Hello, all! It's Jana, here today to talk about something that happens in the book world that almost always drives me nuts. Cover re-designs. I'm sure you all know about the recent unveiling of Stephanie Perkins's new Anna and Lola book covers. I discussed it on my blog, if you missed it. Anyway, this announcement made me start thinking of all the other covers that have been made over throughout the years. It kind of drives me nuts! Here are my main points on this issue:
1. It's confusing to people who do not keep up with bookish news. My mom recently bought a book by her favorite author. Turns out it's the same book she read years ago, but with a new cover.
2. It destroys the brand identity of that book. Yes, Anna and Lola's covers were pushing it a little, and I didn't love them... but they became iconic. Everyone knew exactly what those covers looked like. We readers only have a title, author, and picture to go by when we browse bookstores. Everyone knows that pictures linger longer in our minds than names do. When I went looking for Twilight in my local bookstore years ago, I just remembered it had pale arms and hands, and an apple on the cover. I did not know the name, and I did not know the author. I went in and asked for the book with that cover, and the bookseller knew immediately. We know our books by their covers, just like we know our friends by their faces. If you change that, confusion happens. It's almost deceptive.
3. If you're going to re-design a cover, PLEASE make it better than the original. At least then we can kind of understand the change. But if it's uglier, please leave it alone! Take Across the Universe by Beth Revis, for example. The book went through three cover design, and got progressively worse. I love the first one! The second was meh. The third? Please. It does not even look like a young adult romance anymore. It looks like an old sci-fi novel. I get that they want to appeal to a wider demographic, but there were other ways that could have been achieved.
Now yes, I understand that sometimes the new covers are nice. Sarah Dessen's books, for example. I like the new covers, even though they all pretty much look the same now. I can handle that change, and I can appreciate the attempt at giving her a specific look and feel. A brand identity, if you will.
And sometimes they are a necessary change. My Victoria Holt books have had some major face lifts. But that's to be understood. Some of her books are 50 or 60 years old. That makes sense. But Across the Universe went through two cover changes before book two was even released. Bad planning? Fickle pubs? Who knows?
So, I'm going to jump off my soapbox now and give you the floor! How do you feel about this new bookish trend of re-designing covers? Are there any cover re-designs you love or hate? I wanna hear all about it. :)