Refurbishing an Old Book

Posted on February 15, 2012 in Reading / 2 Comments

As a blogger, I am immensely guilty of changing the layout of my blog at whim, sometimes multiple times a day.  I get bored with the visual aesthetic and even if nobody else is looking at it, I want to look at something different.  That doesn’t mean I’m about to go off and change my design right now.  Today, my irritation is more based around the way cover art on a book changes.  And changes and changes and changes.

Yeah, I’m the tool who went out and bought the edition of the combined trilogy with the Nazgul on the cover.

To be honest, I like having the different options on cover art when I go to a book store to buy a book.  It is interesting, and I can choose the cover I like best (never considering that the editions change the worth and nostalgia of the book….)  Do I think it’s a little silly that every time a movie comes out, they immediately re-print the books with a snazzed up new cover?  Yes.  But hey, if sticking Orlando Bloom on the cover of The Fellowship of the Ring gets non-readers to dive into Tolkien, then more power to them.

What I don’t like is when not only the cover art of a book is changed, but the title of the book as well.  WHY?

At Borders’ big closing sale last summer, I scraped and saved all my extra cash from my paychecks in order to waste every penny of it on Borders’ discounted books.  This led to the purchase of anything-that-looks-vaguely-interesting.  One of the books I picked up was Skinned by Robin Wasserman.  Sound familiar?  Probably not, since when I checked on her website, she doesn’t have a book called “Skinned”.  But she does have a book with the same exact description called “Frozen”.  The name of the book, the trilogy and the cover art has been changed.


Don’t get me wrong, you can still purchase “Skinned” on as well as “Frozen”.  What I am confused about is: why?  I have never seen this before.  I have seen cover art change often, but the book title, the trilogy title?  What would be the motivation behind that?  I can understand why it would happen in the pre-publishing stage – maybe the publisher/editor/agent doesn’t think the current title is suitable… but after the entire series has already been published?

There is an answer:  a desire for accuracy.  I could write it all down for you, or you could head on over and read it here.



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2 responses to “Refurbishing an Old Book

  1. While I have to say I prefer the second covers, that gets a major “the heck?” response from me. It might get people who never read the book the first time to check it out again, but it’ll also get people who read the original books to buy them again without even realizing what they are! That is just weird.

    I remember there being some similar weirdness with the North American editions of the Skulduggery Pleasant books; they were first released (or maybe secondly–I can’t even tell) as Skulduggery Pleasant, Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire, and Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones, but then somehow they got redone as Skulduggery Pleasant: The Scepter of the Ancients and so on. It was baffling.

    • I can understand different edition in different countries having different covers, or even changing the name a little when a series is named, but changing ALL the packaging is a little peculiar to me. I understand it from a marketing perspective, but I don’t think that the new title (at least, “Frozen”) is very applicable to the book. :-/

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