“You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson by now. Back before my first book, The Lonely Hearts Club, was published three years ago, I got a call from my editor that the cover was changing. I got really nervous, but then I saw the new cover and was instantly relieved (mostly because I didn’t realize they were using my idea!). It’s still my favorite cover (right).
“So fast forward to a few months ago when my editor informed me that the cover was changing for the paperback release of my third novel, Take a Bow. But I love the cover (below right)! Why does it have to change? There was some sulking involved.
“Then the cover was sent to me and I was told that I could wait a few days to let them know what I thought. But I didn’t need to. I LOVED this new cover the second I saw it. While I still adore the original, I think the new cover is perfect for the paperback: it’s bright, it stands out, it has a guitar on it!
“Plus, I think boys might not be too embarrassed about picking it up. It’s now my second favorite book cover of mine (behind The Lonely Hearts Club). So I promise going forward to not judge a cover until I see it!”
Thanks, Elizabeth! I like the new cover a lot too. I’m finding myself drawn to less people more object covers lately, and I love the little heart on the guitar. Adorable without being cloying.
What do you guys think of the cover redesign?
Talking to Carolyn Mackler about her new paperback cover for Tangled got me thinking about paperback changes, and here’s another one for you guys. Amy Kathleen Ryan’s Zen and Zander Undone recently got a big cover change, so she’s here to share that story:
“I didn’t know about the change. It came as a complete surprise when I got my author’s copies. They didn’t even tell me they were considering a redesign. This is very different from how they usually do things. Before, they’ve always seemed to value my opinion. I think maybe they were in a real hurry with this one.
“I liked the new cover immediately. I liked the subtlety of it, though it no longer portrays the two sisters. The girl on the cover could be either of the sisters, so it’s fine by me. A different department handles paperbacks. I imagine that my editor approved the cover, but I do not think she was at the center of the redesign.
“The hard cover (right) was from an original photo shoot [read that Cover Story], and I found it very flattering that my publisher would go to that expense and trouble for me. With the paperback, I would be surprised if they didn’t use a stock photo, since they already spent so much money on a cover that didn’t end up working well.
“Honestly, I think I prefer the paperback cover. It’s nicely evocative and artistic. My only regret is that it doesn’t make it clear that Zen is the name of a person. I’ve always worried that the title could make it sound like Xander is really into Zen Buddhism and she’s coming undone. But it seems to be selling much better than the hardcover did, so I can’t complain. It’s enough to make readers pick up the book and read the jacket copy, and that’s all we can ask of a cover, isn’t it?”
Thanks, Amy! I love these hair untying shots — I really do. I think the new cover would draw me to the book more. What do you guys think?
PS-Alea has a great Hardcover vs. Paperback feature if you want to see more of these changed covers!