Mid-Series Cover Redesigns

Friday, February 21, 2014

I am a huge sucker for a stunning book cover. I've  never made any sort of claim otherwise. In fact, if we're being honest, I'm a cover slut - pure and simple. Capture me with a good cover on the shelves, and I'm almost guaranteed to read the book because, yes, I am that shallow. So, you can imagine my state of mind then when I see that some of the book covers I absolutely loved at first were receiving mid-series cover redesigns. 

Here's the thing...I get it.

I totally understand the need for redesigns. It refreshes things, breathes new life into something stale and pretty much always bumps the book back into the spotlight. These are all great things. However, for OCD fans like me, I generally like my books to match, which means I then need to purchase all the new covers, of course. Here are some of the most dramatic cover shifts I've seen in the past few years:

Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

This is actually an example of a mid-series redesign that actually worked for me. I remember discussing with Jenny when the book first came out that we were sick of pretty girls in dresses, especially when they really had no relevance to the story at all. Don't get me wrong...that original cover was stunning and sparkly, but I think the cohesiveness of the redesign really amped things up, and it really makes a statement.

The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood

This is an example of a mid-series redesign that left me feeling a little bit cheated. I remember when I first saw the cover for Born Wicked, and it took my breath away. It has such a beautiful, vintage, haunting feel, and it really leaves a lasting impression. So, you can imagine my surprise, when I saw that the redesign was a lot more generic, shall we say. That's not to say these new covers aren't pretty, but they definitely don't leave that wow factor in my mind.

The Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick

Again, here's an example of a redesign that actually worked for me. Ms. Bick is an excellent, atmospheric, powerful writer that evokes fear and emotion with every single word of her books. That first iteration of Ashes, however, did not do her justice...at all. I love the look of the books now; the font, the darkness and all the colours mesh well, and I'm glad to see a more modern, exciting take on this series.

The Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver

I wasn't particularly in love with the first cover for Delirium, but I did love the font, and I really loved the fact that it was different than most of the books I had on my shelf. When the series switched over to the faces on the cover, I have to admit that I thought the change was pretty lackluster at best. In the scheme of things, this change was not all that original, and I'm not sure it stands the test of time either.

There are tons of redesigns out there.

Heck, some of these redesigns are absolutely necessary. Some of them, however, leave me a little perplexed. Andrea Cremer's Nightshade series, for example, turned into something I barely recognized. Maureen Johnson's Shades of London series is completely transformed, as well. Some them work, some of them don't. I'll never stop being entertained (and sometimes perplexed) by all these changes though. What do you guys think of mid-series cover redesigns?


  1. I like the "Shatter Me" redesign too. 100x better than the original. Re-designs typically don't bother me though - in fact, I rarely notice.

    Tanya Patrice

    1. I think that they're a great marketing tool - though too often a bit of a cloying ploy ;)

  2. I love the Shatter me redesign. Re-designs don't bother me , I usually like the new redesigned cover better.

  3. Some mid-series redesigns work, but I don't like when they take a beautiful cover and make it less original and interesting. I LOVED the original Born Wicked cover as well as the one for Anna and the French Kiss. I also liked how unique Delirium's original cover was; the new covers are meh and don't really convey the feels for the series. I DO like the Shatter Me and Ashes redesigns though; these are examples where a redesign really helps amp up the series.

    Kris @Imaginary Reads

  4. I have to say that mid-series cover re-designs pretty much annoy me. I mean, I get why it happens-for the reasons you mentioned, but sometimes I have to say it all leaves me feeling a little bit cheated, not to mention out of pocket. Take the Anna and the French Kiss redesign, for example. I forked out for US hardbacks of those first two books, but now with the third there's a complete redesign, so, do I buy a complete new set, or am I left with a mis-matched set on my shelves? Argh! Pretty annoying! It's one of the reasons I've been buying more and more ebooks lately!

  5. I think for the most part, redesigns are usually better but it's such an inconvenience. Is it wrong that I like my sets to match? When it's early on, I don't mind too much because that means that I'm only going to have to replace one book but if it's after book two like Anna and the French Kiss then I'm annoyed. I think the new covers in that series is better. But here's the problem. I buy the hardback. Then they switch covers. So I buy the new paperback. But when it releases it going to a hardback that will not match either set. So I'll have to wait a year until it's release in paperback to finally complete the set. That's so fucking absurd to me.

  6. To be honest, I don't mind them at all. Sometimes they work better, and sometimes they miss the mark completely.

    I gotta say that I usually do judge a book by its cover, so I understand the need to make the best cover you can, you know? The author can lose some readers because of it, as shallow as that sounds.

    However, as I said I don't really mind them changing, if I liked the book, that's it. I don't care if they changed the cover afterwards. I buy pretty much 99% in ebook format, so I really don't care about the cover once I start reading in my Kindle.

    I do mind when the cover kind of 'lies' to you though, lol. But all in all, once I get a book, I don't care if they redesign the art of it.

  7. There are some really great redesigns up there and some really disappointing ones as well. I'm a huge fan of the Shatter Me redesign, like you said, they're WAY more visually interesting and they're definitely memorable. I'm bummed on the Born Wicked redesign, that first cover was stunning. The others are okay, but not nearly as unique as the first one. Not sure what the close up of the face and all the foliage has to do with the Delirium storyline, so I don't really understand that design choice, but they're at least nice looking:)

  8. I seem to prefer covers without people on them so I really liked the Shatter Me series cover redesign way better and didn't like Delirium as much.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  9. You know what's really embarrassing? Is that I didn't even realize that Shatter Me is the same cover for the eyes. I just got it at the library and couldn't put two and two together lol But I just think that designers might not have ideas to move along with the series or it was a little outdated. But Im such a sucker for all the pretty covers, it's horrible lol

  10. I was annoyed by the Cahill Witches and Delirium redos because I really liked the originals because they were so original. The redesigns made the books blend in with the crowd, rather than standing out.

  11. I really preferred the original cover for Born Wicked, too. There are other redesigns I just don't get like The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers and Sarah Rees Brennan's series The Lyburn Legacy. I think most readers prefer to have their covers match, so it is really annoying when they change them up mid-series--especially when the redesign is worse! Great post!

  12. I have an ocd too about having my covers in a series to match, I remember when they revealed the new covers for Stephanie Perkins series I was a little bummed, mostly because I adored the previous covers that I had, but mainly because the final book would not match the two books that I already had. But I have slowly become to like the new covers now. I also have to agree with you on the Born Wicked Cover's the original cover is actually stunning, whereas the rest of the covers doesn't really help the series stand out. I had a lot of fun reading this great post Melissa!

  13. I prefer all my books to look alike, too. I wish the Anna and the French Kiss had given me the option to get the last book in hardback like the others and then made the paperbacks all different.

    But I get the cover redesign. Every time I go to a signing that Stephanie Perkins is at, I consider getting a set of the first two in paperback. I just hate buying books I already have. And I hate books that don't match. Conundrum.

    I don't like the new Shatter me covers. I liked the first one. But I just don't like what they changed it to. They just don't make me want to read the book. Of course, I am, but if I hadn't read Shatter Me, I might not have.

  14. I wasn't a fan of the BORN WICKED or DELIRIUM cover changes either and though I like the eyes on the cover of the SHATTER ME books, they aren't that much better than the original cover IMO. Most of these cover changes are so disappointing, actually. GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan had a different cover from its sequel SPARK and then got a matching paperback cover to match its sequel but then the latest book, FLAME, looks like such a typical and boring cover. GLOW had the most original of the three covers, which disappointed me too. I do understand the purpose behind cover redesigns, but I can't admit to having enjoyed many of them. Libba Bray's THE DIVINERS is a favorite I own in hardcover only its sequel now has a new cover and...I won't buy it. Which is annoying. Gah, clearly I don't have much good to say about this issue, but great post, Melissa! :)

  15. Sometimes the new designs make me catch the eye of books I may have missed in the past. I personally love redesigns (but only if I haven't started the series yet, because then the covers won't match.) Sometimes even designs between US/UK differ wildly and some I just don't get. For example. Indelible in the US is way better than the weird UK cover.

  16. Some works, some not so much, I am not a fan of shatter cos they are too alike

  17. I'm completely with you on the Spotswood books. I haven't picked them up, but I am completely drawn to that first book because it is BEAUTIFUL. The others look a little creepier where the first one is just stunning. As far as the Shatter Me books go, my books are signed so I don't want to replace the first one. They just have to mismatch. GRR. And the half-faces on the Delirium covers make me feel like Lena is staring at me!! I couldn't leave them face-up when I was reading them! It doesn't matter to me whether or not they're redesigned - I just do not like the half-face!

    Fun post, Melissa! xo

  18. I really like the Shatter Me redesign too. I think they're captivating. I cannot stand the new Born Wicked cover, and while I didn't enjoy the book, I'm disappointed that they went with a cover change! And I'm still not over the Nightshade series being redesigned. So many people bought that book because of the cover, and then they were turned into some sort of weird urban fantasy covers. The model looks like she's at least 25!

  19. I really love the Shatter Me redesigns, they are beautiful! I don't always like redesigns, especially if they're in the middle of a series and I get two different designs in one series on my shelf (yes, I'm picky like that:P)

    Eveline's Books

  20. Sometimes redesigns are decent to good, and will catch my eye when I may have missed them before. Other times they can be atrocious. See Westerfeld's Uglies series with the surgical/white sheets as one example of awful IMO.

  21. some redesigns work and some don't always work. I am not fan of the change to anna & the French kiss series. I love the born wicked redesigns. I don't like that they change the mid series. Biggest pet peeve of mine because they no longer match. They also did it with shade, shift etc.

  22. The Shatter Me redesign was very smart, I definitely think the new covers work better for the story. I'm still sad that Born Wicked received such cliched covers, the original was stunning!

    I do wish that publishers would offer readers the chance to get a new cover jacket for hardcovers so they'll match the rest of the series (Penguin gave away a limited number of the new Nightshade jackets to readers when they changed the Nightshade covers, and I love that they did that).

  23. I really, really loved the redesign for Shatter Me because it was so evocative of the series and the story! BUT I hate that the first will never come out in hardcover because I love matching my covers + formats :(


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