Friday, August 17, 2007

Judging a Book by its Cover or Genre

Good news. Finally, the ArcheBooks Publishing,, production list is showing activity again. I am now next on the list. That means The Ride could go into production as early as today. Of course, it may still be weeks or months, but I’m thinking positive.

One step in the production process is the design of the book jacket. I can’t help but wonder how it will look. Will I like it? Will it appeal to other readers?

Not too long ago, my daughter walked into the room and said in an incredulous tone, “You’re reading a book with a unicorn on the cover.”

Not only was I reading the book, M.B. Weston’s, A Prophecy Forgotten,, I was thoroughly enjoying it. However, normally (had I not known the author) I would not buy a Fantasy book, much less one with a unicorn on the cover. Consequently, I would have missed a really good read.

I realized that I was guilty (as was my daughter) of not only judging a book by its cover but by the genre, as well.

On the ArcheBooks production list, The Ride, is listed as Contemporary Women’s Fiction. It can also be categorized as general or contemporary fiction.

Worried that people might confuse Contemporary Women’s fiction with Chick Lit, or Romance or even with Feminist Literature, I did a little research to try to figure out the most marketable category. I was surprised by what I found.

I read, Women’s Fiction or Romance, A tale of Two Genres, by Lisa Craig, She said, “Trying to wrap a definition around women’s fiction is a little like trying to put a fence around a band of wild mustangs.” The article went on to say, “After examining industry statistics from the American Bookseller Association and Book Industry Study group, one can easily conclude that Women’s Fiction comprises at least forty percent of adult popular fiction sold in the United States and approximately sixty percent of the adult popular fiction paperbacks.”

According to,, virtually all the selections of Oprah’s Book Club are in the Women’s Fiction category.

Forty to sixty percent of the market with the possibility that Oprah may one day talk about my book makes Women’s Contemporary Fiction sound like the perfect category.

I am curious, however, about how you view the subject of book covers and genres.

1. Have you ever not bought a book because you didn’t like the cover?

2. Would you be more likely pick up a book marketed as Women’s Fiction, Women’s Contemporary Fiction, or simply Contemporary Fiction or General/Mainstream Fiction, or none of the above?

Let me know by leaving your comments on my blog or in my guestbook, or by e-mailing me at

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

See you next week.

Jane Kennedy Sutton
Author of The Ride (to be released by ArcheBooks Publishing)

Tags: The Ride, Archebooks, Lisa Craig,, Oprah’s book club , M.B. Weston , A Prophecy Forgotten , Women’s fiction

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Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world