Why Change the Book Cover Design?

Posted May 7, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 8 Comments


This week, something that really annoyed me was the new paperback book cover for How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid. The originally cover was gorgeous, nothing too elaborate but it really stood out now the new cover looks too much like it’s trying to be a self-help book. Which I get, it looks almost exactly the same as the famous book on economics Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki.  This got me thinking, why do they change the style of book designs, if they have something that works so well?

I’m sure there is a lot to do with marketing strategies and who owns the publishing rights for a book yet I still find myself annoyed. What is more annoying is when you see a book change cover designs halfway through a series. Are they just trying to make sure everyone has to go out and buy all the books again so they all match on the bookshelf? Good marketing strategy but that is just mean to the readers and book collectors out there. I have a series of books which I bought from a book website (which I will leave nameless) and when all the books came they were the same style but they are different heights, so it still looks weird on the book shelf. Sometimes book cover designers do things that really annoy me.

I’m sure there are many people out there that just don’t care that much about different covers or if the book is in hardback or paperback. For me, it is almost like they went out of their way to annoy me; I don’t think I’m OCD but little things like cover design and the different sizes of the books really set me off; especially when it’s on a bookshelf staring and teasing me all day long. How about you? Are there things that annoy you about book designs? Let me know in the comments below.

8 responses to “Why Change the Book Cover Design?

  1. Mish

    Change of book cover for a sand alone book doesn’t annoy me as such but the change of book cover & the size within a series utterly peeves me off. Like you, I tried to keep the series together, on the small shelf that I have, but the wave effect of the different sizes throws me off so I’ve stored them away in boxes. And they don’t look a set with the odd covers.

    So yes I totally understand your frustration.

  2. I am reading this book right now and I love it! I have the cool water hardcover version; not sure I would have picked it up with the new cover.

    I have to admit I’m not much a fan of pocket-size paperbacks. Otherwise, in general I don’t really care about hardcover vs. paperback (physically). Sometimes though the paperback has a better cover (like “Arcadia” by Lauren Groff)!

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