July 3, 2014 • Cee • Holy Mother Cover


Inspired by What She ReadsPure Imagination Blog, and Stacked.

I admit I’m a book cover snob. Who isn’t though?

Book covers are the first thing that attracts readers to a book. A good cover can draw someone is, just as a bad cover can easily draw someone away. It can essentially make or break a book. Holy, Mother Cover! is where I showcase the book covers that stand out (or make me cringe) and discuss cover changes.

(A big special thanks to Georgie at What She Reads for bestowing me this fabulous name and to Charlotte at Gypsy Reviews for creating the beautiful feature banner you see before you.)


COVER CHANGE: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

Today, we look at the cover How to Love by Katie Cotugno!

I am baffled. Who would buy the paperback? Tell me. Which one of you would buy it because you liked the cover? (Be prepared for major sideeye from me.)

I love typography covers. (Not surprising if you know me. ;D) I think the hardcover design of How to Love is gorgeous because of its simplicity. The typography and the coloring gives the books a nice touch and makes it stand out on a bookshelf (at least to me). Look at how personal that cover looks? I love the strokes of the lettering of the title. It gives it a nice paintbrush quality, and I’m always a sucker for that. The cover weirdly reminds me of a chalkboard too, which I love. I really don’t think you need a complicated cover (or one with models) to show what will happen in the book because you can infer it from the title.

Now, about that paperback cover, why? It looks like one of those artsy couple pictures that you’d find on Flickr or Tumblr was merged with a flower background lifted from Pinterest. It’s not a good look. Yeah, sure the couple represent the characters well, but do we really need that? Absolutely not. The title of this book speaks for itself. I am absolutely disappointed that there’s no more gorgeous typography. Instead, we get this pretty boring type with that hideous blue font color, which totally does not fit with the general cover palette. Nothing stands out except for the crappy floral background and the out of place blue. I would be a bit embarrassed to pick up this book. The paperback does not live up to the awesomeness that is the typography hardcover.

Which cover design do you prefer? Would you buy the paperback one (even if you don’t like the cover)? Or would you stick with the hardcover?


20 Responses to “HOLY, MOTHER COVER! | Cover Change for How to Love by Katie Cotugno”

  1. I know I’ve told you this cover change feels like a personal insult. I really liked How to Love and it has sentimental value to me as well since it was the first physical ARC I requested from Harper so this just blows. I’m still astounded by it, I understand they want to cater to a different market but just, this is not the way to do it D; The original cover was so simple and yet eye-catching because of the colour which really made it pop. Plus I think it represented the story better by how much more ‘grounded’ it seems and it sends the message of the book quite clearly.

    The paperback is just a mess. That blue does not work at all and it looks so conflicting with the floral background. The photo is just unnecessary. It is clear from the title that some form of love is going to be in the book, if not already very obvious that romance is inside the book, why the need to make it so explicit? But still, I understand why typography might turn some potential readers away thinking it’s ‘an adult’ book but come on, that cover was gorgeous and people like pretty covers. The paperback is just… I really don’t know how you would prefer it over the original.

  2. Yeah, I love the hardcover cover. I just looooove those colours so much, and the simplicity of it, and like you said, just those strokes! So nice! It really caught my eye when I first saw it in a bookshop. The colour is so bright in real life! Buuuut I have to say I don’t actually hate that paperback cover either. I don’t know why, there’s something about it that makes me happy. I just think it kind of looks a bit different from most other covers with a couple on the front? There’s just something about the combination of it all that works for me, even though I can totally see your point about the hideous colour of the title font. AND YET. For some reason, I don’t mind! It’s odd. I’m rather fond of the photo and the crappy floral background and the ridiculous blue font. Based on the cover alone, I would still buy that paperback.

    The hardcover is infinitely more striking though.

  3. ……..ew.
    First of all…… EW! The paperback is so not even REMOTELY likeable. The blue of the title is just way too BLUE. And the picture is so plain. I’m not even sure I like the flower background…and I usually really like flowery backgrounds! I totally prefer the simple hardback cover. First of all for the font ;D And second, for the colors. They fit much, much better. And you’re right, it does kind of remind me of a chalkboard! Like the green color of a chalkboard.
    Verdict: I wouldn’t even touch the paperback. GIMME HARDBACK!

  4. That paperback cover is just… yuck. Somehow, it reminds me of a poster for some bland romance movie that was just thrown together in Photoshop in about twenty minutes or less. I’m getting kind of bored of seeing real people on covers, and I’m not a fan of floral patterns so I would definitely go for the hardback! It’s so much easier on the eyes and just overall looks so much better than the paperback.

  5. Shelly says:

    Hardcover all the way. Is it possible to protest a cover?! Like can we run up to HarperCollins and just protest “we want better covers! No more hiding under!” (I made it rhyme but it still doesn’t make too much sense). But seriously, as much as I want to save money by buying PBs, I would totally buy the hardcover because it’s infinitely nicer.

  6. I was actually waiting for this to be released in paperback before I bought it. But now I don’t want it. That cover is horrible. I have so much love for the hardcover I might just have to wait for it to go sale!

  7. I wouldn’t pick up the paperback. If I saw that sitting on the shelf at the story I would just think, eww, and move on. However, like you I love typography and the first cover is great!

  8. Annie says:

    Okay, I can APPRECIATE the paperback as someone’s personal endeavour in creating art or something but not as a book cover. I think it’s pretty and nice looking in the way that I would so not hesitate to reblog it for my Tumblr but it doesn’t scream book cover to me. I also feel like it really poorly represents the book. The hardcover’s cover is much, much more suitable for the story. Somehow, I just can’t imagine Sawyer and Reena in that embrace. That’s just not what Sawyer and Reena’s relationship is about to me and I think that’s the biggest problem I have with the paperback.

  9. I think the new cover is nice but I do prefer the old one. It too reminds me of a tumblr post,someone made with good looking models and some clean font. I could make that. I don’t think that there’s nothing wrong with it and I can understand that it might display something a bit more interesting than just a blue background and text as the first one. It think the problem with the paper back is that it screams ‘stereotypical teenage love story’. Oddly enough I don’t own many books that scream that even if what it contains does.

    I pretty much choose hardback over paper back but in this case I don’t LOVE on over the other so it wouldn’t matter a ton to me what the cover was.

  10. Zaira F says:

    This is the first time I’ve seen the cover for that paperback, and ahhhh D: I’m shaking my head. No. The typography for the hardcover is absolutely gorgeous!

  11. Leah says:

    Oh no…NO.

    The paperback cover looks like the cover to an indie pop CD. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing (I’m all about florals and I love the blue font), for this book? Not so much. The hardback is WAY better.

  12. Christy says:

    Ugh, why ruin a perfectly fine cover? I love the hardcover so much better, if I ever buy this book it sure won’t be the paperback.

  13. Christy says:

    Ugh, why ruin a perfectly fine cover? I love the hardcover so much better, if I ever buy this book it sure won’t be the paperback.

  14. brainonbooks says:


    That paperback looks like every other contemporary YA out there, while the hardcover was so uniquely simple and beautiful. If anything, I’ll hope to find the hardcover in a bargain bin somewhere due to the cover change :(

  15. This is the first time I’m seeing this cover for the paperback edition, I think. Perhaps I saw it elsewhere but it didn’t register in my mind. And I don’t like it either. It detracts so much from the original hardcover design. Plus, like Annie said, it looks like something people would reblog on Tumblr.

    I borrowed a paperback edition of How to Love recently and am relieved to say that it’s basically like the hardcover design, just in orange.

  16. Olgia says:

    The hardcover is so much prettier! Agreed!

  17. Oh my GOSH!!! This is so freaking sad to me… I HATE this cover change! How to Love is one of my favorite reads from last year and the cover was AWESOME… WHY???????

  18. Kudos to that couple for actually looking happy and in love – most models on book covers look like they have no control over their facial muscles – but it is so unnecessary. It’s boring! And a mess. The blue clashes with the floral pattern so badly. The typography was so much more beautiful!

  19. Elaine says:

    While I understand everyone’s attachment to the hardcover just to give you an insight about how these things work, the paperback cover is often the publishers last chance to get new readers. This is why the PB cover feels more typical to you because it is made to be more “commercial”, it is intentionally much less arty and almost the opposite of the hardcover to draw in readers that did not pick up the hardcover (perhaps the hardcover sales were not as good as they could’ve been so they are trying a whole new approach. If you love a cover of a book, get as many people to buy it then or else they will almost definitely change the cover for paperback!) I don’t know if you guys have seen this cover in person but the blue type really pops and looks pretty awesome in my opinion, but yeah clearly this cover is the more “hip” option. About the couple, as someone else noted, they actually look nothing like the couples you typically see on these kinds of books and the photo is actually of a much higher quality than your usual “stock couples” ,from the photographer to the actual emotion. I think they are super cute and little sexy, some people are into that (and I guess that’s who they are aiming for this time around.)

  20. Helen says:

    It seems like I might be the only one besides Elaine who liked the paperback cover. I own that edition, and the royal blue DOES NOT clash at all! They’re both gorgeous, but the paperback one has a lot of passion, and actually kind of resembles the characters! I can see how the hardcover may be more lovable in its typography (trust me, i am a HUGE graphic-seeker), but the paperback – do you see that gorgeous font?! The floral and the blue totally match! Alas, I am outnumbered by the power of the placebo!

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