I need to have a bit of a rant, and I know some people are going to disagree with me, but I just need to get it off my chest.
I love publishers, I think they're amazing! And I love authors too. But I understand that publishing is a business. Publishers want to make money, which is understandable, but sometimes the way they go about trying to make their money annoys me.
This is to do with covers. It annoys me when books come out with new covers for two different reasons. The first is when covers are changed in the middle of a series. This doesn't effect me much, I'm more interested in the story than the covers, but there are those fans out there who like to have a matching set. So what does this mean? That fan goes and buys all the previous books so they have a matching set, even though they already have them. Then a year or so later, those same books come out again with new covers before the series has ended. That same fan will then have to go out and buy all the previous books again with the new new covers. In this case, that one fan has bought several books three times, but we all know it's not just one fan. Lots of fans like to have a whole set that matches. So how much more money has the publisher raked in just by changing the cover? How much money are the fans wasting - and I say waste because they already own and have read the previous books - just so they can have a matching set?
The second reason is when a series seems to come out with new covers each year. There are the originals, then there are special editions; same as orignals but coloured edges, then with no title on the front, different coloured background, and coloured edges, and all the others. And that's not mentioning movie tie-ins, where there isn't just one cover for a particular movie tie-in, but several. As I said, every year there are new covers for a whole series. And fanatics will buy every single edition they can get their hands on. And what do the publishers hear? Kerching, kerching, kerching!
Don't get me wrong, I can understand publishing a series with new covers a long while after they were first released, I'm not saying books should have one cover indefinitely. It makes sense to change them agter a fair while to bring in new fans. But to change them so regularly?
In both cases, how much are these people spending on books that have exactly the same story inbetween the covers? How much are the publishers raking in by simply changing a cover - and as shown above, they only need to do something as small as making the edges of the pages a bright colour and people will go buying - how much do they get?
I am not one of these people. I don't mind mis-matched series, it's the story that I'm mostly interested in. Once I have a series, I'm not going to buy it again and again for the different covers when the books I have are fine. Saying that, I don't have a problem with those people who want matching series, or want every single edition available. If that's what they want, then go for it. But, for example, would the fanatics actually demand new covers if there weren't any available? I doubt it. They want them because they're available.
I don't claim to know the ins and outs of publishing, I don't know exactly where the money goes, I just know the money is being spent. And I think it's really unfair, and it feels like fans are being taken advantage of. There is no real reason I can see to change covers mid-series, or to bring out new editions of books so regularly, except to make money. And it annoys me.
On a similar note, it also annoys me when books are re-released with short stories at the back, and fans can only read that short story if they buy that book - even if they already have it. More money-making scheme. I shall be quiet now.