Found a quite interesting article in The Guardian this week. The title caught my eye: Novelist ditches publisher at book launch for 'condescending' treatment. But the words from the author kept me reading. Basically, she’s dropped her publisher, HarperCollins, because of the covers they gave her books.
Polly Courtney says her writing “is commercial fiction, it is not literary, but the real issue I have is that it has been completely defined as women's fiction … Yes it is page turning, no it's not War and Peace. But it shouldn't be portrayed as chick lit."
She feels the cover misrepresents her book – it displays “the chick-lit staple of a pair of slender legs.”
Another author, Michele Gorman, who doesn’t mind her own chick-lit label, said: "But at the end of the day, we do judge books by their covers, and if it doesn't do what it says on the tin it will have disappointed readers. Publishing houses do tend to take a single broad brush approach to books by women, for women, and we as writers don't have creative control over our covers or our titles."
Here’s how a rep for HarperCollins responded: "Avon is right behind Polly Courtney's timely and important book. Our experience tells us it has a great look and feel and we think Polly will be delighted when she sees it flying off the shelves."
Hmm. I think they missed the point.
6 months ago