Feral Friday - Cover changes mid series

It’s Feral Friday! And we here at Book Nerd Reviews thought we would discuss a topic that really sends us feral.

This week, we’re talking about when publishers change the covers on books we love mid-series:

Kristy’s say:

I could go about this for hours, but I’ll try to refrain a little, but in no way will it be short and sweet. Nothing bugs me more than cover changes half way through a series!


I have OCD when it comes to books in a series – the covers need to match and they must be the same size. When a cover is changed mid-way (or more, or less), I have to replace my existing books to match the later books – I just cannot handle books that do not match.

Some that have done this to me are as follows:

I am also still currently waiting for the new “Slammed” series covers to be re-released so that I replace my existing books with the new covers.

And then there is the one that caused me a lot of problems - Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I have only just recently purchased Delirium and Pandemonium, even though this series is one that I have wanted to read for a long time. I just could not get these books to match… so I had to wait, and thankfully I now have the first two matching with the last one coming out in October in the format/style that I need.

I am eager to find out what will happen with is Anna and the French Kiss series. Although the Australian edition does not yet have a cover, the US ones have, and the final does not match the first two – and it doesn’t seem that they are re-releasing the first two with the covers that actually match in size/style to the third? I have my fingers crossed that the Australian version will stick with the original style covers (which I found to be quirky and appealing). Although some argue with me that this isn’t a series, as they are standalone books that link together - but whatever you want to class these as, to me, they still have to match.

This seems to be bigger problem here in Australia – when we originally get the UK or US version in store, and the Australian publishers pick it up and start publishing it. I don’t have a problem with Aussie publishers doing this (obviously I support Australian publishing) – but please keep the covers (and sizes) the same as the ones we have previously purchased.

Another reason this seems to happen is for marketing – redesigning a cover to make it more appealing (maybe to everyone, maybe to a certain audience) – and once again, this is fine – but publishers, PLEASE do this after the original covers are out! It just doesn’t seem fair to those who originally purchased these books, and therefore enabling it be become a series, to be the ones who lose out. Releases with new covers after the series has been completed works – how many covers has The Hunger Games had now, 3 or 4? But publishers – please hold off on changing covers until the end of series – I beg you!!

And then there is the drama of finding matching covers with matching sizes (or sometimes even same format such as paperback or hardcover)… It is almost enough to do my (OCD filled) head in!

Due to excessive cover changes, some people only buy US hardcovers, as this seems to happen less with them. I think it is unfortunate that the Australian industry (or other local industries in other countries) is missing out these sales – we really should support local publishers. Or, some people only buy a series once it’s completed (yes, I am guilty), but this reasoning is not one that I would generally support (but I do understand it), as it impacts sales of books - and ultimately, that puts the whole series at risk of not being published - and the ONLY thing that could be worse than covers that do not match, is an incomplete series! Customers buying locally published books, from a local bookstore and buying them before the series is complete is really the objective that all publishers should aim for - and I think less cover changes would help achieve that.

So that’s me going feral this Friday… so yes, you could say that I do like matching covers… for me, it is right up there with having oxygen to breathe :)

Melissa’s say:

Oh I hear you Kristy. This is my pet peeve when it comes to the books I buy. I, like you, am OCD and so if I buy a book in a series, the cover needs to match, and it also needs to be the same sized book. Why do publishers release 4 books in one size, and then the 5th in some random ass size? I don’t understand this? It happened to me with The Mortal Instruments series. Sure, the covers all matched, but with one book being 2 inches taller and an inch wider than the other books in the series, it sticks out like a sore thumb on my shelf. :(

I personally find this quite disheartening, and whilst some might look at me for saying this and think I am being OTT, it’s this very thing that drives me to want to buy more ebooks over physical books. Since ebooks don’t have ‘covers’ per say, it doesn’t make my OCD senses tingle so bad.

This cover dilemma has struck me with the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver (check out the pic above) NONE of my covers match the other. I bought the very first edition of Delirium with the plain blue cover. Then Pandemonium with the cover of the girls face up close. And then Requiem with the blue cover that completely mismatches the others. OMG. Absolute tragedy. I am going to try and find a new home for these books once I have finished Requiem and then consider repurchasing.

Which brings me to the next point… is this something publishers are doing intentionally so we are purchasing the same book multiple times? Call me cynical, but one would think that Kristy and I aren’t the only ones out there that are OCD like this. I would think fans of certain series wouldn’t think twice about repurchasing with new covers just to collect them too. I wonder…

Publishers… we love you. We really do. We buy the books you put out and come back for more all the time. But consider the readers who love to collect these books and love their shelves to be pretty and match.


We would really love your opinion on this topic - how do you feel when covers change mid series? Please let us know in your comments below!

What do you think?

  • Brianna C says:

    From what I’ve seen in stores the Anna and the French Kiss swords do have matching covers with the release of the new paperbacks (US) but the third will obviously be hardback so I’m not sure if it’ll all stay the same.
    Brianna C recently posted…“Where I End and You Begin” ReviewMy Profile

  • Oh my goodness, I CANNOT stand cover changes too especially if it’s halfway through the trilogy/series. Ugh, I don’t like the cover for Isla & the Happily Ever After :( I like the first 2 covers. I also like the first cover of Delirium where it’s color blue and there’s a girl on the text. This just drives me CRAY CRAY. I also don’t like the Shades of Earth cover. Like, can’t you just finish the original cover AND THEN change it? So there’s 2 types of hardback covers? UGH. Drives me nuts!!! I don’t know who’s in charge of these cover changes..but if I do, I’m serious, I WILL CONTACT THEM AND RANT! I swear. That’s on my bucket list.

    Leigh, LBS

    • Kristy says:

      I agree Leigh. The problem is that there are so many people who are responsible for these cover changes, that if you were to rant to them, you would spend all your time doing that :( But yes, it is enough to send anyone cray cray
      Fingers crossed that they stop doing it!

  • Lynn K. says:

    YES! Agreed and especially this part: “It just doesn’t seem fair to those who originally purchased these books…to be the ones who lose out. ”

    I’ve been having on and off discussions with friends about this. Even US hardcovers keep getting changed lately (Fiona Paul’s Venom, Shades of Earth, Shatter Me, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken, Holly Black’s Black Heart <- still so bitter about this). Bottom line is, nothing seems to be safe..unless you buy the series after it's been completed. -.-

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Lynn. Yes, the US hardcovers do get changed (and that is equally as annoying), it is just that it seems to happen less.
      And it is a shame that people feel that they need to wait until the series is completed due to cover changes - but I do understand why people feel this way. I think Melissa was right in saying that ebooks are a good way to go (although I always prefer a physical book)

  • Carolyn says:

    I never used to have a problem with covers, sizes etc until a couple of years ago when i was influenced by some newly made friends. Now complete OCD about covers, sizes and formats (hardcover/paperback)

    It really annoys me when the last book is either different size or cover. I suffered from this with the Graceling series. The last book was twice the size of the first two, then I had to replace all of them when I finally got the right size of Bitterblue as the cover was different.

    I think that if the publishers are going to do this then they should have an amnesty for old covers enabling you to take them into a bookstore and swap for the new covers if buying the latest from that store.

    I have found that a great place for finding new homes for the old ones is the KMart wishing tree. It not only means I get rid of old copies when I have begrudgingly replaced them, but I am also giving somebody else the opportunity to enjoy a book I liked that probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise.

    Also annoying is when the first book comes out in print and then the subsequent books only come out in e-book format.

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Carolyn
      Hmmm, so it is a transferable OCD? That’s a scary thing :)
      I have heard other people say the same about the Graceling series (I am yet to read it). And it would be great for an amnesty period was provided by publishers - sadly, I don’t think this will ever happen.
      The Kmart wishing tree is a fantastic idea! I think we should take that suggestion on board!

  • […] Kristy and Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews talk about mid-series cover changes. […]

  • […] Nerd Reviews tells her tale of woe of book cover redesigns halfway through a series. IT […]

  • Rutch says:

    If the covers don’t match, then I think it’s really off. I wonder why they do it. For collection purposes, it would really look good if the covers are the same like Fifty shades.. :-)

  • Britt says:

    This definitely is bothersome, because you have to buy so many copies if you want them to be all matchy-matchy. The Across the Universe series changed for each new book release which is a giant pain. Great Post!

  • […] Cover changes Mid Series at Book Nerd Reviews […]

  • Jessica says:

    I don’t mind cover changes, but they should at least fulfill the series with matching covers! The change for Isla and the Happily Ever After really bugged me at first, but then I saw that they did release matching covers for Anna and Lola to Isla and think they are so beautiful! But as far as I know, Anna and Lola are paperback and Isla will be hardcover so there’s that! I would like to see how Isla and Josh would have looked like in a matching cover though! :/ (I’m speaking for US) That would be awesome if another countries edition matched the originals!

  • Brina says:

    Hey Kristy,

    when do you think they release the new cover of the 3rd Slammed book?? I’m waiting for it, too!!

    • Kristy says:

      Hi Brina
      To be honest, I have given up hope for the covers of the Slammed series. The third book has the new cover, but as of yet, no new covers for the first 2 books. Ebooks have been updated, but the printed ones haven’t been released yet :( Hopefully one day! (and soon)
      Kristy recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #81My Profile

  • Frank Bame says:

    I like the way you wrote this article. I do hope you continue to write more articles like these and touch on more interesting points.

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