Discussion: Sequel Covers

It’s a great thing when your favorite book gets a new sequel. You finally get to know what happens next, you get to enjoy the unpredictability- and the cover. You get to see a new cover. Normally I love seeing new covers. They take on a new approach and sometimes look relatively similar. Some even look so similar I think it’s the same book. I stopped in the library about a week ago and found 2 spines that looked exactly the same. Except one said “II” after the title- and was almost covered up by the call number. I remember thinking well, that’s stupid and frustrating. You might bring the wrong one home without realizing it. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing the connection between the two, but not to the point where the only difference is the name.
I had forgotten all about this until Glass Sword had it’s cover reveal:

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)

Upon first glance they looked the same, granted I did not have them side by side. It’s the same font, different title (obviously) but the thing that bothers me the most is that from top to bottom it is: author name, crown with blood dripping, title, and a couple words. If the background was white, these would have basically been the same. That bothers me, I like seeing the picture and instantly knowing what the title is. A quick glance so you don’t pick them up side by side.
This wasn’t the only book that did that. There was also a series I read when I was younger that I stopped reading because I couldn’t figure out which one I was on based on the covers. I read the summaries and eventually figured it out, but all 6 covers look the same:

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1)The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #2)The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #3)
The Necromancer  (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #4)The Warlock (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #5)The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6)

Really? How is anyone supposed to be able to keep those straight?

Not all series are like this though. There are some series that do sequel covers quite well:

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)

These are so obviously different that it’s easy to pick up where you are and they don’t all mash together into one image in your mind. Yes, the title and author are in the same place and there’s a spine thing on the side, but really? When you pick one up you’re like the one with the bird or the blue one and people know exactly which one out of these it is, so much simpler than saying the tan one with the circle in the middle or the one with the dripping crown.

So what?
This is an issue I have noticed all around the book world. Though unity is nice, it is also nice to see a larger variety of book covers on your shelf and not wonder “did I buy two of the same book?”

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4 thoughts on “Discussion: Sequel Covers

  1. Angela says:

    I can't even remember what book series it was, but I once bought the same book twice thinking that I had bought the sequel. So frustrating. It would have been bad enough doing that with a library book. But, no, I had to go and buy the same book twice.

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