C is for… Changing Covers!

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April 3, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm

I’ve always wondered why books can’t just have one cover, and that’s that.  Why are the covers changed from the original?  So, for my next A-Z post, I thought I’d focus on Changing Covers.

I was reading this great post the other day by Cait at The Notebook Sisters, and she talked about the different covers books have in different countries.  She also linked up to a post on Pub(lishing) Crawl which talked about why this happens, and how one size doesn’t fit all.  These posts got me thinking, because it’s not just different countries that lead to different covers, there can be any number of reasons why.  It could be a new edition being published, or a new format (eg hardcover, paperback), or a movie tie-in cover being released, or sometimes just because!

Take Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta for example.  This book was first published in 1992 and has had MANY covers since then.  Here’s a few of them:

Alibrandi

The first is from 1992, the second from 1993, the third is a movie tie-in from 2000, the fourth is a new edition published in 2006 and the last one is a recent ‘classic’ cover published last month.  I’ve read the book a million times (not kidding!) and I’ve also worshipped the movie since it was released (an example of a faithful bookish adaptation!) – I adore this book and know it inside out.

While I’m a bit indifferent to the first two covers, I certainly don’t see the pupose of the cover from 2006, and it’s connection to the story.  That one STINKS!  It has nothing to do with anything; at least the first two covers show a girl looking introspectively, ie trying to find herself, even if she does look like a bit of a sap (and Josie Alibrandi ain’t no sap!).  As a rule, I generally hate movie tie-in covers; I have a couple, but I’m not one for having the movie’s poster on my book – I prefer to have the original.  I do, however, like the movie cover for this one because it has more life to it than the first two, without being ridiculous like the fourth one.  The classic cover is really pretty and I think it captures the book’s essence in a similar way to the first two covers.

Another recent book to have been released with multiple covers is Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.  First released in 2011, in it’s short lifespan it has already faced a few makeovers!  Here’s the three main covers (one for each year since publication!):

attachments

These are in order of publication and, unlike Looking for Alibrandi, I love all of them and think they all suit the book in their own way.  My favourite is probably the middle one, there’s just something about how clean it is that really appeals to me and I love the paperclip joining the word together.  But, they could’ve left it at the first cover and it would’ve been perfectly suitable. The first two were released around the same time but in different markets I think (but I could be wrong about that), whereas the third one came out the following year in 2012.  That being said, I still don’t see the need for one book (and a recent one at that) to have three different covers.

I may not agree with the practice, but I can see that there are certainly (cost-effective) benefits to having multiple covers for the one book.  Say what you like, but the majority of people do judge a book by it’s cover.  Some covers can draw you in, while others might put you off from wanting to read the book.  New editions mean more money, and people are clearly prompted to buy a book when it’s movie version is released if they’ve gone to see the film.  Whether that’s the only reason, I don’t know.  I’m inclined to think that the cover is usually pretty spot on to begin with, and why change a good thing?  Then again, I”m not one to like change to begin with!

What about you, do you like changing covers?  Any in particular you love?  What about those you hate?

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10 thoughts on “C is for… Changing Covers!

  1. bookmammal says:

    What a great idea for a “C” post!
    I’ve often wondered about this. I’d love to be a fly on the wall during the meetings when they select the covers for books. I agree with you that I generally don’t like movie themed book covers–I’d rather have the original, maybe to subliminally show that I was a fan of a particular book before any movie hype started!

    • My issue with movie book covers is I usually don’t like the poster or it may star someone I’m not a huge fan of, so why would I want that on my book? And I also agree, I don’t want to seem like I’ve only bought the book due to the movie hype – sometimes I have done this, but I’ll still go looking for the original cover.

  2. Sonia Lal says:

    No. But sometimes when I go looking for a book, I am confused because the cover has changed!!

    • That’s the worst! I get that on Goodreads, I’ll mark a book as ‘want to read’ and then I’ll see it in my bookstore with a different cover. While it will sound familiar to me, I don’t recognise it because the cover’s changed and I have to look it up – so annoying!

  3. Cait says:

    Eeep. Thanks for the link. 😉 Well, you know how I feel about changing covers! I’m with you on the Attachments pic (I like that it sort of kind of matches Fangirl too). But the Alibrandi ones. *sigh* I LOVE the new one they’ve just brought out, but I feel like it’s too childish, you know? It hits on some harder tones in there, particularly with being the end of a school year…sooo, I think the new cover makes it seem to juvenile. I do love that book, though!

  4. littlecely says:

    I don’t really mind if a cover changes but I sometimes wonder how much say an author has in that respect. If the author is really adamant about a particular cover idea I would be on their side.

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Hi! I'm Bernadette, a 27 year old lawyer who loves to read (duh!), especially to escape my day job. I love to talk about books but I don't always get the opportunity to do so, hence my blog! I adore YA literature, most genres of Adult Fiction, and I've also been known to pick up a non-fiction book from time to time. I hope you enjoy your visit!



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