Let’s have another conversation about cover changes. I love these posts, and I love thinking about the way that covers really do impact the audience to which a book is sold. Some of these changes are for the better, but some of them make me scratch my head a tiny bit. As usual, the hardcover is on the left and the paperback is on the right.
Jennifer Miller’s The Year of the Gadfly isn’t a young adult book, but it was one of the titles on this year’s vetted nomination lists for the Alex Awards. It might be described as a cross between The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks and The Mockingbirds. The hardcover on the left is, how to say, not appealing. It looks like an unmemorable literary tome. It says nothing as to what the content may be. I would say that there’s no hint this could be a book with great teen appeal either.
But oh that paperback. That paperback is one of my favorite covers in a very long time. This is a book that looks like it has appeal to teen readers. I love the use of the plaid for the entire girl. I love the way the yellow contrasts with the blue, but there is then the coordinating yellow stripe to tie it together. I love that she’s off centered. I love that the girl looks like she’s ready to take charge, too. She’s not crossing her arms and she’s not hiding. She’s standing proud and with confidence. Not to mention the font choice for the title and for the author’s name is so much better. There’s also the addition of a blurb for the paperback, which calls the book part Dead Poet’s Society and part Heathers, which again, hits some mega appeal factors for teen readers.
This is the kind of cover I can’t stop staring at. The Year of the Gadfly will be out in paperback on May 28, and I hope someone is kind enough to gift me a copy of this fine looking book. I’ve got a hardcover, but I want the paperback so bad.
Like Jessica Brody, Susane Colasanti is a regular to the change in cover looks when she goes from hardcover to paperback. In the case for Keep Holding On, I think it’s a hugely positive change. The reason is pretty simple though — it’s way less about the styling (which I like the handholding and the spots of red and pink giving just enough of a romantic feel) and more about the fact it’s much more timeless than the hardcover. The hardcover plays into the fashion trends of today. There are the skinny jeans. There are the Chucks. It feels very contemporary teen, whereas the paperback edition feels much more like the kind of book that won’t date.
Worth noting is the new tag line on the paperback: “Sometimes love is worth the risk.” Although this book certainly has some romance in it, the real meat behind the story is the plot about bullying (and this bullying comes through issues relating to social class). When the book first came out, that was the biggest selling point. So it’s interesting with the new tag line that the selling point’s changed to being more about the romance. I suspect had I read it with the new cover, I may have liked it more, since I found the bullying storyline weak.
Keep Holding On will be out in paperback on April 23. Interesting to note this might be the only paperback change for Colsanti’s books that actually doesn’t include a couple on it (just their hands).
I wish I could make the spacing on this pair less weird, but I can’t. On the left is the hardcover edition of Michelle Gagnon’s thriller Don’t Turn Around. Kind of creepy, with the hand coming out of the book, but the effect is also neat. I am a fan of orange covers because I think they’re pretty different (there are so few). But I really dislike ombre styling, which this cover is a major victim of in both the general cover and in the font coloring, too. The tag line for the hardcover is “Just keep running.” That doesn’t tell us a whole lot, but in conjunction with the title, I do think it says quite a bit. Also, I don’t want that hand after me.
The paperback version of Don’t Turn Around is nice and blue. I love the way the title has been played with quite a bit — I like the change in sizes there. This cover is, for the most part, very plain, but I think that plainness might be a huge advantage for the book. The cover reads as a thriller to me. Interestingly, the tag line also changed a little bit: “Off the grid. On the run.” Both of these covers are fine with me. I don’t necessarily think one is better or stronger than the other, nor do I think one will appeal to a different readership.
Don’t Turn Around will be available in paperback July 9.