Discussion: Rebranding Books

let's talkHave you guys noticed this trend in books lately especially YA books? I’ve gradually noticed it but it slapped me in the face when I went to Borders recently.

I should quickly explain what I mean by rebranding books. I simply mean putting new covers on old books to market them to a different group of readers.

These are the books I noticed that jumped on the bandwagon first. “New” Pride and Prejudice and “Old” or more traditional Pride and Prejudice. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 5 years or so, you know the new version is an obvious attempt to get Twilight fans to pick up the book. [Bonus fun: New Persuasion and Old Persuasion.] I guess you could even lump the new craze of quirky classics like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in with this because it’s accomplishing the same point. Getting people who might not normally read the book to read the book. All in all this stuff is not new for most of us.

While at Borders looking through the YA section for the 100th time, I came across this. It’s a new “hipper” version of Hamlet. I think there might have been a new version of Romeo and Juliet next to it as well.

I guess I understand the need to try to market these books to teens. Most teens don’t want to read those books. 90% of them only read them because they are required reading for high school. I’m just not a fan of them jumping on the Twilight bandwagon. If anything, that would make me NOT want to read the books. That may just be me though.

Here’s another interesting rebranding of ‘classic’ books. The Babysitter’s Club. The new covers look nice enough but I liked the ones I grew up with even though they must look ancient to kids today.

I completely understand why covers need to change from edition to edition. You want to book to look modern not dated, you want to give different artists a chance to shine, etc. My problem is more with the missed marketing of the books. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice but I’m willing to bet it doesn’t include sparkly vampires like a 15 year old picking up the book is hoping for. Will that turn her off the book? Who knows. I just don’t like the idea of trying to “trick” people into reading something. They should pick up the books because they want to read the book.

So what do you think? Rebranding books? Yay? Nay?

[Share any interesting ones you know of in the comments. I know there must be tons out there.]


23 thoughts on “Discussion: Rebranding Books

  1. Oh well, I think that Jane Austin’s stuff really needed to be re-branded. Time goes and every generation has it’s own view of things.
    I do agree that the contents is the most important in book, but I also think that book should feels good in your hands. And we shouldn’t forget that there are ppl who use book as interior elements after they have read it.
    But at the same time the cover shouldn’t lie, but be reflection of the story.
    The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t as good, as the prequel written by Hockensmith. It seems as Grahame-Smith has got bored with his work after some time and you can see pretty well what belongs Austen’s feather and what was inserted by Grahame-Smith (not because he wrote about zombies, lol xD).
    Hockensmith did a great job, I did enjoy reading his prequel to the story and am waiting for the next book, which is actually a third part (yep, it gonna be a trilogy xD), to get translated to german.

  2. Pingback: Book Pick For The WEEK ! « Phillybookpick's Blog

  3. oh yeah, Jane just said loud what many girls are dreaming about.. a specially end of roman was terrible. Elizabeth and … have-forgot-his-name… were walking somewhere and talking about their feelings just like it is, without any shame and so on. I thought I gonna see a nightmares after that xDD
    but the prequel is much better and with double end at once. some heroes have happy end and some not…

      • I can think about two reasons only:
        1. The Therapy publishers have no idea about this (don’t forget, this Das Mädchen is German edition for German speaking people, so I don’t think you can find it in every book store all over the world)

        2. The Picture was bought in some kind Photobank by both publishers without bying all rights, so since it was a legal deal none can do anything about it, what actually sounds not that realistic as the first version =)

        Should I inform the Therapy publisher? xD

        • Ahhh good point. I looked through the Amazon store and it looks like the newer covers of the Stephen King book have a very similar looking girl on it. I guess they just used the same (or very similar) picture for different variations of covers? (http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Loved-Tom-Gordon/dp/0684867621/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1320335696&sr=8-1)

          I guess it’s not a huge deal since the Stephen King book is only the rebranding of an older book. If it was the first edition of a book it might be a bigger problem.

          I’m sure they might be grateful to know that. Chances are they would have no idea about it unless someone brought it to their attention. There are tons of different editions for older books especially when they get translated into different languages.

          • In my opinion it is the same picture. Only that The Therapy cover is more blended, so the trees look slimmer and some of them you can barely see, but if you look more close you do see them.
            I think it doesn’t mater if it is a re-branding or brand new book – the stolen cover still is the stolen cover.
            And I find that cover you have showed me way better fitting the story than that “stolen” one and I def. gonna read the Therapy now xDDD

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