Don’t Change The Cover: An Examination of the Power of Readers

Where were you when the cover of Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Kiss was revealed? If you were like me, you were angrily venting at Fierce Reads, the social media arm of Macmillan.

Old Cover
Proposed New Cover

Why do publishers do this? Why do they change book covers of a series when the cover is something all the fans love? I’ve gone over this before from a professional stance so I won’t go over here.

What I will talk about is the backlash that happened. Yes, I angrily vented. I did not however, threaten to not buy the book or slam the author. The author has NO control over the cover unless it is in their contract, and it rarely is. And if (hypothetically) a seller tells the house to change the cover or they won’t take, the publishing house changes the cover.

I have had so many series that changed the look of a series mid way through. And it SUCKS when you were a fan from day one and the publisher does this. It can feel like the publisher is devaluing you, the first readers who helped spread the word, in order to make money on those that haven’t picked up the series.

But the fans had a win with their outrage. Fierce Reads announced that the hardcover would be the old covers, in order to match the rest of the trilogy and the paperbacks would be repackaged with the new cover.

So YAY for the YA community for the win, but BOO on those that made Marie feel so bad about this whole thing.


Worth noting: if publishers had tons of money, I would have suggested printing the original cover on the back of the new redesign and then the reader could pick which cover you wanted to showcase. But publishers don’t have that kind of money.


Me, The Professional Reader

So it has been a long time! WordPress has changed yet again, the New Year is underway, and I am trying to keep up. If you have been following this blog then you know there are a lot of good books out there that I am dying to read, but alas duty calls elsewhere.

My TBR pile as of this morning.

One of my resolutions for the new year is to prepare for the future. As you know, I love my job and the career path I am on. And soon (hopefully) I will get to actually start acquiring books and building stories with authors. And as a result of our connected world, this blog will be found and tied back to me and my job.

Isn’t that great? Agents, authors, industry professionals can all find this blog and discover the type of books I am drawn to and wish I had worked with.

So what does this all mean for me as a reader?

Glad you asked.

It means that if you see a tweet from me on Manuscript Wishlist, I have to read with an eye to the author’s writing (WARNING: this is a industry only hashtag, but it is fun to look through for readers to see what editors and agents wished they had coming across their desks). I work with two imprints: Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books, and as a result, the books I can acquire must fit with those imprints. So while I do love a great commercial book, like the Gossip Girl series, I have to have an eye for the creative direction of my imprints. Atheneum is the more literary driven imprint, and McElderry falls in the middle with commercial titles and literary titles. The difference between literary writing and commercial writing is like sampling fine chocolate.

Another great way to understand me as a reader is to check out my Pinterest. If you do, you might notice I am all over the map: fantasy, darker stories, humor, historical fiction, contemporary romance, etc. I love it all, except graphic abuse stories. I extremely picky about those since they hit you right in the feels.

I can hear some of you asking, “Natascha, this is great and all, but why should I care if I don’t work in publishing?”

Great question! And the simply answer is that this is great way to learn more about my reading tastes, and the types of books you will likely find on this blog.

And with that I will wrap up this post. Stay tuned for more as I continue my writing weekend. Christmas was productive and I have posts to get up. 🙂

Shamless bookstragm shot. You know you love it 🙂