If you are a female author, you are much more likely to get a package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. We’re the high fructose corn syrup of literature, even when our products are the same.
A great article and it’s really cool to see how some of the coverflips turned out.
To see more cover flips, go here.
Love this post by Maureen and, especially, the quote highlighted by Holly.
Geeze my friends are smart.
Isn’t Maureen great? Also Holly. Also Ally. So many smart ladies pointing out something that is crystal clear… and something that will keep happening, to ladies, time after time.
They’ll be told they’re not as smart, and that their work isn’t as good.
Their work will be packaged in a way that clearly indicates that they’re a girl—and thus that the work isn’t as good as a guy’s. Books that look like that aren’t good, it’s impressed on us. Books that look like that are girls’ books. Girls’ books aren’t good.
They get you coming and going: degrading happens in a circle.
Very few authors, dudes or ladies, get precisely the covers they want: this isn’t about that issue.
(Sorry, dude authors. May you always get the covers you want!)
I used my first cover to reblog Maureen’s post because in the first few months after my book came out, I heard about equal amounts of ‘Why does a book with a cover like that not have ROMANCE in it?’ and ‘Why is this not like a book written by a girl? Where is the romance?’
Romance is definitely seen as a girl thing. And, well, I love it personally, but it’s looked down on a ton.
Later books I wrote, which centered on girls and had more romance, people then decided, not as deep as the one about the boy with less romance! Dismissed, girl book! Should’ve done something different… but if the less-romance boy book was wrong, and the more-romance girls books were wrong, then what could I do? Oh right. Not be a girl. That’s what I did wrong: that’s the one thing I didn’t change.
Here’s the circle again. We’re told ‘this is what you do’ and if we do something different we’re told we did it wrong, and if we do it, well, it’s a rubbish thing to do because *we* do it.
If you don’t fit in the box, they shove you in anyway, and if you do fit in the box, they say ‘wow, you’re lousy for fitting in this lousy box!’
All the bits in the circle need to be dismantled.
I do not want girls’ books and boys’ books to automatically get different packaging.
I do not want girls’ books to be dismissed.
I do not want any kind of packaging (pink, perhaps) to be dismissed, either. (Pink for the cover of the next Very Serious Boy Book!)
I do want us all to think about covers, and the assumptions they carry with them, and the language we use for women’s books and the connotations it has (fluffy! is the book a duckling?).
I do not want any more girls to think they are not as smart and their work isn’t as good.
Because as you can see from this project, ladies are ferociously smart, and what they’re doing is great.