Friday Book Cover ~ Old and New

Hello SE Readers! As a reader, a good cover is often the first thing that draws me to a novel, particularly with a new or unknown author. If the artwork isn’t impressive, I’m likely not going to read the blurb, let alone purchase the book.

There have been times when I liked a cover, found the blurb interesting, and purchased the book only to be disappointed. But if I were to guess, I’d estimate that ninety percent of the covers that drew me in ultimately led to a satisfying read. Such was the case when I read my first Mary Higgins-Clark novel.

Although I read a variety of genres, I prefer mystery and suspense. I still recall one evening visiting a brick and mortar bookstore with my brother in the late 1970s. I hadn’t intended to purchase anything, but while waiting for him I began to peruse the fiction section and came across a title, Where Are the Children.

My copy of Where Are The Children

I pulled the paperback from the shelf and looked at the front. The single red mitten, the old house, and the lake in the background drew me in. I read the blurb, purchased the book, took it home and read it without putting it down. From there on, I had a favorite author. Since then I’ve read the majority of her fifty plus novels.

I recently viewed this book on Amazon only to find a new, modernized cover.  If I wasn’t familiar with the story, even though the title intrigued me and the blurb remains the same, I probably wouldn’t give the book a second glance based on the cover alone.

Modern cover of Where Are The Children

In the original cover (even without knowing the title), the lone mitten tells me something has happened to a child. Probably kidnapped. I don’t think the new cover depicts kidnapped children at all, but rather ones who are home and waiting for a missing parent. Maybe I just don’t get the modern-day concept of “good” cover art.

Although my TBR list grows by leaps and bounds and never moves to the “read” category as fast, I recently purchased a novel by an author who is new to me. I’ve not finished reading The Dry by Jane Harper,  but so far it’s held my attention. (The days of when I was able to read a book in one sitting have long sinced passed.)

I admit this cover didn’t grab me as much as Where Are the Children did years ago. However, the whispery clouds against the stars, along with the tall, dry grass was enough for me to take a closer look and purchase the book:

A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

Sound interesting? What do you think about the old and new covers for Where Are the Children? Would you purchase the book based on either of them? What about The Dry?

42 thoughts on “Friday Book Cover ~ Old and New

  1. Pingback: Friday Cover Share: Cusp of Night & The Alternative | Story Empire

  2. I have recently had a book cover designed for the first time. Previously, I have designed my own with my own artwork. Fondant art isn’t suitable for While the Bombs Fell so I found a cover designer. I am really happy with what he came up with and hope it meets the criteria you have set out in this post i.e. eye catching, conveys the circumstances/story of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I prefer the old cover, too, Joan, though the new one is intriguing. It just doesn’t hint at the same kind of mystery, as you say. And the title of The Dry intrigues me more than the cover, though I don’t have a problem with it. It’s mysterious enough looking, and that dry, crunchy looking grass definitely makes me think of droughts and possibly fire.

    I have a serious problem with not being able to order print books with the original covers on them, which are usually the ones I like best. I asked my graphic designer why they suddenly switch covers like that, and she explained that it has to do with how long the contract/agreement with the cover artist is. Those often expire when the book goes into reprint. So while that’s not a very good legal explanation, at least I understood they weren’t trying to drive me crazy by changing the covers. And it IS frustrating for me. For instance, I’m a huge fan of Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy, and the cover art by Alejandro Colucci is wonderful. It drew me in from the first, being everything I love in fantasy art and making me love Fitzchivalry Farseer before I even “met” him. I was able to get the final trilogy (which was released fairly recently) with covers by Colucci, but getting earlier books in this long-running series has been tricky. I’m now hunting for reasonably priced versions at used book stores. Finding them in good shape is also hard. But hey. When you are obsessed with books, you do what you have to do, right? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marcia, browsing through used bookstores can be fun! Just think of the treasures to be found… I have purchased used copies from Amazon and so far haven’t been disappointed. These days, I tend to stick with Kindle versions – just don’t have a lot of space and I like the idea of carrying an entire library with me wherever I go. However, I sometimes miss the days of shopping at brick and mortar stores.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, my Kindle is loaded, too. I read on it almost exclusively, but I collect the print books that I love most, because having them surrounding me makes me absurdly happy. 🙂 All of my very favorites are on my shelves AND on my Kindle. But please don’t tell my husband I’ve bought so many of the same books twice. Eeeep. 😉 I carry my Kindle with me always, and then I come home and pat my real books on the covers and tell them how much I love them. 😀

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  4. Pingback: Friday Book Cover ~ Old and New | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

  5. I was more interested in the swirls on the new cover than the kids. But I’m weird. I don’t even look at covers when I buy books. I go title-blurb-first page to pick. I don’t really look at reviews, either. Friend recommendations go a long way for me, though.

    Loved your choices and thought-processes, Joan.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not that we have Kindles and online shopping, I tend to read blurbs more. And I have read reviews. Often I’ve purchased (and loved) a book because of a negative review. And yes, friend recommendations are a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with everyone else on the new/old covers of Where are the Children. The isolation of the house on the old one really drew me, and the red mitten is a giveaway on what I can expect in the book. The second one has a tinge of a supernatural feel to me (which I know isn’t intended) with the shroud of the curtain.

    As for The Dry, I love the cover! I think it has to do with the straw-like grass at the bottom against the dark background. I read The Dry last year and loved it. I’ve got her new one (Force of Nature) on my Kindle but haven’t gotten to it yet. Thanks for the reminder that it’s waiting on my TBR, LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I also far prefer the original cover, that red glove is perfect. But since having a Kindle I tend to choose books when I have read about them on line. But of course the books I download are more likely to be Indie Authors I have discovered on the internet and would not have seen in a book shop.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m the same way. Most of my books purchased these days are Indie authors that I have “come to know” or like you, discovered on the Internet. I love the convenience of being able to carry an entire library in my purse, but sometimes miss the days of the browsing through a book store.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have to agree, Joan. The modern cover shows the darn children … they’re right there behind the curtain! lols. The original is dated but it gives more feel than the new and busy one. It’s an interesting comparison between the three covers. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely, the children are right there! And I agree, the old cover is dated but it would still draw me in more than the first. Talk about being dated? I reread the book a few years ago and some of the things she mentions are no more – dimmer switch being on the floorboard of a car, no cell phones, etc. Things we take for granted these days.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Lols. I was like that when I re-read Stephen King’s Running Man earlier this year … the film tapes he has to send in! OMG! Back then, SK made them super compact, which was stretching the imagination. So different to now 🙂


  9. Covers are a strange and very personal thing. What captures one reader’s attention may not work with another. I rarely pay much attention to the cover if I already know the author. But the cover plays such a big role in “guts-purchase”!
    I believe, on the author side, the important thing is to choose something you like and that represents the story, because you can’t appeal to everyone.
    I agree with you about the revamp of Mary Higgins-Clark cover, the new one doesn’t really convey the same feelings.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree, Irene. For me, the cover is more important with an unknown author. If its someone I’ve read and like, the cover doesn’t matter as much. And you’re right, we can’t please everyone.


  10. The Dry….the blurb sounds good but like you, the cover…in a store filled with books, is what will catch my eye. Otherwise, I’d likely never get to the blurb.
    1st. Mary Higgins Clark is incredible! I too, love mystery and suspense! I agree with you 100%. The original cover ( as I read it way back then) is what drew me first. The modern cover wouldn’t interest me at all and thats a pity. It does a disservice to a great book.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links | Staci Troilo

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