Sunday, May 12, 2013

#4 P2S Link-Up: Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

We're linking up with Nicole this week from Three31 for our fourth link-up.  It's just about time to get your book packages in the mail and I am so excited to share with all of you!

The old adage, don't judge a book by its cover, has often been applied to our predetermined judgements of others but what about when it comes to books?  How impactful is a book's cover in our decision in actually purchasing it?  We're a culture that determines a lot of aspects on the cosmetic side of things.  What piece of fruit are you going to eat- the bruised apple or the perfectly ripened mango? 

I'll be the first to admit that I judge a book by its cover- even more so its spine.  There are so many factors that can bring me into actually picking up a book, whether it's a review I saw on Huffbooks, a magazine, an author's typical writing style, or just the fact that the cover looks gorgeous. 

I recently read a post that HuffBooks wrote about gendered covers, and I shared it with a few of the participants that I've been corresponding with.  A female author became incredibly frustrated at the number of male readers who would e-mail or tweet her about the the "girliness" of her book covers.  It inhibited them from reading them in public or sometimes even reading them at all.  This spurred a challenge to readers all over to create a reverse gendered cover.  The results were pretty cool and incredibly artistic.  There were many covers that I thought looked significantly more beautiful or even more captivating than the original covers. It also got me to thinking about a publisher's decision to go with a certain cover artwork.  What if they sold two different covers?  Apart from movie poster covers, has this been done before?  Not as an anniversary edition of a book, but the same book at the same time but two different covers.  It also raises the question of why a book cover exudes gender separation. 

You can walk through a Barnes and Noble and automatically identify the aisles of teen fiction and chick lit.  I don't know about you, but I've noticed this trend in teen fiction/romance where the covers tend to be black with neon blues and remind me of like Sci-Fi art.  For chick lit, I usually see illustrations featuring a woman and the use of softer colors and a title is a curly-q font.  The industry has so heavily branded books, you can just tell.  Like if you see a deep navy cover with handcuffs or a grey tie, it's a series that's trying to bank on the success of 50 Shades.  They even put a chicken on a similar cover to make a spoof on it for a cookbook. 

For me what makes a book cover intriguing is if it can stand on its own two feet...or spine (ha, my attempt at a book joke).  If I was an author, I would hope that my book would be successful but would I want it to emulate the style of another book cover, just because it's popular?  I really don't think I would like that and would be really disappointed.   I get annoyed when I see that because it's grouping books together to make sales.

On the flip side, sometimes a cover is not my taste at all but the reviews win me over.  I love The Great Gatsby but I really don't like the cover art.  It's a classic and it's an easily recognizable cover and because of my love for the book- I like the cover art. Hopefully that made an ounce of sense.

I'm thinking of putting together a few "flipped covers" and hopefully I can share those this week.

Be sure to link-up with Nicole and have a great Sunday!
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  1. I love The Great Gatsby and several teachers and I are planning a "girls night" this Friday after school (and after the 8th grade field trip) for dinner and a movie, The Great Gatsby! We're all language arts teachers, book nerds, and we're all going to need copious amounts of alcohol after surviving the field trip that day too. HAHAHA!!!!!

    happy Sunday, Friend. =)

  2. I loved that article about gendered covers! It was so funny to see the covers switched because of the author's gender, but it's also really terrible that female authors tend to get pink and frilly covers while male authors get dark and moody ones. The cover art should be based on what's written inside, not gender of the author.
    Sincerely, Sara

  3. The article on gendered covers sounds interesting! I am going to look it up.