Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Sunday Symposium: Cover Redesigns

Sunday, September 2, 2012 with 46 comments


The Sunday Symposium is a new weekly feature in which I'll be discussing various bookish topics and asking for your commentary, as well.  And as an incentive to you for your opinion, and to get the ball rolling this week, I'll also be selecting one random commenter to receive an Amazon gift card.  But more on that in a moment.

This week's topic is the recent slew of cover changes happening mid-series to many of our favorite books.  I, for one, am undecided on these changes.  (Disclaimer:  I'm discussing US cover redesigns here, but I'd love to hear from my international readers on this topic, as well.)

On one hand, I am obsessive-compulsive and hate that the changes mean that the books currently on my shelves won't match the next book in the series.  It also perturbs me that the publishers didn't have the wherewithal to select the new covers before the initial printing of the first books.  Sometimes it feels like a marketing ploy to get neurotic people like me to buy the first book with the new cover -- in addition to already owning the book with the original cover -- so that all my books match.  I may be completely off-base there, but that's what it feels like.

The first instance of this that I recall was with Wolfsbane, the second book in the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer.  I really liked the old covers, but there was nothing I could do about it.  However, the publisher did offer up new cover jackets for those of us who already owned hardcovers of Nightshade so that our books would all match.  That was pretty gracious of them, but that was the only time I saw this happen, and I only stumbled upon that opportunity by accident.  (By the by, I have an extra new Nightshade jacket if someone desires it.  I was sent two by mistake.)


VS.


On the other hand, some of the cover changes have actually resulted in more appealing covers for these series.  I know I can't be the only one tired of the same old girl-in-a-pretty-dress-that-is-in-no-way-relative-to-the-storyline covers.  And I know I'm going to get flogged for saying this, but I really like the new covers for Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series.  The original cover did kind of fit the story, since Warner likes to dress Juliette up like a pretty, pretty doll.  But I feel that the new covers speak volumes towards the actual plot of this series.  And they're so eye-catching!  :P


VS.


So, what are your thoughts on changing the covers mid-series?  Yea or nay?  What's been your favorite cover redesign?  Least favorite?  Do you rush out to buy the new covers for books already on your shelf?  C'mon, we're all friends here...you can be honest.  :0)

Seriously, tell me how you feel about this topic in the comments section, and then enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card for your troubles.  I can't promise I'll always bribe you with a gift card, but you're opinion does matter to me, either way.  The winner of this week's gift card will be announced on next week's edition of The Sunday Symposium.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


As always, thanks for stopping by & happy reading!

46 comments:

  1. Personally, I hate it when they change the covers halfway through. It's a different thing if they redesign them once the whole series has been released and they're preparing for a re-release or new edition. But I want to have the chance to buy them all in the same format and design. Like you, I'm kind of obsessive about matching covers. I even take a ruler to the books on my shelf to take their measures when I'm deciding which version from which publisher/imprint I'm ordering online.
    My least favorite redesign was the one for Holly Black's Curse Workers. The orignial covers were simply perfect. They even had one for book 3 already, but it was never released. They just remade the whole series. That made me so mad.
    I haven't read Shatter Me, but I do like the new covers of that one. I can't say whether they fit the story, but you are right - they are very eye-catching, and I think they look pretty next to each other :)

    Thanks for the bribe ;) Even though this is a topic I would have commented on anyway. I'm looking forward to your future posts on this feature!

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    1. I agree on the Curse Workers redesign...I think maybe the new covers are more aesthetically pleasing but the old covers really portrayed the guts of the books. Looking at the new covers, I'd never guess they were about a magic-wielding mafia-type family.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. I love it when they change covers! I usually consider my original cover copy "as a limited edition" and feel more special for owning it.

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    1. Huh, I hadn't thought of it that way. I only lament the fact that my books don't all match. Thanks for putting a positive spin on it. I'll try to keep that in mind next time they ruin, ahem, change covers for one of my favorite series. :)

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  3. I hate when they change the covers because it's usually for the worse.

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    1. Yep, it's rare that I like the redesign, but there are a couple that haven't left me seething mad. :P

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  4. I absolutely HATE it when they change covers halfway through. When the series ends, they can do whatever they want — I don't care. But I'm extremely OCD about my books and I like them all to match perfectly!

    My least favourite redesign so far has been the Across the Universe series. The book covers were so incredibly gorgeous originally, with their space art. Space art is so beautiful, interesting, unique, and wondrous. I feel like the new designs are very bland, unoriginal, and uninspiring. I'm extremely disappointed, because the original covers for Across the Universe and A Million Suns were some of my all time favourite book covers.

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    1. Ha, sounds like we need a therapy group for all of us obsessive-compulsive types...just so we have somewhere to go for comfort the next time they redesign our favorite series.

      AtU seems to be a very unpopular redesign. And I feel the same. I really liked the original covers, and I just can't get on board with the new ones. Maybe you can't please everyone, but I think they piss a lot more people off by redesigning the covers mid-series. Just wait till the series is finished and use the new cover designs for the paperback versions!

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  5. I'm honestly in between this topic. I mean I absolutely hate it at times but when the covers change to one that ones that more fit the series than I am okay but if not I will be in rage.

    I have an OCD about my covers as most book lovers do but if I prefer the first covers better I won't bother with getting the new covers and just try to put myself in the state of mind that its okay if the new installments to the series don't match the previous books cover on my self. And let me tell you its really hard.

    Favorite recover design: I'd have to agree with your choice about the Shatter Me series :) I am in love with the new covers but at the same time still love the old cover but I am definitely going to get the new cover for Shatter Me for my shelf.

    Least favorite recover design: The Across The Universe series redesign. I just hate the new covers. I felt like the old covers fit the book so much better and plus they are shiny. I have a thing for shiny books and the new ones I don't know don't really give of a space vibe to me. They give off more of a metallic feel with a bit of like nature (the ice on the first cover, the bright light on the second and the grass on the third). Not really a cover I would expect for a series that has somewhat to do with outer-space.

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    1. That seems to be the general consensus...new AtU covers are the worst ever. The old covers were soooo pretty, and these new covers are just...blah. Metallic...I definitely thought that when I first saw them. They're just so off-putting.

      I'm trying to come to terms with all of the cover changes. Mostly, I just have to keep telling myself that I'll go broke in my efforts to have all my books match, and that sets me straight. :P

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    2. That's the same thing I tell myself

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  6. Definitely nay! I really like having a matching series. I was disappointed when I heard they changed the covers for Shatter Me, covers I hated at first but I've grown to be ok with them. I still am not happy that they changed them mid-series after I already bought mine with the old cover. :( I am also sad about Blood Red Road because that's one of my favorite books and I bought the first version, and I like the new covers so much better! But I haven't had that issue with other books yet because both Across the Universe and Die for Me, both books that changed covers, I read as ebooks, so I don't have to worry about a mismatching set on my shelves.

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    1. Blood Red Road was another one. The new covers are growing on me, but I liked the old one, too. At least it's only one book that won't match. :( You make a good point, too...if I purchased more ebooks, this would be less of a problem for me. But I do so love my real books!

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  7. For some covers I prefer the redesign but for the ones you have listed I hate the new covers. I like having a matching set.

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    1. Matching sets seem to be a real point of contention...

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  8. I don't like it when they change the covers. Usually I think that the original covers look better and I also like having matching sets. My least favorite new cover design is the Across the Universe ones. My favorite is the new cover for Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan.

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    1. I think the redesign for Glow was actually a good call. The old covers made me think contemporary book, not sci-fi.

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  9. Don't like it. For some reason, I like matching covers on my books. And I absolutely hate the new covers for Nightshade and Wolfsbane. But now I read mostly from my kindle, so that shouldn't be a problem from now on.

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    1. I wish I could make myself read more ebooks. Then this wouldn't be such an issue for me. Except, it probably would, since I usually tend to shell out the money for a hardcover if I really enjoyed a story. There's just no winning!

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  10. It doesn't really bother me for some reason. Although I do prefer matching covers if it's part of a series. I'll buy the cover the matches my first book if I'm buying it. Maybe I'm just weird like that, lol.

    With the above covers, I prefer the older ones. They are much prettier...And yes, sometimes I am guilty of judging a book by its cover =)

    x

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    1. Guilty here, too. It makes me sad that others do this, too, and might think less of some of my faves just because the covers aren't as gorgeous as the ones I previously purchased.

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  11. I'm totally with you on this one - I LOVE the new Shatter Me covers because they're so unique and pretty but I much preferred the old Nightshade covers. I loved the wolf theme throughout because it fit the story and character.

    I don't go out and buy all the books again, but they shouldn't change covers like that, especially if people like the original covers. Or maybe they can change paperback covers while leaving hardcovers the same.

    Thank you:)

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    1. I thought the same thing: change the paperbacks, NOT my beautiful hardcovers!

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  12. I loved the old Nightshade series covers! The new one for Nightshade looks... weird to me. The Shatter Me series change is really pretty and eye-catching (no pun intended). Its one of the few that I accept. I don't go out and buy the new covers unless it's like, gorgeous. I think they should leave both covers up for sale at the same price, so we could always choose which one we want. You didn't have to bribe me for this comment though ;)

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    1. They SHOULD give us a choice! :) Or, at the very least, offer the jackets for sale for a nominal fee. I'd definitely pay a small charge to ensure that my covers all match. I'm THAT obsessive about them. :D

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  13. Sometimes cover changes are for the better and sometimes they are not. The new covers for the "Across the Universe" series are my least favorite. Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. My sentiments exactly. You can't please everyone, but I don't think they pleased ANYONE with the new AtU covers.

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  14. It really depends on whether the covers look better or not after the change, but what's really annoying is already own a book and THEN they change the covers. Like the Across the Universe series, I LOVED the original covers for the first two books, and I got so angry when they changed the covers for the last book. I'm okay with the Nightshade series change, but I really like the changes for the Shatter Me books :)

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    1. I agree...it very much depends on how the covers portray the series as a whole. If the change does so for the better, so be it. But if the redesign doesn't help the aesthetic at all, what's the point?

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  15. It's OK if they change the cover mid-series, but they have to do it for the previous books too! If not, then it totally sucks because then they don't match anymore - an example of this is Beth Revis's series! I hate the new covers!

    Thanks,
    Leanne

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    1. Actually, they did change the covers for all three books...I'm just not sure if it carries over to the hardcover format, as well. When the changed the cover for the paperback of AtU, I thought they did a good job, but I hoped that they wouldn't redesign the whole series, including the HCs. Apparently, I didn't hope enough. :(

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  16. I really liked the name for the new column :D
    I get sort of annoyed at the publishers when they suddenly decide to change the covers. I feel like sometimes they do it on purpose, so I refuse to go on and buy the same book, but I also hate when the covers don't match.
    There was this one time it happened here (I live in Brazil), when they didn't just change the covers, they also changed the book's heigh! So one of my books in the series is taller then the others!
    So, moving on to the US covers, I liked the old Nightshade ones better, but the new ones don't look so bad and they are not all that different. And I absolutelly loved the new Shatter Me covers, they are so unique!
    I can't talk about cover changes and ignore the terrible change in the Across the Universe covers. They picked like the worst covers ever! I swear I don't even wanna buy the thrid book =/
    Penny Pe

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    1. Aw, thanks! It came to me at work, of all places. :)

      Wow, they even change the sizes of the books for some redesigns? I was not aware of that. That would annoy me even more than a simple cover redesign. Not that all of my books are the same height, but they should at least have matching heights in a series, redesign or not.

      I don't want to buy Shades, either, but I'm also obsessive about owning all the books in a series. There's no winning for me! :P

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  17. I really don't like when they suddenly change the covers on books but in the case I do like the new covers :)

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  18. Depending on how the covers looked before the change, it could better or worse for me.

    One thing that I really don't understand though is when covers are changed part way through the series for no apparent reason. The cover designs should all be the same for the hardcovers and then another version (or the same) should be used for the paperbacks.

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    1. I completely agree! Don't change the covers mid-way through a series. If you must change them, do so for the paperback versions.

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  19. If I owned the books then I get pretty upset if they change the covers in mid series. Not only does it not look right on the bookshelf but the new covers sometimes make me get a negative impression of the book as if it was not something I would ever pick up. Yes, I know I'm shallow to judge a book by the cover but the publishers should at least let those of us who already read the books vote on which new cover to go with!!!

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    1. Don't feel bad...I judge books by their covers ALL. THE. TIME. And voting is a good idea! It's what's inside the book that counts, right, so let us pick which cover we like best. They're trying to sell the books to us, anyway, right?

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  20. I'm not a big fan of change in general LOL Sometimes the change is good but sometimes I hate it because I want all my books to match. I prefer the first covers of both of these series. I enjoy the feature and love discussing covers! Like Chenise says above I don't mind if there are different paperback versions just as long as all the sets match.

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    1. I love discussing covers, too, and we've gotten some great responses here. But it looks like we're pretty much all in agreement. Don't make these changes mid-series, pubs! :)

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  21. I dislike when the covers are changed, and I have a series with two different covers. I like my books to match and either be soft cover and hard cover but not mixed!

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  22. I really don't like when covers are changed, even if it's for the better. I hate having covers that don't match. And most of the time I like the original covers way better than the new ones. I know that's the case for both of the redesigns you mentioned above. I adored the original Nightshade covers and even the Shatter Me cover was better than the new ones. At least, that's what I think. Great post!

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