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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Covered: Hardcover to Paperback Redesigns (1)

I find cover redesigns really interesting, especially when the redesign happens between the hardcover and paperback printing. As some of you might know, there are redesigns that sometimes happen before the hardcover is ever released. Sometimes you might note a change between an advanced reader copy and a finished copy. Other times, a cover will be revealed, only to be changed and revealed again a few weeks or months later. I've heard that these changes often occur because of pressure and feedback from big retailers like Barnes & Noble, but I'm sure there are other reasons too. Another publisher, I think it's Sourcebooks, will ask for consumer/blogger feedback and change accordingly if the feedback is strong. But, when a book is released with one cover, then the cover changes for the paperback edition, I always find myself wondering what it is about the hardcover design that failed and what demographic the publisher hopes the paperback edition will appeal to. With that in mind, check out these upcoming redesigns. Below each, I've picked my favorite of the two - I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments as well!

 Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

I like the action vibe of the paperback - it'll appeal to an entirely different kid that the hardcover - but I'm still partial to the hardcover. 

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

I'm a bit divided about this one. I feel like the hardcover gives a better idea of what the book is about, but there's something striking about the paperback. I'm not sure I can choose which I like more!

Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern

I prefer the paperback cover - it's definitely more eye catching than the hardcover - but I don't get what's going on with the 'O'/hole. What's it supposed to be underneath? What am I missing - feel free to help me out in the comments!

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

So, I'll be honest, I'm not sure I love either of these covers, which is upsetting because I absolutely adored this novel. I like the concept of the first one, but I'm not sure I did there being a real girl on the cover. With the second one, I kind of wish the title and the rest of the text was bigger or something. Maybe I just feel like it's too pink. I'd like to see a third option, please!

Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

While the original cover is definitely creepy and compelling, I'm kind of digging the boldness of the paperback. On a whim, I think I'd be more likely to pick up the paperback. I think it's the ferris wheel in the background that sold me.

Skies Like These by Tess Hilmo

I remember liking this cover I saw it released for the hardcover, but it's got nothing on this paperback edition. No doubt about it, I need this one in paperback. Can't wait to stock this one at the bookstore.

Tease by Amanda Maciel

While the hardcover cover is definitely flashy - literally - I'm a fan of the new understated yet dramatic paperback cover. I love that half of the girl's face is in shadow. Win!

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

I definitely prefer this paperback, though I'm not 100% sold on either. I wish that the original tagline was on the paperback, I think that was the bit I actually liked on the original.

The Last Wild by Piers Torday

This redesign is interesting because it keeps the same color scheme and, from what I can tell, fonts. I really did love the hardcover version, but, after seeing the paperback, I do think it's improved. In this instance, I think the busier, fuller design is more appealing.

The Nethergrim by Matthew Jobin

The original cover is cool, but the paperback cover has way broader appeal in my opinion. I could easily pitch the paperback cover to fans of fantasy and adventure, but the original doesn't convey that as well.

The Well's End by Seth Fishman

I like the new cover much better, except for the awkwardly placed hands in the corner. I haven't read this yet, so maybe the hands make sense... Guess I'll have to read it to find out!

Tell me which covers you prefer in the comments!


  1. Argh, I can't chose between for most of them - so much pretty! But it's interesting to go into the psychology behind the changes - like you mentioned - what the publishers hope to achieve and who they wish to target with the redesigns.

  2. I love the cover change to Skies Like These and also The Last Wild, but I love the original cover for the Last Wild as well. I don't love the change for Tease, I feel like now it looks like every other YA book out there.

  3. This was fun to see! I liked all but three paperbacks better than hardcovers.

  4. Tease and Servants of the Storm I definitely prefer the hardcover, but for the other ones, it's either divided or the paperback is better. What do you think of the redesign for Dissonance?

  5. It's been a long time since I've read a middle grade book and I've been missing it. There's always that certain kind of peculiar magical feeling when reading a middle grade book. Not sure if anyone else has that same feeling but I do. :)
    I might start reading MG again starting with this book!

  6. I adore MG. I didn't pay much attention to it for a long time, but now I read it constantly. Some months I realize I've read more MG than YA! I really liked this one. The pacing was exactly what I needed that day!

  7. I felt the same about The Last Wild covers. I like them both, I'm curious how those small changes will make a difference for consumers. And you're not the only one who feels that way about the new Tease cover... I think I just found the original cover... I don't know. Distracting? Not sure either is the right choice!

  8. It's always interesting to consider how these changes affect a series as well. What would the series have looked like if the first design stuck?

  9. I had to look that one up! Wow, those are very different. I have to say, I wasn't a huge fan of the original cover, but I dislike the new cover even more. It's kind of boring. What do you think??

  10. I cannot deny that the original Tease cover was eye catching. That book could blind a person at the wrong angle. I think I like the mystery of the new cover, but I can totally see what you mean about it being a bit generic as well. I call for a third option!

  11. Yes, there's that different feeling when reading MG. I really miss those feelings. :)

  12. Ooooh, interesting cover changes! I love the paperback covers of Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski and Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern. They look like my type of contemporary read! Have you read them?

    Carmel @

  13. I rather liked the paperback but I can see how you would think it boring. I'm not sure how well they represent the story though, since I haven't read the book yet.


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