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Changing Cover Art

I'm thinking of changing my cover art for the first book in my series. The cover art has a special place in my heart because it's my first book I got published but I recognize the fact that compared to cover art for other books in the series, it feels more cartoon-ish rather than embracing the serious tone of the series. I don't want to disrespect the original artist by any means but she was a friend of a friend rather than hiring her through normal means so I felt obligated and at the time of writing that book, I had no idea how to go about hiring an artist anyways. Since then I have hired differing artists for each book (it allows me to track down artists who I feel are best at conveying the tone I want for the book I'm writing) so I have no problem hiring a new one.

I wanted to ask this because I didn't know if it's professionally discouraged or if this is acceptable practice. My plan is to follow my normal methods of hiring a new artist (my normal hiring grounds are DeviantArt for the record) and then provide them with the original cover art and then provide examples of my other covers to show the style I am looking for. The new artist would then essentially recreate the original cover art using their own style. In my opinion, I was the one who came up with the design for the original cartoon-ish looking cover and conveyed my ideas to my original artist, therefore I have the discretion of asking another artist to replicate it based on their style. In essence, the cover would be laid out in a similar fashion to the first cover art but it would look more serious and professional. Since it's the first book in the series, I want to make sure I'm establishing the right first impression. What is everyone's thoughts regarding something like this?

*First post on the forums by the way so I apologize if this question has already been answered and I couldn't find it.

Best Answer


  • I agree with A_A_Cain. If you commissioned the work, you should own the rights to use it without expectation that you continue using it.
    One thing I would do is add a line to your copyright page when you update the cover to indicate the new edition has an updated cover. 
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