Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bête Noire: Cover Changes

Bête Noire is an original meme about things that drive me crazy.

Few things get under my skin like cover changes.

I understand why they happen, but I don't agree with it. When I buy a book in a series, I have a reasonable expectation as a reader to be able to buy a matching copy of the next book in a series.

There are two distinct kinds of cover changes, one worse than the other, so we'll discuss them separately.

Complete Series Cover Changes

This is acceptable sometimes. A complete series cover change is when, after a series is completed, the covers are changed for the entire series.

An example of this kind of cover change done well is definitely the new Harry Potter covers. They were done by Kazu Kibuishi (an artist I just love) and when you line the books up, the spines create a complete picture of Hogwarts. The covers are lovely, and you can still purchase the original covers.
Look at that. Who could be mad at that? 

An example of this kind of cover change done poorly, in my opinion, would be Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. (Sorry, still love you!)

I own the original covers, which I love. The new covers are cold and bloodless, and less cohesive than the old covers. I'm assuming they made them to attract people who just want another dystopian, but the Uglies series isn't like other dystopians out there. The new covers are misleading, in my opinion, but decide for yourself:

Mid-Series Cover Changes

The mid-series cover change is the bane of any book collector's existence. It occurs, as the name would suggest, mid-series. What it means for a collector is that if you want a matching series, you have to buy new copies of any books that were published pre-cover change.

An example of this kind of cover change done well is... Just kidding, there IS no example, because it's a terrible thing, and no one should do it. The WORST is when they don't change the covers of the first books, because then you're doomed to an un-matching set forever and ever.

The offender currently destroying my soul is Libba Bray's The Diviners series. As an avid Libba Bray fan, naturally I bought the first book as soon as it came out. The second book is coming out this spring, which thrills me. Unfortunately, there has been a cover change, which makes me want to cry. I do not like the new covers. The original cover was devastatingly gorgeous. Look--

Dear publishers,

Please please please please please please please please please please please stop this.



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