Are publishers so desperate to market old books to new readers that they have to change the covers so that they will appeal to new readers? On most fronts, I would say this is a great idea. I’ve seen countless examples in the library of older books being released with a new cover, one which might appeal to more people in the current day. Book covers are generally artistic now, bright and appealing with fresh artwork or photography. People will pass on a dingy cover for a new one everytime. But what do you think about this:
The success of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series and the stylistic artwork on those covers makes them instantly recognizable. So, it’s not surprising that HarperCollins decided to release Pride and Prejudice in paperback with a “brand new” cover. It will draw the young adult readers, especially if it is placed near the Twilight books on displays. Notice the new tagline at the top “The love that started it all”. This will also certainly catch any readers that might not be aware that this is a classic work of fiction.
But is this really the right way to do marketing? Will it sell more books? Probably, but it’s cheating, in a way. Maybe we should think about changing the outside of the library building to make it look like a famous landmark or a hot nightclub (might get in the young adult readers?).
I guess it’s the old adage, “Never judge a book by its cover”, but it certainly is an interesting new tactic from publishing companies to try to revive interest in older books. What do you think?