When the covers tell a different story on different editions

I DO often judge a book by its cover. And, I’m very picky about cover art. Believe it or not, I’m already stressed about cover art for my yet-to-be-shopped manuscripts! I want my covers to be RIGHT. One thing that troubles me is the way covers are often re-done to “re-launch” a book in paperback or to bring to light a backlist book or just to makeover an author’s books in general. Here are a few books I was attracted to by the cover of one version but turned off by the cover in another. I have not necessarily read these books.

The hardback cover (left) did nothing for me. The paperback one, intrigues me. What are the stories revealed by those windows?

The American cover (left) evokes Mondrian, whose iconic primary colors work I love. The UK cover makes me yawn and think “another women’s thriller.”

Thanks to Rather To Fond of Books for bringing these two books to my attention. Click the link and give her post a read, too.

Had I first encountered the UK cover (left), I’d have passed on a wonderful book. The matches made me think something bad would happen in spite of the cheerful yelllow color behind them. The US cover (right) coveyed the tone of a book I would (and did) enjoy. You can read my review here.

The print/Kindle cover on the left makes me want to start reading this right now. The audio cover I would walk right by and never notice.

Hardback (left) is blah, audio (center) is just a city, but the paperback has an illustration that softens the book to be more my kind of story.

Not sure why anyone would pick up the drab UK copy of this interesting-sounding book. The silhouttes get lost and look like a white blog on that red background, where as the US cover, with its pastels divides the silhouttes and makes in much more interesting.

Wow! What a dramatic difference! The word Hippie and all it conotates is perfectly expressed by the vivid Peter Max-ish vibe of the hardback/audio cover on the left. The paperback cover (right), yawn, brings to mind a lot of navel-gazing gibberish.

Does cover art affect your choices? Have any examples you’d like to share? Leave me a comment or do your own post and give me the link!


8 thoughts on “When the covers tell a different story on different editions

  1. I do agree with your comments to all these covers. I usually read books I kind of “know” something about. But the covers of some are off putting. They republish many classics with atrocious covers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great images and comparisons. The newer Horrorstor cover makes me cringe — the whole reason I was drawn to the book in the first place was how much it looked like an Ikea catalog. I agree about Eleanor Oliphant — I ended up with a UK version, and felt like it totally changes the expected tone and content of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m always intrigued by different covers in different countries. I have a friend who is an author and her very Australian book about the outback was given the most inappropriate cover for the US (an owl sitting on a telephone wire) – it made no sense!


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