TTT: Cover Redesigns I Love/Hate


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  There is a new topic each week for bloggers to join in with their own top ten. If you’re looking for some new or different book blogs to read, hop on over to her site and check out some of the links.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme was submitted by Rachelle over at Shell’s Stories and I love it!  I find that book covers of beloved books is a very personal thing for many readers.  If my first interaction with a book is when it’s new and on it’s original design, I’m usually very loyal to that cover.  But, if I read a book that’s been through many design changes over the years, I can often see the thought process behind the design change since I don’t have a sentimental attachment to that original cover. 

Many new authors do not have the money or the resources to do a totally original cover, especially if they’re self-published.  But if their books gains popularity through the years they have the money to go back and redesign the cover to better suit the story and their vision.  I’m fully aware that the publishers of traditionally published books often choose the cover art without any input from the author whatsoever.  In most cases, these are the covers I’m not happy with.  I especially hate when a character is described as dark and curvy and there is a thin blond model on the cover, or vice versa.  At least get the hair color right people!

I digress…here are my picks for this week.

The first five covers I list are from books made into movies.  For some reason, it is a pet peeve of mine when a publisher changes a cover once a movie is made out of a book.  I think part of the reason is that I like reading the book before seeing the movie and I want to get my own idea of what the characters look like in my head.  Here are a few that really bothered me.

The Outlander Series

Admittedly, the original covers aren’t full of detail.  But that’s okay. I’d rather have a straight forward cover than one featuring the actors of the television series, as much as I love that show it just irks me that they’re on the cover.

Stephen King’s The Stand

I’m one of those fans of the book The Stand that actually loved the tv mini-series…Gary Sinise IS Stu.  But again, don’t need to see him on the cover of the book.  The original cover is a bit retro and odd, it was the late 70s after all. I love it.  There are a lot of covers for this book over the years, some are okay and some not so great.  I just don’t want to see the actors faces as my cover.

The Twilight Saga

There was something about the stark original covers of the Twilight series that I loved.  On top of my love for the original covers, there was my dissatisfaction with the casting for the movies.  So when they put the actors on the covers I was more than disappointed.  I want Edward and Bella to continue to look like I imagined, not how the casting director imagined.

Gone With the Wind

Unlike the Twilight series, I actually agreed with most of the casting of the film adaptation of Gone With the Wind.  That may be because I grew up seeing the images of Clark Gable as Rhett and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett so it seemed like a natural fit to me, who knows. But I still don’t want them on my cover darn it!

The Fault in Our Stars

This is another book made into a movie that I thought the actors didn’t physically match the characters in the book.  So, once again, I’m not happy with the change.  Simple is often better.

Okay, okay…you get the point.  I don’t like book covers being changed just to show us a bunch of actors.  So here are five more changes that are not movie/tv show related.

Alluring Indulgence series & Pier 70 series

I’m going to pick two series from one author, Nicole Edwards, and count it as one.  This is, I assume, a case of the author being able to have more freedom in her covers after she became a bit more established.  Not that I didn’t like the original covers of Nicole Edwards’ Alluring Indulgence and Pier 70 series (those on the left in each pairing), but the hot guys on the covers are so much better.

Throne of Glass

I have to say that I’m not 100% which cover was the original and which was came later…or if one was used for the e-edition and one used for the paperback and/or hardcover.  But when I read Throne of Glass I had the cover on the left.  I much prefer the cover on the right, more stylized and less in your face realism.

The Animal Magnetism series

The original covers in this series drove me nuts.  The animals always looked like they were photo-shopped into the pictures, and badly at that.  The newer covers are so much better!

The Bronze Horesman

To be honest, if I had seen this book with the original cover (on the left) I probably wouldn’t have picked it up.  As it is, when this book was recommended to me years ago I saw the edition with the cover on the right. While there is a stark reality to the original cover, it does nothing to evoke the sweeping romance of this story.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

I get that sometimes covers need to be updated to get a new generation of readers to pick the books up, especially with older stories that age well while there covers do not.  Because I read this book in the 80s myself, the cover on the left will always have a place in my heart.  But the cover on the right is so much more appealing to tweens in this day and age.  I guess I don’t hate or love the update, but it makes me sad to let the nostalgia go.

That’s what a lot of our love/hate relationship is with book covers, isn’t it? Our own personal nostalgia.

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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6 Responses to TTT: Cover Redesigns I Love/Hate

  1. Astilbe says:

    The original The Fault in Our Stars cover was nice. I don’t think they should have changed it. 🙂

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  2. lydiaschoch says:

    I really wish traditionally published authors did get to have input on their covers. Obviously, the graphic designer(s) should have final say since they’re the expert, but books really should get basic things right like the race and size of a main character.

    My TTT.

  3. Gosh, I SO agree about movie/television tie-ins. They just don’t work a good chunk of the time. Outlander’s television tie-in covers are so mundane. I always wish I like them because I love the books and the show but I just don’t. Also, I agree about Throne of Glass!

  4. Tanya Atkinson says:

    I’m never really a fan of the movie/TV covers, either. Like you mentioned, if I’ve read the book already I already have my own idea of what the characters look like and I already have an attachment to the book/cover. The Outlander covers with the plain colored covers weren’t great but I prefer them over the TV show covers. My own copies are so old that they predate the plain covers. My Outlander has an old-timey clock on the cover, Dragonfly in Amber has a plaid and a cup and a dragonfly. I think I bought them back in the late 90’s so they’re kind of ancient. LOL

    • Cheri says:

      I knew I had read the Outlander books with different covers! When I first discovered those books I checked them out from the library. Your comment reminded me of them. I loved those covers!

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