Cover Reveals, Pink Covers, Coverflip and Gender Anarchy

Lat week I blogged, like hundreds of other people, about #coverflip. Last week I also got my own cover, for my upcoming book AUDACIOUS. I’m kind of excited that #coverflip happened in the same week I got my cover for a couple of reasons:

  1. People are thinking and talking about “feminine” covers
  2. My cover is a great example of a “feminine” cover that works

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m a girl. My last book, WICKET SEASON was about a boy and featured a boy playing sports on the cover, so I definitely wasn’t been dealt a cover worthy of a cover flip. AUDACIOUS on the other hand, is a verse novel, about a girl. There is romance, but that’s not the whole focus of the book. There is also a pink dress. It’s a book that will appeal mostly to girls. That’s perfectly okay with me. That said, as far as a cover goes, really I could have easily ended up with either an almost kissing couple like this:

Or a cover that made the book look like a prom dress catalog. Nothing wrong with frock book covers, but let’s be honest, they’re getting a little ubiquitous.

Authors aren’t always satisfied with their covers. I think this is what drove the #coverflip meme, with sympathetic readers adding fuel to the fire. And I can see how some authors and reader could get frustrated. Because it really DOES seem like there are  three general cover styles used over and over for female authored/girl reader orientedYA books:

  1. the vapid girl cover with optional soft focus which, while a mainstay of the contemporary genre also creeps into some genre books, in particular as foreign editions. See the German edition of CREWEL (about which author Gennifer Albin said “I don’t know who that girl is”) and a few foreign editions of HOW I LIVE NOW.
  2. the kissing/almost kissing cover/embracing couple which you would think was reserved for romance books, but as evidenced by the cover I referred to last week, for Janne Teller’s NOTHING, is clearly bleeding into other genres
  3. Finally the frock cover which seems to a a Jill-of-all-trades cover, turning up on everything from science fiction, dystopian, paranormal, romance and contemporary “issue” books. Interestingly, the most common iteration of this type of cover is photographic. As though there is no other way to represent a frock. Oh, and of course the cover models are almost always white, thin and beautiful.

Which brings me to my cover, and why I’m so excited about it. Apart from the romance, there are three major “McGuffins” in AUDACIOUS. I don’t want to spoil it but ALL three are represented on the cover. Obviously the pink dress is one. To learn the other two you will have to read it. But beyond the cover being accurately evocative of the book in terms of the content of the imagery, it is also accurate in terms of the tone and the protagonist. Holy crap, that REALLY looks like the way I imagined her!

And the artistry is so beautiful. And the protagonist of AUDACIOUS is an artist. And the colors! You guys, I LOVE IT! I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here it is:


I mean, I’m just…I can’t even…I FREAKING LOVE this cover! It is so specifically  relevant to the story in so many ways. And black and pink are my daughter’s favorite colors! And speaking of my daughter, she’s decided to become a gender anarchist. So far, mostly what she does is move Hello Kitty t-shirts into the boy’s department in Target. But hopefully she’ll be insisting her male friends read AUDACIOUS, publicly and proudly, pink cover and all.

3 thoughts on “Cover Reveals, Pink Covers, Coverflip and Gender Anarchy

  1. So happy you love your cover! I know so many authors who are disappointed in what they end up with for their work. It is striking and stylish. Also love your daughter’s response to gender tropes. I know, as a young boy, I would have been horrified to find something like Hello Kitty in a rack of T-shirts I was sifting through!

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