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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. :)

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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

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  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.

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  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.

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  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 :)

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  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.

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  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.

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