Thursday, July 10, 2014
Trending Thursday: Don't Go Changing (That Cover)
Welcome back to Trending Thursday, an oft-weekly post in which I discuss various YA trends and topics. Today's topic? Cover and Title Changes...
Ah, the dreaded cover change. Some avid readers really, really hate it when a publisher changes covers in the middle of a series. While I don't have a matching cover fetish, I do have opinions about what covers I like and why. So when I saw a conversation on Twitter about a seeming change in cover for an upcoming book -- a cover that I'd really liked -- I held my breath and went over to check things out.
The US cover that was up on Goodreads until recently:
I really love this cover. It's so beautiful and mysterious that I could stare at it for quite a while, trying to figure out what images are on there. I see a face and the moon. I see a guy reaching up toward the moon. For a sci-fi book that takes place on the moon, I think this is a fantastic cover.
The US cover that's now up on Goodreads:
This cover uses the silhouette technique that I discussed in a prior Trending Thursday, making it look like a lot like those other twenty-five covers I featured. Then there's the fact that it's now a lot harder to tell what kind of book this is. Contemporary? Suspense? I don't think sci-fi would be my first guess.
In fact, it looks kind of like this cover of a recently published YA contemporary.
The second cover also reads a lot younger to me than the prior one. In fact, it reminds me of this:
Maybe that was the idea? In any case, I don't judge a book by its cover. I'm still going to read the book, because it sounds great and I'm really getting into YA sci-fi. But I'm totally going to start studying Swedish so I can read this version:
About a year ago, another book had a cover and title change prior to publication.
The original US cover and title:
And the changed US cover and title:
I had mixed feelings on this change. I realize that the original title was a little out-there, but it did suit the book. The new title is a little generic, but I do like the new cover....
Title changes are more unusual in YA. In other genres, like romance, backlist titles by popular authors are often reissued with brand new titles, which can be annoying if you think you are getting a new book rather than a re-packaged one. But this YA series had a confusing series of cover and title changes:
Old US title and cover:
New US title and cover:
In this case, I'm not sure I understand the need for the change. The two covers and titles are really not that different. The author explained on his website that as the book became a series, he wanted a "new approach for bringing the book to a larger audience." Maybe it was hard to think of other titles in the vein of "Boy X" and the "I Am" prefix gave him more title options?
To make things even more confusing, these books were retitled with different new titles outside the US: The Hit and The Mission.
What do you think of the before and after covers? If you disagree with me, let me know! All opinions are welcome here! Are there any other cover changes that made you cry a little?