Aging covers and those that miss their mark and lead to sluggish sales are often targeted for makeovers, many times with good results. Up to 75 percent of Viking’s books get redesigned, says Assistant Art Director Jim Hoover, because the publisher sees it as a chance to reintroduce a book to the market.
Makeovers are considered the fountain of youth for books, and Cynthia Voigt’sIzzy, Willy-Nilly (Atheneum, 1986)—which went from sporting a frumpy illustration of a reclining girl to a cool headshot of a blond teen—is one example that has stood the test of time, thanks to the power of Botox for books.
Another book that missed the “right” cover was Pat Murphy’sThe Wild Girls (Viking, 2007), says Scottie Bowditch, director of school and library marketing for Penguin, explaining that it was updated with a contemporary photo and design. “The book was a house favorite, but the cover didn’t do it justice,” she says. “Now it has a great new cover, and we’re excited about renewed interest in this title.”