February 20, 2010
Can you teach an old book new tricks?
Can you judge a book by its cover? I’ll confess that I have bought many a book because I fell for the shiny surface. Luckily, my batting average is high. I adored Ginger, You’re Barmy, The Rap Factor, and Blue Heaven — all three I bought more than two decades ago because I liked the looks of them.
But here’s a new question: How do readers (and writers) feel about new titles on old books? Say a book was in print for a few years, and sales have slowed. The publisher is looking to perk up the numbers and decides to give the book a whole new package: new title, new cover, new ISBN.
So far, a few of my books have received new covers:
Learning to Love It
Got a Minute?
But aside from foreign translations, the titles have remained the same. I’m curious as to how you all feel about the situation. What are your thoughts about publishers repackaging older books with pretty new titles and covers? How would you feel if you unwittingly bought a book you already owned? Are there pros and cons to the practice?
Chime in, please. All opinions welcome.