Book Pet Peeves: The Cover Change

January 18, 2014     erinbook     Feature, Pet Peeves

I’ll warn you now, this is a topic that gets me all riled up. There is nothing I hate more than cover changes. I know this is one thing that many bloggers have talked about but it’s extremely obnoxious for those of us who have to have our shelves a certain way.

Technically there are two kinds of cover changes. The first, and the one that doesn’t bother people as much, is when a publisher changes a series’ covers after the whole set is published. This is fine and doesn’t affect me as much unless the cover change is for the better. Sometimes I get upset that the new covers are better than the ones I already have. Still, that I can live with. What I cannot live with is when a publisher changes the covers mid-series so that the later book will not match the earlier ones that I already have. Also, a lot of the times they change these covers and the new ones aren’t nearly as good as the old ones. Let’s use some examples:

This is a popular series a lot of YA readers are familiar with but I have not read yet:

I love these original covers but if I get them in the old style, the last one won’t match. Now let’s look at the new covers.
They aren’t awful but they’re just boring blahness. When you compare them to the original set they aren’t even in the same league. This is really annoying for people who already own the first two books of the original set because that last book does not even come close to matching.
Let’s go with another example:
I have this original edition of Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I wouldn’t say that it’s a great cover but I have a bit of an affinity for it. Close up face covers are over done and uninteresting but this one at least does it in a different way. These on the other hand…
Face, intense face, sexy face. Who cares? What do these covers have to do with the story? They’re generic, unmemorable, and look almost like the original Uglies covers…
Actually, no. These covers are way more interesting. You’re worse than the original Uglies covers, Delirium! Stop it! I only have the first book but once again, my books will not match when I get books two and three. This cover change at least stays in the same realm of faces. There some that I just don’t understand the leap, like this one…
This is the first Shatter Me book.
It’s not a particularly great cover but way better than the creepy face covers that bug me so much. After the first book came out the publishers did this:
Dear publishers, yes you made better covers this time. Understand, I do not dislike these covers. I dislike the fact that you went so far from the original that my shelves are crying from lack of continuity! I have one of two choices now. I can either deal with massive cover clashing or by myself a new, matching edition for Shatter Me. Is this the intention? to make me spend more money?
Here’s another cover change where the new covers don’t look completely terrible. These are the new ones:
Guess what I have.
I don’t dislike either set of covers but could you have waited until after book three came out to change the covers? Please? Seriously, there are tons of book lovers who are going to be put out over having to put up with mixed covers. Now let’s talk about the three cover changes that get on my nerves the most, shall we?
Look at this gorgeous cover art for the first book in Jackson Pearce’s Fairytale Retelling companion series.
This is one of my favorite cover arts ever. I think it’s one of the most creative covers in a long time. This is what they did to it:
Admittedly, books three and four have nice covers. I actually really like them. Nice as they are, they don’t match. Sweetly‘s cover is fine I guess, if a bit boring. Nothing like the original cover. The new Sister’s Red is one of the ugliest covers I’ve ever seen. And I mean EVER, I hate it. It’s unattractive and I doubt I would have ever picked up the series if that was the first cover I saw.
The second cover change that just grinds my gears starts with this,
And becomes these.
If any of you have seen the beautiful gold on black under the slipcover of the original Diviners hardcover, then you’ll feel the way I do about this cover change. They’re not bad covers in their own right but their predecessor is so much better that they just pale in comparison. I love the original cover and that’s the one that sits on my shelf. I will NOT replace it for the one that will match the sequel. I’ll just look at my shelf in dismay.
Now for the most aggravating cover change on my list. This is a series that I loved and followed for many year and that received it’s cover change before the last two book came out. Let’s look at the original covers first.
Yes, it’s the Artemis Fowl Series. I loved these covers. We would always spend the time waiting for the next book trying to guess what color the next one would be and deciphering the messages in the header and footer of the pages. After the sixth book came out we got these:
First off, the covers for books four and eight look awful next to their “matching” brothers. Plus, eight doesn’t match the rest of the set anyway. Anyone want to explain why book eight doesn’t even try to match? So we basically got two cover changes for the last two books in the series. This is a series I followed for something like 10 years only for the last two books to look crappy on the shelf.
Cover changes are one of the most disappointing part about being a book lover and collector. I wish publishers would wait for a series to finish before changing the covers so those of us who get them as they come out will have a matching set. Reward us for our loyalty to the series, don’t try to force us into buying another copy so our sets will match.
What cover changes bug you the most? What are your favorite covers?
Every so often I will write a new Book Pet Peeves post on a different topic. What are your book pet peeves? Tell me in the comments!
Happy Reading, my friends!
The Book Nut



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