Discourse | Cover Changes Mid-Series

Today another series of books I read and own got a makeover.

Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes was one of the first physical ARCs I ever received and I fell in love with it.  I even got the hardcover when it came out, and the sequel when that came out as well.  I admit I haven’t read it yet because I need to reread Ember first because I’m that kind of person.   But today, they revealed the title and cover of the third one.  And the new covers of the first and second one to match.

Okay…but where is the third cover that will match the two I already own??

I mean, I’m not opposed to the new covers – they look cool and Laia looks amazing and all….But why does it have to happen now?  Why not after all of them are published?  I just wish that publishers, if they plan on doing something like this, could maybe consider offering the third one with a cover that reflects the style of the already published covers for those who have been with the series from the start, who love and adore the characters, who spend the money and want their sets to match.  Or wait and do it after the entire series is finished.  Or do only the paperbacks, since those are cheaper than hardcovers as it is.

I already have this problem with The Diviners series by Libba Bray.  Her books come out every two years, and while the writing it so totally worth it, there has been a series cover change for every new release since the start.  I could live with the first two not matching, because they were still in the same color spectrum and I felt both covers were interesting and reflective of the books.  I wasn’t completely happy, but I thought “whatever”.

But this third change?

Here, look at the progression.

1st publication of the first book:



Simple, gorgeous, kind of mysterious (and don’t get me started on what was under the jacket – you know what, I’ll just show you).



Alright, moving on.  Second book is getting ready to be released and….here are the new covers.

I mean, long sigh ’cause they still are both dark, mysterious and reflective of the series, plus the match each other nicely.  But Lair of Dreams doesn’t match my copy of The Diviners…

And now, the third one is coming out this fall and I am honestly kind of devastated with this cover change.

I just…Okay, the creep factor is there, sure.  But there’s so much more to the series than just the creep.  It’s mystery and paranormal and diversity and romance and above all it’s New York in the 1920s and the first two cover sets at least evoke the historical gorgeousness that Libba has the most amazing way of bringing to life in her writing.

These covers…barely scratch the surface.

And I’m going to be honest, they look a little amateur.  I’ve seen “alternative cover” posts on tumblr of a similar caliber – with images taken from a Google search, overlaid with some color filters and given glowing titles to evoke that “otherworldly-ness” that is in these books.

That’s what these are.  They’re someone’s alternative cover post on social media.  Heck, I’ve seen things on social media that feel like they had more effort put into them.  And I am going to come right out and say that I am not impressed.

The hard part is, I love this series to death.  I love Libba Bray.  Her Gemma Doyle books stole my breath away and The Diviners did as well.  I want to buy the book and support her.  I want it in hardcover, to match the other two hardcovers already on my shelf.

But I don’t want to look at that cover when it’s next to my much nicer looking ones.

I know a while back the fandom for The Winner’s Curse had a similar problem and banded together and convinced the publishers to at least publish the hardcover with the cover they were using in the UK, that was still in tune with the original covers for the first two in the series that were already published.  I don’t think the Diviners fandom is big enough to do that, at least I haven’t heard enough on here to say that for sure, but I just wish that we didn’t have to do that at all.

;tldr What I am trying to say is that I don’t agree when publishers decide to make a cover change mid-series.  There is no need.  You’ve already established a look for this series.  You want a new fresh outlook?  Do it later, when you want a revamp after the series is complete.  Do it for an anniversary edition.  Do it for the paperbacks only.  Just, please stop hurting us, the fans and consumers.  I’m sure not everyone agrees with me, I’m sure plenty don’t care, and that’s cool for you.  But I do.  I know plenty who do as well.  It’s your choice, but for me, I am just tired of seeing these changes constantly happening before the entire series is complete.

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