Friday, July 1, 2011

YA Propaganda

Over at Andrew Smith's blog, there were some awesome comments about the whole "boys and YA and men-writing-YA" kerfuffle.

I'm honestly too tired this morning to be coherent.  Here's a great example though, of a book trying to include both boys AND girls.

Beth Revis wrote a fun sci-fi mystery called ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.  It was great fun to read, with a little romance, a little sci-fi, a nice dose of mystery, great characters, and a villain with depth.  The cover, however, was designed to appeal to girls.  All-in-all, I think Beth wrote a book that would definitely cross the gender divide.  But that's not how it was marketed.  Or so I thought.  When I got my copy, I pulled off the dust jacket and found out that the backside was a different cover.  A more gender neutral cover.  How genius!  The book could be aimed more at girls, or more at guys or just plain neutral.

The first cover is clearly designed to highlight the romance between the two main characters (the romance which is not really all that big in the book), while the second cover is designed to appeal to the sci-fi aspect.

I think it's great, actually.  It gives booksellers and readers the chance to decide what they want from their book.  I wish more publishers would try this.


  1. The design that went into this book was incredible. I talked about that a lot when I reviewed it, but the best part? This book wasn't just hype. The story was good and I totally agree that it would appeal (stereotypically) to both boys and girls.

    Well said, Shaun.

  2. Testament: I did not order Across the Universe because of the cover UNTIL Elana Johnson showed me the inside cover.

  3. But Jon, you're gay. All gay men love lovey-dovey kissing scenes and images, right?

  4. Not this gay. Haha

    And Shaun, I didn't notice the post title until now, but kudos on its cleverness.

  5. Yes, I agree that cover is ingenious. Why don't more publishers do something like that?

  6. Well the obvious reason is that it's expensive, but that's a poor argument because you don't have to print a double sided cover to design one that would have a broader appeal.


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