Musing About Things: Mid-Series Cover Change


Hi guys, welcome to Book Munchies’ Musing about Things: A Discussion (Post). Inspired by memes such as Books and a Beat‘s Musing Monday & Caffeinated Book Reviewer‘s Caffeinated Confessions (etc.), this is a Book Munchies discussion post, where I’ll be rambling about (mostly) book-related things and hopefully you guys will join in on the fun too (:

So today’s topic is: Mid-Series Cover Changes (rant)!

Okay, so I don’t mind cover changes, usually when it’s from hardcover to paperback, but I truly don’t understand what the publishers are thinking to change cover styles in the middle of the series!

Maybe it’s done to fit in with the latest craze of covers, but gosh dang it, it really hurts when my book collection doesn’t match. I’m not sure if they understand the pain that is when your series doesn’t match!

As you might have noticed, right now in the YA world, it’s pretty popular to have the “girl staring at you all kickass” cover, which I mean, that’s cool, I love a kickass heroine as much as the next, but pleeeease, couldn’t you save those for the paperback versions?

Two recently examples are The Dark Days Club and Rebel of the Sands:

 I own the first books, and I’m really debating picking up the second in hardcover because what uuugh, no matchy. And more than them not matching, but serious disappointment that they went from these gorgeous covers that were detailed and unique to  basically ever other YA book on the market right now. I’ll still read the books, but yes, a cover change is enough for me to consider not buying it.

(The UK version of Traitor to the Throne matches the original cover series, buuuut it’s a paperback….which mixing hardcover/paperback is a totally separate thing we won’t get into a the moment, ha)

If you guys remember, there was a pretty big debacle with The Winner’s Trilogy when the The Winner’s Kiss was being released.

There was going to be a change in the cover style of the last book and oh people were not happy. Instead of a beautiful matching set with the gorgeous dresses, they were going to do the “Badass girl” cover (which I can only assume was due to the super success of the Throne of Glass series…which we’ll also get into to later).

There was quite a bit of backlash of I remember correctly, and I’m glad that they listened to the readers, because we the readers are usually also the consumers. And maybe the cover change can draw in some new attention but cheesing off a bunch of hardcore book readers who obsess about how their book series look is not a good plan.

Now, Throne of Glass series. I’m pretty sure it set the trend for the “Badass girl” covers. Which ironically, it too, had a cover change, though quite early in the series (thankfully).

I’ll admit, I like the cover change, it’s got a little more pazazz than just “close up of girl’s face”. But again, I own the whole series up to date, and my copy of Throne of Glass is the original cover, which sadly doesn’t match the rest of the series, but I’m too cheap to buy another copy of a book I own (I think that’s fair right?).

One is not like the others.

Anyway, the point of all of this is: I don’t like when they change covers in the middle of the series.

to mid-series cover change!


So do you also hate cover changes mid-series? Or you don’t mind too much?

Does it affect whether you buy the complete series or not?

What are some of your favourite or least favourite cover changes?


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

40 Replies to “Musing About Things: Mid-Series Cover Change”

  1. I am not big on series or collecting but I think that it is silly to change mid series. I agree with you that they should save the changes for the paperback versions!!! With your first two examples I prefer the original style to the new for sure. I also agree the ToG change was for the better though.

    1. I have no will power and love collecting series haha, so it’s extra frustrating when they don’t match! Glad you agree! The original ones are so much more unique!

  2. I’m also not that crazy for cover changes. The Off-Camus series by Elle Kennedy recently changed covers and I’m not a fan of the new one. Great post, Cyn. 🙂

    1. Oh I didn’t know that! I liked the original covers, haha. That’s too bad! Thanks, Jess!

  3. It depends on the cover and how early they change it! But they have now changed the covers for Libba Bray’s series The Diviners and I am soooo angry! Not only will none of my copies (which are personalized to me) match, but the third cover is so UGLY! I loved the first books cover! It was pretty and it looked like my kind of book. I mean I’m still going to own the 3rd book but I’m just so angry they’ve changed them now 3 times!

    1. Oh yeah, how could I forget about the Diviners series! The first cover was so pretty! I was definitely when they changed it. I just looked up third book and whaaat the heck! None of them make any sense together 🙁 Argg, what a pain!

  4. The newer Throne of Glass is WAY better than the old one so that’s a positive change but why why why were they changing the Winner’s Kiss cover? I LOVE those covers and they’re so eye catching. I’m actually one of those weirdos who doesn’t worry too much about cover changes but it drives my husband CRAZY. It even bugs him when my books don’t match! Great topic!

    1. Agree, glad they changed the Throne of Glass covers! But yes, I can’t believe they wanted to change the Winner’s Kiss! I was actually sad when they changed the way the title was positioned after the first cover haha.

  5. Huh, I rarely buy books, so I can’t say I’ve ever really thought about different covers or having a matching set of a series! As a librarian though it is frustrating when a series completely changes the look of its covers partway through – you get so used to a cover art style that it can totally throw you off when you’re trying to find a book for a patron!!

    1. Haha I could imagine the frustration, just walking right by it and wondering where the heck the book is! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  6. YES, I agree. Most of the series I own in hardcover thankfully have not had this happen. I remember when the Shatter Me series did a cover change. I liked it, but was so mad.

    1. Oh that’s lucky! I have a few that’s changed on me, but thankfully not too many.
      I liked the Shatter Me cover change too, but I totally understand the frustration!

  7. I do most of my reading on kindle anymore so I don’t get quite as upset as I used to but why do they do this?!?! I also hate it when a series switches from paperback to hardcover or vise versa. My shelves don’t like this!

    1. Oh my gosh, yes! I have a few series that are mixed paperback and hardcover on my shelves and it looks a little silly, haha.

  8. It does bother me too much! I don’t collect a lot of books but when I do collect them, I want them all to match! Also I do live the girl badass cover IF DONE RIGHT because some of them just look super cheesy! This is what happened to The Winner’s Curse trilogy. The girl badass cover IS super cheesy. I do like The Throne of Glass series because it is more ethereal and really does match the feel of the story so I am super glad they changed the cover!

    I also love the older historical romance cover changes! YAY YAY YAY! I think it was a trend years ago to just have a house in the middle of a garden, a cottage set in the mountains… meh covers and they totally updated those to ladies in gowns or the couple! YAY! 🙂

    1. Agree! The girl badass definitely needs to be done right or else it’s so lame. The Throne of Glass ones are pretty awesome.
      I really like the pretty gowns HR covers right now! A good balance between the super (cheesy) Fabio-hair covers and the house/scenic covers.

  9. I haven’t read The Winner’s Trilogy, but it seems like the change in the last book is symbolic. I mean, Idk, but that’s why I assume by looking at them. But yeah, it’s weird when they change drastically mid-series.

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure if it’s suppose to be symbolic or what, but I was not a fan so I’m glad they kept the same cover style for the hardcover. They did release the paperback in full matching set with the “Badass girl” though.

  10. Mid-series cover changes are the WORST! *Even* if the new covers are better (like with ToG) it’s still annoying.

    I’ve noticed that almost disturbing trend that Penguin has… Book One will be released with X cover, and then around the time that Book Two’s cover should be released, there is an even longer wait and then… Book Two’s cover is completely different, as is Book One’s paperback cover! WHY, PENGUIN, WHY?! Let’s see… Rebel of the Sands trilogy, The Dark Days Club trilogy, The Wrath and the Dawn duology, Zodiac quartet (though the covers stayed somewhat similar) and then some standalones – The Accident Season, The Forbidden Wish… I’m surprised The Glittering Court/Midnight Jewel hasn’t suffered that cover change yet. Honestly it’s so painful! I know publishers like to repackage series with new covers, but like, usually it’s years down the road? Like the Mortal Instruments trilogy (the original one) – those got repackaged recently, which makes sense because the first book published ten years ago. -_- Le sigh! I could complain for days about mid-series cover changes. No thanks, publishers!

    Anyway, wonderful post, Cyn! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I was sad about the Forbidden Wish cover change, even though I do like the cover now, the original over (or I guess the prequel novella now) was so beautiful! Yeah, I don’t mind repackaging later when everything has been released, but please, they need to stop with the mid-series changes!
      I feel like there was so much potential for the Dark Days Club/Pact, I’m really sad about that change.

  11. I don’t buy very many hardbacks so the covers don’t bother me that much. However, I do agree it is annoying when you get the cover change midway. I am not a fan of the girls on the covers with the dresses. We have seen that so many times. The orginal Throne of Glass book is awful. It doesn’t fit the story at all. One that still bugs me is the Naked Werewolf Series by Molly Harper. The first two covers were fun and cartoonish and the last one was a girl in a jacket bare legged in the snow. Totally didn’t go with the others.

    1. Oh, yes I remember the Naked Werewolf covers, they were so cute and cartoon-y, but yeah what the heck last book! I feel like, is it so hard publishers, to just make that last book match! Sigh.

  12. I HATE mid series cover changes! HATE!!! I had know idea about The Winner’s Kiss. I must have missed all of that. I’m so happy they listened to people. I love those covers. I do like the new ToG covers better. I have the original hardcover and it’s signed so I’m not replacing it. Thankfully I’m not a huge fan of the series or else I would hate my mismatched copies! Great post!

    1. It’s just so annoying right! I’m definitely glad they listen to readers too for the Winner’s Trilogy!
      Yeah, at this point I don’t care enough to spend more money to make my Throne of Glass series to match, so that’s that I guess, haha.
      Thanks, Lori!

  13. The cover change with The Dark Days Pact is particularly egregious, in my opinion. The cover for the first book is so beautiful – and actually represents Lady Helen – whereas the cover change looks so generic and kinda cheap? Ugh. The worst mid-series cover change I’ve seen is for Holly Black’s Curse Worker trilogy: every single book in the trilogy has a different, non-matching cover. RAGE! Hahaha.

    1. Agree! I’m definitely disappointed in The Dark Days Pact cover, it could have been amazing!
      Whaaat! A whole series where none of the books match!? What a pain!

  14. I definitely agree with you on this. Why change mid-series when they know it’s going to make their readers crazy? I’m sure it’s all a marketing thing, and I get that they want to draw in new readers, but it’s pretty frustrating for those who have been loyally following all along.

    1. I’m guessing it’s for marketing too but boo! Can’t they save the change for the paperbacks or repackaging later on!

  15. I hate cover changes (pretty much all the time) with a fiery passion. And yes mid series changes are the worst! Ugh!

    1. You and me both. Mid-series is definitely the worst!

  16. I really can’t stand cover changes especially when its mid series and doesn’t even closely match the other previous covers. I know for publishers its all about making as much money as possible, but for readers its frustrating and annoying and I wish they would stop.

    1. I definitely wouldn’t mind if the publishers stopped! Or at least listened to the readers a bit? I get sometimes there needs to be a change. But changing great covers to basic one is so disappointing!

  17. I have never understood the compulsion to do this. And it drives me nuts. Don’t publishers understand the need of book collectors to have COHESIVENESS in their series? I mean … unless they do it because they think we will buy more retroactively to match the new cover schema? But … I can’t imagine that actually happens enough to justify it. Because money is a scarce resource as it is, and money for BOOKS is even more limited. Love your examples!

  18. Yesss, it’s super annoying when they change covers mid-series, like what are we going to do with the rest of the books that don’t match? That’s why I ended up with another copy of The Song Rising, because I wanted the collector’s hardback to match my other 2 books. But I don’t know what I’m going to do about the rest of the series.

  19. I agree, I really don’t like when they change cover mid-series. I’m a little OCD tho, so I think it’s just because I like them all to match on my shelves. lol! That and you already have an idea of certain things based off of the original cover and then when they change it they look completely different. I think the Throne of Glass series does look a lot better since the change but I’m not usually all for it. lol

  20. Oh my gosh, yes! I so agree. Those first two ones, especially Dark Days, really bugged me because I like the first covers more and, like you, I wanted matching covers. I think sometimes these publishers need a better ear in their marketing departments to us readers, right?!! I do have to say that I feel bad for the authors who have no say in all of this. Hopefully they won’t screw up any of my other series anytime soon. One can hope, right?

  21. I agree with you! Changing the covers may bring in a few new readers – but then, those new readers will need to get the first books, too, no? And if they are like us, they’re going to wonder about the different covers as well.
    I don’t buy that many paperbacks (and hardly ever hardbacks, only of favorite books), and I usually wait until all the books are released to do so. For this exact reason. And if there is a cover change, I might just not get them at all…
    Great discussion, Cyn!

  22. I actually love the cover change for Rebel of the Sands and Traitor to the Throne. The original cover for Rebel didn’t really appeal to me but once I saw the cover for the sequel, I just wanted to get my hands on both books ASAP! Some cover changes work but others, not so much, like The Winner’s Curse (it should have stayed with the original. At least they kept them as hardbacks). I’m glad the cover for TOG changed since the cover of the girl alone was meh to me.
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  23. I saw this on the SATURDAY SITUATION link up and had to click – I ABSOLUTELY HATE when covers change mid series. Normally they aren’t as attractive, and personally I like it when they match. When I put up a library display I’ll have these awesome early covers and then the later books in the series stick out like a sore thumb. I actually didn’t buy the rest of Andrea Cremer’s NIGHTSHADE series because of the cover change after book 1. I hated it. I did get the series for the school library and students complained about the new covers as well.
    I also hate when books change sizes, I want the whole series to line up nicely.

  24. Omigosh! Cyn, cover changes make my left eye twitch. Seriously. I’m just like you in that I want the series to match. If I buy them, I want them to line up perfectly and look like they all belong together. So I get you. I don’t understand the new craze of changing the covers mid-series. It’s annoying and I wish they’d JUST STOP. (especially when I really like the original covers 😉 )
    Great post!

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