Sunday, January 28, 2018

Judging By The Covers: "Now A Major Motion Picture!"

In the last few posts, I've talked about some of the reasons why books might get new covers. These reasons include: 1. Entice new readers! 2. New publisher, new cover! 3. Update the outdated! 4. And other reasons! 

 Here's yet another reason -- because the book has been made into a movie!

 A movie tie-in cover can work positively in two main ways. One, it can get people interested in the book itself ("Hey, Tom Hanks is on this cover... I love Tom Hanks! I should read this book!) Two, it can get people interested in the movie. ("Whaaat? There's a Little Women movie? I love the book Little Women! I should go see this movie!")*

Yes! Everybody wins! The publishers/authors sell more books, Hollywood sells a few extra movie tickets, and Average Reader JoeBob McBookerton gets to own a book with a cool cover. What's not to love?




Not all books made into films get the tie-in treatment. I have yet to see an official copy of a Harry Potter book featuring Daniel Radcliffe on a broomstick. Probably because the HP books have sold very well on their own accord. Plus, the HP books and the movies, for a while, were being released one-of-each-per-year. Both did well. It wasn't like we needed an additional reminder that, "Oh yeah, these books are movies, too," or vice versa.

But Harry Potter appears to be the exception. More often than not, an upcoming movie seems to prompt a tie-in cover.


Did you know (gasp!) there are actually people out there who don't like movie tie-in covers?? This article from the New York Times talks about the outcry when The Great Gatsby was given a Hollywood cover when the Leonardo DiCaprio movie came out.




The loathing was real. Personally, I like the tie-in.

In fact, I think I tend to like movie tie-in covers better than the original covers.

Below are some examples of tie-ins I own, alongside one of the book's earlier covers. Shall I compare them?


It took me a while to warm up to the Narnia movies, but I really enjoy them now. Eh, so what if Prince Caspian's supposed to be blonde and, like, a kid? Movie Caspian be Eye Candy, and that's all right with me.

Winner: Tie-in


Four famous girls... and Laurie, the boy two of them loved.

Way to sell it, book people.

Sad news: I looked it up, and all those actresses are now dead.

Winner: Either


I think I'd rather have the tie-in because (to me) it looks better than the original cover. I mean... that one's just so yellow. Plus, Rory Gilmore, yay.

Winner: Tie-In


I bought the tie-in cover before the movie came out, because I liked Anne Hathaway from other things. And, oh my, Anne is the only reason I've kept that version. That movie was a pile of burning rubbish.

Winner: Original


I loved the 2003 movie, so yeah I had the book, but it remains unread. I really need to get on that....

Winner: Tie-In


Both the movie and the book are great. Both covers are fine. I own the tie-in, even though I'm not too fond of Rosie O'Donnell... at least she's tiny.

Winner: Either



Here I prefer the original cover, with its iceberg-esque pillows in front of a starry sky. Of course, it doesn't help that Moustache Dad looks totally dopey over on the right, there.

Winner: Original



Seriously, what is that face?


Okay, I love Garth Williams. His pictures are classic and iconic. And I like how the Dakota Fanning cover pays tribute to it.

Winner: Both!



What are your thoughts on movie tie-in covers? If you have any particular favorites, let me know in the comments!




*I jest, of course, because there are roughly 47 Little Women movies.

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