I remember being in the fourth grade, in a dusty Catholic school library. Our teacher had overheard the conversation of my friends and me (I guess we weren't making any effort to be quiet in the library, lol!) about which books had the nicest covers. I remember my teacher spouting the well-known adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover!" in her stern teacher voice.
Of course we did, and still do. Everyone judges appearances, even if we like to think we are more enlightened than that. In her blog entry for the Huffington Post, YA author Maureen Johnson discusses how women have historically been sidelined in the world of literature, and how an overly "girly" bookcover can affect our perceptions of the "seriousness" of the author, because women are still perceived as not being able to write "serious" books. She started a Twitter campaign, #coverflip, which some of you may have participated in, asking folks to re-imagine gendered book covers (turning the girly masculine and vice versa). The results can be seen here. This blog entry made me think about the books my own daughter reads, which I talked about in last week's entry.
As my own middle-grade manuscript reaches completion, this article has me thinking about what the cover is going to look like, what kind of message it will send. Any writers out there have any interesting experiences with their publisher and book covers? Feel free to share in the comments section below!