This or that cover? And why do covers change with the countries?

Hi dear friends,

I did not plan to write a second post today but stumbling upon Kingdom of Ashes cover reveal (SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE) made me ponder about the differences in covers.

When I was last in London in February I visited Waterstone Piccadilly (some book fan that I met at Starbuck told me Sarah J Maas was signing there so I rushed but …too late) and bought The Girl in the Tower. The UK cover was completely different from the US cover that is generally featured on Goodreads or Amazon.

I had a chat with the cashier who NEVER had realized there were different covers for books. It was all funny and passionate discussion from one book lover to the other. She even called her colleague when I googled the US cover.

When I wondered why the covers were so different she told me that American were “bolder” and that English people were more “contained”.

Now your opinion matters to me!

Do you think this is the correct and only explanation or do you have another theory about this VERY IMPORTANT matter? 😉 

Please let me know in the comments!


Second part of this post: here are quite a few of variations. Which ones do you prefer? The US is always on the left and UK on the right (no political hidden meaning here!)

1. Sarah J Maas Kingdom of Ashes (US vs UK) (I ordered…I don’t know yet. Faerycrate special)

2. A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (US vs UK) (I ordered the UK)

3.The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (US vs UK) (I bought the UK)

4. Bright we Burn by Kiersten White (US vs UK) (I ordered the US)

5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (US vs UK) (I ordered the UK on Book Depository)

6. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (US vs UK vs Owl Crate) (I got the UK in Fairyloot but would love to get the Owl Crate special!)

7.Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (US vs UK) (I own the UK)

8. The Name they Gave Us by Emery Lord (US vs UK) (I got the UK)

Thanks for reading!


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28 Replies to “This or that cover? And why do covers change with the countries?”

  1. I think I tend to like US covers more (For instance, I LOVE the cover for The Names They Gave Us), but there are some UK covers that are just amazing!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha choices are hard to make sometimes Nicole!

  2. We only get UK covers here, but I mostly like US covers more. In the case of Kingdom of Ash, I’m kinda glad that I’ll be getting a UK cover because it seriously looks so gorgeous.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Raven I can understand why India would favor UK covers 😉 And I am with you about Kingdom of Ash!

  3. Great post! ♥️ I understand part of the difference is cultural. I live in the US but love all the UK covers. Sometimes the cover and title make a difference after I read the synopsis and can’t decide.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha Dani maybe it’s because you like K-Drama. You are goind the East route LOL

  4. I always noticed the differences in romance novels’ covers between Italy and the US. In Italy there was no way abs or nakedness of any shape or form would be accpted on covers. For example, the tangled series by Chase, in Italian are all represented by strawberries and diamonds, for examples. Just simple objects. While other books like Armentrouts or NA in general has more cute and realistic images rather than people kissing. Personally, I like both, it depends on the single covers.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      What????? No naked chests on Italian books???? You are so missing out Talia! Kidding here 😉 But yes I gues I get it. When I visited churches in Firenze I had to cover my shoulders with a shawl for example, even if I was not indecent per se. So of course nakedness and even semi nakedness on covers would be out of question. Now that’s a bit hypocritical as Michelangelo painted naked angels etc. And don’t start me on David (my favorite art piece in the whole world and not the one close to The Uffizi but the one inside the academy!

  5. I thought they had different covers in different countries sometimes for legal reasons, but I guess maybe that’s incorrect lol. I’ve never thought about how different styles of covers might have more appeal in different countries!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well Kristen it makes sense as we have other cultures. As in some countries white is for death while in the US and Europe it’s for weddings!

  6. I tend to lean more for the UK covers. And with Kingdom of Ash, I like the UK version more too

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too usually speaking Hanna! But I may buy both covers for Kingdom of Ashes 😉

  7. Usually, I prefer the American covers, but I am in love with the UK edition of One Of Us Is Lying with its RED PAGES. Also, in my country, publishers do change book covers, and most of the time, they are not as good as the original 🙁

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Ha Cri that’s a shame! Here too they change the cover and my kids end with another version than my own!

  8. I love to see covers from different countries. It’s neat to see how different they can be. I wonder what goes into those choices

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Me too Julianna! Maybe i’ll get to interview a publisher once and ask that question?

  9. I do think that they do different covers based on location because of different tastes of people in each location, but I don’t know if it necessarily is because Americans are more bold? I love comparing different covers of books tho! Friday Face-Off is my favorite meme because of this 😀

    As for the 8 you featured I liked the US cover on 4 of them and the UK cover on 4 of them (I am from the US) I find that I am usually 50/50 on liking the US/UK covers, so idk how well their marketing strategy (assuming that is why they do it) works.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha yes Brittany I know you love your Friday Face-Off. They are always so interesting! And maybe you have close UK ancestors LOL

  10. I do think they change the covers to fit with the market they are selling. Books get cover changes here too when the book gets translated.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      That’s the same when they are translated in French Annemieke! I own one version and my kids another one 😉

  11. I never understood why there needed to be a difference for US and UK! I’m super excited for Kingdom of Ash. I love that it’s yellow too because that’s one of my favorite colors <3

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Well Tiffany that’s something I discovered thanks to blogging! And few books have a yellow cover!

  12. I can never really guess why they are different but I suppose the publishers must have some guidance on what kind of covers are more attractive to each country’s audience.
    But there have been too many instances where I have loved the UK editions more but obviously, can’t order them from amazon US. Case in point, all the Throne of Glass covers. I just think the white background accentuates the other colors.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Sahi if you want to order another cover you can do it on Book Depository. No shipping costs either!

  13. I find it really interesting seeing the difference in covers in different countries. I like them all really, they are just different. When it comes to romance covers though, I prefer US covers, but YA and UF covers I prefer UK Covers

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      When you put it like that ..yes Adult books have better US cover!

  14. I tend to prefer a lot of the UK covers. Thanks to Book Depository I am able to get them.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Hahaha Mary yes me too 😉

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