What Do We Think of This?

I was walking through Indigo (our national bookstore chain) the other day and I spied the above cover.

"Interesting," I thought. "Who's it by? Oh. It's what....wait, what?? No...!"

I don't remember Fugitive Pieces ever getting such an upmarket chick lit makeover. This new paperback cover of The Winter Vaultis gorgeous but also hello, so so different from the jacket in hardcover.

Can't remember whether the author photo was also an upgrade. I joke.

I know that the running wisdom is that the paperback goes after a different market and so should have a different vibe. However, the running wisdom also happens to be that if the hardcover sells really well, you don't mess with a good thing and you keep the same jacket aside from a minor formatting tweak or two.

My conclusion? The hardcover didn't sell so hot. Time to get the moms and ladies who lunch on board.

Also, who is this on the cover? Jean? What is the significance - woman looks haunted while holding pretty flower? Does there need to be significance?

And what is up with the new look of these upmarket chick lit books? Add one part glossy magazine-esque shot of a woman in profile, some opulent flowers and perhaps a touch of ethnic lettering or other such reference to give it an escapist vibe.

I don't hate this cover. Quite the contrary. But if you read my review you'll know that this book is no sweet piece of romanticism. And the cover says otherwise methinks.

What do you say - yay or nay?


Erin said...

Wowza. Completely misrepresent the book much?

It's not a terrible cover but it's the wrong design for this book. It will be interesting to see how this cover changes who is buying the book and their reactions to it. Is there any way to track that beyond sales figures?

Heather said...

her left hand looks to me like its trying to snap the head off the flower.

B.Kienapple said...

There is an element of tension in the cover design but the book has a much darker feel than this cover could ever hope to achieve. I think that this book is geared for a crowd that'd be interested in The Help and this book is so much weirder than that (with apologies to The Help, which I hear is fantastic and I haven't read yet).

As for tracking reaction, Erin, I'd need one of those fancy social media analysis tools - let me see if I can hook into that. Jill?

JK said...

Yeah, when I saw this makeover I was baffled as to how this suits the book. At all, really. Mind you the old one was Ugly with a capital U, so it's nice to see something done with it.
I have a feeling some Chick-lit readers are going to get reeled in and then abandon ship after 20 or 30 pages. And I hate that. Because it's terrible to feel misled when you're buying a book.

Scrat said...

I think that this cover is really misleading. (I never really understood why this book was nominated for the Giller. I think if it hadn't been for Fugitive Pieces this novel would not have been viewed with such favourable eyes.) What I hate is that this cover may attract the wrong reader and subsequently turn them off reading forever. Booksellers don't seem to take into account that their short term gain on this may cosst them readers in the future.

B.Kienapple said...

Make no mistake, I did appreciate The Winter Vault, Michaels' way with language is such a rare gift, though I found the novel almost nihilist it was so dark. This woman on this cover looks wistful which doesn't represent the despair that I remember Jean experiencing.
Looking forward to seeing if the PB hits the bestseller charts.


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