Skip to main content

Paperback Makeovers

I was browsing through upcoming books, and I came across these paperback releases of fairly recent young adult titles. One I've read and one I've not. But isn't it interesting the differences between the hardback covers (left) and the paperback covers (right)? In this case, both hardback covers for Jandy NelsonsThe Sky is Everywhere and Gayle Forman's If I Stay are done in bright, eye-catching colors, and are somewhat abstract and simple in style. The paperback covers, on the other hand, opt for more detailed photographs depicting the female protagonists themselves, both lying down. I find them certainly more concrete, perhaps a bit grittier. I'm not sure I'm sold on the switch in either case. What do you guys think? I wonder sometimes what goes into the decision to repackage a book for its paperback release. I'm sure it's about widening the potential audience and perhaps catching the eyes of those readers who might not have given the original cover a second glance. In this case, just out curiosity, which covers do you prefer? Would either one be easier to hand to a friend you're trying to talk into reading it? And do you ever purchase a second copy of a book when it comes out in paperback because you just love the new cover and want to have both hardback and paper on your shelf? Or is that just me? I may have done that with a certain paperback copy of Sunshine . . . or two or three.

Lastly, I just wanted to highlight the upcoming paperback release of a favorite of mine from last year--This Gorgeous Game by Donna Freitas. The cover makeover in this case sort of trends the opposite direction from the ones above. Both feature photographs of young women, but the paperback (right) certainly adopts a lighter tone, and I really think there's more detail as to what goes on in this book on the cover of the hardback (left). Honestly, I like both. And if you haven't read this lovely book, now would be an excellent time. You can read my review here.

Comments

  1. Hello. (first time commenter)

    I haven't read any of these book so I think that if I had to choose, I would like the more simple covers over the ones that use models. I prefer that the publishers let me use my own imagination to picture the characters.

    I also feel that publishers risk ostracizing a lot of potential readers by using real people because many might feel that they can not relate to that girl -by the looks of her race, hair-color, or age.

    Haha, sorry for the loaded answer. Good call on your covers. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the UK edition of The Sky Is Everywhere best. The new paperback is very pretty but doesn't seem to suit the book so well as the HB. My version is so very blue (sky-blue cover, blue text) that somehow it seems wrong to have a green cover.

    I think the HB of This Gorgeous Game is more appealing, darker and a bit sinister. It's interesting that they've chosen models who look very different - I wonder if it will shape the way readers see the protagonist when they read the book. Not just her appearance, but preconceptions of what her character would be like.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I saw the second If I Stay cover as a hardcover. At my local B&N.

    If given the choice, though, I would pick the covers that don't use models. This is one of my biggest turn-offs when it comes to covers: I'd like to be able to use my own imagination when it comes to character realization.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Most of the times, I prefer the original covers. (Also, my OCD tendencies get very irritated when the hardcover sequels don't have the same covers as the first book.) However, for SKY IS EVERYWHERE and IF I STAY, I do prefer the paperback makeovers. I do prefer simplicity, but the originals aren't very eye-catching, in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree the cover on the left seems to portray an entirely different story.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I prefer the abstract covers than the ones that have models on them. In general, I don't like having real people on book covers because they don't always capture how the characters look like.

    Yes to buying multiple copies of books! I do that too with some of my favorites. I'm really tempted to get the new editions of Chalice and Sunshine because of the gorgeous covers. Robin McKinley has been lucky in the cover department.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think both Sky is Everywhere covers are beautiful. The original stands out more from the YA crowd.

    I hate the PB If I Stay cover. The girl looks creepy and it's like so many other covers. I think a simple, poignant cover like the HB version is much more fitting to the plot of the book than a cover that would fit a zombie or horror novel.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved the original cover of If I Stay. It said so much without trying hard but the Paperback doesn't work me at all.

    I am a total cover person . Call me shallow but there have been times when I have bought books just because I loved the cover :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I like the abstract hardcover covers much better than the paperback covers -- especially for If I Stay. Not because I mind having the publisher offer me an image for the main character; just in these cases I prefer the hardcover versions.

    I agree with Alison about If I Stay, though; that's a very creepy girl on the pb cover. I haven't read it, and the pb cover would be a turn off for me because it looks like horror.

    The HB cover of This Gorgeous Game would make me read the back cover copy -- it looks like it might have a hard edge, it might be a thriller. The pb cover just looks generic to me and doesn't imply anything much.

    I'd buy a new edition with a different cover only if I really disliked the first cover -- which has happened.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've actually read both The Sky is Everywhere and If I Stay! I'm so impressed with myself. lol

    In general, I like both abstract covers and covers with models on them... but I guess in these two specific cases, I simply prefer the original, abstract versions.

    As for relevance, though, I think the new paperback version of The Sky is Everywhere is more fitting for the story. It actually fits a particular scene and I like that.

    On the other hand, the new paperback version of If I Stay in my opinion--doesn't suit the tone of the book as well as the original one.

    No matter your preference, though, everyone should read both of these books. Both were absolutely wonderful reads. The Sky is Everywhere was an absolute favorite of mine in 2010.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like

In the Beginning, or the First Ten Books I Reviewed on the Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl
It's been awhile, but this topic was too good to pass up. When I thought about it, I genuinely could not recall which were the first ten books I actually reviewed here on the blog. So then, of course, I had to know. The thing is, I originally started the whole thing simply posting a once a month list of my favorite reads and rereads of the month. That went on for some time until lo and behold I went ahead and wrote and posted my first review on November 9, 2007. In hindsight, I probably should have known exactly which book pushed me over the edge into full fledged reviews. So this was a rather delightful journey back in time. Do you remember the first book you ever reviewed (in any forum) or what made you take the plunge? Here are my first ten (and I have to say, looking at this snapshot from the past, these remain some of my absolute favorite authors and a pretty spot-on array of the genres I read and love tod…

Interview with Alexandra Bracken + Brightly Woven Giveaway!

I fell in love with the cover of Alexandra Bracken's debut novel--Brightly Woven--last fall and the scant synopses I could find at the time certainly piqued my interest. After managing to get my hands on an ARC, I found myself surprised and pleased with this unique fantasy. You can read my review here. As the release date approached, I invited Alex to participate in an interview and giveaway here on the site and, despite her crazy busy schedule, she kindly accepted. Enjoy! First things first: When did the idea for Brightly Wovenfirst hit you and what (if anything) did you know right off the bat? I remember the exact moment it hit me—what I was doing, who I was talking to, what song was playing on iTunes.  :)  I had just come back from Winter Break my sophomore year in college and was sitting on my bed chatting with my mom.  Sophomore year was pretty remarkable in terms of the insane weather that we had in Virginia (where I was in school) but it had also been a bizarre year in Arizon…

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

It's fascinating to me how, given two quite similar books or styles of book, one will leave you cold and the other has you at hello. I think about this phenomenon all the time and wonder what quality it is that pushes one over into a reading match. Most recently I found myself pondering this as I read Alexandra Bracken's debut novel Brightly Woven. The cover caught my eye back in October and, really, it is at once so attractive and nicely representative of both the book and the character. I then read several pretty exciting reviews and was delighted to win an ARC in a giveaway hosted by the generous Anastasia Hopcus. I eagerly awaited its arrival in the mail and cracked it open the day it came.

Sydelle Mirabel has always lived in a small, dusty town in a small, dusty corner of her country. An accomplished weaver, Sydelle lives a quiet life completing her chores, helping her hardworking parents, and sneaking what moments she can to roam on the hills with her childhood friend an…