Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another bad cover

Along the lines of Ten Cents a Dance in terms of a downgrade in cover design between the hard cover and the paper back is one of my other favorite reads in the past year, The Adoration of Jenna Fox.

This is the hardcover:


It's intriguing and leaves a lot to the reader's imagination. You have no idea what the story will be about, and for this book in particular, this is important. Readers who go in with an idea of the book won't get the pleasure of unraveling the mystery.

But then, there's the paperback:


Now, we have a picture of Jenna. And you know what? It ruins the story. Although the cover really doesn't tell the story, readers go in with an idea or readers who go in blind and find out what happens will ultimately see this as a disservice. I think it looks like a lot of other covers and, well, it doesn't draw me in as a reader as much as the hard cover -- even the colors are gone!

Which do you like better? If you've read it, what do you think about the decision to add a person to the paperback? How about that big spoiler?

5 comments:

  1. I like the hardcovers better. But the hardcover was too abstract for my teens (I think). The book only circulated three times, but when we voted on books for Teen Book Club (using the paperback cover), it was the second pick.

    While the paperback gives a lot away [a lot!], I also think it draws teens in.

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  2. I adored the hardcover and didn't think I could love another cover as much, but I have to admit, I was thrilled with the paperback version. I think if you've already read the story, yes, you see the clues and it might give something away, but I wonder if that is true if you haven't read it? I just visited a high school where the whole student body read the paperback and it didn't seem to give anything away, although maybe it would if you were not already suspecting Jenna's secret.
    I know covers are SO important to readers--they sure are to me too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  3. Thanks for replying, Mary! Wow, I feel like we're famous when an author responds.

    As someone who went in with NO idea what the book was about, I loved being given no context to the story with the hard cover's image. So, I guess, too, it's hard for me to judge how I would have felt if I initially went into the paper back the same way. The paperback reminds me a bit of "Jennifer Government."

    I love insight from the authors themselves!

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  4. And I love hearing insights from readers! Thanks, Kelly.

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  5. Well, we know how I feel about real people on the covers of books, but I like the puzzle piece aspect of the paperback a lot. I don't think it gives anything away, but when you finish reading the book, the cover will have more meaning. It's sort of like the cover for Bernard Beckett's Genesis, although Genesis' was a bit more sneaky (and therefore awesome).

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