Are cover reboots good or bad?
Two weeks ago we talked about the bookish trend, prequels. Well, as I stated in that post, there are a TON of bookish trends and many of them also dual as marketing trends. Unfortunately, I have very strict rules I set for myself when it comes to buying books. In other words… I don’t really like all the bookish marketing trends out there and one in particular is cover reboots.
I swear this didn’t used to be a thing. When I was younger, books didn’t suddenly change covers halfway through the series. They might get a movie tie-in cover (which then made the original cover a rare commodity), but publishers didn’t just up and change a cover style. You could buy the next book in the series with the same cover style as the previous ones. All the books on your bookshelf would have the same style.
Ah… Those were the days.
And… those days are gone. I don’t know why and I don’t know when, but there has definitely been a shift in the bookish world, and I do not like it. Suddenly publishers think its okay to just change the cover.
The publishers probably waltz into a room filled with marketing experts (who are probably not the target audience of the book they’re marketing and therefore know nothing relevant to that book or the people who read it -.-) and look at a list of numbers that is their summary of sales and see that it doesn’t meet their quota.
“So, let’s make it look different!”
Because despite everyone saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,‘ we all do. Don’t lie to yourself. You know you do it to some degree. For that reason, book covers are very important!
You know why else book covers are important? Because we display them on our bookshelves! And how our bookshelf looks is extremely important for us readers (as we discussed). A bookshelf reflects a reader’s personality. It needs to match how they organize or else it will drive them insane, and it has to look pretty because a bookshelf can make or break the aesthetic of a room. In fact, some readers buy/keep books just because they look nice on a shelf.
With all of this in mind, can you imagine how absolutely pissed off I am when a publisher decides to suddenly change the cover design of a book series?! Do you know how mad it makes me when I’m only halfway through that series and now have obsolete covers?! Do you know how frustrating it is knowing that half the books in the series will never match the other half because I’m not the reader who buys duplicates (for any reason)?!
Some people may call it a marketing ploy. Some may see it as realizing a different design better represents the story within. Some don’t care and will do anything because they love the series so much, but I’m not one of those people. And while I don’t want to buy all new books for a series, the look of my bookshelf is still extremely important to me. That’s why I wish publishers would either
a) stop changing book covers
b) keep the old covers in circulation even if at a lesser extent (especially because not everyone may like the new covers. Goodness knows I’ve seen plenty of backlash for a few cover reboots.)
But maybe I’m just a crazy book nerd. :p
What are your thoughts on cover reboots?
Leave your thoughts below!
And check out my discussion from last week:
“Plotter vs. Pantser“