So after looking through all of the coverflips on tumblr (from the challenge by Maureen Johnson), I decided I really wanted to do one. In part because I really wanted to create something for fun again but mostly because I believe it’s a really important thing to consider.
I’ve always been critical of the covers of books. Once I finish reading a novel if the cover doesn’t line up with the plot or characters, I get frustrated. When the cover has no meaning and is instead just a stock photo with pretty writing, I get frustrated. When deciding which book I should purchase when I’m interested in the content of many of them, I often do the cover test. If I’m physically looking at the book in the store, the first page test does the trick, but often I’m buying online. The book that I find to have the most unique, least generic cover usually sells me because it is the most likely to have a great publishing team. This may be unfair to the other authors, but hopefully this minor decision in favor of a meaningful cover (that doesn’t contain a cropped image of a faceless girl) will eventually add up to new marketing data that will lead to these better covers (see John Green’s short comment on how it’s a struggle for all authors, even the male ones, to get the cover their book deserves). The divide between “boy books” and “girl books” should be closed. Every author deserves a well-designed cover that doesn’t just try to appeal to the masses.
Here, I’ve coverflipped The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
EDIT: I actually believe John Green’s original cover is just about as gender neutral as you can get these days, but I thought it would be interesting to lean it in the female direction without going too far.