Especially this one
Warning: this blog may be distressing to some readers – contains original thought, due to Covid induced bad mood.
What made the publishers of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series change the cover artwork so dramatically?
I’ve been reading the Stephanie Plum books for over 20 years now (how can this be, I keep getting older and Janet stays the same age on her covers) and you can spot a Plum from a mile away – bright colours, contemporary fonts, back cover blurb is fun and whets your whistle for what’s inside. You know when you pick up a Plum you’re in for a rollocking good read. Janet Evanovich writes a great caper; Stephanie, her bezzie Lula and Stephanie’s over energized Grandmother are the central characters with supporting roles from her two lovers! Yes, two and sometimes in the same chapter! And don’t forget Rex the hamster, who at over 24 has defied all cricetinae life expectancy and found the elixir of youth, maybe he could share one day?
This is not soppy chick lit, this is laugh out loud funny adventures as life does to Stephanie & Co what it does to us all – cover us in dog poop and bad body fluids – sometimes literally, sometimes metaphorically. Admittedly she’s had more cars explode than I’ve had hot dinners, just one exploding car would give me nervous diarrhea for weeks on end never mind tens of vehicles but that reinforces the fact that Evanovich & Plum = FUN.
Imagine my surprise when browsing in my local library I came across ‘a Plum’ that looked like this.
I would totally have overlooked it based on the jacket image and back cover copy, written I’d guess, by someone who has never read the book, or indeed taken any interest in the antics of Stephanie Plum. It was dull with a capital D.
Real life mirrors the world of publishing where the cover often belies what lies inside – oh that’s where the expression comes from. Books I’ve often found over promise and under deliver, however this artwork does the total opposite – it’s the literary equivalent of mogadon.
I understand that in order to test the market publishers will use alternative cover artworks aimed at varied demographics to maximise reach and sales but what makes them move away from what I’d imagine to be a successful formula to this bland version?
If anyone at Headline Publishing would like to let me know their rationale behind the design or are looking for a synopsis writer who promises to read the book please get in touch.
Do you read books based on the cover, author or recommendation – what makes you pick up a book? Do you have a favourite author that you always pick up or do you like to try something new?
@janetevanovich please speak to the art department – Stephanie & Lula deserve full colour!