Ok, maybe I went a bit crazy with the metaphor. But I think you get my point.
Looks matter. Book covers matter. They meet your eyes across a crowded bookstore and scream “Pick me!” until you give in.
But sometimes the unthinkable happens. You fall in love with a cover, the cover of a book you haven’t yet had the chance to read and enjoy but, golly gosh, you have so much hope because surely a book that pretty must be brilliant. Then, publishing day finally arrives and…
The publishers have changed the cover.
I’ve complied a few recent examples of changes for good and for ill. I have some pretty fierce opinions about them all, but please let me know yours!
very old // old // new
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers (September 14th, 2010)
Even though I am super excited about this book, I can’t say I am overly in love with any of the covers. The first was very much an ARC cover, the second (my favourite) looks a bit bland, and the final cover looks like it belongs on a PNR shelf – not YA. Honestly, how old are those models?
old // new
Ghost Town (UK cover) by Rachel Caine (October 26th, 2010)
The new cover for this book just came out in Rachel’s newsletter, and while it is a small change… I am not sure I love it. I am used the the covers of Caine’s Morganville Series to feature random!girls and crappy backgrounds – but this cover so obviously features Eve, and that is bizarre in itself. I was perfectly happy with my own picture of Eve, and frankly? This one kinda creeps me out. I shall likely be getting the hardcover US edition – especially considering my UK copy of Kiss of Death had pages falling out after a single read!
old // new
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher (January 1st, 2010)
There have been a lot of ARC covers for this book out on the wild-web as it was featured on Teen Fire to help the publishers choose a cover. This new cover is currently considered the “final” one, but it may change. Even though I LOVE new cover (*pets*), I think the original was much more guy-friendly. :/
old // old // already out on the bloody shelves
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
Ok, I have waited a long time to rant about this cover, so – er – take cover.
I HATE the covers for Betrayals and Jealousy – the second and third books in the Strange Angels series. And the transition from brilliance (Strange Angels cover) to complete and utter crap (Jealousy cover) can be seen right here.
The Strange Angels series is about Dru and her complete and utter misery (oh, and vampires and whatnot). It is not about her romantic entanglements – which, while brilliant to read, are not fundamental to the plot. But looking at the covers to Betrayals and Jealousy you would think that that is all they are about. That the only thought Dru has is “woe is me, I have two hunky boys to choose from!". And that? That pisses me off. This is Dru we are talking about here.
The original cover for Betrayals (furthest left) is fantastic. It matches the Strange Angels cover, and Dru looks like the tough, depressed girl she is. She has her hood up and her hair all over the place - she can clearly kick your ass. In the final cover she has her hood down – because gosh let’s not intimidate the cheerleaders – and pushed back. Oh, and there are two emo guys watching her every move.
I think Betrayals laid the way for the craptastic cover of Jealousy. The publishers decided a change of direction was in order, and decided to ignore Dru’s angsty goodness and focus on the love triangle. Et voila! Let’s dress her up as a prom queen and put her in the arms of some protective hunk - because that’s all teen girls want anyways. *slams head on table repeatedly*
How can you not get pissed off by this???
*gets off soapbox*
Anyhow, opinions anyone?