Google+ YA Romantics: Trending Thursday: Don't Go Changing (That Cover)

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:


Or 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?

44 comments:

  1. I don't collect as many series anymore (no space for all those books!) But I can see why people get upset about changing a cover mid-series if you do. I feel like they should save the changes for the paperback editions. I hate when they change book sizes - going from trade to mass market for example. Grrr!

    I also feel like most of the changes are made so that the book looks like another popular book/series. I see the logic in that but it happens so often now that I don't even remember what I've read these days. All the girls in pretty dresses, couples kissing etc covers are a blur.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I also don't usually collect series unless I want to re-read but I can see how a mid-series cover change would be upsetting. For some reason a size change sets off my OCD alert a lot more.

      And YES, I agree that cover changes do seem to make covers more generic. I'd think that publishers do market research, so maybe they have found that people like covers that look like other covers? I see how a really great cover (like Twilight) can be influential, but call me weird, I value uniqueness more in a cover....

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  2. I had no idea they changed the name for Boy Nobody. I actually really like the name .-. The new one just sounds funny to me.

    I actually also so a conversation on twitter that talked about the new cover for Dove Arising and I completely agree. The new cover just doesn't work for me. I LOVED the old cover and the new cover really does seem slightly childish and also generic *sigh*

    I am not as OCD about covers as some people but it bothers me when cover changes occur :/ Unless of course I like the new covers better... but for the most part that isn't the case *sigh*

    Also I had no idea that The Beginning of Everything underwent a title change (and cover change), I love the cover but the original title is a lot funner.. I mean severed heads :P

    Fantastic post, Jen!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. I think they might have kept the original Broken Hearts cover overseas. I guess we Americans are the ones who like generic? *cries*

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  3. I'm not a fan of cover changes because my covers have to match. Mid series cover changes are THE WORST, but I also dislike it when an author writes standalones, but the covers have a theme and then they change the theme. Not as big of an issue, but still bothers me.

    I just took a look at my bookshelf and despite all my complaints about cover changes I really don't have that many on my shelves. I've gotten lucky with the time I've purchased some of these books!

    Title changes bother me infinitely more than cover changes. This is how they sucker you into buying the book again! This has happened to me more than once, especially with more established authors that have a large backlist. Title changes should be forbidden, or at least they should have to be noted somewhere so I don't waste my dollars!

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    1. I'm surprised that I don't care if my covers match. I'm really weirdly OCD about other things...

      And I agree about the backlist title changes, which seem to happen a lot in the romance genre. There is nothing more annoying than buying a book and thinking you are getting something new, when in fact, it's a old book with a new title. I think they may note the change on the copyright page, but not sure...

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  4. I am majorly OCD about the covers. It is so frustrating when I have the first books in the series then they change the covers. I know sometimes the covers aren't that great and the changes are good, but I can't afford to buy new ones every time they make new ones. I don't think they change the titles of the books at all though.

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    1. Sometimes I think the cover changes are positive. I will do a post on that soon, just to balance things out...

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  5. I hate that new cover of Dove Arising! The old cover is so pretty. Cover changes are a huge pet peeve of mine. I just don't get whyyyyyy they do it!

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    1. There has to be a reason!!! I value uniqueness in a cover, but the average reader might not.

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  6. For all of these, I thought the before was better. I think in particular, the old Dove Arising is stunning. I prefer Boy Nobody and I love the title Severed Heads Broken Hearts. I would probably have read that while The Beginning of Everything didn't really appeal to me.

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. I agree. It's so strange to me that they come up with these gorgeous covers and then swap them out for something really bland...

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  7. Hrm. I am sad about the Dove Arising change. Sometimes it's for the better but I've got to say I think the majority of the time I liked the old title or cover more. Even if it is changed to something else I like I tend to prefer the first.

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  8. Cover changes sometimes work, sometimes don't. But I see why some people would be bothered by it.

    Great topic!

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    1. I don't care what the books look like on my shelf, but I am sad when a cover I love gets swapped out for a more boring one.

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  9. Woah what they changed the name of Boy Nobody? Booo...I loved the old title a lot! I agree about The Beginning of Everything. I absolutely loved the old title because it was unique and TBoE is just so generic. I love the new cover and the colours it used because it kinda just goes smack bang in your face.

    Awesome post, Jen! <33

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  10. I'm one of those that yells when I see the cover change in the middle of the series. Dear, publishers DON'T DO THAT. I guess yeah you get better idea but we're already used to the first one so let it be. About the titles I totally agree Severed Heads. Broken Hearts is one of the best titles there was, but yeah it got changed *sigh* Great post, Jen :)

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    1. I know that a lot of readers HATE the changes mid-series. I'm fairly OCD about stuff and I have no idea why it doesn't bother me more....

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  11. They changed the cover of Dove Arising? Why? That was such a pretty cover and the new one is very plain relative to the old one. :/
    They also changed the cover for The Walled City. The new one is not awful but I liked how the old one had a person of color on the cover and now it's just text and boxes on the cover. :/
    Hate cover changes. I wish the would stop doing that.

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    1. I saw that -- started a Goodreads shelf called "New Cover - Why?" and Walled City is on it. When I got that ARC I thought the new cover was just a temporary thing. I'm really sad about that one.

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  12. Most of the time I hate cover changes. Especially in the middle of a series because if my books aren't going to match I don't really care about owning them anymore. I'll just get them from the library or something.
    I do like the original cover of the first book you listed, it's too bad they changed.
    The title change of the Boy Nobody book is really confusing, I had thought those were two different books in the series until now. I hadn't looked them up, just saw reviews.
    I love posts like this Jen!

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    1. I think any changes that confuse people aren't generally for the best. I can think of one instance where a title was changed because there was another book with the same title coming out. But lol both books were from the same publisher so not sure how that happened....

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  13. Wow, I didn't know they did cover/title changes even within the US! I see it happen all the time between Aussie/UK publications and US books, for example Sister Assassin by Kiersten White is also Mind Games. It's the most annoying thing when a cover changes halfway through a series, like the Shatter Me covers. Great topic Jen!

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    1. I do understand the need to change a title between countries, especially if the book is a translation. Sometimes a phrase in English doesn't directly translate. But not sure about the whole "Sister Assassin" thing. Maybe there was another UK book called Mind Games?

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  14. Ack yesssss. I HATE hte cover redesigns--and have you seen the one for THE WALLED CITY by Ryan Graudin? HATE the new one. It looks like a Cover Not Final version :/ And the Dove Arising one was simply GORGEOUS before. Sigh.

    The only redesign I've ever been happy with was for Anna and the French Kiss...and that was two books in, which I didn't like. :/

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    1. *cries* I just found out about that one.
      And you and I are in the minority about the Anna books. I found the old covers a little young-looking, even if they were unique. The new ones are pretty, if a little bland.

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  15. Wow, what an interesting post! I actually hate cover or title changing, except if they're really ugly or no link with the actual story. What I really am bored at, though is the US/UK veriants. It's like....whyyyy??? I understand but still whyyyyy??? xd Usually the UK are simpler and it doesn't greatly represent the book, IMO.

    PS: By the way, I'm actually a co-blogger, so the posts are not all mine. :P

    Lola@Seeing Night Reviews

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  16. I was so upset over the change from Severed Head, Broken Hearts to The Beginning of Everything. I really dislike generic names, and I loved how odd and quirky (and morbid) the original title was. I read the arc and it really did go with the story, but the rename could have been the title to any bazillion other YA novels out there. I was fine with the cover re-design, that rarely bothers me and I thought it did work a bit better with the story.

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    1. Agree. I wish they'd stuck with the original name and used the new cover, which is gorgeous!

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  17. The thing with Boy Nobody pisses me off because I thought the original title was cool enough :( I really wish they retained it especially since I have the hardcover version of the original, and now the second book that I'll have will be the second retitled title and people will be like "WHAT THESE TWO ARE RELATED UMM?" lol

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Ha - I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, so I will not have that problem.

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  18. I hate the Dove Arising change!! But mostly I don't care about redesigns, because I sort my books by color. What's terrible is when they change it the middle of a series. That's horrible!!
    Lis @ The reader lines

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    1. Have you ever posted a photo of your bookshelf? Would love to see that. Though books sorted by color kind of scares me - I'm worried I wouldn't be able to find anything...

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  19. I understand that these changes are a marketing gimmick, but that doesn't mean I have to like them. :) That Dove Arising redesign is just AWFUL.

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    1. That one makes me so sad. Bland colors, generic photo. I love that old cover so much. I'm going to order the Swedish version from TBD and put the dust jacket on my copy.

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  20. I don't like title changes. I only recently found out that The Beginning of Everything and Severed Heads, Broken Hearts were the same book. I'm not a huge fan of either of the US covers. They don't catch my eye as much as the blue UK cover does. The Allen Zadoff book confuses me so much. There's just too many different titles and covers.

    A cover change that makes want to cry a little? The Walled City. I don't get the change. I tested the covers on my mom (who had never seen the old cover) and showed her the new one first. She had almost no reaction to it. She just said it looked like a boring book. When I showed her the old cover, though, her reaction was immediate. That and the reactions from a bunch of bloggers makes me think that the cover change was a bad idea.

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    1. I thought the new cover was a temporary cover, the kind they put on the ARC when they haven't revealed the real cover yet. Sad about that one too.

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  21. I'm so sad about the cover change in Dove Arising. It was so beautiful, everything from the background to the typography was so visually appealing. The new cover doesn't pull me in at all. It seems like they changed a very unique looking cover to make it look familiar to a YA audience. That's too bad.

    -Mari

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  22. I don't like it when covers change cause then it won't match the other books then again some do need a better cover still, I don't like covers changing.

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  23. I don't hate the new cover for Dove Arising, but I completely agree that the original is better. I quite like the silhouette against the moon cover--maybe because it does remind me of ET--but it is getting done a lot lately.
    I don't understand the title change for Boy Nobody. I Am the Weapon is so generic--not that Boy Nobody is amazing--and the art work is so similar the change is just unnecessary. Great post!

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  24. So I like the first cover of Dove Arising the best - like I like it much, much better. I like the new covers on the others. I'd agree with you on that last one. Hmm.

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