What is wrong with this picture?

The Sookie Stackhouse series has just been released in the UK and Australia with new covers to coincide with the release of Dead in the Family.

These covers are the most vulgar, blatant display of money grubbing cross-promotion on the part of a publisher I have ever seen.

Seriously, can you people even make a half-assed attempt to at least APPEAR to give a shit about artistic integrity? We all know that you don’t, but hell, you can at least TRY. “Mary-Anne” has absolutely nothing, zero, nudder and ZILCH to do with the book on which you have chosen to plaster her image. In fact, “Mary-Anne” is actually a mere bit player in a completely different book, and she is never even mentioned in From Dead to Worse. And if artistic integrity isn’t something you’re interested in, spare a thought for paying customers. Some of them would like to have the full series with matching covers, and switching them halfway through is just fucking RUDE.

I understand that covers are changed when a series is re-released and the original artwork only ever appears on the original release. Really, I get that. And for those of you who haven’t seen Lisa Desimini’s original cover artwork without the titling and HBO marketing all over it, I would encourage you to check it out. It is creative and beautiful, and contains lots of little nods to the storyline as cover art should.

Publisher – please take note.

I would classify myself as someone who is a fan of True Blood, but who loves Charlaine Harris’ books. Seeing them DEFILED (and I hesitate to use that word here, but I will), with ill-chosen True Blood promotional images is enough to send me fair off the rails.

In the two years I have spent immersed in this fandom, I’ve seen the books bitched about, slagged off, criticised, scoffed at and ridiculed more times that I care to count. Those who view them as nothing more than an inconvenient thorn in their backside have chanted ad-nauseum that these books have NOTHING TO DO WITH True Blood, and the two will never be comparable since Alan Ball is doing HIS OWN THING. Yet when I’m looking at the characters I’ve grown to love through these books on screen, and I’m wondering if the person responsible for putting them there has even half a clue what they’re about – that’s a tough pill to swallow.

For anyone who can’t understand that, I would ask them to reflect on their expectations for The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter films. It’s really not that complicated.

So a note to the publisher, if I may.

Those who prefer the show and wish to ignore the books on which it is based seem to be fully catered for.

I happen to prefer the books, and I would very much like for you to keep Alan Ball and his fan fiction the FUCK OUT OF THEM.

90 Responses to “What is wrong with this picture?”

  1. June 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I totally agree with you on this. When i saw the cover for DITF on display in the bookshop in Oz i nearly fell over. Don’t get me wrong, i love the season 3 promo picture, but WTF does it have to do with CH’s world. Then i saw the re-released covers and nearly passed out. It is just pure money grabbing and for people that are really unaware, they maybe think TB before the books. Now all my books don’t have the beautiful artistic covers that SVB linked above, but i do like what we have (My ones have the beautiful lady with blood red lips).

    So i echo SVB final words, and in honour of the Magistrate:
    ‘Back your shit down’ AB!

    • June 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      Back your shit down, indeed.

      And on the subject of DITF, it does have the S3 cast photo on the cover – and that has Jessica and Lafayette in it.

      Lafayette who has been DEAD since book 1, and Jessica who doesn’t even fucking EXIST.

      *grabs stiff drink and a ciggie*


    • June 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

      i have to agree with you on this too. although i don’t have the original cover art books, i have the same as dazedrose the lady with blood red lips, I’m dreading getting my DITF book with the cast photo.

      • 4 CarolB
        June 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

        Still, at least we don’t have the one with Mary-fucking-Ann on the cover!! 😉

        • June 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm

          very true! 🙂

        • 6 VikingLover
          June 8, 2010 at 2:48 pm

          The funny part about it is that not only she not in CD, but her name isn’t even Maryann in the books. On top of all of that, most TB Viewers hated the Maryann storyline by the time the season was over. Weird.

          • 7 CarolB
            June 8, 2010 at 2:58 pm

            They should’ve just changed the title while they were at it -“From Worse To WORSE!!”

            • 8 A Northern Soul
              June 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm

              Seriously. AB has been accused of having a boner for Bill, but I swear it’s for Maryann. By the time the finale rolled around last season, I was ready to jump through my TV and kill her myself! And now this. OY.

  2. 9 A Northern Soul
    June 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Are we going to be haunted by Maryann forever!?!? Sheesh.

    • 10 KittyKat
      June 8, 2010 at 2:55 pm

      Indeed we are. As much as CH will be haunted with BB questions. It’s like a rash that won’t go away.

  3. 11 Lise
    June 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Hear hear, its a travesty. I am so disappointed that I will now have a berluddy big TV tie-in copy when my Dead in the Family eventually gets here. I like both True Blood and the books but they are seperate entities and should have always been treated that way.

  4. 12 svmaddict
    June 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I’m a huge Trueblood fan (although I don’t agree with everything AB has done with the original material) and I await the new season more anxiously than I awaited DITF. But I do appreciate the books and using images from the show in such a way is really annoying. They didn’t even bother put Maryann in the cover of the second book at least! (I’ve seen Eric in the cover of Book 4 in a Greek bookstore and that was ok for me. At least it made sense…)

    Unfortunately, the new launching of the books, with TB covers, targets specifically Trubies that have never read the books but love the show and want to read the books in hope that they’ll find out what will happen next. Which, lets face it, noone does. Even us, who ‘ve read each book countless times, cannot possibly predict what AB has in mind. And I don’t mind seeing the show following a different direction (most of the time), I have managed to seperate books and show in my head so as not to get dissapointed, but to “trick” your followers like that is plain annoying. And I think it goes both ways. TrueBlood gains more publishity while CH gets more books sold to Trubies through the new covers. It’s not like this was done without her consent…

    And it’s a pitty because the original artwork was funny and added to the spirit of the books, while this is sterile, shameless advertising.

    Pitty but expectable I guess.

    • June 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      It’s an interesting point SVM – it IS designed to hook True Blood viewers and that in itself is also deceptive.

      Before I posted this I did some digging around because I too assumed that Harris would have to give her consent for this and I just could NOT get my head around her agreeing to have Mary Anne – a character who is not really hers – on the cover of a book that has nothing to do with her.

      Harris does have some control over the original artwork (ie. the Desimini covers) but re releases are the publishers domain – the author does get royalties, but has no creative control and that seems usual.

      That’s why my rant is aimed primarily at the publisher.

      • 14 svmaddict
        June 8, 2010 at 12:24 pm

        You’re probably right, but I can’t shake the feeling that CH does not object on this. Her overall attitude (some “nods” to TrueBlood in the last book, her decision to change part of the plot because AB asked her too [I’m referring to her original thought to have Bill killed -but she gave him a new love interest instead]) it shows an eagerness to demonstrate the relation between books and show. Which is part why I was dissapointed in DITF; even Sookie reminded me more of TB-Sookie than Book-Sookie and that felt wrong…

        Anyway, this isn’t a discussion about the books or our personal opinions on them, so I shouldn’t say anything more on that. I’m just trying to say that it seems possible that CH may be in on it. Which would be a huge dissapointment, it it was true. I hope she isn’t.

        Whatever the reason and whoever is behind this, it really does suck.

      • 15 MASpencer
        June 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

        CH’s publishers obviously have dollar signs in their eyes. And if they urged her NOT to kill Bill in DAG for the sole reason that he would be a greater draw to new show-to-books readers (and no one can convince me that there was any OTHER reason– because his death would have served the story beautifully) then THAT is by far the most flagrant indication of money informing art– with these ridiculously irrelevant covers coming in a close second.

        I think it’s awful– and could threaten to ruin the series, if CH allows herself to be too seduced by it. But I wouldn’t underestimate her own participation in all of this… being an author who has probably struggled for much of her life and who, all of the sudden, hit the GOLDMINE that is the HBO marketing juggernaut.

        Anyway, you are probably correct about her not having any feedback on these particular cover choices– and shame on the publisher, frankly, for ignoring their own author’s material so blatantly. But as much of a Pandora’s box as all of this might be for the SVM series, I sincerely hope that– if CH is ACTUALLY going to keep this going for another SIX BOOKS– she finds a way to extricate herself from all of it and can urge her publishers to have more respect for her product.

        Maybe it’s just because DAG and DITF were the only two books I had to wait for, while I was able to read the rest in succession, but both later novels left me worried for different reasons (namely, DAG was a mess while DITF had a few too many winks to the show). This is why– as much as I LOVE these books– I was secretly hoping that the next one would be the last. I don’t want to see CH dragging out her series just because her publisher thinks there’s a lot more money to be made.

        As an author, you’re only as good as your last book. And for as many times as I’ve ribbed CH for this or that in the series, I REALLY want to see her return to form… because when she’s on her game, she’s BRILLIANTLY entertaining. I love the show, of course– but CH really needs to wipe it from her mind if she’s going to keep the SVM series going. Because I DO NOT WANT to be reminded of the show when I’m reading the books– just like I don’t want to get completely bastardized versions of the scenes I loved in the books (*cough* BULLET-SUCKING *cough*) on the show. It threatens the delicate co-existence I’ve struck in my own mind between the two.

        • 16 Robin
          June 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm

          MAS, has CH said that she is now going to write six more books? I know that she has mentioned that she wants to write more than 13 now, but had not heard that we may get – what a possible 16?

        • 17 VikingLover
          June 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

          {…but CH really needs to wipe it from her mind if she’s going to keep the SVM series going. Because I DO NOT WANT to be reminded of the show when I’m reading the books}

          I agree with this 100%. I did NOT ENJOY the TB references in the book AT ALL. I too have struck up a great balance in my mind between the books and the show and I DO NOT WANT to muddy the waters when I read the books. I love the show but to me the books are THE REAL STORY and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the books. I don’t mind when they change the scenes on the show (hated the whole “MONSTER” thing however) but I don’t want the books effected. Let’s hope the covers are not a sign of things to come in the book series – which is what worries me MORE than anything else.

          I really hope they don’t drag the book series out just to make money either – it would ruin the integrity of the story. Unless of course she’s planning on writing the stories with Eric and Sookie as the main couple. Then I’m all for it.

          • 18 MASpencer
            June 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm

            I agree VL– it’s not the changed storylines that bother me, and for the most part, I love the different direction that Alan Ball has taken as it serves HIS stories and HIS themes better.

            But that scene really got my goat just because it COMPLETELY changed the tone of that encounter in the books, which I loved. And I was SAD!!! 😦

            I don’t need things to happen exactly the way they did in the books… in fact, I almost prefer that they DON’T at this point, because it keeps me on my toes… but to take what was a fun and sexy incident in the books and turn it into something COMPLETELY different is annoying. I’ve since come to terms with it… but it was REALLY annoying.

            • 19 svmaddict
              June 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm

              There are some things I wish were treated differently in the show but overall I love it and whatever AB decides to do with it, I’m sure I’ll end up forgiving him. Well, unless he does something unforgivable like killing Pam or gettin Sookie and Bill back together or something :p

              But the books? CH is the original source, others can “borrow” from her, she should be beyond “borrowing” from others. I found the winks to the show corny and too obvious and a trick that -if it intended to be funny- has failed. I love “Bad things” but reading about people dancing and singing it on Merlottes was ewww. First of all because it reminded me of the Maryann scene with everyone on Merlotte’s dancing under her spell, and secondly because that is a dark, sexy song that suits the show but not the spirit of the books -the books always had something more ridiculous about them, they never took themselves too seriously. Which is part of why I loved them. And part of why I didn’t like the last two. It seems that after From Dead to Worse, the series has lost its edge, at least for me.

          • 20 Robin
            June 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm

            I agree with how you feel, VL. I would not have minded one nod to the show in DITF, perhaps the Bad Things nod, but I really thought it was rediculous how many times it was referenced. I absolutely love the book series, and hope CH keeps the integrity of her series intact as she continues to write. My hope is that CH will write books with Sookie having chosen Eric as her HEA and solving mysteries together.

        • 21 LLE
          June 8, 2010 at 3:43 pm

          CH wanted to kill Bill off but was talk out of it. In another series CH was writing, CH wanted to kill off Martin but the editor would not let her do it. After she change editors, the new editor said she could do it. I have feeling the editor would not let CH killed off Bill.

  5. June 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I agree. I LOVE the original covers. Sadly, most sookieverse books available here in my side of the world have the TB covers (or the one with the girls). The only book cover I think they got it right is DTTW since it’s Eric.

    • June 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      I noticed that too. Interestingly, Dead to the World is the biggest overall seller in the series.

      At least the bean counters got that much.

    • June 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      Do you want to hear something funny? The cover of the latest italian version of Dead to The World is that crappy Bill/Sookie photo from season 2 promotionals.
      Well, I don’t mind seeing references to TrueBlood in the books (because you know, in Italy and in various other countries as well, no one knows who Charlaine Harris is if not because of TB. SVM were published thanks to the success of the show and the editors have to make clear those are the books that INSPIRED TB).
      But, when I saw Behhll in DTTW, I growled. Really. You cannot make a cover without having the slightest idea of what the book is about.

      Anyway, the original covers are awesome. 😉

      • 25 Jo
        June 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

        Nooooooo, that’s my biggest nightmare! if this happen in my country (unfortunately this book is not out yet), which is highly likely, I’ll print a picture of Eric and paste on top, Bill freaking Compton NOT going to haunt me in DTTW.

  6. 29 Serena
    June 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I wouldn’t be shocked if an ad for the drink is on the back cover, they really are shameless.

  7. 30 Jo
    June 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I agree with everything he said, is simply a lack of respect for the readers, be they old or new readers, who by chance were attracted by the cover and feel duped into buying the book.
    More than CH can do in future books, what else has me worried is the way your editor seems to force the hand to earn more money, it’s false advertising and this is not a kind of crime?
    If you sell any other product whatsoever and says he is done for example in a certain way to buy and you find that is a lie, this crime would be towards the consumer. I may be exaggerating, but this is the beginning.
    Who can forget the synopsis of the DITF, where the words “she thinks she loves” as indicated caused the biggest debate here, and then discovered that it was nothing, in fact was the opposite? was not a blatant attempt to not alienate some fans?
    I’m afraid that this will only get worse from now on, and that pressure on CH for more books and perhaps more resemblance to the series, irreparably harm the books.
    That worries me more than AB may change or not TB.

  8. 31 Merit
    June 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I agree with you completely. I found the books only after the TB arrival at my remote place on the planet and purchased the first book soon after when I came to NYC, BUT didn’n know about the original covers till the book 5 and I am still sorry about it,I think the original covers grasp the essence of the books and can stand alone even without the books (yes I like it very much).I am a fan of TB and
    loooovvve the books, I must add that I like your site very very much ,it gave me new perspective for some characters and it’s a lot of fun.of course the big Viking was,is and always will be my addiction.

  9. 32 Pam
    June 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    I like the show better than the books (though they are really great! it’s just that I’m not a book person) HOWEVER, when I saw these in the bookshops in the UK months ago, I was absolutely disgusted and angry with the stupidity of the publishers. The books I have now also have True Blood references (Dead Until Dark with the female vampire licking her lips) which ridiculously enough got carried out into it being Sookie who is the white faced woman with red lips in different backgrounds on each book -> Sookie is not a vampire! is not white as paper! (I was surprised they didn’t use Anna Paquin as the model). Anyway, now, Dead in the Family only being released here this Thursday, has the season 3 promotional picture of all the main cast (including Lafayette!!! Jessica!!! and Sookie with Bill !!! WTF!!! (now my books will not match)

    I was very concerned about this ages ago, but I didn’t think anyone else actually cared lol

    • June 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

      I care Pam! You are not alone 😀

    • 34 KittyKat
      June 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm

      I cared so much that when I ordered through Amazon, I made sure the ISBN matched an edition with the right covers, plus I made sure they showed the right cover as well (took me over 2 weeks to decide where to buy), and was ready to return them and post a VERY negative feedback if they didn’t. Fortunately the seller was reliable and so far I have a very neat group of awesome-looking covers, although I am slightly annoyed with the glitter on the last 3, as well at them changing the font from that bone-like font to the word processor one.

      • June 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm

        I agree with you 100%. I can somehow live with the glitter since the font change is “a hundred, a million times worse” to me. I actually rearranged all my books by colours just so I wouldn’t have to see this graphic design abomination standing beside each other anymore. Is there any rationale to changing the font in the middle of the series?! Tz.
        No, I’m not anankastic at all. Cough.

  10. 36 Diana
    June 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Frankly, if it brings more TB people to the books then I say more power to the publishers. They are there to sell books and make money (capitalism and all that) and if this is the way they have chosen to achieve that goal, whether book people approve or not, it is what it is. I certainly prefer the original covers and my books are those, but some will prefer these and that’s OK. The content between said covers is the same, right? My point is, I guess, that everyone always says “read the books” and if this gets them to do that…it’s OK.

  11. 38 CarolB
    June 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I’d never seen ALL the original covers before (my books are all luscious-lipped lady too), so first off thanks for that link svb, there’s a beautiful child-like quality to the pics and they sure do capture the essence of each book. Then I had to go check Amazon and play.com to see all the damage for myself (and have found that DITF is at last on its way to me, yay!). This is just WRONG! I mean, granted I got into the books after watching the very first episode of TB (which did stick pretty close to the first chapter of DUD) because I was so intrigued at this new (well, new to me!)take on vamps. And that’s my main point – I’m sure a lot of people got into the books thanks to TB, but I can’t see many people NOW, after 2 Seasons of TB suddenly turning to the books. If they ain’t picked them up before now, I doubt they will any time soon! God only knows how people who have been into these books since the beginning feel!
    So, yeah, massive FAIL by the publishers, AB’s probably loving that he’s pissing off the book-lovers AGAIN, can’t even begin to imagine how CH herself is feeling about this!

    • 39 EricObsessed
      June 8, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      I read the books after Season 2 ended. Because I loved the show so much and I love to read I figured I’d give them a chance. Started with buying DUD at the end of December then, when I couldn’t get them all at the library (the waiting list was too long) wound up buying them all and I haven’t picked up another book since. I’ve read the whole series at least 3 times and certain books more than that. Luckily where I live the mass market paperbacks (the cheaper ones) had the original artwork. However the book store did have those other covers too. I don’t consider the show or the books the “real story” but each one separate from the other. I think it’s never to late to get into the books because they are so great so I suppose that’s what the publishers are thinking but I will agree with the rest of you that MA cover is a travesty. It’s the picture from the season 2 dvds right? So stupid, is there ANYONE who even liked the MA story!?

      • 40 KittyKat
        June 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm

        Not that I’ve seen, not here, not on Bill-centric sites, not on casual reviews…. is there any lunatic that actually made a MA site? I could check but I’m too lazy.

        • 41 EricObsessed
          June 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm

          Yeah, I think if anyone made an I love Maryanne site, they’d be crazier than she was! And who else would care? lol (Although in the re-air of S2 I’ve found it somewhat interesting if you just listen to what she’s saying rather than all the silliness going on. But that’s thanks to all the brilliant people here at this site who’ve helped me look beyond the obvious).
          The people I’ve convinced to watch the show since season 2 first ended and are now watching the dvds, I’ve felt the need to apologize about all the MA stuff and to keep going anyway! S3 doesn’t look like it’ll disappoint (hopefully)!

      • 42 CarolB
        June 9, 2010 at 6:46 am

        I stand corrected then! 🙂 Sorry, EO, I just assumed that most folk were impatient like me!

  12. 44 Robin
    June 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    THIS. True Blood is SO NOT the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Don’t get me started on these covers!

    • 45 Robin
      June 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      [I happen to prefer the books, and I would very much like for you to keep Alan Ball and his fan fiction the FUCK OUT OF THEM.]

      Personally, I could not agree more with this statement. It is exactly how I feel.

  13. 46 Kat
    June 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    OMG it also annoys me so much!
    Im really forcing myself to remember that TB and the books are completely separate, and not to expect too much of the books i love in ABs creation, but then we get these TB images on these books. Which not only undermines CHs books, but goes against what AB has tried to do with the series.

    I have yet to actually see the books for sale with the original artworks here in Aus- which is kind of sad because ive seen the series with these covers shamelessly promoted, particularly lately to coincide with the release of season 2, i dont know if i can say to promote season 3 because it wont be airing here until August. (dont get me started on that- im still figuring out to not fall behind you guys with HBO)

    I think when you take someones vision, in its original form (the book) you owe it to that person, to ensure it does not get warped into somebody else adaption and remains true in it original form. Obviously with every film adaption of a book, they will release a special edition cover, but it should not become the only cover.

  14. 47 Suzanna
    June 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    When my fiance (then boyfriend) bought me books 1 through 8 in a box set, I was so disappointed because the first book didn’t have the original artwork on them, but the Trueblood lady with the red lips. I didn’t mind so much, though I have been tempted to buy the one with the coverart and get rid of the box set paperback.

    Anyway, I hate it that they’ve put TB coverart on the books. I can’t even stand to watch TB. Why the bloody hell would I want to see it on the books? I didn’t even recognize this person. I had to read SVB’s post to know who the person was. First CH makes all these TB references in DITF and now this? I’m suddenly afraid to read Book 11.

  15. June 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    i get that they’re trying to attract more Trubies to read the books but in doing so they’re alienating & frankly just pissing off the book lovers, i didn’t see the original artwork covers till i started looking for D&G, ’cause i got the 1st 8 in the series as an xmas gift, but i really i’m not too disappointed because the half face shots of the lady with red lips are beautiful too. it’s gonna be a big disappointment to add the DITF with cast photo to that collection, especially with at least 2 characters on there who aren’t in the story. they’re making millions from merchandise & the t.v. shows, surely they could have just left the books alone.

  16. June 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Yes you can still buy the original cover art from US suppliers.

    But the books were released in stores outside the US with this cover art:

    The whole series from 1 – 9 had this theme, and now it’s been ditched. So those who have the first nine books are now being served this horse crap.

    Lisa Desemini’s cover art is no longer sold in store, outside the US. Actually, I don’t think it ever was.

    • 50 Reginabee
      June 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      I don’t know what happened by I SWEAR I only hit the submit button once and I still doubleposted, but half of my reply went away the first time. My apologies.

    • 53 Reginabee
      June 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      That’s a damn shame.

    • June 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      I live in Germany. I got all books with the original cover art from different places, including amazon and ebay, because one of them – I think DAAD – was actually currently out of stock in official online stores and wouldn’t be available for several months. (I couldn’t wait that long. I am addicted.)

      Back then, I had pondered for a short time whether I would get this UK version you have linked to. I actually find it more aesthetically pleasing than the original, but the original is cute in its own way. Now I’m happy I didn’t get the UK ones if Maryann on front (who I hate with a purple passion) is what is I would be served in the future.

      I still think you guys should see the unrelated abominations the German publishers came up with. Don’t let me get started on the title translations.

      Of course, there’s the generic vampire lady photo, too:

      • 55 VikingLover
        June 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm

        Oh WOW, those are REALLY BAD!!

      • 56 KittyKat
        June 9, 2010 at 12:34 am

        The Portuguese ones are rather similar to these, except that each title has the Portuguese word for “blood” in them…uhhh….yay? so now everything gets related to the series when it’s not even close.
        I do understand the phenomenom, I bought a few movie adaptations where they did this (“memoirs of a geisha” comes to mind) but at least in most movies the story is followed closely enough. In this situation, the changes from book to series are so glaring and extreme, it’s not even the same story anymore. Anyone that buys the books expecting to be a novelization of the series also gets disappointed.

        As an example, below is the DTTW one. All I can say is: UGGGHHHHHH, a pentagram? So just because there are witches, we get this, awesome. Good thing I didn’t buy this crap, or plan to.

        • June 9, 2010 at 12:41 am

          Whoa, that is bad.

          At least they didn’t put Bill on it though. I am still trying to get my head around what Hime posted further up….

          Bill on the cover of DTTW is like…well, it’s like pissing on the Bible really.

  17. 58 Reginabee
    June 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Let me start by saying that I agree with you 100% and am absolutely disgusted by this. However, you CAN still buy the books with the original cover art. Also, look at it this way: if the deceptive cover art manages to get a few anti-bookies to buy the books and they happen to get sucked into the original CORRECT story, then all is good.

  18. 59 LydiaB
    June 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Publishers want to make money. This is how they do it. *shrug*

  19. 60 Kathy
    June 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Oh geeze. I feel for you guys. That’s awful. BTW, the cast photo for S3 is on the new release of the paperback of Club Dead. Which of course makes sense to them, but there are still the extraneous characters and a completely different Tara. We can still by the old covers though.

  20. 61 VikingLover
    June 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t know, I’m kind of torn on this one. They do this all the time with novels that are turned into movies, etc. I think it’s more like someone said, to hook the TB viewers into buying the books. To me, if it gets more people to buy and read the books and know the REAL story than it’s cool. To me it means more Eric and Sookie fans which I LOVE. 🙂 I agree with SVM – I don’t think CH minds as much as everyone thinks.

    I am a little confused about their choice of covers though. You would think they would have Lorena on the cover of CD or Sookie.

    • 62 CarolB
      June 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      I know what you mean VL, but in the case of movies (apart from the Harry Potters) it’s usually just the one book cover they fart about with – this is an ongoing series and if memory serves me correct, this is actually the 3rd lot of covers for the UK – I remember seeing some flowery water-colour effect ones in my local library.
      Aw stuff it, I’m just gonna take the cover off DITF when I get it and stick it a photo frame! 😉

      • 63 VikingLover
        June 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

        Yeah, I definitely understand and that’s why I’m torn on the subject. A part of me is just like NOOOOO and then another part is like, well at least more people will know the real story. I do feel uncomfortable with DITF and future books having the TB covers on them. I don’t know – not sure how I’m feeling about it at the moment. I need time to digest it.

        • 64 CarolB
          June 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm

          Yeah, I can understand why they’ve done it…kind of… and if it works,great! But who the hell matched those pics with the books? Someone who CLEARLY has never picked up the series to read them! And saying as they’ve used their quota of Season 2 character pics plus the Season 3 cast pic what are we going to get on the cover for Book 11? Oh yeah, the Season 4 cast pic, or a badly photoshopped pic of GRAN?! 😉
          See, I’m trying to see the funny side of this, I really am!

    • 65 VampirePamsGirl
      June 9, 2010 at 5:00 am

      VL, my opinion is pretty much exactly like yours. I’m torn on this issue as well.

      Cause like you I love the idea of more people reading the books and honestly most people that I’ve known that read the books came out loving Eric and the more ELs out there the better as far I as am concerned cause we all know that AB and co. can say what they want but having a majority of fans leaning in one direction does impact what they do with the show. It’s all about the money for pretty much anybody, especially executives and publishers.

      However, if they are going to do this they do need to get it right. I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it if it was a bottle of True Blood or a picture of Anna Paquin or something on the cover. Even if it is TB related, it should at least have something to do with the actual content of the book!

      My personal preference though is definitely the original artwork. I love all the little nuances in it!

  21. June 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm


    *mind boggles*

    I don’t even know what to say. That cover is total and complete BS!

  22. 67 KittyKat
    June 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Now when I think of it, I guess that when HBO actually gets off their collective asses and produce another batch of character pictures, they’ll change the covers again? Talk about not letting anyone have an even set.

  23. 68 Turelie Miniel
    June 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I completely agree. Yes it’s good to encourage people who like the tv show to buy the books but why should we, the people who have made them money by buying their (already uglier than the American) versions of the books be forced to have a stupid cover which does not match at all? It’s so stupid to have characters who are dead, have never existed, or are completely different. Who in their right mind would think that a poster for season 3 would make a good cover for book 10 anyway?? Like it’s not bad enough we have to wait weeks for it to come out, we then get forced into buying their crap idea of what a cover should be. Can they not at least consider what a book’s about before shoving a pretty picture on it?
    Publish tv tie-ins if you must, but at leat give us all an alternative!
    They make me so angry!

  24. June 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    wow, that is pretty low.

    if i was a Trubie who had begun reading the series recently, i would know by DitF that Laffy was dead and Jessica didn’t exist and a show centric cover would probably piss me off. i don’t get it at all. it’s the latest book. if you’ve read them all the way through, you’d know that was wrong!

    all of my books have the folk art styled covers, except the first. it’s got the True Blood lady on it. (who is that supposed to be, anyway?) but i figured that’s what i got for buying the thing at Wal Mart.

  25. June 8, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Great googley moogley.

    This is just a travesty. I can understand, to an extent, using cast photos – but the ONLY book that Maryann should have even been CONSIDERED to be on was book 2. NOT THIS ONE. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. What intern’s bright idea was this? And what kind of effed up LSD-laced-weed were they smoking?

    This is horrendous. An absolutely egreious treatment of the material.

  26. 71 LoveEric
    June 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    When I started this series, I was borrowing from the libarary, then got my Mom into it, and borrowed all her paperbacks. I decided to buy them all for myself since I re-read them often. I chose to buy all hardcovers because I wanted the beautiful original art. More importantly, though, is that I did not want BILL’S FACE on my books/boxed set. I wasn’t even watching True Blood yet, and I didn’t want to see his mug on my books. I am also disgusted about Mary Ann on the cover of From Dead to Worse. I just wouldn’t buy it.

    • 72 LoveEric
      June 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

      Okay, I have more to add. Obviously, it’s insane that MaryAnn would be on the cover of a book that she had nothing to do with. What’s really weird is that she just won’t go away. Book fans were so sick of MaryAnn in season 2. Now here she is again. It’s like a big “F-You” to book fans. The crossover, if it must be done, is one thing. Put the maened’s face on the SECOND BOOK. This just doesn’t make any sense. All the new readers of this book, with this cover, will be wondering, “Why the hell is MaryAnn on this cover?” I would be.

  27. 73 Willowbella
    June 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I saw the Maryann cover on book 8 in my local supermarket here in London and thought WTF! So irrelevant. Also bugs me that Amazon in the UK is advertising them as “a True Blood novel” like they were written based on the show (like some cheap fucking Buffy tie in). So misleading!

    I’ve always hated and avoided film/TV tie-in covers. It is blatant but to be expected (publishing is more about business than integrity now). What annoys me is that people will pick up the books expecting them to be exactly like the show and not give them a proper chance as a separate entity (‘cause people DO judge a book by it’s cover). Ugh!

    I have the first 9 books with the original UK cover art and bought the 10th in the States as I didn’t even want the new UK DitF version (liked the cast poster for the show but it has no place on the book). Since I’m ranting, the original covers on the books in the UK were also shit IMO, they make Sookie look like a vampire and just look trashy in general. Wish they would give these books the cover art they deserve. Still annoying not to have a complete set though.

  28. 74 ESFAN08
    June 8, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    If they had an option like you could choose between the original coverart or this TB coverart, i’d say who cares? as long as the TB coverart made sense which it dont at all lol. I understand CH an the Publisher wanting to bring more Trubies to the Books, but to be honest most Trubies who haven’t read the Books either aren’t into reading Books period, an have no intention to, or are B/L who refuse to read passed Book 2-3. I also think for People who haven’t heard of SVM or even TB for that matter an i’ve come across some might be confused an mislead by these covers. True Blood Fan’s for instant may think cuz these covers are on these Books that the Books are basically True Blood so when they read it they’ll be like huh? lol. If they are gonna have Books with TB coverart on them they need to make sense, like for one not putting Mary Ann on the cover of a Book Mary Ann’s not even in, an the fact the Mary Ann doesn’t exist she’s called Maenad, an exists on like what 2-3 Pages in Book 2? Also the cast Photo on Book 10 Lafayette’s dead by that point, an Jessica is AB’s creation not CH’s. They could atleast take new Pics of the Characters they wanna use for these coverart, maybe do a cast Photo of the People who are in that Book lol.

    • June 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      [ I understand CH an the Publisher wanting to bring more Trubies to the Books, but to be honest most Trubies who haven’t read the Books either aren’t into reading Books period, an have no intention to, or are B/L who refuse to read passed Book 2-3. ]

      Wow. Judgmental much? People “who haven’t read the books aren’t into reading books period”? WTF!?

      People start watching tv shows at all different points in the series’ run and there are *way* more books in existence now than a person could ever hope to read in a lifetime. I rarely watch tv shows and I didn’t discover TB until the second season, at that time I sought out all of the books and I love them but I have a list of 20+ books in my “to be read” queue, most of them non-fiction, so if I learned about TB now, the SVM series would be read, just not right away.

      • 76 ESFAN08
        June 8, 2010 at 9:53 pm

        I didn’t mean it like that i’m sorry if it came off that way. I meant that some People just dont like reading Books period ANY Books. I used to be one of those People who hated to read could never really get into it, an didn’t really read Books for most my life. Then i watched True Blood, an by the second Season decided to pick the Books up to start reading, an really got into them. All i was saying was that the majority of People if they were thinking about reading the Books, they probably would have started reading them by now.

    • 77 VampirePamsGirl
      June 9, 2010 at 5:14 am

      I think I get what you’re saying here.

      I know one of my best friends refuses to read the books because she likes the show and doesn’t want it to be ruined for her because my friends, like me, read the book and want the show/movie to be like the book. Yeah, I know it’s not the right way to go about it and I can hear people screaming now “The show is not the books!” but that’s just the way we are. She’s listened to me and our other friend (both of us watch the show and LOVE the books) complain quite often about the show deviating from the books at certain parts and doesn’t want to put herself through that by reading the books. She plans to wait until the show goes off the air and then read all the books.

      I’ve done that before myself. I refuse to read the Vampire Diaries books because I enjoy the show and I know reading the books will kill the show for me cause I ALWAYS like the books better. I’d still watch the show cause I’m hooked on it but I’d gripe all the time about it, lol, so I’m just waiting.

  29. 78 Pogonip
    June 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    The bottom line is that it’s all about the bottom line. CH wrote Dead Until Dark to expand her readership (book buyers.) She had been a mid-list mystery writer, but wanted bigger sales, and calculated that by adding a paranormal element, some romance, a soupcon of science fiction, a touch of horror to a mystery would increase her sales. DUD was originally a stand-alone, but when it sold, she got a contract for three more, then three more after that, and…well, you’ve seen them come out.

    When the books became popular, and were well-timed for the current vogue, she sold rights for the HBO series, adding to that bottom line. Writers don’t make much money. There are some highly successful ones, and many, many who rely on the day job. CH planned carefully and had some very good luck. She’s making the most of it, and if that means accommodating Alan Ball, she’s going to do it. Writers don’t have pension plans.

  30. 79 GaijinVamp
    June 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I am totally a book person, but I appreciate AB’s series as fan fiction, which is what it is.

    Aside from the travesty of the change in covers, which is totally ridiculous, my big problem is that the books have been re-released in the larger trade edition that costs @ $13.00, as if they were more serious than the wonderful beach reads that they are. Now you can buy so many different editions and covers, that you can fill a bookcase with aggravation.

    I bought all of my copies with the original cover art from used bookstores. Perhaps you can do that through Amazon also. Except for Dead and Gone. I won’t buy it ever, hate it.

    • 80 KittyKat
      June 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

      That’s what I did. From Amazon UK, no less. I simply made sure I bought them in “used-as new” condition. Funny thing is: I live in Portugal, and because of that, all the english books are basically US imports, no clue why (you’ll see me buying translations when hell freezes over, I don’t need any bozo translating it for me, I manage just fine), and I mostly see the original artwork for sale because of that. This, as of one month ago.

  31. 81 EricObsessed
    June 8, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    It’s a shame it’s so hard for some of you in other countries to get the book covers you want. It’s too bad we don’t all know each other better I could get all 9 mass market paperbacks with original covers for you at Target here in North Carolina, discounted, for $4.99. Not to rub it in or anything, just saying, it does suck.

  32. 82 olimpia
    June 8, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    True blood did get my attention but only after the end of s2 i started looking for the books and fortunately got all 9 early this year. The following 9 nights and days i couldn’t take my hands off them, just loved them! But only the first 2 books have TB covers because the original cover art have been sold out, i bought the 9 box set and now i’m looking for them in bookshops. Our Romanian publishing house started publishing the books in 2007 with the original Lisa Desemini’s cover art but never with hardcover and a poor paper quality (must buy again favorite vol.4,5 and 9 as some pages are off). Anyway tomorrow vol.10 and ‘a touch of dead’ will finally be out of the printing house and on the way to me iuhuuu!
    Of course i don’t like the TB covers!

  33. 83 Dunkinstiks
    June 8, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    CH has to make a living, I’ll give her that, but what about her loyal book readers? What about those who do not watch TB and don’t care to watch TB, and don’t know who the hell MaryAnne is? They follow the book series and see this strange women on the cover and assume she has something to do with the books and learn MaryAnne is from a TV series, WTF? Where is the collaboration between the 2? This hogwash!

    CH sold her book readers out and it became evident when we learned of “Bill’s changed death”. This was nothing more than a publishing stunt to gain and keep readers of the TV series. The sad thing is ever since TB came out the books have suffered terribly and have not been on the same level or shine. *sniff*

  34. 84 GaijinVamp
    June 9, 2010 at 4:01 am

    “Bill on the cover of DTTW is like…well, it’s like pissing on the Bible really.”

    Amen to that!

    Aside from not liking the covers, doesn’t anyone else think it’s interesting how the covers relate to each country’s psyche? Why the publishers think some images better than others?
    What are they like in France? Are they sexier?

  35. 85 RJ
    June 9, 2010 at 5:56 am

    I live in the US and these covers are all new to me! I wonder if the publishers who made these decisions have even read the books. Hell, if they had just read the back of the books they would’ve known these covers don’t match. Although I have to admit that if there was cover featuring ASkars I would definitely order that!

  36. 86 svmaddict
    June 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I saw the english publications of the books in a bookstore with the TrueBlood covers but now I checked to see their Greek publication (I never read books from translation, so I wasn’t even sure they were published in Greek) and apparently the first books have the original covers while the later books have the lady with the red lips… Which sucks because people here will never have matching books and I wanted to buy them for my little sister. And DTTW is named “Νεκρός στη Λήθη” meaning: Dead in Oblivion. At least I’ve heard worse title-translations than that one.

  37. 87 Janofarc/hamsterbaby
    June 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    This has the potential to actually backfire on the publishers money making ideas. Obviously they’ve put the TB characters on the covers to entice TB watchers to buy them but as someone said earlier – people sometimes do really judge a book by it’s cover (*cough* BL’s *cough*).

    What happens when a TB fan in Italy buys the travesty of an edition of DTTW with B/S on the cover because they love Bill? It’s not going to be pretty and it’s not going to get them to buy any further books is it?

    Also we’ll probably find a lot of TB watchers only buying from CD onwards because these new covers fool them into thinking that the books and the show are the same, which means they miss a lot of relationship interactions from the first two books. Result: they read CD say ‘WTF?’ and don’t buy any of the other books.

    This is a loser idea, there’s no positive spin on it when you really think about the affect these covers will have on people’s impressions of the books.

  38. 88 OhVamp
    June 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    DITF is the overall best seller and yet Alan Ball, and maybe even now Charlaine Harris herself, does not respect the popularity of the Eric.

  39. 89 AMM
    June 13, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I am from the UK and they are now only selling the books with the new covers in the supermarkets, but bookstores are still selling both. I hate the fact that they put Mary-Ann on it as it is just a stupid marketing ploy. However I have to admit I did bounce around the shop and squee (loudly), bringing myself to the attention of the security guard who thought I was having some kind of fit, when I saw the cover for Dead to the World as it was chosen perfectly (the yummy Alexander Skarsgard). Needless to say I was escorted out of the store…apparently hugging a book, being rendered somewhat speechless and only able to speak in squees frightens the shop managers 😛

    • 90 LoveEric
      June 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      Oooh, I want to see that cover! They can just put him on all the covers, then maybe I’d buy the whole set again! 🙂

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My ramblings on the Sookie Stackhouse books, and the HBO series True Blood. Everyone I know is already half crazed with my plot and character assassinations, conspiracy theories, theme explorations and general obsessing, so now I'm going to share it all with you. Spoilers and Viking worship are rampant...you have been warned!

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