Maureen Johnson’s Coverflip

This was something I kept being reminded of while reading Cixous and was pretty popular story earlier this year, so many of you might have seen it already. Anyway:

YA author Maureen Johnson tweeted this:

And ended up getting a lot of responses like this:


Huffington Post wrote a story about the challenge (called Coverflip) that has a great slideshow of redesigned covers, including both books by men with covers redesigned “for women” and vice versa.

What I was concerned about while reading Cixous was how “feminine texts” could hope to achieve a larger audience beyond women if the publishing industry now is so aggressive/biased in their marketing toward women. She never really addresses the effect (if any) feminine texts may have upon men who read them, though it’s rather problematic if the only people who read women’s texts are women.

More links!


2 thoughts on “Maureen Johnson’s Coverflip

  1. this is fascinating! thanks so much for sharing. this makes me think about my own aversion to selecting novels with overtly feminine covers– i often feel embarrassed to carry a novel that looks like a “trashy romance novel” or typical love story. interesting that the original cover of the marriage plot looked so feminine before… the paperback cover is very different and more gender neutral.

  2. Whoa! I would’ve never read some of these books if they have been the coverflip’d versions. I realize that the point they’re making is that when these books were coverflip’d, the nature of what I believed the content would be about automatically changed too. However, I’m slightly troubled that the cover-flip is too exaggerated in some instances? Like the example of Shutter Island, which is an intense psychological thriller, turned into a novel of self-discovery. I don’t know what exactly about this is troubling me, just that the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and A Room of One’s Own didn’t have ‘hyper-feminized’ covers. Is that, dare I say (something I don’t believe is necessarily true), because they don’t contain stereotypically feminine content? Like, Nicholas Sparks writes stuff that his covers tend to match.

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