Spice and Wolf: Controversy Sells?

Spice and Wolf alt. cover

Yesterday, Yen Press announced that they will be releasing a special dust jacket featuring the delicious original artwork by Ayakura Juu. Previously, Yen Press had come under fire by some hardcore fans about the changing of the cover which some described as ‘distasteful’. The change of covers was for marketability. Reasoning that with this new cover they could broaden their marketing opportunities. Rather than just selling to the manga crowd they could also reach the fantasy readers as well. Which is perfectly understandable. Making money is the number one priority. But Yen Press, for all their awesomeness, have other high priorities.

This would be the happiness of the fans. They announced they would release this dust jacket to online retailers and those who ordered online would receive it. They also releases the jacket in the Yen magazine. But from what I’ve read of those who got it from there, things aren’t so positive. You can’t please everyone. Which is the case. Some people are arguing that the people who don’t buy theirs online are being pushed to the side, or bringing up the point Sankaku Complex made in that ‘customers are important to us;  But not important enough for them to change the cover back to the overwhelmingly preferred original, it seems’. (Really, I stopped visiting Sankaku Complex three months ago to preserve my faith in humanity, so I’m just going off some of the things I’ve just read in the comments of said article).

While I am currently unemployed and unable to purchase the novel online, I will be buying it as soon as possible. This is one of my top five series. Of course, silly cover or not, I’ll be buying it! I will have to suffer with the new cover but that’s okay. The story is the same. Are people forgetting that? I mean it’s just a cover. I was a little bitter at first. But I’m just a sucker for Ayakura’s art. It’s not like they edited the story crazily here or anything. Hell, Yen Press is one of the best manga publishers there is. I mean, hello, it’s not like we’re dealing with freaking Tokyopop here. Now that would be tragic. They wouldn’t think twice about offending and enraging the fanbase (we still remember Rozen Maiden, jerks).

But I would like to ask anyone who is thinking of purchasing the Spice and Wolf novel to please order it online. I spoke, sorta, with them earlier and asked whether or not we can expect the new covers or the original for the rest of the series. They responded with saying:

We will continue to produce alternate covers for future Spice & Wolf novels. We can’t expect retail support for them otherwise. Whether or not those alternate covers are jackets with the original covers underneath or we continue to offer jackets like this will be dictated by the success of this jacket. It will give us a great opportunity to gauge the success of each version. So this your chance, Spice & Wolf fans! An actual opportunity to vote with your dollars! Not buying tells us nothing. What you buy speaks volumes!

Totally fair logic. So you heard them! We already know this great publishing company actually cares what we think! So now it’s up to you guys to tell them! And like they said, the best way to do this is to buy the series not boycott it! You’ll just be loosing out on a really great story. So I encourage everyone, I practically want to BEG everyone to go out and buy the novel online!

As of yet, the list of retailers that have agreed to participate in shipping out the cover with the novel is unknown. When further information is known on the list of retailers, I will update this post.

Yesterdays Announcement: here
Original Announcement:


  • Pookah

    November 22, 2009

    I haven’t found any retailers mentioning the new dust jacket so far, but I like the move by Yen so I’m already planning to buy it once I find one that is.

    Here’s the URL for the book @ Amazon.


  • bethany

    November 24, 2009

    Rightstuf has updated their listing for the novel saying that all preorders for the book will ship with the original jacket.

  • Fang-tan

    November 26, 2009

    They made it sound like there would be more involved…? Well Rightstuff is pretty good, right?
    .-= Fang-tan´s last blog ..Spice and Wolf: Controversy Sells? =-.

  • Fail

    January 23, 2010

    Re-posting how I feel everywhere.

    Yen Press are a sadly, laughable group of individuals. They continue to make horrible decisions. Relying on them is like keeping a bad girlfriend. She tells you she is gonna do things, but then doesn’t. She lies about caring about you. She only cares about what she is doing at that moment, and can’t be bothered to actually do what needs to be done.

    To be blunt. This website(yenpress.us) got a about a 500% increase in comments, deleted comments, and general traffic during the height of this debacle. And they did nothing. LOL, one online retailer sent out covers, is nothing. They either never cared, or froze up like the guy that dies first on the battlefield. Weeks after the book has been released, and still no word from Hassler about more places to get a cover, even though he said he would update the list(lol, not likely huh?). You have failed to release a download-able/printable version of the cover, even after I, and others have posted links to one, here, in this very comment section. By the way Hassler(I once felt bad for you), saying “we simply aren’t set up with a direct-to-consumer infrastructure.”, only means that Yen Press isn’t going to do anything. Way to be a company echo.

    To sum it all up. I believe Yen Press has failed to bring fans an acceptable product(proven by the sheer amount of people who agree). And have failed to make amends(People are still angry, and still talk about it on internet forums). So I have no sympathy for them. I hope they fail.

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