Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Anniversary Covers

My love of book covers, and talking about book covers is no secret. But what may be less known, is my distaste for 'Anniversary' covers. Most recently, I read the "75th Anniversary Edition" of Their Eyes Were Watching God. It really felt special to be reading such a special edition of the book. I can't imagine how much less I would have got out of it had I read the 2012 edition.

Now I understand why publishers do this, obviously it's to sell more copies. And I'd be wrong if I said it didn't work. Unfortunately, people are suckers for this kind of thing and publishers know it.

I've never actually heard somebody say they love picking up anniversary covers however, which is probably because people don't usually announce why they're buying a specific copy of a book, but I can imagine the thought process in their heads. I can't believe it's already been 10 years since Boba Fett: A New Threat came out! I should get this anniversary copy to commemorate the year this was re-released."

Okay, admittedly, anniversary editions tend to be of very well known books, so it's doubtful any book with a colon in the title will get a celebratory cover. Unlike what is sometimes seen on AMC, who often invites viewers to join them in celebrating 30 years since a movie's release by playing it 12 times a day for a week.

I once saw that AMC was celebrating the 20th Anniversary of "The Rocketeer." I mean, come on! I hope they used the catch phrase, "Come celebrate the 20th Anniversary of "The Rocketeer," because based on it's box office, you haven't seen it before."

But even if it is a classic novel, it isn't as if the book is any different; it's the exact same book with a banner across the cover, or perhaps a new photo. Sure, sometimes they throw in an introduction, which is usually to capitalize on the fact the author doing the introduction is more well known than the book; Boba Fett: A New Threat with an introduction by Dan Brown.

If an anniversary edition must be released, I'd like to see it be a replica of the first edition. The copy of Gone With the Wind that I read, was a 75th anniversary edition, but it looked nothing like the first edition. And even if it had, it would have had a large "75th Anniversary Edition" banner across the top of the cover, thus negating the appeal of it being a first edition replica. So scratch that idea, anniversary covers should never be printed.

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