Thursday, March 08, 2007

Questioning cover art

I've mentioned here before that I am not a slave to cover art for juvenile and young adult fiction. Picture books? That is another issue completely since they are, by virtue of their nature, about the illustrations. I can not say an attractive cover does not catch my attention when rifling through a new cart of books, but when I am making a decision to buy the book it is from reading the review and determining it's subsequent fit into our juvenile collection.

Within the last few weeks we have received the first two parts of Christopher Pike's Alsosha trilogy. Pictured on the far left is the hardcover version of the first book, Alosha. The islands are somewhat representative of what Ali, aka Alosha, describes as visions of her homeland in the book and it is a visually appealing cover. But, it is not a great fit for book genre or the age level of reader it is trying to attract (IMHO). This morning book two of the trilogy arrived and it looks completely different from the first; it definitely has the fantasy/graphic novel/edgy approach more in keeping with the book's concept. Out of curiosity, I searched Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the rest of the series and found the paperback cover of Alosha, the book on the far right. The paperback cover works with the covers for the rest of the series and I simply question the differences.

I understand the paperback and hardcover versions of books may be different. I checked the hardback and paperback covers of books two and three and they are identicle. So, why would a publisher a trilogy's cover art after the first one? Maybe they lost the artist. Maybe they don't care. Maybe they didn't think anyone would notice. Anyone purchasing the first book with the original cover, wanting to have the full set, is going to be confused when the second and third title look so different; there is no cohesiveness. Maybe it's not such a big deal, but I would have been peeved if my Harry Potter books had changed so drastically midstream. Plus, if the publisher is looking for trilogy branding and visual reminders, these different covers miss the mark. Guess it's will just be one of those things that make me wonder.

Tags: Juvenile books cover art, Alosha trilogy, Juvenile fiction, Juvenile fantasy genre

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