Cover Changes – The Good, The Bad, and The Horrible

We’ve all heard that old saying; never judge a book by it’s cover, and while I firmly stand by that statement (there are some great books out there cursed with terrible covers) it’s still kind of fun to do and is a big part of marketing a book.

Today I wanted to talk about when a book gets a new cover, either because the sales are doing poorly, or if it gets a new publisher, and all the good reasons to change a cover. Basically I’m just ranting about why I hate book covers if I’m being completely honest. And full disclosure, I have no idea what I’m talking about design wise.

Here we go:

The Diviners series by Libba Bray.

I own the original cover design for the book, the one on the far left, and it looks gorgeous without the jacket on. It’s a black book with white swirls on it, and it is to die for.

I’m not sure what prompted the publisher to change the covers of the books, I think this one does a great job of conveying the creepy, occult tone of the book, and with the New York skyline in the background there’s no questioning where the story is set.

What really bothers me about these new covers, is the simple fact that I had already purchased the book, in hardcover no less. Books are expensive, and when you change the cover art part way through a series, have the decency to re-do all the covers. That, and the fact that the second one is just different enough that it could still fit in on my bookshelf next to the original cover, is the reason why this cover swap doesn’t bother me as much as some of the other ones on this list. Also, be a pal and release the entire series with one type of cover before you change it. Please!

I’m really not a fan of the re-print of the first book. It kind of looks cheap to me. Some of the graphic elements, like the halos of light around the characters, are cool, but it just makes it look cheesy. The cover for Lair of Dreams is less cheesy so it ranks a little bit higher for me.

Dark Caravan Cycle series by Heather Demetrios.

I’ve talked about how the title of the main book gives it that cheesy romance novel feel in an older blog post, and the cover photo does nothing to dissuade the reader from thinking that. But it is exquisite. It’s one of the main reasons I picked up the book in the first place.

I also talked about the potential cover change in another blog post and how I was pissed but wouldn’t pass judgement until I saw it. Well, the third cover you see in the picture has replaced the second one on Goodreads. I think it’s safe to say that this cover change is happening (I’m still crossing my fingers that this is only the paperback edition AU: I’ve visually confirmed the switch and I hate it), and I could not be sadder and more annoyed at the publisher about it.

You have this great book series about jinni, a parallel realm where war is being waged, and the soul survivor of an Amazonian-type race of warrior woman who is fighting to stay alive just so she can save her brother from a work camp, and you give me these boring-ass bland covers that hint at nothing? Travesty!

While the first two play up the romance angle a little too much, they are still much more interesting to look at than the third picture. Again, I think I’m more pissed off that I already bought the book than I am at the actual cover change. But, come on, it’s so boring and not memorable at all. If you want sales to go up you need an eye-catching cover.

Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.

This one made absolutely no sense to me. The original covers were these gorgeous galaxy infused beauties, and then they switched it to these weird metal monstrosities. And for like the millionth time I’m going to mention that it was changed before the series was finished. Just Gah. Sorry I sound like a broken record, but them’s the facts.

I am decently OK with it, because I bought the first two in the gorgeous galaxy covers and the final book involves the main characters landing on an Earth-like planet so I can justify it in my head that it follows a narrative. Basically I lie to myself to make myself feel better 😀 #coping.

I don’t understand why this was changed at all, or why they didn’t just wait until the final book was released and then re-release them. I’m sure it has something to do with money and they just want us to re-purchase all the books. Honestly that bothers me, but whatever.

Curse Workers series by Holly Black.

This is one of those cover changes that actually improved the book covers in all honesty. What bothered me, again (for the millionth and first time, sorry), is that they were changed before the final book came out. All I have to say to that is what the heck publishers? WHY??? Fully release a series and then start screwing around with the covers, that’s all I ask.  The cover with people for Black Heart was never available in the bookstore that I went to, ever. That annoyed me, because even if the covers aren’t great, it’s all about how it looks on the bookshelf. Maintaining your bookshelf can be very expensive.

I actually really like the new covers, and this is why I’m starting to wait longer and longer before I purchase a series so I can be sure that they all look the same. I would have been more inclined to buy the series if it had had the cool 1920’s inspired covers. Although, to be fair, they don’t really give you any hint as to what’s going on in the book. But they are just weird enough to make them memorable and they’re gorgeous on top of that.


The one time that a cover change doesn’t bother me as much is when they are changed for movies. So long as it doesn’t mess up the rest of the covers. If it does that, then we have a problem. It’s a polarizing issue in the book community. Some people get really passionate about it and think that if you buy the movie book covers you’re not a real book lover, which is just ridiculous. I own a few of the movie covers actually and sometimes they’re cooler.

The way I look at it, so long as you’re reading, that’s all that matters.

That’s all for me this week guys, hope you enjoyed and as always please read responsibly.


Goodreads Links:

The Diviners

Dark Caravan Cycle

Across the Universe

Curse Worker


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