Thursday, May 09, 2013


I don't know about you, but I like the series I read to look like series. I used to be batty about them being the same size, but I got over that. I figure if I need to read it, I'm buying it no matter what size it is. The cover art, though... It has to look like a series for me. Amy Plum's Revenant series got it right:

These covers go together. Theme, color saturation, font, filigree. All of it. They're gorgeous on their own, and stunning altogether. This is a series done right. Another couple exmples: Leah Clifford's A Touch series, and Kiersten White's Paranormalcy series.

It really makes me cranky when a publisher changes the theme/style for a series' cover in the middle. You expect them to look similar, like the examples above, so you know what you're looking for when you go to the bookstore, so they present a single theme. It really throws me off when covers change, when the cover artists, or marketing department makes a change that really seems to jump the shark. I can't be the only one so nutty about covers, right?

For example, the Nightshade series, by Andrea Cremer:

The cover for the first has a hint of feral wth her eye color, but it's harder to guess the genre or subject matter from the image. Flowers? Pretty blonde? Wispy hair? Intense expression? What is this cover saying, exactly? For me, it's very hard to guess the story content from the image, until I look at her eyes.

Then you have the cover for the sequel:
This one screams paranormal, it has the word 'wolf' in the title, and it has it in the feel of the cover, too. We've gone from just animal eye color to a more agreesive crouching pose, like the model could pounce. The dark background shouts this is a paranormal book. The moon on high behind her cinches it. I would know this is a werewolf book without the title or blurb.

Do the two go together? Not to me. Not at all. It make my image-oriented nit-picky brain kinda twitchy.

How about another example from a very popular YA series?

The cover for Beth Revis's Across the Universe sold me even before I read the first chapter online. The colors, the design... *covets* You knew it was sci-fi, you knew it was star-crossed lovers, or a story set in space, maybe both in one. I HAD TO HAVE IT. The close, almost-kiss position of the models on the cover says so much about the story, the gorgeous starry sky says a lot about it too.

Then, the sequel cover was released. I was amoung the hundreds waiting, wiping foam from the corners of my mouth. And the cover did not disappoint:
They are BEAUTIFUL together. *contented sigh* The artist did a fantastic job of rendering an amazing sequel into one concise image. Again, you know this is a sci-fi, space, and romance in one novel. The colors are to die for gorgeous. The models say so much, possibly holding hands, his head bowed, her hand reaching for something beyond their bubble of life. Yep. It's perfect with its predecessor, and a perfect summary of the story.

After these covers I was dying for the third. Imagine my shock and, yes, diappointment when the cover for the final book was revealed...
So not like the others, it was almost a smack in my panty-drooly-gimme more face. Where's the wistful colors, the sense of yearning in the models? Wait! Where are the models?? Sure, the vast majority of this story takes place on a planet, not a spaceship, but it's just so DIFFERENT. Nothing similar in composition, style, color, not even font, and no models. Yes, it fits elements of the novel, but I do not believe it fits the story as well as the others fit theirs. (I still liked the case you were wondering. I had to have it despite the mismatched cover)

Now, when you look at all the paperback versions of this series, the three have a definite theme and continuity, all close to the cover above. I feel a tad cheated I didn't get a pretty third cover, and I know if I hadn't seen the original cover, I would've missed out on an amazing series.

What about you? Are you nutso about cover art continuity? Does the cover image matter to you? Do you have examples of cover series gone wrong? 


  1. I HATE different sized books.. I haven't gotten over it yet, not sure if I ever well.. I agree, amy plum's books LOOK like a series. and you're right, the nightshade trilogy's covers are so random. However I have to point out that across the universe, the reason for the third book's different cover is because they changed the covers for the full series.. not because the designers choose the cover while blindfolded :P

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  2. I guess I never really thought about it before - no neuroses here :) - but I definitely like the continuity and Amy Plum's covers are some of the prettiest ones ever designed IMO. I just got done reading Sweet Peril and you could definitely tell it was related to Sweet Evil. Jennifer Armentrout's Lux series is also well done in that respect too.

  3. I completely agree. I like them to look pretty on my shelf!!


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