Here are the original covers for Across the Universe and A Million Suns (there is no cover for Shades of Earth in this design, as it isn't published yet):
Here are the new covers for the trilogy:
Personally, I don't hate the new designs, but I don't like them either. I prefer the old ones, as I believe they have infinitely more character, are simply gorgeous, and they excite me. The new covers are very predictable, and fall in line with the same old sci-fi genre books one sees on the shelves every day. According to Geek Dad, "Penguin has made the...decision to repackage the trilogy to broaden the target audience..." (Liu, 2012, para. 2). But who exactly is the target audience?
Yesterday, after the news broke, I had a long discussion with three fellow book bloggers, Eileen from Singing and Reading in the Rain, Annabelle from Sparkles and Lightning, and Kayla from Kismet Kayla on Twitter. The opinion between the four of us was that this specific cover redesign, and other cover redesigns, did not work. Often the covers don't inspire an interest in the story, for collectors it ruins the series cohesion, and the redesigns can incur additional costs for those readers who like having the same format and style of book.
I can count myself in the audience that these covers do not target, and the only reason why I'm continuing with the trilogy is because I want to support Beth Revis. For me, the reason these covers don't work is the exact reasons I stated above; the main one being they don't excite me! However, if the point of this redesign is to target adults (which is only a guess on my part), or perhaps male readers, then I guess they've done their job.
But it is interesting that we live in a society so influenced by the status quo of what is "right" for what audience, that amazing covers such as the first design are scrapped to make way for something a little less girly/juvenile. I wished there were more of an explanation given when redesigns of this magnitude happen. I'd like to understand from the publisher's perspective why they believe it is necessary, and what they hope to gain from it.
Whatever the reason, I hope that the books continue to do well in all their formats, as Across the Universe is an amazing trilogy. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the redesign. Do you love it, do you hate, or do you not care either way? Leave your comments below, and whatever you're opinion, do check the books out because they are really worth it!
J Liu. (2012, July 7). GeekDad exclusive: New covers revealed for across the universe trilogy [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/07/new-covers-across-the-universe/