Wednesday Cover Story: Why change cover design mid-series?

We recently received the comment below from one of our readers, in light of the new cover design for Gale Force, Book 6 in the Weather Warden series, by Rachel Caine and we thought our Wednesday Cover Story would be a good place to address this issue.

From Sammy (reader and fan of the Weather Wardens): WHY do you guys keep changing the covers? I wish I’d bought the American covers at least they have the same theme running throughout. I have the first five books in this series looking beautiful on my shelf, now when I buy this book with this cover that suits the Morganville Vampire series MUCH more, it’s going to ruin EVERYTHING!!! KEEP THEM THE SAME!!!

Now, this is a fairly common complaint from readers, because revamping covers mid-series is a very common occurrence in publishing. In fact, Sammy, it’s worth noting that even the Americans changed the series look for the Weather Wardens after Book 3 (Chill Factor) – moving from more generic scenes on the cover to a slicker, darker and much sexier look on Windfall (featuring the striking shots of a woman in the foreground, and the book title shunted off the image to the coloured band – a huge improvement I might add!).

Series book cover changes are certainly not taken lightly as any publisher will appreciate it will inevitably cause some disappointment in readers who are collecting a series on their bookshelf, and find, like you Sammy, that the new cover styles can break the uniform look of the books on display.  And we certainly don’t set out to irritate our fans. Happily though, just as often than not, we get letters from readers saying how much they love the new designs for their favourite author’s books, so changes can end up pleasing our fans too!

Ultimately, at the heart of this matter is the simple fact that we want to get more people reading. We are continuously striving to introduce great books and authors to new readers and this often means changing the book cover style of a series – to fit in with current trends (which will mean the books will stand out better in bookshops), adapt to new formats (the larger B-formats currently becoming more popular), and to attract a new audience (who may not have picked up the books before). Because don’t authors deserve to reach out to more and more readers?

Think of Madonna, one of the biggest and long-lasting pop icons of our generation – she revamped her style throughout the years, changing with the times and garnering new legions of fans in the process. The ultimate result? More people got to enjoy her talent over the years. And that’s what we hope to achieve with change – a chance to give our talented authors a continuous new lease on life, and get more and more people enjoying their work.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity and Online Marketing Manager

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2 thoughts on “Wednesday Cover Story: Why change cover design mid-series?”

  1. But Madonna is someONE not someTHING that we can collect so obviously it doesn’t really apply here.

    …and really? you get letters that say they like the new covers? I think the number of people annoyed by the cover far outnumbers that.

    The cover of the book “Cale Force” that is posted above just looks like the model has had a bad hair day and the cover of “Windfall” would suggest to me to be a more…how to put it?…slutty? book.

    Personally, I have never ever found a change of book cover to be better.

  2. Actually, I was going to buy the weather warden series, but changed my mind when I realised that the cover changed mid series. I hate having mis matched books on my shelf so unless the books all have the same style I won’t buy them.

    I think it’s fine that they were changed so more people might find the books interesting, but the publishing company should now publish both designs, just like what happend with the harry potter series – the whole series published with the original design and then again with another design for adults.

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