Sometimes it feels like the publishing industry has us all boxed off into dastardly delineated categories. We are either readers of crime, science fiction, sports autobiographies, or bird-watching manuals, but never all four. Everything must be packaged according to its genre, and there are labelling rules.
Chick-lit novels use loopy fonts, and have caricatures of shoes and dresses on the cover. Crime covers must be on a background of either black or white, and feature a gate, road, or implement of indeterminate ability to cause head trauma. Literary fiction covers depict shadowy figures facing away from you – but you know without even looking any way closely, that they’re pretty damned sad on a deep, metaphysical level (that is, when they take a short break from ennui).
Genre covers have to look the same, you see, because readers are stupid. And if we don’t recognise our genre within 2 seconds of approaching a bookshelf we will be distracted…
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