Friday, November 30, 2012

The Real Story Behind the Across the Universe Cover Changes

Disclaimer: This is not the real story about why the cover designer(s) assigned to this series changed the covers so much. This is simply the entertaining take I have on it.

Original covers:

Pitch: "Dude, this takes place in space, so let's set the covers in space and throw in as many pretty stars as we can Photoshop in. Readers dig pretty covers!"

(Covers are largely well-received due to prettiness. Even I drool over them.)

Cover redesign #1, shortly before hardcover release of A Million Suns:

New covers: 

 Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)A Million Suns 

Pitch: "Duuuuuuude, I just had an even better idea! Let's give the series some covers that really get across how claustrophobic it feels to live on the Godspeed and makes readers sure this is sci-fi for serious. But we'll still release A Million Suns with the starry hardcover. We'll just give it the new cover when it comes out in paperback."

(I can't remember how these covers were received, but the new cover for Across the Universe matches it tone. My copy of the novel has this cover and I like it just as much as I like the stars.)

Cover redesign #2, July 2012:

New covers:

New Pitch Person: "Duuuuuude, we have to redesign these covers again. Let's use these font-centric covers so more guys will read them."

Old Pitch Person: "Dude, you must be new here.If a guy wants to read a book, he'll read it no matter what the cover looks like. I've seen them walking around with books that have shirtless guys, girls in pretty dresses, and baby ducks on the cover. They don't care. So take your gender essentialism and shove it. And what about the sci-fi-esque covers we came up with for Across the Universe and A Million Suns's paperbacks? Those appeal to both genders just fine. Besides all that, those covers look terrible. Readers won't like them."

New Pitch Person: "Disagreement on cover designs? It sounds like it's time for..."

Old Pitch Person: "A drinking contest! Because any other way of solving disagreements on cover designs is stupid."

-The pitch people chug vodka. The only rule: first person to pass out loses.-

-Old Pitch Person passes out.-

New Pitch Person: "D-dude, I wiiiiiiiiin. I kneeeeew I'd phuckin... Oh God, I'm gonna--"

-New Pitch Person searches for a toilet to vomit in-

(Readers generally dislike the new covers for various reasons, including how the covers of all the books don't match (a common complaint when redesigns happen), how old-fashioned these look, and the ridiculousless of the argument behind the redesign.)