Win-It Wednesday + Cover Stories: The Blood Coven Series by Mari Mancusi

The winner of last week's The Sweetgrass Basket contest is... Kelsey! K, email me your address. Thanks, you guys, for all the gaming ideas -- I have a want list now! badblood.jpgToday, the effervescent Mari Mancusi is here to share the story of the repacking of her Blood Coven series -- so we'll see old and new covers, and you'll have a chance to win a copy of one of the books! Here's Mari:

"It was the phone call I'd been praying for. Berkley finally decided to buy BAD BLOOD, the fourth book in my Blood Coven Vampire series. But they also had another surprise for me. Thanks to the success of series like Twilight, House of Night and Vampire Academy, they had decided to repackage and re-release the first three books in my series. They told me Boys that Bite, Stake That, and Girls that Growl would be getting new covers and be back in stores. [The old covers]:


"I was thrilled, to say the least, and began dreaming of what the new covers would look like. While I always liked the first three covers, especially Girls that Growl, there were a few things that bugged me about them. One, the girl in Boys that Bite wore a jean jacket - which just looks straight out of the eighties if you ask me. And, besides the title, it doesn't even hint that it's a vampire book! The Stake That cover, on the other hand, goes too far in the other direction. It's too gothy. Now I'm all about the goth scene and so is Rayne, my main character, but I believe a cover should be accessible to the largest audience possible. After all, you don't have to be a hardcore goth to enjoy this book. Girls that Growl, on the other hand, is pretty awesome - really captures the feel of the book - where the goth girl becomes a cheerleader.

"But the thing that bugged me most was that the old covers were all different and didn't have a cohesive feel. Looking at them, you might not even know they were a series. They also felt a bit outdated now -- with the cut off head motif that used to be so popular in YA or chick lit books. Now most paranormal books feature the model's entire face.

"For the new covers, the publisher wanted to make them less humorous and more like House of Night covers. (Which people always compare them to now, so I guess they succeeded.) They even changed the original jokey back cover copy to something darker and more mysterious to emphasize the angsty romance in the books, rather than the humor.

"I have to say, overall, I really do love the new covers. The girls they chose, the colors -- all gorgeous. And best of all, they look like a set. They now say 'A Blood Coven Vampire Novel' on the cover to indicate they're part of a series. They're dark and mysterious and very striking. I love them quite a bit, especially looking at them side by side (Bad Blood is at the top): boysthatbite.jpgstakethat.jpggirlsthatgrowl.jpg

"That said, some people have criticized, saying the new covers are more generic and don't capture the feel of the books as well as the old ones did. I definitely see their point; for example, you know exactly what Girls that Growl is about by looking at the old cover. Not so much with the new one. Also, some criticize saying the new covers look too much like all the other paranormal books out there and aren't as original. Also true, but, to be honest, I think that will actually make them appeal to a greater number of readers. Perhaps those who never picked them up the first time around.

"And in the end, more readers means more sales, which means me being able to write more books in the series. Which, I think, is a win for all readers -- no matter which covers they prefer.

"My question to commenters is: Which covers do you prefer and do you have a favorite out of the new covers? My favorite is Stake That, but I think I'm in the minority so far. Bad Blood is also beautiful.

"Comment for a chance to win a copy of the newly repackaged Boys that Bite. OR one of the old ones if you prefer!"

Thanks, Mari, for this double feature Win-It Wednesday + Cover Story. I love this success tale of a series being repacked for new readers, and I think the new covers are really striking. I have to admit that I love the camp nature of the old covers, especially Girls That Growl in all it's cheerleading awesomeness. Among the new ones, I like Bad Blood the best -- it's gorgeous.

PS-Late add: The very cool trailer for Boys That Bite and the Official Blood Coven website!

You guys?