The jacket of a book usually gives you a glimpse at what you’ll find inside, but according to author Maureen Johnson, it also give you an indication of the gender of the author. She heard from male readers of her books that they wished they didn’t have girly covers and realized it had nothing to do with the content, but with the author being a woman.
“If you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s ‘girly,’ which is somehow inherently different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow and the feeling of smooth jazz blowing off of it. This idea that there are ‘girl books’ and ‘boy books’… gives credit to absolutely no one, especially not the boys who will happily read stories by women, about women. As a lover of books and someone who supports readers and writers of both sexes, I would love a world in which books are freed from some of these constraints.”
This gave Johnson the idea for Coverflip which reimagines well-known book covers as if they were written by authors of the opposite gender. I particularly like Game of Thrones by Georgette R. Martin and Lord of the Flies by Willa Golding.
See more covers after the break…