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!


Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Redesigns I Loved/Hated


I’m a cover critic! I DO judge a book by its cover. That doesn’t mean a bad cover stops me from reading a book. No way! And, except for #2, all of these CAN be done well. Here are some not-so-good examples.

1. Removing a lovely, evocative, cover for bad black and white photos.


When I think of a British public school in the era of World War I and beyond think of I think of be-gowned masters and suited boys and cricket and rugby and rowing and Latin and silly hats and saying “Sir” every third word. I can hear Jerusalem just looking at it (even though it was just being birthed as a song at this time)! But slum boys playing dice (or whatever) ?? An urchin squatting on the ground in an old sweater? Pass the smelling salts, fast!


Horrible, what’s been done to this author’s lovely books and their beautiful covers. A car chopped off at the top over soldiers of a by-gone era. Was the artist joking?? The woman posed in front of American law books, with lips like a common tart?? Wt?? Dreadful. Another favorite author of mine, Herman Wouk, has had his books debased by this trend as well.

2. Author branding covers done blandly or badly


While this example is a trilogy, others are different stand-alone books done this way, to tie all of the works of one author together. These suck the life right out of the work! No clue what this could be about or why anyone would pick one up. Just awful.


Q must create a gadget to fix these dreadful Bond covers! The originals were hideous too, but these are their own circle of hell.


These just scream book rack at Wal-mart. What a disservice to such a talented author!

3. Movie or TV tie-in covers


Is there a more cringe-inducing way to ruin a book than to slap on a movie or tv-tie in cover? UGH.

4. Vintage-y, throw-back covers


These are also pretty much a type of branding given that the biggest Steinbeck titles have been reissued in these covers. There are much worse examples out there, believe me. It’s a hot trend in covers today.

5. Nothing at all like the story


This cover is an even better example of a terrible title added to a terrible cover. At first glance, you could easily mistake this for an Amish or prairie romance series. Unless you read it,  you’d not know it’s excellence historical fiction based on the life of John Bunyan and the reign of Oliver Cromwell!!  The Preacher’s Bride.


Who would guess, looking at this mess, that one of the all-time great American novels (yes, it is very racists, yes it is very demeaning –it is a product of it’s time. No I do not endorse the racism or of EVER writing anyone in a dialect that demeaning)??? He gown almost seems Elizabethan from that weird neckline. And it takes a while to realize it IS a woman’s gown.

6. Why bother with design, just throw colors at the canvas



7. Copycat covers




I dislike the whole trend of copying the cover of a best-seller for another book. This presumes the public is so dumb they’ll buy the “wrong” book.

I’ve done a few posts on  Copy Cat Covers: 

Green Dress Covers

After The Party (book) Copycat Covers

Tigers in Red Weather (book) Copycat Covers


Check out the rules at That Artsy Reader Girl and join in next week!

Top Five Wednesday: Emerald [green dress] Covers


I love to do copy cat cover posts. The green dress started appearing everywhere! I did an update on my green dress cover post [updated again in today’s post] to show the trend in real life at Prince Harry’s wedding. All kinds of green dresses!  While I cannot swear any of these are the color emerald, especially since one is nearly blue and another is a very pale green, but they form a nice coherent set of green dress covers, don’t they?

I think it is a crying shame that publishers think we are so stupid we will accidentally buy the wrong book! That’s what copy cat covers are all about, right? Yes, imitation is the highest form of flattery, but can’t cover designers have more originality? For the record, I’m also against “branded” covers–where all of an author’s books look alike. Are their stories that boring that they inspire no differences for the covers?


Top 5 Wednesday is a group you can join on Goodreads.com. Each week participants write a blog post or make a Yutube video post to share their take on the week’s topic. Why not join in?


Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Covers



I have very definite opinions on cover art. A lot of titles I love have new covers this year or last year. I’ve hated most! That said, here are a new book covers–either new publications or new covers on older books–that I like right now, but of course when a topic like this comes up I can never remember any titles!


One Random Book I Know Nothing About


But I love the cover!


The One in Several Collections of Great Covers


Love it!


A Favorite Cover of a Favorite Book


My favorite Du Maurier book.


The Series To Swoon Over



If I had the money, I’d have these! Read more about these special covers here.


Other Cover Posts




Here is a link to last May’s version of this post–5 other new covers.




Here is my Copy Cat Cover’s post for The After Party





Tigers in Red Weather Copy Cat Covers Post.





Red, White and Blue Covers post.

Books With Autumnal Covers post.

Books Covers I’d Live In post [Top 5 Wednesday]

Inaccurate Book Covers post [Top 5 Wednesday]


You can take part in Top 5 Wednesday–just join the group at Goodreads.com and do a blog post or video post. The topics are in the group as are the links to each week’s posts. It’s fun!


Copy Cat Covers: The After Party


I love it when I spot trends in cover art. There are some recent ones I’ve truly disliked (i.e. branding all of an author’s books to look alike) and others I’ve enjoyed. Earlier this year I did Copy Cat Covers post starting wtih Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussman. You can view those coveres HERE.

Today I’m starting with the After Party by Anton DiSlafani. You can read my review HERE. In the interest of fairness I will disclose that I have no clue which cover displayed here came first! I put started seeing the look-alikes due to the one I read–The After Party. The rest followed. Some are original covers, others are paperback or later editions.

I know that some are not green and one shows only the green of a dress or coat, but I felt they all belong together. The dress–that’s the image, then the color–green mostly. To me each presents a picture of elegance. Something, we’ve lost for the most part (imho). Who are these women? Seeing these covers, I want to know. I love the almost iconic, slightly “bad girl” pose of the woman on the cover of The After Party–that bit of tobacco she’s plucking (or is it just a pose?). She oozes elegance, but with a nice gust of sexual provocativeness.  I think she’s spotted the man she wants, don’t you?

The Summer Wives does not feature a dress, but an odd belted blouse with shorts. It’s the color and the style of the blouse that drew me in. She’s out in a boat, in summer–it must be New England, Maine likely, due to the long sleeves–or is that her coppery hair means she burns easily and must cover up a bit more? Intriguing. (For the record I did not finish the audio version of this novel).

Do you spot copy cat covers? Have you done a post or two like this? Leave me a comment–include your link, I’d love to see what you’ve spotted.

FYI: You can read my review of the Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan HERE.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Red, White, and Blue Covers!


In honor of the 4th of July, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about Red, White, and Blue Book Covers!





Although I absolutely HATE this cover for the book, it is the write color combination. I love the book (Yes, I am aware and do not support, the horrific way the slaves dialect was written. No, I don’t believe Rhett committed marital rape–jeesh, she woke up singing, remember?)






Oh, the irony! A book by a British author. Let’s not forget the Union Jack has the same colors and that they’re national anthem, God Save the Queen, shares its tune with out My Country ‘Tis of Thee.



Here are a few more of all nationalities




And, the last two…both French



Top 5 Wednesday: New Book Covers That Caught My Eye



Top  5 Wednesday is a great way to connect with all things book-loving! Topics are posted in the group on Goodreads.com. Posts are either on blogs or videos. Why not join in next week?

I can’t say yet if I’ll be reading any of these, but their covers certainly caught my eye.

My Choices



For Every One by Jason Reynolds

My Ex-Life: A Novel  by Stephen McCauley

Speak No Evil: A Novel by  Uzodinma Iweala

Only Child: A Novel by Rhiannon Navin

The Friend: A Novel by Sigrid Nunez


Why not join in next week?

Top 10 Tuesday: Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title)


This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is Books With My Favorite Color On the Cover (or In the Title).  FYI: Top Ten Tuesday is held each week by That Artsy Reader Girl. You can read the rules here. If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ve probably discovered that my favorite color is RED. And, I have no ability with math, so who knows how many are on this list! They’re red!! I’ve read the red books! Yes! I love getting to say that!

So, here are my top 10 RED books!

#1 and #2 the red-covered books I’m anxious to read


How Hard Can it Be? and the prequel, (which I’ve read and loved), I Don’t Know How She Does It, both by Allison Pearson. [Yes, I know! I’ve put this book in just about every post recently! I’m excited, ok?]

How Hard Can it Be? by Allison Pearson [release date June 5]

I Don’t Know How She Does it by Allison Pearson


Puddin’ by the awesome Julie Murphy, author of Dumplin’ and Ramona Blue

‘Cause the fat girl can so get the guy!

So, so, so excited, too,  that Dumplin’ is in production to be a film with Dolly Parton doing the soundtrack!!

Puddin’ by Julie Murphy.

Ramona Blue and my review.

Dumplin’ and my review.

Some Red-Covered Books I’ve Enjoyed

Books With Red in the Title That I’ve Read

Check out my post on Copy Cat Covers: Tigers in Red Weather post

You can read here why The Red House by Mark Haddon is one of my all-time favorite vacation books!

The One with the red cover AND Scarlet (aka “red”) in the title that is on my Kindle, patiently waiting to be read.


Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

But Wait! There’s More!!


Red is just a part of who I am. You might enjoy this post: Childhood Memories: Red Shoes.


And, then there’s that song I keep posting. The song that makes me swoon every single time I hear it. The RED song!


Why not join in next week? Here’s a link to the rules. You can read all of this week’s great Top 10 Tuesday posts here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Copy Cat Covers: Tigers in Red Weather


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is: Frequently Used Words In [Insert Genre/Age Group] Titles. I couldn’t do a thing with that one! So, I’m doing my own thing this week–which is allowed.


I really get annoyed by copy-cat cover! Like the marketing people think I’m so stupid I’ll buy the wrong book? Or, since I loved one book with that cover then I’d gladly buy a second with it? Right…… NOT!

This cover, for the best-seller, Tigers in Red Weather, is the first I noticed in this particular chain of copy-cat covers. For the record, the book did little for me:

Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel by Liza Klaussman  Kept waiting for something worthy of the hype. Nothing “wrong” with the story, just not that original or exciting either. Stupid names for characters always put me off, too, and a woman named “Nick” in the 1940s?? Oh please. [From my old blog, August 27, 2012.]

The Two Newest Books Copying the Cover

Since I couldn’t come up with anything for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, here are the other nine covers, starting wtih two brand new books. Ironically, they were both coverd in this recent Beach Reads post at Book Bub.


See the similarities? It isn’t always a complete copy–maybe just an element of the original.  In these two books one has the style of bathing suit and they both have stripes which mimick the subtle “stripes” of the stitching in hat and the spines of the parasols in the original.  FYI:  I’ll likely listen to The Husband Hour. I’m a sucker for a guy named Rory!


Here are the others:

And, yes, you’ve a good eye! One is by the same author as The Husband Hour!



Do you like the idea of copy cat covers? Leave me a comment with your thoughts!


Why not join in with Top Ten Tuesday? The rules and the weekly posts are at That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s fun!



Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Autumnal Covers


This week’s topic: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes (If the cover screams fall to you, or the books give off a feeling of being Fall-ish)



Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost The cover just says “Fall in New England,” right? Love his work.

Keeping a Nature Journal In the fall I love to be outside and see the changing colors, feel the crisp cool air and, above all, rake leaves. I’ve never had so many trees that it was a burden, though, so don’t call me insane for that! So many happy memories raking leaves with my late Keeshund beside me. I also have great memories of “drawing” hikes with my kids inspired by this book. We’d take sketch books and colored pencils and go to a park and hike. Finally we’d decide on a place to sit and draw. That their drawings were much better than mine was always a confidence booster for them–and I wasn’t faking my no talent!

Freckles A Hoosier (Indiana) classic, by early-20th Century best-selling author, Gene Stratton Porter, this book is one of her Limberlost tales.

Headmaster’s Wife Here is my review from my old blog:
 “‘Do you have children?….Now imagine if, just to spite you, they do the exact opposite with their lives from what you hope they will.‘” (p. 107). 

Usually a story told in  non-linear fashion gets annoying to me–not so this time. There IS a method to the madness and it is to tell a very griping story. This books was MESMERIZING. I had to ration it–it had that great a hold on me.  In the last part f#-! became his go-to word and it cheapened the book unnecessarily, even if it was meant to convey the changing times or something else . That’s a very minor detraction though, from what is truly a work of art. The author is a gifted storyteller. I hope to read many more books by him.[NOTE: without spoilers I will say there is an event that, when taken out of context, may upset some readers.] 

October Sky (aka Rocket Boys)  My son and I both enjoy this book–and the wonderful movie adaptation, in spite of a crucial change. in the movie

Cold Sassy Tree There is so much to “love’ in this book about when Miss Love Simpson comes to town! Look out Will Tweedy! The movie is equally delightful.

Mayflower Thanksgiving is pretty darned Autumnal and this book’s cover has the look of an eerie late Fall day.

At Home in Mitford

Mitford is one of my favorite fiction series. Father Tim, Cynthia, and all the rest of the town are marvelous. Plus there are two adoption stories in here to warm my adoptive-Mom’s heart.

A Separate Peace

This was my favorite assigned reading in high school. I loved it even more than the Rocking Hhorse Winner (D.H. Lawrence). I think it may be the reason some older parents named boys Phin/Finn in the 1990’s and early 2000’s (I imagine there’s something newer that explains the rest of the name’s popularity).

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

How could we have Fall or Halloween without this one? Not possible for those of us in it’s first generation of fans.

Visit the Broke and the Bookish for all of this week’s posts!

And now, enjoy a seasonal classic…..





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