Is the Cover Game Getting Silly?

I’m all for efforts to build anticipation for a new book, but I wonder if the game of unveiling a new cover isn’t getting a bit silly. The cover of Stephen King’s Under the Dome is being released in four stages (via Publishers Marketplace).

I date the beginning of this particular marketing technique to Breaking Dawn (or was one of the Harry Potter‘s? Chime in if you remember a earlier instance). Then there was the upcoming Wimpy Kid, followed by the reveal of The Lost Symbol (making it the first use of a dramatic reveal for an adult title?)

Below is Under the Dome‘s cover as it currently appears on Amazon. Stage one of the real cover is now available here and stage two will be revealed on Friday.

Under the Dome: A Novel
Stephen King
Retail Price: $35.00
Hardcover: 1088 pages
Publisher: Scribner – (2009-11-10)
ISBN / EAN: 1439148503 / 9781439148501

2 Responses to “Is the Cover Game Getting Silly?”

  1. Stephen King’s return: cover revealed « The Book Case Says:

    […] Early Word traced the origins of the “cover release” as a publishing event in a post today (the Harry Potter franchise was the first to blaze this particular trail, I think), wondering if the whole thing is just “silly.” I suppose the announcement got Under the Dome another blog post or two…but overall it’s the inside that counts for me. […]

  2. Jamie Watson Says:

    I had just a really interesting related discussion at a book club. CDs NEVER change their covers – the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind is the same now as it will (probably) be forever. But I own 4 different covers of The Prayer for Owen Meany alone, and I bet there have been a lot more of that! Thoughts? I remember when albums went to cds that people fussed about the size of the liner notes, now no one even cares about liner notes. Is part of the cover so entwined with the book part of why people still think of books as physical objects, music not so much?