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Old 12-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #1
Liosse de Velishaf
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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?






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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kricket View Post
Is that all I am to you people?! Just the girl with the whip?!

Last edited by Liosse de Velishaf; 12-18-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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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?
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Yes, I mean those covers.


ETA: Links now above.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kricket View Post
Is that all I am to you people?! Just the girl with the whip?!

Last edited by Liosse de Velishaf; 12-18-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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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?
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Is that all I am to you people?! Just the girl with the whip?!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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I barely noticed the stars behind all that hair. I dunno, that might sci-fi, but of a pretty underpainted kind.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:36 PM   #9
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Ooh found a nice big sampling of YA sci-fi covers for perspective.

http://www.malindalo.com/2011/11/thi...fi-looks-like/
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #10
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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*
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:47 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:51 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:53 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:55 PM   #14
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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
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #15
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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:

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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:50 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:12 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #18
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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
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:26 PM   #19
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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".
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:49 PM   #20
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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.

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Old 12-19-2012, 01:28 AM   #21
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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.
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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.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:34 AM   #22
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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.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:38 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:14 AM   #24
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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.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:25 AM   #25
kuwisdelu
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: W. Lafayette, IN
Posts: 29,973
kuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentskuwisdelu is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
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.
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(a blog.) ...last updated 28 April 2014
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