I think that book #2 is going in a different direction, cover-wise from book #1.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like my book cover. To me, it is a very fantasy cover and it encourages the imagination. On the other hand, it does not really look like your average YA book cover. Which looks something more like this: Pictures of unreasonably attractive young people that generally evoke the subject matter of the novel. Aspirational perhaps?
Though there are more covers that are moving away from that formula towards more iconographic, almost branding imagery; for example:
Though it is interesting to see what they did with the cover for the UK edition:
So, there are a lot of different options. What I like about my cover is that it doesn’t give you any idea of what the main characters in my novel look like. My readers are left to their own devices to conjure Nate and Larissa in their heads. Also, when readers talk to me about the cover of Interlopers, what they always mention is how the cover drew them in. How they were not sure what they were looking at, at first, but that it is an intriguing cover. All of these are good things.
The problem is that there is a degree of constancy that is desirable across the series, and right now it is not clear to me how the graphic approach that was used for the first cover will carry over to the second. Also, maybe I should have an unreasonably attractive teen on the cover of my novel, because people do judge the book by its cover, and sometimes, being too far to the left of what is expected can hurt rather than help.
If book #2 goes in a different direction, it is likely that book #1 will be revamped too, just for the the point of continuity. That’s why I say that folks are going to have a collector’s item on their hands, if what I anticipate happens.
Anyway, readers, writers, what are your thoughts?