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Author: Subject: Are Male Authors Getting Better Book Covers Than Female Authors?
RobertArend
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[*] posted on 4/4/2012 at 09:07 PM
Are Male Authors Getting Better Book Covers Than Female Authors?


Excerpt from the New York Times article:

Amazon is clearly trying to help readers find titles they want. But any lumping together of disparate writers by gender or perceived female subject matter separates the women from the men. And it subtly keeps female writers from finding a coed audience, not to mention from entering the larger, more influential playing field. It’s done all the time, and not just by strangers at parties or by various booksellers that have no trouble calling interesting, complex novels by women “Women’s Fiction,” as if men should have nothing to do with them. A writer’s own publisher can be part of a process of effective segregation and vague if unintentional put-down. Look at some of the jackets of novels by women. Laundry hanging on a line. A little girl in a field of wildflowers. A pair of shoes on a beach. An empty swing on the porch of an old yellow house.

Compare these with the typeface-only jacket of Chad Harbach’s novel, “The Art of Fielding,” or the jumbo lettering on “The Corrections.” Such covers, according to a book publicist I spoke to, tell the readers, “This book is an event.” Eugenides’s gold ring may appear to be an exception, though it has a geometric abstraction about it: the Möbius strip ring suggesting that an Escher-like, unsolvable puzzle lies within. The illustration might have been more conventional and included the slender fingers and wrist of a woman, had it not been designated a major literary undertaking.

Link to full NYT article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/books/review/on-the-rules-of-lite...




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sharkbytes
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[*] posted on 4/5/2012 at 05:44 AM


Extremely interesting article. Not sure I have any comments... it was kinda news to me, although I'm not surprised.



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[*] posted on 4/5/2012 at 01:25 PM


Bah, horse apples. This is just hype. You can’t take a couple of covers from each gender and say, “LOOK! It’s plain to see!” Rhetoric at its finest.

Women can already vote, work, be in the armed forces, and are eligible for presidency; they want good book covers, too?

I kid. :lol:




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artfirms
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[*] posted on 4/5/2012 at 03:16 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Skwerly  
Bah, horse apples. This is just hype. You can’t take a couple of covers from each gender and say, “LOOK! It’s plain to see!” Rhetoric at its finest.

Women can already vote, work, be in the armed forces, and are eligible for presidency; they want good book covers, too?

I kid. :lol:


:lol: too funny
I guess... they have not heard of my services :P

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Michy
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[*] posted on 4/7/2012 at 11:20 PM


LOL I love it.... yeah, but Derek, I do think it's partially true.

I am seriously considering publishing under ML Devon, so that the gender is ambiguous - I want 'male covers' because I'm writing in crime and suspense and thriller genres, that are dominated by men, and I know there is a consumer preference for men in this genre (similar to sci-fi). I'm not saying EVERYONE feels that way, but the buying power is clear -- women don't get a break in certain genres and men don't get a break in certain genres. That's just how it is.

As for covers, though... I'm not sure if it's true or not. I do know authors usually have zero to no say over their covers with big publishers, mid-sized publishers usually at least let the authors see them and make suggestions and such. But if you want any control over your cover, you have to go with a small publisher that lets you have some say or you have to do it on your own.

It's also not unknown for a book to have multiple covers depending on where it's being sold. UK books with the same content often have different covers to their American counterparts, and hard covers often have different covers than paperbacks as do the same paperbacks in the mass paperback format versus trade paperback format.

So it's hard to compare one cover to one cover and really say much about it as for gender.... but I tend to think it's true - men get the more hard-hitting covers. (shrug) but that's not scientific. It's just more what I think I've observed.




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[*] posted on 4/8/2012 at 09:37 AM


Don't the authors have some say as to what cover they get?





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Michy
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[*] posted on 4/8/2012 at 10:37 AM


With the big publishers, very rarely.




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[*] posted on 4/8/2012 at 11:35 AM


But they get nice advances and royalties with the big boys, so I'm sure it hurts less if they really aren't into the chosen cover. :lol:



I seemed to be looking down from an immense height upon a twilit grotto, knee-deep with filth, where a white-bearded daemon swineherd drove about with his staff a flock of fungous, flabby beasts whose appearance filled me with unutterable loathing.

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[*] posted on 7/6/2012 at 12:54 PM


Quote: Originally posted by rudy2  
Don't the authors have some say as to what cover they get?


This is something generally controlled by the publisher. Authors and or their reps generally are given galleys for approval and, if they have some strenuous dislike of the cover art they can state so at that time. Most writers are so thrilled to be getting published they don't care WHAT the cover looks like. Later, as they become more savvy, they also become more critical of things like editing and cover art.

Some publishers will offer full final approval to an author. Others may only offer the author input into the final drafts.
Still others may only send galleys after the fact.
And, generally speaking, the bigger they (the publishing houses) are, the less input you, the author, will have in cover art.
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