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.
“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.”
Original article at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maureen-johnson/gender-coverup_b_3231484.html
Artists respond with gendered cover flips: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/07/coverflip-maureen-johnson_n_3231935.html?1367956789
I made this point during a conference workshop on “How to Write for Boys.” I took the session to see a male author’s perspective on the reading gender gap, especially in the teen years. He made points about “boy friendly” subject matter that both genders would read, since women tend to be crossover readers.
It was not meant to be offensive, and he made some interesting points about reluctant readers, though I believe that I know as many girls who are reluctant readers as boys.
At the end of this class, I was able to speak my piece. It’s not necessarily subject matter, or that female authors can’t write boys convincingly, or that all women write romance as the driving force of a novel and that’s unappealing to boys. There are plenty of high quality YA novels that “could work for both genders”, but most boys that read YA probably wouldn’t want to be seen reading something with a broody teenage girl in a froofy dress on the cover.
“‘Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it. - signed, A Guy’”
It’s all in how it’s packaged, and there is a definite disparity in how female authors are packaged as opposed to male authors.