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.
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.]