Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Help! Teenage girls have taken over the art department!

So, I was browsing my local Barnes and Noble just the other day, and it was a grand old time. I didn't buy anything, a Herculean feat for me, but I'm glad I went. If I hadn't, I would have found out that the art departments of several major publishers have been seized by teenage girls.

How else could one explain how the first print cover for P.C. Cast's Elphame's Choice went from this:



to this:



Really? That second cover doesn't speak to the content of the book at all. If you picked up the book (which you should, by the way, because it's amazing) with the first cover, you wouldn't be surprised to find that it's a romantic fantasy set in a world of ancient Celtic lore. If you picked up the book with the second cover, you'd be surprised to find that Elphame was not questing for more clip-in color streaks at her local Hot Topic.

And then, in the YA section, I saw this:



This book has been out for a while, so I'd seen it before. But I'd also seen it before it came out. Like, years before it came out, because the art department of this publishing house has also been overrun by teenage girls:



Authors have little to no control over what gets put on their book covers. In the case of the second book, that is a YA book. The first book isn't. How can you tell the difference these days? Could publishers please forget that Twilight happened and go back to selling books with covers I wouldn't be embarrassed to show in public? You know, like clinch-covers?

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