Friday, 18 January 2013

The Importance of Matching Book Covers

So, since I'm stuck inside waiting for the phone to ring and work to tell me that the roads are far too treacherous and I shouldn't even attempt to make the journey in, I thought I'd write a little blog post about something I hate even more than snow.

Now, call me crazy or anal or whatever, but I like series of books to have the same covers. To match. It makes them look good on my shelf and it makes me happy. The Harry Potter books are a good example (for most people, not for me because even though mine match, they're actually in a box on top of the bookshelf rather than out on display. Also, books in boxes, a good idea with a fatal flaw that I'll save for discussion in another post.) But the books, despite being released over a period of ten years, all had matching covers, both the original children's ones and the later adult ones. This is good.

This week, the third book in the Immortal Beloved series by Cate Tiernan was released. I was given the first two books as a Christmas present and, though I haven't read them yet, I decided to buy the third one anyway, so I could read them all together as a series. Except I've hit a snag. These are the quite beautiful covers that I already have:


Pretty, right? And they were only released in this design last year - I believe it was January 2012. So, here we are just a year after these books were released and the third instalment is in shops. Want to see the cover? I'm sure it'll match these ones. They won't have done a completely different cover for the last book, that would be ridiculous.

Oh, wait. See, now I have a dilemma. Do I wait and see if the pretty covers (because let's face it, the first two are much prettier than this new one) get a matching partner, or do I just bite the bullet and buy this one and try not to let it bother me too much? Because it does bother me. I know that's my problem and not the publishers' (though if I don't buy it, then I suppose I'll make it their problem, because obviously losing one book sale is a huge drama for them) but I can't understand why publishers keep doing this during the publication of series. My Sookie Stackhouse books don't match, I have three different cover styles at least. My Anita Blake books don't match, I've got two or three types of those (two styles, but one of the styles I have in paperback and hardback, which bothers me just as much). My Mortal Instruments books don't match because the people in Waterstones lied to me about the release date of the paperback (I have the first four in paperback and the fifth also in paperback but it's a lot taller and a different shape, but the one that would match was due to be released just two days after I bought the non-matching one.)

It drives me crazy. And I'd like it stop now. I'd also like to know I'm not the only person that this bothers, because it can't just be me. I refuse to believe it's just me.


  1. It's not just you.
    It bothers me as well and I really don't know why they keep doing this. Most of the time, the new covers aren't even an improvement... I'm a graphic designer/photographer, so I know what I'm talking about.
    But I have one huge advantage... I normally wait until a series is compleat and then I buy the whole series at once.
    I know this would be a disaster if everyone would do that, because most of the series would probably not be continued if nobody buys them...
    I just hope they stop doing that... -_-

    1. I'm so glad it's not just me!

      And I've developed a tendency towards waiting for a series to be finished before I buy it now, but it's just not always possible. Mostly because I sometimes buy a book and not even realise it's part of a series!