What to think of the controversy regarding Polly Courtney‘s jacket for her latest novel?
Is it sexist? I’ve seen the cover and I can’t say I’m offended by it.
Many book covers are sexist or patronising. Few authors get to approve the artwork. Publishers want to sell as many copies as possible and create an impact.
Of course creating an impact matters when it comes to selling books. A brilliant novel might be disregarded if the jacket doesn’t have the right feel. However we are all different, what works for one person might not appeal to the next.
The big question is: should authors have a say when it comes to one of the most important aspects of your book?
After all as the author you’ve spent all that time writing it, you know what’s best, right? Not necessarily. I do think we need to be open to suggestions. But I’d hate to be in a situation where I object violently to the artwork designed to sell my novel.
So, yes, I do sympathise with Polly Courtney and I’m glad my situation is the complete opposite.
I had a concept for my latest novel and when I suggested it to my publisher he loved it. So far, even though the book is not out yet, the reaction has been more than positive. I love the message it sends and the picture is fresh and appealing.
Part of me though can’t help thinking it’s a good publicity ‘stunt’ and that Polly Courtney was obviously unhappy with Harper Collins in the first place.
It’s a real problem for women to be taken seriously and not be patronised. Let us write or read what we want, every one to their own taste. Why demean one style or the other?
Here’s a link to the cover in question.
- Jennifer Close, J. Courtney Sullivan, Sloane Crosley: Chick authors who avoid the ‘chick-lit’ stigma (shelf-life.ew.com)
- Journal Prompt 7/50: Judging Covers and Reviewing Books (cardboardconfines.wordpress.com)
- Novelist Polly Courtney dumps HarperCollins to return to self-publishing (teleread.com)
- No frills please: don’t chick-lit my books just because I’m a woman | Polly Courtney (guardian.co.uk)
- Inspired: Fabulous New Book Covers (casasugar.com)
- Curiosity Quills Interviews Polly Courtney | Curiosity Quills (chazzwrites.wordpress.com)
- Interview with a Book Designer (mesummer.wordpress.com)
- Would You Buy a Book For Its Cover? (casasugar.com)