Book Covers Are Judging Me

Tara Sparling writes

Sometimes it feels like the publishing industry has us all boxed off into dastardly delineated categories. We are either readers of crime, science fiction, sports autobiographies, or bird-watching manuals, but never all four. Everything must be packaged according to its genre, and there are labelling rules.

  Generic Crime CoverChick-lit novels use loopy fonts, and have caricatures of shoes and dresses on the cover. Crime covers must be on a background of either black or white, and feature a gate, road, or implement of indeterminate ability to cause head trauma. Literary fiction covers depict shadowy figures facing away from you – but you know without even looking any way closely, that they’re pretty damned sad on a deep, metaphysical level (that is, when they take a short break from ennui).

Genre covers have to look the same, you see, because readers are stupid. And if we don’t recognise our genre within 2 seconds of approaching a bookshelf we will be…

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