When we look at a book, its cover tells us what to expect. A pink paperback featuring a smiling young woman is most likely a female-centric summer read, whereas a gun on a black background is probably a murder story. A few simple aesthetic rules narrow our options, make life easier and ensure none of us has to wander Waterstone’s for hours, wailing in confusion. And yet the rules seem to be changing. Having cottoned on to the fact that chick lit books sell like cupcakes, publishers are now adding chick lit-style covers to any book written by a woman whether it fits the genre definition or not… books aimed at women are becoming increasingly homogenised, girly and bland-looking.
The first comment on the post sums it up for me: “It’s very simple, really. If women refused to buy books with patronising covers, the publishers would soon change their tune.”
True. Publishers respond to what sells, and try to capture the sales of popular books by making theirs look similar. And why wouldn’t you? You’re a business, after all. If customers don’t buy them, they won’t do it again. Otherwise, is it such a bad thing for an author if more people read their books because the cover is a particular pastel shade which doesn’t sit well with you?