June 13, 2014 • Cee • Discussion


I always dread it when books that are made into movies get a movie tie-in cover like the ones you see here:

You can expect it to happen 100% of the time.

And I’m not a fan.

I don’t see the appeal of buying a movie tie-in cover when the original covers would suffice. I understand that movie tie-in covers are just another means of generating buzz for both the book and the movie, and getting more money from the sales, but the covers are never great. Sure, there are a few gems, like the Hunger Games cover you see in the picture below, but otherwise, the movie tie-in covers are just messes like The Great Gatsby and the Cloud Atlas movie tie-in.

I avoid purchasing those type of covers because of two reasons:

  • The cover is usually hideous. I am a cover snob and will judge the fuck out of a cover. Even if I’ve been dying to read the book, I will not buy it if I don’t like the cover. (I really do not like seeing people’s faces on the cover. It’s such a turn-off.)
  • I feel kind of embarrassed when I’m reading a movie tie-in book. I always feel like people will assume I’m reading the book because of the movie (which I do sometimes). There’s nothing wrong with that, but I get weirdly uncomfortable. It’s like “oh, here’s another person who has been seduced by the movie. She doesn’t know how to resist.” I don’t want people to know I’ve been seduced! It’s a matter of maintaining my reputation. (Even to strangers. ;D)

I admit that I do get caught up in the buzz (as you have read in my second reason for avoiding the covers). I’ve been seduced by actors who convinced me to buy a book their movie is based off of, and when I go to the bookstore, you know what I can’t find? The cover I want. That’s highly annoying. You have this ugly movie tie-in cover (sometimes in that mass market paperback size), but can I just buy the regular cover?

I do have a bone to pick, concerning regular covers with mentions of a movie version. It really irks me when I see the original cover printed with a “now a major motion picture” on it. Can we not? If I wanted a cover reminding me that it became a movie, I would’ve bought the movie tie-in version.

I know good ones exist, but no amount of convincing will get me to buy them. Movie tie-in covers and I shall live apart from each other (just the way I like it).

My final ruling on movie tie-in covers: NAHHHHHH. 

What do you think about movie tie-in covers? Would you buy one? What movie tie-in have you seen that’s awesome? Or horrible?

(psst, by the way, I will be starting a new section about movie tie-in covers in Holy, Mother Cover!, so stay tune!)


17 Responses to “THE THREE C’S: CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH CEE | Movie Tie-In Covers, Yay or Nay?”

  1. I SO AGREE WITH YOU CEE! I see this all the time and I’m like WHY. There was nothing wrong with the original cover (well, depends on the books I guess) but I get so annoyed seeing celebrity faces on BOOKS. They don’t star in the book. They star in the movie. Lets keep it that way.

  2. Movie tie-in covers does not really bother, however I’m not a fan of them either. I just see them as a marketing strategy for companies to gain more money… -.-‘ Oh, and i’m not a fan of seeing celebrity faces on a book covers as well. Unknown faces, I’m ok- just as long as they’re not celebrity faces… I don’t know why I’m like that LOL! That’s just how I am.

    Kudos though to those book series that stuck to their original covers… Harry Potter! Haha! I think that’s the only book series that didn’t have a movie tie-in cover…haha!

  3. Leah says:

    I am SO not a fan of movie version – I honestly can’t think of one I actually like (or, shock, prefer over the original). I suppose Breakfast at Tiffany’s is nice enough (of course it is, it’s Audrey!) and I don’t mind the Dexter covers.

    What I really cannot deal with are the original covers that are plastered with NOT A MOTION PICTURE or COMING SOON. If these were on stickers I could easily peel off that would be one thing, but to have it printed on the cover? No thanks. If I’m really looking for a book I will go out of my way to find one without movie ties.

  4. I don’t usually like them either, especially when it’s just the actors staring moodily at the reader. For some reason, that feels different when it’s an actor/actress tie-in version than when it’s a cover model (usually in a fancy dress!).

    The only ones I like are the Hunger Games ones like you showed above, because they don’t have the actors on them. It’s just a fancy, fiery version of the logo.

    Like you, I used to feel embarrassed to buy the tie-in version. I guess it came from being a book snob, but I never wanted people to think I was only reading the book because of the movie, even when that was occasionally true. I don’t really have that issue anymore because I buy ebooks 99% of the time.

  5. Megan says:

    Most of the time I don’t really like movie tie-in covers because they tend to look worse than the original covers, and they also make people who’re hearing of the book for the first time think that the movie came first, and that really bugs me for some reason. It’s like, give authors credit, you know?! The movie IS based on the book, not the other way round.

    But I have to say, I like the tie-in edition for VA! The picture of Zoey Deutch and Lucy Fry just looks badass.

  6. Meh, I really don’t like cover tie-ins. Although I like If I Stay’s movie tie-in cover, I still wouldn’t get it. The format of the book bothers me so much cause they’re mostly mass market paperback and plus there’s the whole matching with your series situation which is just a huge headache. I mean THG’s cover was nice but then Catching Fire’s movie tie-in doesn’t match :\

    But there’s also something… foreign about the movie tie-ins. They don’t really fit on a book to me and they feel so different from normal book covers. To me they belong mainly as a movie poster, it’s a weird feeling.

  7. Olgia says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one. They suck. I will always ALWAYS buy the original, not the movie cover unless I have no other choice.

  8. Annie says:

    I never really like movie cover tie-ins. I always make sure to buy a book a few weeks BEFORE the movie comes out so I don’t have to get the tie-in covers. I don’t know why but I’m just never really a fan of them. I’d rather have the original than the movie cover on my shelf.

  9. I’m not usually a fan of the tie-in covers and will avoid them, but I do love the If I Stay one, probably more than the original.

    Sometimes I’m for them, though: I got my copy of The Razor’s Edge from paperbackswap and was sent a movie tie-in edition – with Bill Murray on the cover! It took me forever to realize it, I just thought the cover guy kind of looked like Bill Murray haha!

  10. Leigh says:

    I hate how they changed the VA covers. I bought the first two books in the original cover, but now they changed it… It kind of looks the same except the VA are covering the girl’s face which is disappointing b/c now my covers won’t match. GRR. I also do not like the Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist movie cover. It looks cheesy and just unattractive. For me, tie-in editions are a no also.

  11. This is a big no for me. I do not like movie tie-in covers and I also can’t stand when a cover says something about a movie. When the last few Sookie Stackhouse books came out the hard cover and a blurb on top of the beautiful art stating that it was a show on HBO. If you don’t know that then .. well I just don’t know.

  12. Well The Hunger Games movie cover doesn’t look too bad. If they had pasted the actor’s faces on there, then it would be terrible like the rest. I don’t like movie edition covers either, it makes it seem like the book is only important because they made it into a movie.

  13. Shannelle C. says:

    I’m a little interested in seeing what the new cover is going to be, but most of the time it’s just plain don’t. The If I Stay one is just basically, the poster. And as much as I like it as a poster, it doesnt really do as a book cover simply because there’s the celebrity’s face. It feels wrong to do it for a book.

    for the If I Stay one, the layout is actually quite perfect, in a way. It showcases everything that the book’s about more than the original cover did, except for the face. *sigh*

    But I absolutely do agree, The Hunger Games one is the perfect example of a movie tie-in that’s done well.

  14. I dislike movie adaptation covers so much, it really makes me itch and I hate the “permanent “film” sticker” on books, I just think if you’re going to put it on don’t pretend it’s a fucking sticker!

    Also you lose the anonymity you get to the book once they start plastering actors faces to the cover. Sometimes I just want to have the disconnection.

    I’m so looking forward to what else you have in store for us
    O-Cee-One (<<– see what I did there ;-P)

  15. Lisa says:

    I don’t really mind some movie tie in covers, but some are PRETTY bad! I just think its annoying that they ALWAYS make the first book in the movie cover, but then don’t complete the series with movie covers. Like the Vampire Academy series..the movie tie in cover doesn’t match the rest of the series.


  16. I agree, some good ones (although few and far between) do exist, but I don’t ever want the movie tie-in cover and I hate it when that is the only one I can find at the store!! One of my least favorite move ti-in covers would have to be The Great Gatsby! I love Leonardo, but no. I hate the Beautiful Creatures one too. Great post!

  17. I generally buy the original book covers (mostly because I tend to read the book before the movie releases, so I’m usually still a few months away from the tie-in cover being printed) but I don’t tend to have an opinion either way. There are some terrible movie tie-in covers, but at the same time, there are some truly awful book covers as well. There’s no quality guarantee!

    I love the movie tie-in edition of If I Stay, and is definitely going to be the copy I buy in physical format. It encapsulates the story so much better than the original cover, which I think is just dull and so poorly designed.

    But I think my opinion differs so greatly from other people because I have a huuuuuge interest in movie posters. I judge movie posters just as much as I judge book covers. Book covers and movie posters serve exactly the same function, so I don’t mind seeing them intermingle a bit.

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