Gendered Book Covers

Wow. If we take the gender flipping meme to publishing, then what of book covers?

Yesterday, author Maureen Johnson had a great idea. She tweeted “I do wish I had a dime for every email I get that says, “Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it. – signed, A Guy” – and so came the idea for a challenge for her 77,000 followers. A challenge that she called Coverflip. Below, she explains more.

And the simple fact of the matter is, if you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s “girly,” which is somehow inherently different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it.

Go look at the slide show. It’s pretty staggering.

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.

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