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.