Skip to main content

Cover Talk: Hardcover to Paperback

Lots of books get cover changes when they switch from hardcover to paperback. Some I think are for the better and others are not. This is partly a He Said, She Said post too, since Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan was sitting next to me on the couch as I wrote this.
First up: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

-I like this hardcover-it's creepy and actually has something from the book-there are mysterious messages scratched into school desks. But then the paperback had to go and change to this:

-Which I really, really hate. Yes, there's a romance in the book, but it's not the focus. Cryer's Cross is more of a horror story, but you would never know it looking at this cover. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan even commented on this one and said "I would never pick up a book with that cover" which I think is what makes me dislike this change so much-it takes a book that had a nice, gender neutral cover and pushes it over into "girls only" territory. And I really hate the idea of "girl books" and "boy books" but teens buy into that marketing, so I think this only looses a potential audience for Cryer's Cross.

Next up: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

-I like this hardcover-it's generic and a bit creepy. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says he likes this cover because it's generic. I like it because it tells you just enough about the story without giving a lot of details.

-Now the paperback. I don't mind the change and think it's appealing, but I do think the mysterious eyes are a bit overdone in YA, so that part annoys me a bit. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says "I'd be less inclined to pick this one up because of the sultry male eyes staring into my soul."

Now another cover change that went from good to bad. Exposed by Kimberly Marcus.

-I love this cover! It's dark, it shows pain, and it tells me this will be an "issue-driven" novel. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan actually took notice of this one and said it was nice and that it was "sleek, professional and I would have no problem carrying it around." But then they went and did this:

-I think it's pretty bad. It looks like a typical YA and while it doesn't look like a happy ending story, it just looks like everything else out there I would gloss over this cover and not pay attention to it. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says "it looks like a self-help pamphlet. I'm getting depressed just looking at it." I agree!

Next up-Across the Universe by Beth Revis.

-Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan and I both like this cover. It's artistic and beautiful and I think it's really unique which makes it stand out for me. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan said "while it's a beautiful cover, I wouldn't want to carry it around-very feminine."

-The paperback is a really nice change. I think it's still unique and it still really stands out to me. I also think even though there's a girl on the cover, I think it's more gender neutral than the hardcover. As Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan says "this has a clearly sci-fi feel, and while I'm a fantasy fan and don't want to be carrying around a sci-fi book, I would be ok with this one. It almost has a dystopian feel to the cover which the other cover clearly didn't have."

Here's one we both felt had a fantastic hardcover to paperback change: Shift by Jennifer Bradbury.

-I like the hardcover, it's got a nice element of mystery, but it's a bit bland. So I'm thrilled that the paperback looks like this:

-When I showed this cover to Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan, he sat up and took notice and "what book was that?" He was immediately drawn to it as was I. We both agree there's much more mystery to this cover and it's a really interesting cover. The upside down feel makes you take notice and it stands out. Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan said "as soon as I saw it, I wanted to pick it up and read it, until I saw the hardcover. The hardcover was so comparatively bad, it made me not even want to read this one." I'm still going to work on him though and maybe the paperback will convince him!

So what do you think? Like or dislike these cover changes? Seen any others around that have changed-for better or for worse?


  1. "self-help pamphlet" I love it! And they really did ruin a really good cover in Exposed. The original cover really spoke to the story. Now as you said, it's very generic.

  2. I agree with your opinions for myself, but I think Exposed and Cryer's Cross will have more readers with their new covers - and also maybe Ship Breaker. A lot of girls seem to want a cover they can identify with or that involves a cute guy. Exposed now has a "North of Beautiful" look to it, and I see lots of girls pick that one up after the cover catches their eye. I would like to have copies in both covers, ideally!

  3. hate , the new covers except across the universe

  4. it takes a book that had a nice, gender neutral cover and pushes it over into "girls only" territory

    yes! i couldn't agree more. i LIKE the cover, bear in mind, but...well, it barely has anything to do with the central story of the book. how unfair to the author--she's probably losing a lot of potential male readers over this. or not, i dunno, but just saying.

    and i had no clue they changed the cover 4 AtU. i thought the hardcover was nice enough, and the new one's not too bad but it sort of does make it a little more girly...

  5. My favorite change is for Shift. I haven't heard of it before now, but the paperback cover is enough to make me want to read it. I'm incredibly disappointed in Cryer's Cross and Exposed. I have the hardcover copies in my classroom library, but I absolutely will not buy the paperbacks. They do nothing for the books :(

  6. I agree about the Cryer's Cross cover, I dislike it when books that are very much gender neutral have girly covers!

    I also like the new ATU cover better than the old one, and I agree that showing a close-up of a girl's face or mysterious eyes is overdone.
    As These Pages Fly

  7. I HATE it when publishers change the paperback copy. All of the ones that you included are not bad but Cryer's Cross, come on! No boy is going to want to read that anymore. The hardcover has so many boys in my library checking it out!

  8. Ohhhhhh, Cryer's Cross. Why? A boy will never pick up the book now.

    I don't mind the others and I really like the AtheU pbk cover a lot!



Post a Comment

I love hearing from other readers! Share your thoughts and chime in!

Popular posts from this blog

Contact Me

  I love to hear from fellow readers and librarians! Send me an email to say hello! You can reach me at greenbeanteenqueen (at) gmail (dot) com

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 5/5 Stars Genre: Realistic Fiction Release Date: 2/26/2013 Add to Goodreads About the Book: Eleanor and Park are both misfits. When new girl Eleanor sits next to Park on the bus, they don't want anything to do with each other. But over the course of the school year, things change. It starts with comic books and becomes a friendship and a romance that the two will never forget. You never forget your first love. GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Have you ever had a book sit on your shelf that you've heard so much hype about? And you think that books sounds like it would be right up your alley, but you're in a reading slump and you're afraid to give it a try unless it fails? I knew Eleanor and Park sounded like my perfect book, but I was in such an after committee slump that I even though I knew this book would help, I just didn't want to be disappointed. I should have known better because Eleanor and Park was perfect and everything that I had hoped it wou

13 District Mockingjay Tour: District 4

Hello and welcome to District Four. I'm sorry that Finnick isn't here to be your host. I know as a member of District Four I should be cheering for my own tribute, but after watching the last two Hunger Games play out I have fallen in love with Peeta Mellark! Why do I love Peeta? He's smart, he's funny, and he's charming. He stands up for what he believes, he's loyal and he's not afraid to do what's right. He's sensitive and caring but can also be strong and kick butt. He fights for Katniss and with Katniss. Peeta is a great diplomat and he knows how to bring people together. He can also be sneaky to get what he wants. Plus, did I mention he can bake? And he's hot!! But it's not just me! We have an underground club of sorts here in District Four-Seafaring Librarians for Peeta! Here's what some of our members had to say about their love for Peeta: - Team Peeta!! I love their relationship because they balance each other perfectly. Where