I’ve just come across this interesting article from the Huffington Post, about gender bias on book covers. If I’m honest, it was probably only something I noticed on the more obvious books like romance novels and chick-lit, rather than every book I pick up. Take a look at the article and see what you think of their cover re-dos of some famous books.
For traditional books, I could see this making sense – do you remember when the Harry Potter books launched the ‘adult’ covers (around book five), for those people who didn’t want to be seen reading a child’s book? I have a oddly mixed collection of HP, because I just went for the covers I liked the look of best.
Maybe it is a reflection of the story content, that I tend to have the ‘adult’ covers for the later books, when everything got a lot darker and difficult. In contrast with the brightly coloured early covers of the first few books, where the main focus was the excitement of this new magic world Harry fell into. Perhaps the beauty of that series is that you read some parts as a kidult and others as an adult…?
But, that was before the advent of the e-reader – I could be reading anything, feminine cover or not, inside my little black-cased Kindle these days. Will this make a difference in the future? Will covers continue to matter, or do they mean less now that you can sample the chapters, and judge a book by that, rather than its cover?
It gets you thinking about your own book covers then – are they feminine, masculine or neither? It’s difficult to tell sometimes – especially if you are perhaps writing from a specific character point of view that you feel will appeal more to one group of readers than another, you perhaps ‘angle’ in that direction.