ruin?

    I can't think of any others right now, though there's probably loads I hate, but UK cover versions. Don't even get me started on those. This is why half the time I buy my books online and not in store, because ugh. Sometimes they get it right...most of the time they don't.

  11. The first Unspoken cover is so LOVELY, and the second is so horrible. UGH. I don't understand changing a cover and going in a negative direction. Seriously, that Diviners

  12. Yeah, I have no idea. If they have the cover for the hardback, it's actually a waste of money to redo the design unless there's a reason (other than just having a different cover). I wonder if it's related to sales at all, and the worse the sales (do all fiction hardback books get a paperback release?) the more likely they are to change the cover? What I hate is when they change the hardback covers mid-way through the series so your books don't match. Or when they release some books in a series in hardback, but others only in paperback and again, your series doesn't match. That's annoying.

    And I do like all of the original ones better, too. ~Pam

  13. I can offer some insight into this. When I worked in publishing this was always a big discussion. Sometimes it was really obvious that the cover needed to be changed because the sales weren't great or because the old cover looked outdated or because an account (like Barnes and Noble) requested a change for whatever reason. Otherwise it's just marketing thing, trying to catch people's eye. A new cover is more likely to do that and selling more books is the goal.

  14. I agree with Maggie above. I interned briefly with a major publisher a couple years ago, and they change covers in an attempt to boost sales. Giving the paperback a different look from the hardcover is considered a good way to reach a new audience, since the price of the book is lowering and there will probably be a bit of an increase in publicity with the paperback release. So, you'll probably notice that a lot of the paperback redesign covers look more "commercial" (they have photographs of people on them, for instance, instead of an artistic design). Also, the publisher might go for a different "feel" with a redesign, in order to reach a new audience of readers. So if a hardcover of a book played up the science fiction aspect of a novel, the paperback might play up the romance aspect of the novel instead.

    Personally, I don't really take issue with paperback redesigns. I'm more annoyed when covers are changed in the middle of a series. At least with paperback redesigns you have the option of buying a matching hardcover set or a matching paperback set.

  15. No WAY do I prefer any of the re-done covers! The firsts are all so pretty and gorgeous and I would love them on my shelves, and all the re-done ones are mediocre, at best.
    Sometimes a cover change can be good for a book, especially if it changes from a model cover (I really don't like people on my covers - it interferes with my picture of the character), but a lot of the time, I simply just do not understand it.
    I am with you: Why, publishers? Whyyyyyyy? *shakes fist at sky*

  16. Read your part two so came back to read part one. Agree that most if not all the original covers were better. I'm particularly confused by Across the Universe because I think that book has had not two but three covers. And the first one was gorgeous, so not sure why they went to the one that looked like a black hole in a window and then to this one, which looks like a generic thriller cover.


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