What is beauty? Simple book cover alterations

Most of you have probably seen this:

And you know how I reviewed Ascendant earlier today? Well check this out:



I'm practically POSITIVE that is the same picture (EDIT: Actually... I'm not so sure now). It's just been photoshoped! But isn't the difference amazing? The girl on the finished cover looks toned, beautiful, focused, and a little haughty. The girl on the ARC cover is still very pretty, but she looks a little lost and sad.

Most of this has to do with shading. There's a shadow on the ARC cover that makes her mouth turn down in a frown, it's gone on the final cover. Her cheekbones are higher and more defined on the final cover. They've also shaded her chin to make her look thinner, sharper. And the brightness of the eyes gives her that focused look. Even her EYEBROWS have been altered! Plus, the hair has more layers to it. The hair on the final cover sweeps at two different levels, while the ARC cover only goes one way at one speed.

I remember getting the ARC and being a little disappointed. I thought "the cover looked so much prettier online." And then when I saw them side by side, I was a little shocked. Hence this post.

What thinkest thou?

AS A GENERAL NOTE: I am in no way judging the publisher because what they did to the cover. I prefer the final cover, it looks much more polished. This is merely an observation.


  1. I believe they also changed her nose...

    I don't know what to think about this.

  2. That's so creepy how much they can change someone by just photoshopping it. This is more than half the reason why girls feel so self-concious these days.:(

  3. Gaby, I do believe her nose is a little smaller in the finished version.

    I was surprised they released the ARC with this cover.

  4. This happens in probably every single book cover out there.

    The questions is, if given the choice, which one would consumers buy? The majority would buy the photoshopped one. Who doesn't want the pretty book cover?

    It's a matter of whatever sells, I think.

    I'm not saying I agree with what they did to the cover, but I'm just seeing this from another pov.

  5. Wow! I love how the final version is much brighter and prettier, but I have to say that I like the original girl a little bit more.

  6. AS A GENERAL NOTE: I am in no way judging them by what they did to the cover. I prefer the final cover, it looks much more polished. This was merely supposed to be an observation.


  7. I go for the first one, it's much more real and beautiful in a raw, lovely way!

  8. I think they both look great--but my take is that the Photoshopped girl looks OLDER. It's like they were trying to make her just a few years more mature, whereas the ARC girl is just that: a GIRL.


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