OMIGOSH! I first found the cover for Celia Rees‘ new book, Sovay (Bloomsbury 2008), months and months ago. Now I’m thinking maybe it was just the British cover art, but I thought it was super – different and attractive – and I couldn’t wait to read the book.
So today, I’m looking at some reviews… and here’s Sovay. The cover we get in the U.S. Absolutely nothing to distinguish it from any other book. I’m so distressed! What back room discussions could have led to this unfortunate change? Another attempt (like Newes from the Dead) to sanitize the book of any connection to the fact that it is historical fiction. It sucks (I feel the need to use strong words for my disappointment).
And what does Celia Rees think? (she’s still showing the good cover on her own website) What say you all?

Sovay: In 1794 England, the rich and beautiful Sovay, disguised as a highwayman, acquires papers that could lead to her father’s arrest for treason, and soon her newly-awakened political consciousness leads her and a compatriot to France during the Revolution.


11 Responses to “Disappointment!!!”

  1. I like both covers. The left (British) is not dissimilar from the marvelous cover of Witch Child. I think discerning readers will see that it’s historical, even with the American cover, because of the tagline and Celia Rees’s name. It’s interesting, with the popularity of photo covers, to see how they’re used on historical books. Copper Sun and A Curse Dark as Gold are two examples.

  2. “Back room discussion” includes the reality that a publisher who purchases the rights to publish a book in another country or format does not usually obtain the rights to reproduce the cover art.

  3. I daresay that both women on these covers look pretty 21st century – despite any hint of “historical.”
    If Bloomsbury publishes it in Britain AND in the United States, I would guess that they could use the same jacket in both places, yes?

  4. thereadingzone Says:

    I read an arc, and it had the newer cover months ago. I hate the cover, to be honest. I love the original cover and think it fits the book much better.

  5. erinmcintosh Says:

    The cover on the left is DEFINITELY superior.

  6. I like the British better, too. Why does the US version have to look like a romance novel?

  7. could it be because YA historicals
    are not considered hot right now?
    (i didn’t think so but writers have said
    this is what agents have told them.)

    i, too, met some challenges as far
    as “this will never sell in the current
    YA market”. i wrote an asian YA fantasy
    with historical feel.

    maybe they’re hoping if it looks like
    any other YA novel out there, the reader
    will more likely pick it up. it’s all about
    the sell.

  8. The Brit cover feels just a touch wrong for broad appeal in the US market. It’s a touch of OCTAVIAN NOTHING. I definitely like it better, but I can see why they’d go a more mainstream route for the US market (aside form the already mentioned licensing-of-the-photo issues–just because Bloomsbury UK bought the photo for the UK doesn’t mean Bloomsbury USA can automatically use it in North America).

  9. They both look like 21st century teens straight from a modeling agency to me! Looks like an AD trying to save money by suing a photo instead of hiring an illustrator. But I guess the goal is to “fool” modern teen girls into picking up the book and reading the blurb before they realize its historical fiction.

  10. i think the newer version the girl is stunning really. it has more of a US approach with the style of the girl, it would appeal more to the US. besides, she has much more beauty then the other

  11. AshlieeMarie Says:

    the reason i was so drawn to the cover ON THE RIGHT in canada was because it was the more attractive one. They had both side by side and that was the one that caught my eye. People it’s called marketing, selling a product the consumer would like best. HIstorical covers are not hot right now so make it look better and FYI the cover on the left looks excatly like about 100 other covers up here. God the story is the same so stop complaining and get over it.

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