Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 35

Thread: Another Boys and YA Thread

  1. #1
    Who rules?! Hyrules! Liosse de Velishaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Second star on the right and on 'til morning.
    Posts
    10,055

    Another Boys and YA Thread

    So I was in B&N today, and I saw that they had re-issued Anne McCaffrey's Tower and Hive/Talents series. I was glad because I loved those books when I was younger.

    But then I was sad. Because thy put new covers on the reprints, and those covers are awful. Or at least to me they seemed that way. I remember the old, science-fictiony covers from when I read the books, whereas the new covers are ones I've heard described as "Harlequiny".

    And if it were a romance series, I wouldn't mind, but it is most definite;y a science-fiction series, and not only that, I know it appealed to girls and boys when it first came out.

    But if I were to come upon the series now, I absolutely would never have picked it up. I don't like the covers, and even if I was impartial aesthetically, the cover screeams "Not for you!" to me.

    Am I wrong? Did these books mainly appeal to a male demographic and now they're trying to get female readers to give the series a chance?

    This isn't so much a boys don't get no respect thread as me just wondering if this is a trend we're going to be running into more. (I mean, it is, but that's not my only question.) Maybe they just felt the old covers needed an update? But then why leave out any science-fictiony elements?







  2. #2
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    6,863
    Well I googled and I see a few different ones. I'm assuming you mean the close ups of girls? I'm not sure. Maybe you could link?

  3. #3
    Who rules?! Hyrules! Liosse de Velishaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Second star on the right and on 'til morning.
    Posts
    10,055
    Yes, I mean those covers.


    ETA: Links now above.

  4. #4
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    6,863
    They don't look at all like romance to me? Are the protagonists female? The others focused on the girls too, but further away.

    Just seems like a more modern take imo. Take 'The Rowan' for example. its the same girl with a less goofy outfit and close up. Harlequins generally have couples on the front. I understand, though, that a lot of male readers would be turned off by a girl on the cover. But that is kind of a cultural hang up.

  5. #5
    Who rules?! Hyrules! Liosse de Velishaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Second star on the right and on 'til morning.
    Posts
    10,055
    Quote Originally Posted by missesdash View Post
    They don't look at all like romance to me? Are the protagonists female? The others focused on the girls too, but further away.

    Just seems like a more modern take imo. Take 'The Rowan' for example. its the same girl with a less goofy outfit and close up. Harlequins generally have couples on the front. I understand, though, that a lot of male readers would be turned off by a girl on the cover. But that is kind of a cultural hang up.


    I personally don't think they look like romance either. That's just something I read on a blog when I was wondering what other people thought. The problem I have with the cover is that I think covers should be advertising what the book is selling. I don't really get "psychic humans fight interstellar alien threat" from a close-up of a glamour-girl face with some stars in the background.

    It's not that a male reader is gonna be turned off by a girl on the cover. As you pointed out, the same girl is on the older covers. It's the presentation of the girl on the cover that is going to tell male readers this book is not for them.

    What I'm most curious about with these covers is the reasoning behind them. (Yes, the protagonists happen to be majority female.) Modernizing? Makes sense. But why this specific route? Why remove the science fiction elements from the covers?

  6. #6
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    6,863
    You know, I didn't even notice the sci-fi elements on the original covers until you mentioned it and I went back. I just saw pretty girls sitting prettily with space in the background. The old cover for The Tower and the Hive actually looks like a romance compared to the new one.

    I'd say they took the most recognizable aspect of the old ones (a girl and space) and then simplified it in a way where if you pick any of them up, you know they're part of the series. I agree the others are more gender neutral, so it probably is also an effort to get more girls to pick it up. When I look at them, I see female protagonists and sci-fi element (spacey background). The thing is, I don't know how hard the sci-fi is. But these covers make it look lighter and I'll admit, as someone who doesn't read hard sci-fi I'd probably be more likely to pick the new ones up. Whether or not I'd be disappointed is another story. Perhaps they're so good that it wouldn't matter.

    I guess my point is that the new covers are more accessible to the YA audience. But this is intetesting. I would love to see a story about other YA books with revamped covers.

    Anyway I'll stop hogging the thread now, I'm interested in what other people who read the genre and/or have read the books have to say.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,090
    They still look sci-fi to me. It's the stars and the hair. Looks like they changed them to appeal to a teenage market.

  8. #8
    starry sunrise Windcutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,053
    I barely noticed the stars behind all that hair. I dunno, that might sci-fi, but of a pretty underpainted kind.

  9. #9
    You can't sit with us! missesdash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    6,863
    Ooh found a nice big sampling of YA sci-fi covers for perspective.

    http://www.malindalo.com/2011/11/thi...fi-looks-like/

  10. #10
    [Insert something witty here] KateSmash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,500
    They look like they've been updated to fit with the bulk of YA covers nowadays. I mean, you walk past the YA shelves in most stores and it's white girls staring at you from every angle. I mean, other recent YA sf has similar things. Like Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows The Stars is a pretty girl on a starry background. It screams modern YA cover more than anything.

    Besides, I see nothing wrong with targeting more girls in the YA audience to pick up Anne McCaffery. I'm sure if you looked in the Sff section, there might be the more traditional cover still available. Like they did with Ender's Game or to everything Austen/Bronte sisters. *shrug*

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,090
    Quote Originally Posted by KateSmash View Post
    They look like they've been updated to fit with the bulk of YA covers nowadays. I mean, you walk past the YA shelves in most stores and it's white girls staring at you from every angle. I mean, other recent YA sf has similar things. Like Diana Peterfreund's For Darkness Shows The Stars is a pretty girl on a starry background. It screams modern YA cover more than anything.

    Besides, I see nothing wrong with targeting more girls in the YA audience to pick up Anne McCaffery. I'm sure if you looked in the Sff section, there might be the more traditional cover still available. Like they did with Ender's Game or to everything Austen/Bronte sisters. *shrug*
    Which is funny to me as I've read the book, and the main character isn't white, well she's part but still. She's been trying to get them to change the cover since forever.

  12. #12
    [Insert something witty here] KateSmash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,500
    Ugh. I was not aware. Why do marketing depts do this stuff? You'd think by now they'd at least get more than back cover copy. Like some basic description of the major characters so this wouldn't happen anymore.

  13. #13
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Brillig in the slithy toves...
    Posts
    15,239
    The new cover for The Rowan looks like it would fit in with the series Cat Adams (AW's Cathy C) has in her sigline. The girl has a very similar face to the one on The Eldritch Conspiracy.
    <----Look! NEW BOOK!



  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,090
    Quote Originally Posted by KateSmash View Post
    Ugh. I was not aware. Why do marketing depts do this stuff? You'd think by now they'd at least get more than back cover copy. Like some basic description of the major characters so this wouldn't happen anymore.
    Yea she comments about it on her most recent blog. She seems quite annoyed by it. I would be too. http://www.dianapeterfreund.com/whit...iots-ethnicity

  15. #15
    stuck in the middle Dagrami's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    157
    Quote Originally Posted by fireluxlou View Post
    Which is funny to me as I've read the book, and the main character isn't white, well she's part but still. She's been trying to get them to change the cover since forever.
    Hm, I think you may have misinterpreted what she said there... Here's a quote from the blog you linked:

    But the For Darkness cover? I think that does reflect the book. It’s probably the most accurate portrayal of a book I’ve ever gotten in terms of a cover [...] And though her skin tone is lighter than described, she is not depicted as being a different race than she is in the book.
    The cover she talks about changing is for a different book, because she thought it looked dated.

    She says her character is white, with skin that goes brown in the sun. I guess that's still a case of whitewashing.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,090
    Quote Originally Posted by Dagrami View Post
    Hm, I think you may have misinterpreted what she said there... Here's a quote from the blog you linked:

    The cover she talks about changing is for a different book, because she thought it looked dated.

    She says her character is white, with skin that goes brown in the sun. I guess that's still a case of whitewashing.
    What I said was more in something she said awhile ago before this blog was made about getting the cover changed because it didn't represent her MC. I should have clarified sorry.

  17. #17
    starry sunrise Windcutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,053
    Quote Originally Posted by fireluxlou View Post
    Which is funny to me as I've read the book, and the main character isn't white, well she's part but still. She's been trying to get them to change the cover since forever.
    And when they do it, they still get it wrong sometimes. I remember the author of MAGIC UNDER GLASS saying MC's home country was somewhat based on old China, though it's more of a fusion of cultures. Yet the cover looks like this
    http://www.jaclyndolamore.com/Photos/MUG/MUGcover.jpg
    Though her name is Nimira in the final version of the book, so maybe the Chinese influence was dropped throughout the edits.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,090
    Quote Originally Posted by Windcutter View Post
    And when they do it, they still get it wrong sometimes. I remember the author of MAGIC UNDER GLASS saying MC's home country was somewhat based on old China, though it's more of a fusion of cultures. Yet the cover looks like this
    http://www.jaclyndolamore.com/Photos/MUG/MUGcover.jpg
    Though her name is Nimira in the final version of the book, so maybe the Chinese influence was dropped throughout the edits.
    Yep it's frustrating. Another book I can think of the top of my head is 'The Immortal Rules' by Julia Kagawa, Allison Sekemoto is a Japanese MC and look at the cover (and the promo pictures): http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1323357921l/10215349.jpg http://bloodofeden.wikia.com/wiki/Allison_Sekemoto

  19. #19
    starry sunrise Windcutter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,053
    Quote Originally Posted by fireluxlou View Post
    Yep it's frustrating. Another book I can think of the top of my head is 'The Immortal Rules' by Julia Kagawa, Allison Sekemoto is a Japanese MC and look at the cover (and the promo pictures): http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1323357921l/10215349.jpg http://bloodofeden.wikia.com/wiki/Allison_Sekemoto
    Yeah, not exactly what one pictures when one hears words "tiny, pale, Japanese teenage vampire".

  20. #20
    Whatever I did, I didn't do it. Phaeal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Providence, RI
    Posts
    9,232
    It does look to me like they're trying to appeal to YA girls. On the other hand, none of the pictured females is wearing a ball gown that never appears in the novel itself. So, mebbe not so much.

    SUMM0NED (T0R, available NOW!) Real magic becomes real trouble when Sean summons the wrong familiar.



    And so it goes.

    Follow me on TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AnneMPillsworth

    Website: http://annempillsworth.com/

  21. #21
    Who rules?! Hyrules! Liosse de Velishaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Second star on the right and on 'til morning.
    Posts
    10,055
    Quote Originally Posted by missesdash View Post
    You know, I didn't even notice the sci-fi elements on the original covers until you mentioned it and I went back. I just saw pretty girls sitting prettily with space in the background. The old cover for The Tower and the Hive actually looks like a romance compared to the new one.

    I'd say they took the most recognizable aspect of the old ones (a girl and space) and then simplified it in a way where if you pick any of them up, you know they're part of the series. I agree the others are more gender neutral, so it probably is also an effort to get more girls to pick it up. When I look at them, I see female protagonists and sci-fi element (spacey background). The thing is, I don't know how hard the sci-fi is. But these covers make it look lighter and I'll admit, as someone who doesn't read hard sci-fi I'd probably be more likely to pick the new ones up. Whether or not I'd be disappointed is another story. Perhaps they're so good that it wouldn't matter.

    I guess my point is that the new covers are more accessible to the YA audience. But this is intetesting. I would love to see a story about other YA books with revamped covers.

    Anyway I'll stop hogging the thread now, I'm interested in what other people who read the genre and/or have read the books have to say.
    Quote Originally Posted by fireluxlou View Post
    They still look sci-fi to me. It's the stars and the hair. Looks like they changed them to appeal to a teenage market.

    I guess I'm just not that up to date on the genre cues in YA.

  22. #22
    Simplify. frankiebrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    962
    Has an X-Men flavor to me. I wouldn't think romance, but I would think "girl power", so I guess I can see where you're coming from.
    "To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish."
    Blog last updated 12/7: On Pacing

    on twitter: @frankiebrown25
    Debut novel: UNTIL WE END Bloomsbury Spark, Dec '13. Represented by JL Stermer.

  23. #23
    Who rules?! Hyrules! Liosse de Velishaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Second star on the right and on 'til morning.
    Posts
    10,055
    Quote Originally Posted by frankiebrown View Post
    Has an X-Men flavor to me. I wouldn't think romance, but I would think "girl power", so I guess I can see where you're coming from.

    OMG, X-Men is exactly how it looks. Nice call.


    I think it's awesome if they encourage people to read the book. Maybe if I was more in-tune with modern cover standards, then they would seem more representative of the books to me.

  24. #24
    Wandering worlds Gynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Noth
    Posts
    665
    If I were a teen boy choosing a book solely by the art on its cover (as kids often do), I wouldn't buy those books! Show me aliens and spaceships! When all I see is a girl on the cover, I assume that the book is supposed to be for girls. That's me using my logic from when I was thirteen.

  25. #25
    we are the words 'i love you' kuwisdelu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    at the end of your dream
    Posts
    34,042
    A book with photos of models supposed to be the characters on the cover in general tend to scream "not for you" to me. But I'm probably weird.
    (a blog.) ...last updated 15 June 2015

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search