Cover Reboot Fail

With even the author having to step in to defend herself surrounding the hoopla of Justine Larbalestier’s latest, Liar (go read that if you’ve no idea what I’m talking about – in a nutshell, the publisher put a white girl on the cover of a book about a black girl – yeah, it’s bad, but authors get no say in this), I’d thought I’d point out some other instances where the publishers have jumped ship in favor of the fail whale.

See, publishers have these strange ideas about what will sell – & although I do agree that a well-designed book finds more readers, sometimes the designs will truly speak for themselves. If a book doesn’t sell well in hardcover, often they’ll give the paperback edition a new cover. Sometimes they really do nail it the second time (I’ll do a post of these later). Many times, they fail.

The original is on the left, followed by the new paperback edition.

Here, we lost those beautiful bright hues, & traded them in for… random Georgian costumed girls? I get that perhaps using typical Austen graphics speaks to what the book is about – but focusing on that aspect won’t make the average teen pick it up (although I will admit that the blurb from Stephenie Meyer does help).

I’ve often felt that the hardcover edition of Gingerbread is one of the absolute best-designed teen covers of all time. This book never sits on a display – it barely makes it an hour before it’s once more plucked from the shelf. To turn such a quintessential teen image into a boring white & blue cover – don’t get me wrong, it’s not a terrible design, but it’s so not the main character.

Another gorgeous, interesting cover (which also rarely sits on the shelf) gets turned into generic monotone. This story now looks to be about clones, rather than a fun story about a guy who dates a bunch of girls named Katherine.

Again, turning a fabulous design into something incredibly generic. Nothing about this cover says PICK ME UP I’M INTERESTING!!! If a book design is perfect, I shouldn’t need to booktalk it.

This one breaks my heart. Here, a book that looks like it’s about a guy who’s into comics gets turned into… a book that looks like its aimed at second graders. Why would they do this?

Again, an engaging cover gets turned into generic ghost story. & again, the hardcover never stays on a display. Doesn’t it just scream pick me up & check me out? I get that the reboot was done to cash in on the Supernatural fandom, but still. Was this really necessary?

This is truly just a sampling of good intentions gone bad. What are some the most glaring examples that I’ve missed? Am I completely out of my mind?

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